Tag Archive | felting

Felted Yarn Bowls

I added something new to my Etsy shop today: felted yarn bowls! They’re a partnership with my Knitting SIL, who is talented in so many crafty ways, and I think her bowls are so cute they need to be widely available! And right now, if you use the code LOVEMUSIC2016 you can get 25% off! Check them out:

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They’re all available as of this morning, and you can go straight to the listings by clicking this link HERE. I offer free first class shipping within the U.S.

A Day with All the Knitting

After a day with no knitting on Saturday, I had a day with all the knitting yesterday, and I finished TWO projects! Without further ado, I present to you the Hogan Infinity Scarf:IMG_1797I know, it looks like poo in this photo, but that’s the wonder of blocking! This morning it got a little bath in Eucalan and now it’s laid out to dry.IMG_1800I’m so glad this silly thing is done. After all the fuss trying to figure out yarn amounts and what colors to use, and then I had a mistake in the chevron pattern that I couldn’t find…ugh! The upside is that this was my first experience with Rowan yarn, and it was lovely. It feels strong yet still touchable, not splitty, and I think it’ll have good stitch definition. And I really do like these colors together. I’m glad I went ahead and used the white on the edges. My Ravelry notes are here, and I’ll post another photo when it’s done drying.

I finished the cowl during Harry Potter #5, and while we watched #6 I needed another project, so I finished up another long-tail baby hat. These are fun.IMG_1801Now I *could* start a new project, but I’ve been in the mood to clear through some of my WIPs, so I think I’ll pick up something I’ve been ignoring. But first I want to line my felted bag.IMG_1798Here’s the fabric I have. It’s not quite an exact match but I think it’s close enough. What do you think?

Problems in Felting

I love felting my knitted things. But I also hate felting them. Ever since we replaced our ancient center-agitator washer with a newfangled tub-agitating washer, I have not been able to felt to my satisfaction. Yesterday I decided it was time to felt my blue/fuchsia bag, the one made with recycled sari silk that I blogged about a while ago. I did finally find some wooden handles I like so it really was just waiting for felting. I think I waited so long because I was dreading the process.

I started with hand felting: I filled the sink with tepid water, added the Eucalan and dropped in the bag. The water immediately started turning pink with dye from the silk. The more I agitated, the more it bled. I ran it under the cold tap, then the warm. I beat it against the side of the sink. Then I dunked it back in the water and did it all over again, rubbing the bag between my hands over and over until my arms ached. After half an hour, I had gorgeous deep fuchsia water, a barely-felted bag, and a burgeoning disappointment. I had such high hopes for this bag.

A stint in the washer was next. What could I lose, right? A few towels, a bit of soap, and no spin cycle. It took two wash cycles but I did end up with a bag that could conceivably be considered felted. Not wanting to do another round, I shaped it and set it out to dry.IMG_1787It’s amazing there’s still some fuchsia dye left, as much bled out during the felting process. And it’s so strange how the top band, which is garter stitch, felted so much less than that stockinette body. Is that normal? If so, I’ll avoid garter stitch in the future for felted items! I checked on the bag this morning, turned it to let the other side get some sun, and switched out the damp newspaper. The silk is *still* bleeding.IMG_1786Once it’s fully dry, I’ll reassess. I suppose I might try to felt it more, but I’m also pondering lining it. I’ve got some satiny fuchsia fabric that might look pretty nifty in there.

Last night we binge-watched Arrow. We just started it, so we’re still in the first season, and I’m really enjoying it. So while we watched 4 episodes (or was it 5?) I worked on my cowl. It tried to foil me at one point. I got to the end of a round and the pattern didn’t match up. I went back and checked, and the whole round was fine. I tinked it anyway, reknit, came up with the same results. I counted my stitches and was one short. I counted again and was still one short. I have no idea when or where that stitch got lost. And since this is something I’ll probably keep, I decided I didn’t want to work hard enough to find it. I increased a stitch and moved on. So far, so good.IMG_1789We are officially in Spring Break mode now, which means I’ll have the kids home with me for the next nine days. I’m not sure how I’ll persuade them to not spend that whole time on their electronic devices. Maybe it’s time for some spring cleaning?

