Or would I call him Skullder?
Would ye be resting yahr wrist there, matey?
Here at the halfway point of Gift Knitting Season, I felt the need to make something with a little more grrrrrr. Or should I say, yaaaaahhhhrrr! Enter Skully, the pirate wrist rest!
I came across pieknit's Earthy Wrist Pillow and figured it would make an excellent gift for my best friend's husband's birthday (man, say that three times fast). But I wanted to give it a little something extra. He, being a lawyer, is used to pillaging and plundering, so the pirate motif - based on Hello Yarn's We Call Them Pirates Hat - was perfect!
I be luring you back to intarsia, I would! (Great, now I sound like pirate Yoda.)
Into the intarsia
This was my first foray back to the land of intarsia, which I had previously visited (and fled screaming from) for the R2D2 holifo of 2007. I still don't particularly care for it and my colorwork definitely needs practice, but it was much more doable contained in a small, quickie knit!
It took several charting expeditions to get the placement of the skull and diamonds just right - I didn't want them to hit the increase/decrease rows or have any color changes over or immediately next to the short row wraps. To do this, I increased the number of stitches and rows and adjusted where the wrap & turns were in the original pattern.
(Hubster came in as I was futzing around with the chart and asked what it was for. When I told him I was making BFH a skull wrist rest, he went "Awwooohhh!" and immediately began pouting until I promised he could have the prototype. *sigh* Boys!)
The prototype gave me a chance to get everything charted and modded out correctly, and it was good practice for my weak-ass colorwork skills (and believe me, I use the word "skills" lightly). You can see in this pic (follow the giant white arrows) where I stranded much too tightly - the sides pucker in and the gauge over the skull is noticeably smaller. I did more of a fair isle-y type thing with this one, using one continuous white strand that went all over the place, which didn't help.
Plunder my sucky colorwork.
The second try was an improvement - still some wonky stitches here and there, but overall a much better result. I paid a little more attention to my tension, and used separate strands for the diamonds. It was a *little* bit more fussy that way, but worth the extra effort.
Fill me coffers with flaxseed!
Fill 'er up
For the filling, I used a thin black sock filled with flax seed (Whole Foods, about a buck a pound). The flax seed gives it that squishy effect but won't mat down like polyfill. You can even chill or heat it (carefully and slowly) for a therapeutic effect.
I filled the sock using a funnel, a bit at a time, then tested the size and fit. Once it was at the correct comfort level, I sewed it shut about four times to ensure the filling would stay put.
After washing and blocking the wrist rest out, I started to whipstitch it together but didn't like how it was coming out - instead of the nice, detailed edge in pieknit's photo, mine just looked messy. So, I decided to mattress stitch it shut instead. This gave it the cleaner, more finished appearance I was looking for. I seamed one side and half the top, inserted the flaxy sock, squished it about until it was seated correctly, then seamed the rest of it together.
The flaxseed is fab - the seeds lay nice and flat, with no hard or pokey edges, and it conforms just beautifully to your wrist. It also makes this double as a stress reliever - it's so much fun to play with and toss about (the koosh ball effect), and it can just be patted right back into shape!
I knitted this with Karabella Aurora 8, a lovely, strokeable yarn that's oh-so-soft. It took about 16 grams of the black to make one, with just some scraps of white for the colorwork - which makes this an excellent stashbuster! Plus, it takes no time at all. You should be able to bang out the knitting in one evening. Add in washing, blocking, filling and sewing, and you've got yourself a FO in two nights, max.
Wrap it up
I gifted this to BFH yesterday and it was a hit! (Hubster went all heee-eee when I gave him the prototype, too). BFH's sister totally wanted one, and her daughter couldn't stop playing with it either (told ya it was squishy). So I'd rate this a plundering success! Now I just have to chart out a different design, so I can make one for me!
Pattern: weeza'd up pieknit's Earthy Wrist Pillow and Hello Yarn's We Call Them Pirates Hat
Yarn: Karabella Aurora 8 (about 16 gm of black, scraps of white)
Needles: Size US4