Wednesday, April 03, 2013

all things charcoal

As a break from moving supplies, I thought I'd actually sew something (plus I took some time off this week to do just that.  Sewing is very restorative as much as my co-workers tease me for it.)  And instead of making something for the house I put the time into making something for a friend (double restorative, it turns out). A while back I spotted Meet Me at Mike's fox quilt, but didn't until this week think about adapting it to make a  foxy pillow. To better suit a square pillow form I made the fox block out of 12 squares, each being  3.5" high x 4.5" wide. I also inset the eyes so that they were part of these squares instead of appliquing them on top. The fabrics are white linen, salmon raw silk and then my current favourite, Robert Kaufman's Essex Yarn-Dyed cotton/linen blend. It's such a great design and I think it makes for a nice gift. Maybe someday I'll get around to making a wall quilt version - I know a certain basement with bare walls that's just aching for foxes.

Over the holidays I made a scarf for my dad that turned out soft, squishy and quite manly. So it only made sense that Jay should get a similar scarf. I used Berroco Vintage to contend with Jay's rough beard, but he's not one for modelling so the shot above is the best I could do. He seems pleased with the dark gray and he's not a yarn snob, so the blend suits him fine. The pattern is really great - easy to memorize (a center marker is a lifesaver) and it makes a warm, dense fabric. 

Next to the scarf is one of the nicest book covers I've ever seen (at one point I thought the whole cover would be my palette inspiration for the basement). Ru by Kim Thuy was recommended to me my a complete stranger in the line at Indigo a while back. The line was long and we managed to trade a few suggestions while we waited - it was like an impromptu Book Club. Luckily this novel counts for my Canadian challenge and even better, it was a beautiful read. Rather than being a linear story it was more a meditation on Thuy's life told in lyrical and petite chapters. It's been translated from French but somehow I imagine the rolling prose was there to begin with and it's just that fantastic a translation. I was swept up by Thuy's writing and was a little heartbroken when it ended. Thank you dear stranger!

For more knitting and reading stories, visit today's Yarnalong.


Lori ann said... [Reply to comment]

oh sam i love your charcoal post. the foxy pillow is gorgeous, what a brilliant idea to adapt a quilt block. i love it.
the scarf looks lovely, my husband is not a yarn snob either, as long as it's soft, his only request. i'm sure your husband loves his new knit.
i'm off to order ru now, thank you for the inspiring review. the cover looks beautiful. i'm not sure if you read the snow child? your description of the cover art of ru reminded me... it is one of my favorite books, and covers.

Evelyn said... [Reply to comment]

You've just given me the most wonderful idea! I'm going to sew one of these fox pillows for my college-bound son whose favorite softie as a child was his stuffed fox named Rudy. This pillow will be perfect for his dorm room (not babyish but with a very meaningful image). Thanks for the inspiration.

lamb-things said... [Reply to comment]

I love the fox pillow, especially the colour. It would make a great wall hanging.