Gettin’ my groove back

Thank goodness, my mojo was not gone very long. Yesterday afternoon I went up to my craft room and gazed at my stash and pulled out a handful of skeins that called my name, and wound them without any expectations of what I should knit with them. I just appreciated the colors and the feels.IMG_1538I mean, how can you play with this and not want to knit it?? It’s hot pink Simpliworsted and I know it’s going to be a hat, maybe for me, but I feel a little of that crippling fear you get when you love a yarn so much that you want it to be exactly the right pattern. I keep telling myself I have two skeins of it, so it can be two hats and I can keep whichever one I like best.

While I pondered that, though, I decided I needed a fast felting project. I’d pulled out some wool in peach and mint green that wanted to be a felted bag, so I spent a while on Ravelry before deciding on this clutch pattern. The knitting part was super fast; I got almost all of it knit last night, with maybe an inch left to do this morning. I did a three-needle bind off instead of learning Kitchener. I didn’t think trying that for the first time was the right way to coax my knitting mojo into staying! Now the bag is ready to felt and as soon as I get my errands done, I’ll be working on that. Can’t wait to see how it turns out.IMG_1546The other excitement of the morning was thanks to these two monsters. IMG_1534They look sweet and calm, don’t they? Well, they greeted me when I got up this morning and they were all excited and happy and bouncy, and then they decided they should start roughhousing on the stairs while I was trying to go down. Two puppies crashing into me means I fell down and slammed my lower back into the hardwood stairs. Yeah. It’s awesome. I’ll be doing some training with them on stair etiquette very soon. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to find an ice pack!

I Have a Dilemma

I finished a hat this morning. I loved the pattern and I love the yarn and they go really well together. What’s the problem, you ask? Well. Somehow the brim ended up too big. It’s a little loose on my head, but then again, I have a slightly smaller head. Here, you look and see what you think.IMG_1370This one’s not too bad. I like the pleats. That was a new technique for me, where you slip stitches onto DPNs and then knit them together with stitches on the circ, and keeping hold of three needles was tricky. But I did it and it’s cool.IMG_1371 IMG_1372See, those aren’t terrible. It looks okay when you’re wearing it, especially if it found a big-headed owner. But now, look at it by itself:IMG_1373Poor stupid hat. The brim is just big, and I did Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy bind-off which seems to come out a little big and floppy anyway. So now what? I haven’t finished any tails. My choices as I see them: 1) frog the brim, decrease a few stitches, and bind off with a regular bind off. 2) Leave it and hope someone with a big head wants it. 3) The yarn is Tuhu, which is llama, merino and angora, so I could experiment with felting it a little bit.

Help me! What do I do??

Two Christmas FOs

I got to add two more FOs to the Christmas gift pile over the weekend. The first, and most satisfying, is a blanket. It’s throw-sized, about 31″ by 41″, so not huge, but still, knitted blankets take a long time. It’s a much bigger commitment than, say, a hat. I spent most of Saturday at a band competition with my daughter and this was the project I took with me, hoping I could get it finished. I got a long way, and finished it Sunday morning. This is the Double Seed Stitch Blanket by Purl Soho. It’s simple, classic and lovely.IMG_3295 IMG_0179I used 5 skeins of Knit Picks Brava Bulky in red. I wanted it to be soft and warm but also washable. I used a smaller needle than the pattern specified, 11 rather than 13, to get a denser fabric. I found it quite cozy on my lap as I worked on it, so I’m really hoping the recipient will be pleased with it.

The other gifty object is the red tote. You may remember I blogged about it before, discussing my felting struggles. I tried one last time and finally I have called it finished. This is the bag after three machine cycles and two hand-feltings.IMG_3303I like it. There’s more stitch definition than I would prefer, but it’s definitely a sturdy fabric. It’s a good size for a book, notebook and cell phone. For those who missed it before, this is the Lucky 7 Felted Tote made with Cascade 128 Wool. I’d like to try this pattern again with a different wool.

