This time, we have guest blogger Talitha telling us her stories about her knitted chairs!
I have a very well loved loveseat in my kitchen. In my mind it is full to the rim with conversations and arguments, cuddling my babies at 2am and Sunday afternoons reading a good book. Mostly I look at it fondly, but occasionally I catch a realistic glimpse of it and ‘ugh’. The wear and tear of daily use has really gotten to it making it downright ugly. And there is enough ugly in the world already.
I feel exactly this same way about the white plastic chairs in my backyard. They were gifts and are very useful, but they don’t age well. At this point no amount of scrubbing can make them undingy again. I even started to entertain thoughts of getting rid of them. So you can see how when I first saw Yuvee’s knit chair cover I thought “That’s it!”.
I can cover my chairs (to make the tiny little corner of me that is a neat freak happy),
I can keep the chairs (which makes the earth concious side of my brain smile),
I can do it by knitting (now the me who is soothed by the motion of the needles is happy),
and they can look however I want them to (the artist in me now approves).
A win, win (also win and win once again) situation.
My 1st chair cover, “satisfy”, was inspired by my appreciation of the creation that is the great outdoors. I am one who is always sad cutting flowers to put in mason jar vases because I know how quickly that will kill them. So to knit a cover with vines and a sun which is also the color of flowers really fit me to a tee. Unsure at first just where to place the vines, I actually got the idea for the shape of them from a chlorox ad in a waiting room magazine (it’s true).
The 2nd chair cover, “delight”, was my attempt to imitate the cozy safe feeling that I always had snuggling into the large round chairs owned by my friends. I am told by the people who do own them that they are cumbersome and tippy, but for me no other furniture has ever come close to recreating the sweet feeling of sinking into a fuzzy papasan seat. This feeling was only furthered by how much the muted green and brown colors of the yarns reminded me of moss and playing under the trees as a child.
My youngest two children like to surround themselves with their favorite things. As they adjust and squirm to get everything ‘just right’ some toy inevitably falls and the tears start. My 3rd cover, “rising” is riddled with pockets and fits a bright blue toddler sized plastic chair. This chair is a pretty color as is but uncovered, the slick plastic just added to my babies’ sadness as more toys were prone to fall from that seat than any other. I hate it when my babies are sad.
I have had notes from people who find the size of the chair cover daunting, but really there are no more stitches needed to cover a chair than to knit a pair of socks. The chair cover’s stitches are simply much bigger. And personally I find that if I knit just one round and I’m already 1 ½ inches closer to being done, then it keeps me motivated. Teeny tiny sock stitches wear me down very quickly, but that’s another story.
Yuvee’s pattern is about the shaping needed to get a chair covered well. But how exactly you fill in the empty canvas of what it will look like is up for grabs. I have friends having babies and keep thinking that a group of us ought to knit cheery squares and then sew them together into one of these covers. Yuvee’s pattern would be the perfect template for doing this. What an original throne that would make for the mama-to-be at the shower. How encouraging to have it in the nursery later, as a reminder to her (when she’s up at 3am feeling overwhelmed with an inconsolable infant in her arms) of how we all know that she can do this ‘being the mom’ thing.
My eldest daughter doesn’t like to sit in her old wooden desk chair. I think it is uncomfortable to sit in.Sso, i have plans (and bright purple yarn) to knit her one of the shorter covers for it. I figure it will take me less time than wandering the stores (with her younger siblings in tow) looking for just the right gift for a very particular ten year old. And I know I’ll enjoy the knitting much more than the high pressure shopping.
Back to my old eyesore of a kitchen couch. My frugality will not let me dispose of it with so much use left in its misshapen cushions. Perhaps yuvee’s pattern and a huge yarn sale will mix to make the perfect solution. With this in mind I have begun to replace the cringing that had started when I walked by it with a slight twinkle in my eye as I plot out all the possibilities for its knit cover and hence its future. This leaves a little less ugliness in my small corner of the world. And this alone makes me very happy.