Friday, February 7, 2014

A Craft A Week: Week 3 - Finger Knit Pillow

Hello!  This is my first post on my new blog.  For the past few weeks I've been challenging myself to do a craft a week.  My goal is to keep it up for a year, use up supplies I already have on hand to clean up my craft closet, and finally tackle those projects I've always wanted to try and just don't start.

I first started with presenting the idea to my friends and coworkers via email.  I thought I would share my project while also creating a social time and invited them all over to join me at my house that weekend.  No takers, but then I started thinking it would be fun if my friends and family far away could join too, so I started posting my progress on Facebook.

But alas, neither of those places are a good place to document and share photos like this (the email was my work email and I felt inaproprate posting there and Facebook always gives me grief with new photo uploads).  So here I am and let the Week 3 results commence! 

My craft was a Finger Knit Pillow.  The idea I first had was to combine both of the below ideas in one pillow: all red knit on one side with black spots (Lady Bug style) and all black knit on the other side with a red knit "Love" on the other.  Here are my inspiration photos and where I found them:

I found both these photos on Pinterest.  I couldn't link to the original site the knit pillow with green and white strips came from, so I don't know who to credit for that beautiful pillow.  The Love pillow came from  CraftGawker refers to this pillow as the Tasseled Finger Knot Love Pillow.
By mid-week, also known as Wednesday, I posted the following photos on Facebook:  I had thought I should make a pillowcase to attach the knitting to and then stuff the pillow inside.  I grabbed some scrap fabric I had in my craft closet, ugly weird snakeskin fabric I had found at Big Lots to make a bead bag (that I never made).  This is it, inside out, with the pillow stuffed inside.

These next photos show the knitted strands I was making.  I had this stupid yarn I bought for $1.00 at Joann Fabrics that alternated red and black, but I only wanted one color for each side of the pillow so as I knitted, when the color would change I would stop, cut, and start a new strand.
On Thursday I started playing around with all the pieces to see how it would all come together.  Immediately I realized the pillow case idea was NOT going to work.  You could see right through the yarn and see the ugly snakeskin fabric.  So, I decided to switch ideas and go buy some red and black felt. 

On Friday I went to the store for my felt and spent the evening stitching the red strands to a piece of red felt.  LOVE IT!  It’s smaller than I originally wanted and I also began to realize that I didn’t want both sides to be knitted.  I was going to make two pillows: one with red strands on red felt with black dots and a black felt back, and one pillow with black strands on black felt with LOVE stitched to the other side (red felt).

On Saturday I decided that wasn’t going to happen either.  I was only going to be able to accomplish one pillow over the weekend and since I had already started the red with black dots, that was the pillow I was going to show you on Monday (or now Friday via this blog).  So, here it is!  The finished project:
Ideas to make it better:
1.  Most important: use better yarn!  I used the yarn I had bought to learn how to finger knit, before I even thought of making a project.  Had I used good quality, thicker, softer yarn, I think it would have turned out better.
2.  Also important: use one color yarn or whatever to make a really long strand so you don't have to keep stopping, starting, tieing, cutting, etc.  It also saves time when attaching the strands to the felt.
3.  Find a better way to stitch the knitting to the pillow.  Use a sewing machine?

Final thoughts:
It's so cute!  My oldest son Chase told me I should add antenna and make it look more like a Lady Bug.  My friend Dawn told me I could easily make it in to a Pillow Pet, I just love that idea, but again, I would have wanted to use softer cuddly yarn.
Next Week's Project:
Yarn covered letters for my youngest son Reed's bulletin board AND a fabric horse!  When Chase (oldest) and Blake (middle son) moved in with me I made them each a bulletin board with hand painted foam letters spelling out their names.  They still have their boards and fill them up with artwork, knicknacks, cards, etc.  When Reed got his own bedroom I bought him a bulletin board too, but I hadn't made his name.  Then I saw these yarn letters in Parents Magazine!  As for the horse it is just to be silly.  It is the Year of the Horse and my Chinese Zodiac sign IS the Horse, but mostly I wanted to make it because of work.  I am in a team at work and part of the team name is "Colt", so I was silly and made a spinoff of that and another team I am a part of and called myself the "Red Horse".  Stupid, but I figured I could make a dorky red horse for my desk.  We shall see what time allows.
The horse is from Gypsy Garden,

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