With two gifts finished, I thought I deserved to start a selfish project. Did anyone else see the new Candy Cane Scarf pattern? I can’t remember if I saw it on Ravelry or Facebook but I fell in love with it immediately. I don’t make many scarves anymore because they take so long, but I’m making this one! And I’m making it special too: I’m using my Cascade Yarns Baby Alpaca Chunky. Mmmm, it’s gonna be soft and warm and delightful! Since the yarn is bulky, not DK like the pattern uses, I’m using size 8 needles, and I only increased to 32 stitches before switching colors. I’m so happy with it, and it’s going faster than I expected (thank you, garter stitch).IMG_3308This is totally going to be worth all that end-weaving.

I hate to brag, but my Christmas shopping is DONE. Christmas knitting is down to one fingerless glove. (I really should start that soon.) I have none of the panic from last year, and I’m liking it. It’s a combination of starting earlier in the year and stressing less about handmade gifts. Not everyone is getting one, and that’s okay. Not everyone is getting something big and complicated, and that’s okay too. Now I can sit back and coast along, and not freak out every time the kids cross off another day on their Christmas countdown. I wish the same calm for all you other crafters!

Matching Mitts

Behold, ’tis a great and wondrous thing! I have made fingerless gloves that not only match a hat, but MATCH EACH OTHER!IMG_3252 IMG_3254This is the first time I have been able to knit two mitts exactly the same size! I always count my rows wrong somehow, so that one mitt is longer than the other. Not this time! Bwahaha! Even better, I think they’ll actually fit the recipient well, and it was a great way to use up the last of the Mirasol Yarns Tuhu.

I also felted the red tote. Not quite as happy with it.IMG_3255This is after two cycles in the washer and a heavy beating by hand. I mean, I went to TOWN on this baby, and it just won’t felt all the way. So I’m going to try one more time in the washer and this time throw in a few dog toys for extra agitation. If anyone has any tried-and-true felting tips, please share them!

I’m getting so close to being done with holiday knitting, too! Only half a lap blanket, one hat, one fingerless glove and one toddler-size set of mittens left. Crazy, huh? I’m sure I’ll decide at the last minute to make more.

Happy Thanksgiving to my American readers! May the company be happy and the food plentiful.

A Blogging Milestone

I have reached a milestone: as of this weekend, I have 100 blog followers! And most of them aren’t friends or family, which is what really blows my mind. I’m so tickled and flattered that so many people enjoy my posts enough that they want to see them regularly! To all of you following me, I say a hearty THANK YOU!! You encourage me to keep this little adventure going and help me believe that maybe I can really call myself a writer.

That’s not the only bit of encouragement I’ve gotten either. I have a new follower on my Etsy page, and again, it’s someone I’ve never interacted with before. Of course I love to have my friends and family follow me, but when it’s a stranger, you don’t question the motive. You know it’s because they honestly like your page. And that feels good.

My Facebook bonny knits page is at 72 likes, so it’s a slow grower, but that’s okay. It’s grown by almost ten likes within the last couple of weeks; that’s encouraging. And I’m hoping that after Christmas when I have more time to put into my business, I can get that number higher too.

