Saturday, December 15, 2007

Little progress has been made.

I've finally completed the embroidery on the Bunad boots but don't have a picture yet. I'm still stymied by the issue of dyeing the suede soles. Being convinced the suede, heat, and moisture don't mix well I've tried other methods, including a traditional blackening method involving a solution of vinegar and iron which reacts with the tannins in suede to blacken it; brush-on suede dye, and simple wishful thinking (very ineffective, I might say) all with the same results. I don't have black suede soles yet. So I broke down, bought some RIT dye, and have just finished simmering the soles in a potful of black dye. They're outside drying right now, and I must say that the stiffness the wet soles confirms my fears as to what happens to wet hot suede, but being either optimistic or foolish I am holding out a little hope that they will be functional once dry. We'll see soon. If this doesn't work I'll just finished them as they are (sole-less, if not soul-less) and at least start wearing them while I hunt down some black sued to make my own soles. Which in hindsight would have been so much easier to start with.

So as I have no knitting pictures to show I am including one of my niece, Madison, who I recently spent a weekend with. Over the 2 years since she was born I have made her a variety of knitted stuffed animals, some of which I had forgotten about. Most of them are tiny cats; one is a large and well-worn rabbit. So here she is, surrounded by her companions......

I am fairly certain that the large white rabbit was from the book Last Minute Knitted Gifts ( a terrific book, by the way); the little blue kitten was an adaptation of the Bubba Bear pattern posted on Knitty a year or so ago; and the grey and the white/orange striped kittens were adapted from Knitting Daily's free knitted animals pattern - very easy, by the way. The primary adaptations I made for all the small kitties were mostly to use finer yarn and needles (for the Knitty pattern), and additionally for the Knitting Daily pattern, to cut the stitch/row counts more or less in half to get the smaller size. All of the little ones were stuffed with yarn and the rabbit has poly fiber fill stuffing.

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