Sunday, March 14, 2010

Birthday Crustacean

This gift was a direct response to my dozen+ homemade AMAZING blueberry cookies that I recently received for my birthday. I felt compelled to undertake a total DIY birthday gift for my true love, B.

First I wound little mini skeins of Fisherman’s wool that was hanging around in the basement. I was inspired to DIY all the way (and circumnavigate the closed yarn stores) by dyeing my own yarn. I used my tried and true Kool-Aid/microwave dye-job, purposely going for an uneven slightly kettle-dye-like look.

The pale blue-green took 3 tries to achieve. The first two were waaay to dark, and the final color was actually created by using the leftover dye water after I removed an unsuccessful turquoisey-green attempt (3 ice blue lemonade, 1 lemon-lime). Since the first batch into the water struck most of the green, round two ended up a seafoam-y color that I really liked.

The red-orange was the result of 1 Strawberry Kool-Aid, 1 Mandarina-Tangerine Kool-Aid, 1 Splashers Orange, and in a moment of panic 1 Flavor-Aid Lemonade. I was surprised by how red it was despite all the yellows added in, but the end color was pretty perfect.
Next, I knit a modified free lobster bib pattern (basically just using the chart), by CO 36 (pattern repeat plus 3 sts on each side) and k the first and last stitch on each row (RS and WS). I also omitted the garter st border. I knit 8 rows before starting the pattern and after finishing it.

If I were to knit this again (because seriously, I will probably need another knit lobster pillow…) I would add more sts on each side of the repeat. As you see it’s a stout pillow, and a little wider would cause the image to wrap around a little less in the claws.

Once knit and blocked, I really took a leap of faith and decided to machine sew the knit panel to the fabric backing for the other side of the pillow (since I didn’t really want a knitted back to the pillow). I had no idea if it would stretch or get screwed up- luckily it didn’t. (I had an idea it would work since I’d lined a purse this way a long time ago).I also had to customize the standard pillow-form to suit the odd size, and it totally worked out. I just unstuffed the form (which had a zipper closure), traced my lobster panel onto the pillowcase, sewed the new shape, cut it out and re-stuffed it. It sounds like a lot, but this was actually the easiest part.

Then I just fit the pillow into my custom case and voila. Happy Birthday, B!

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