Okay. Enough with the boring number stuff. I’ve been productive the last few days and have several things to show off. They’re all Christmas gifts, and there’s a slim chance one of the recipients *might* see this blog, but oh well. First is a simple cowl, made to hug the neck closely.IMG_3245It’s modified from this headband pattern. But I honestly don’t remember now how many stitches I cast on, and apparently I didn’t create a project on Ravelry. I *think* I did 60 stitches on size 13 needles, and I just did a simple 3×3 rib until it seemed big enough. It came out a little looser than I intended but I think it will still please the recipient. I used Lion Brand Hometown USA, a thick, warm yarn, in Tampa Spice.IMG_3250Now a hat! Another hat, hooray! I love how this came out. It’s for one of my nieces and she saw something similar in a Delia’s catalog, so this is my attempt to recreate it. I especially like the big pompom on top. 🙂  This was my first time using a Purl Soho pattern, even though I’ve been admiring them for ages. It’s the Super Soft Merino Hats for Everyone. I didn’t have the right size needles so I did the men’s size on smaller needles. I think it came out perfectly. The gray is Cascade Pacific Chunky, an acrylic/merino blend. It’s a yarn I just found recently and it’s a new favorite. The light turquoise is Tuhu by Mirasol Yarns and oh my is it luscious. It’s 50% Llama, 40% Merino, 10% Angora. My SIL bought it and started knitting boot cuffs, and discovered she’s extremely allergic to the angora. It’s sad. But her loss was my gain: I bought the yarn from her and it was heavenly to knit with. I held it double to match the thickness of the Cascade, and I *think* have just enough left to make a pair of the 75 Yard Malabrigo Mitts to go with the hat. Fingers crossed!IMG_3248Last one: the Lucky 7 Felted Tote. I realize it’s not felted yet. This is what it looks like after two cycles in my washer. I think I have determined that my washer just doesn’t felt. There’s no center agitator, so the wool doesn’t get enough action. (haha!) This is made with Cascade 128 Wool. The label said nothing about superwash, so it really should felt. Today I will submerge it in hot water and beat it with a wooden spoon. Tune it tomorrow to see how that goes!

Felting for Father’s Day

Before Mother’s Day, I told my husband I didn’t want him or the kids to go out and buy me presents. Instead I wanted gifts of their time: something handmade and thoughtful. He went above and beyond, gifting me with gorgeous knitting needles and a yarn swift. In return, he mentioned that for Father’s Day, he’d like a new pencil case to replace the crocheted one eaten by the dog. Since I’ve been on a felting kick lately, I decided he needed a felted case.

The design itself would be simple, but I wasn’t brave enough to try to wing it without a pattern, mostly because I don’t have a good sense of how much things shrink when felted. There weren’t a lot of free options on Ravelry but I did find one I liked the look of: the Felted Acorn Pencil Case. Shortly after that, I was at Joann and found some variegated gray Patons wool that looked nicely masculine. Unfortunately, I didn’t buy enough, and sitting there waiting to cast on, I was too lazy to drive out to Joann. Instead I drove the two minutes to my LYS and bought a solid black Galway to mix with the Patons.

The knitting went quickly, as did my realization that this case would be much bigger than I expected. I finished it, though, and felted it. The Patons didn’t seem to want to felt, and I did have to do some handfelting after two rounds in the washer. But it finally felted enough and I added a nice button and called it done. It was about 5″x8″.

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So I had a case that was too big, and plenty of yarn left over. I went back to Ravelry and did more pattern hunting until I found this Felted Pen Case. I decided to just do one strand of the Patons variegated, cast on 30 and knit until I thought it looked long enough, which was tricky since I didn’t know how much it would shrink. And, well, it didn’t shrink as much as I anticipated. It’s a good width but a bit longer than I wanted. It will work well for newer (i.e. longer) pencils but it’s too long for his pens. Plus the Patons really didn’t want to felt this time; I had to fight with it in the kitchen sink for quite a while. I do like the pattern, and I’m pleased with how it came out.

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Here’s a better shot of the button. Buttons are one of my favorite things to add to my knits.

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Overall, I think he was pleased with his gifts. I enjoyed making them, but I won’t choose Patons for felting in the future. I think I’ll use the rest of the black Galway to knit up another pen case, in a pen-appropriate length this time. 

This Easter, the treat is the basket itself!

I finished another project the other day, and I’m quite tickled with it. It was the cutest little bubble bag pattern, and since I’ve been on a felting kick lately, I thought I’d give it a shot with one of the random skeins of wool in my stash. I picked a bright grassy green and cast on, and the knitting went so quickly! It felted quickly too, unlike my last bag. This one only needed two wash cycles and it was ready to dry. After that, I found a pink ribbon to thread through the eyelets, and voila!

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It’s small–only 5″ by 7″–but it would easily hold all the essentials. I’m also thinking it would make a great small-project bag! You can easily switch out the ribbon for any other color. For now, though, I’m thinking it needs to hold some Easter eggs!

Available for sale here

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