Thursday, December 20, 2007
Saturday, December 08, 2007
I cast-off, rather than crocheted-off, the edging, much to the delight of my hands, which cramp terribly when I try to crochet.
My prescription for avoiding crochet cramps when finishing the edging?
Rx: don't crochet!
I admit, I'm a knitting snob, and crocheting makes my hands hurt. My solution works well, and I'm quite happy with the way it turned out.
I used stainless steel welding rods, and a few pins, to block it. The rods were inserted along the last row of hexagonal mesh. I lightly starched the entire cloth, and once the edging was damp from the spray starch, I simply finger-blocked it and let it dry.
Vitals: Size 30, six cord, 100% cotton thread, highly mercerized, 11 x 20gr balls. Belly button start was on 2.25mm dp bamboo needles for about 20 rounds, then a 2.75mm circular needle for about 30 rounds, then a 3.5mm circular (Circlon) for the balance, up to, but not including the edging, which I did on a 3.75mm circular needle. It is about 2 metres across, or just a bit more than 6 feet.
This beautiful piece of furniture was built by my grandfather approximately 1920, when he was 20 years old. It was in his parents' house until 1955 (the year I was born). When my great-grandfather passed away, my grandfather disassembled it, bundled it up with binder twine, and stored it in his basement.
In the early 60s, my parents bought a beautiful old house. My grandfather thought the entrance needed a mirror, and brought a long mirror with him the next time he visited (he was Inspector of Jails for the province of Alberta, after retiring from the RCMP in the 50s, and visited the city where I was raised once a month, as there was a provincial jail there).
After my grandparents passed away in the late 90s (both nearly 100 years old), my dad asked me if I would like the cupboard. Of course I would! He offered to piece it back together for me, nearly 50 years after it had been disassembled. He spent several months doing this, having to replace and/or refinish several pieces. He did a fabulous job!
The clock was rescued from the Lethbridge RCMP station just before the old station was torn down. My grandfather had great foresight! And why did I mention the mirror? Because it was the mirror that Grampa had made to go with the buffet, before my dad was even a twinkle in his eye. All those years of coming and going while I was growing up, I had no idea that the mirror was part of this piece of family heritage.
And I am so very lucky to be the recipient of these two beautiful heirloom pieces.
What better way to display the PhoenixPalme! This is my dining room, in my house which will be 100 years old next year.
The glassware is Fenton milk glass, covered hobnail candy dish and salt and pepper shakers. The double-swan dish is a piece of Vaseline glass from the 30s. And the very pink piece on the buffet is my Kometenstern, a Niebling piece I had knit earlier this year.
Tonight I very carefully folded the PhoenixPalme, wrapped it in acid-free paper, and prepared it for its new life in Lethbridge, on the antique oak table in my dad's dining room.
My dad and his wife have waited a long time for this. They have no idea it'll be under their tree for Christmas. Fortunately, they are not online so won't be able to cruise my blog and spoil the surprise!
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
PhoenixPalme, Tout Finis!
Ok, so I have asthma and would rather ban cigarettes than smoke 'em, so please take the above comment as a reflection on six months of knitting the monster in the pictures below, and the incredible relief/pleasure/ecstacy of casting it off.
The PhoenixPalme is not washed or pressed, but due to intense pressure, (you people are such nags ... ;-), I'm caving in and publishing these pictures:
Above is the mostly cast-off PhoenixPalme, carefully guarded by Bitsy (the grey) Kitty (#2 of 5), and Quattro (#4 of 5).
Prior to casting off, I had put it on a stainless steel needle after knitting the piece with a nylon "Circlon" needle. Big mistake; steel needles are slick and want to either fall out of the work or drop stitches, so I put it back on a Circlon needle and cast off from there. As you can see, even Quattro knew the stainless steel needle had to go! And to the right, is an example of the palm fronds as designed by Herbert Niebling and knit by me!