Thursday, November 18, 2010

Personalizing Gifts with Knitting

I wanted to give a couple of bottles of wine as gifts recently, but I figured that they would be too plain if I didn't snaz them up a little bit. It just so happens that I've had a book lying around that could help me with this: Nicky Epstein's Knitted Embellishments. (This book is only for knitters, if you're looking for some crocheted embellishments, might I recommend 100 Flowers to Knit and Crochet) My idea was pretty simple. Knit up some parts and then stick them all together somehow! (It would turn out fine, I kept telling myself.)

My "parts" ended up being six leaves (in three sizes), two flowers (in two sizes), and an i-cord (three stitches and approximately 12 inches long). From the book I used the pattern for a large leaf and a medium leaf. (It should be noted that I used the same pattern to make the medium sized and small leaves, I merely decreased the needle size to make them smaller.) I also used the same pattern for both flowers, but decreased the needle size and the yarn weight to acheive the smaller flower (I ended up liking the blue flower better. Working with the super thin purple yarn was a pain in the a**). After making the flowers and leaves I pressed them with an iron to keep the corners from curling.

I learned something when putting this together. When you're hanging something, make sure the heaviest part of your design is at the bottom. I know this seems obvious, but on my first attempt, I put the flowers to either side of the the knot on the i-cord, and it just didn't look right. It pulled the knot up so that it wasn't drooping. I did not like that. The finished product is on the left. Not too bad for a first attempt at anything like this. Next time I think I might try making a bunching of grapes or some such.

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