Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Houston, we have FELTING!

Woohoo! My first felted purse! I'm very pleased with the way it turned out. I think I may send it to a friend who loves purses.

Here's the 'before' picture:

And here are the 'after' pics:

Yarn : Knit Picks Wool of the Andes - 220 yds/100gms - 1 skein of Natural, 1 skein dyed with Kool Aid
Finished size: 10"w x 6"h
Time: 4 days, including dyeing the wool and waiting for it to dry
Needles: 10 1/2 circulars
Stitches: Cast on 50 for the bottom and knit 42 rows. Picked up stitches all the way around and knit in the round for about 56 rows. Straps are 5-stitch i-cords, also knit on size 10 1/2 needles.

The next one I make will be much bigger. I'm thinking about using Knit Picks Merino Style for that one. I've got 10 skeins of it in Asparagus and Iris just sitting in my stash and begging to be used. It's 100% merino wool, so it should felt up well. Has anyone out there felted with Merino Style?

I'm very excited...

...about trying this whole felting thing. When I first saw a felted bag I thought "Nah, that's not for me". However, once I started seeing more pictures of them and heard how fast they were and how much fun, I sort of changed my mind. I bit the bullet, dyed some yarn and set off to make a felted bag. Here's where I was yesterday in the whole process:

This evening I finished the straps, popped it all in a zippered pillowcase and tossed it into the washing machine with a couple of towels. Two washing cycles later I had a felted bag and it's now drying over my upended wastebasket. It was pretty exciting to unzip that pillowcase after the first washing cycle and pull out a felted bag! I decided it needed a bit more felting and put in back in the washer. After the second time through it was just right. I'm so pleased with myself! I'll get pics tomorrow after it dries and I get the straps put on.

Now that I'm finished knitting the bag, I've picked my socks back up. This is my second pair of socks and I'm knitting them on smaller needles this time. My first pair was done on size 3's and the fabric was a bit too loose for my liking. This time I'm using a different yarn - Lang Jawoll - and I really like it. I liked the Knit Picks sock yarn, but this seems a bit firmer. This was my progress yesterday:

This evening I knit several more rows and started on the heel. I'm really loving how this is knitting up. I'm only 3 rows into the heel and thank goodness, because I suddenly realized that I'd forgotten all about using the reinforcing thread that comes with this yarn. Whew! Just in the nick of time!

Socks knit up pretty quickly, so maybe I'll be able to finish a pair before I get distracted again by this:

It's the Shaped Triangle shawl from A Gathering of Lace. I'm using Knit Picks Shadow in the colorway Grape Jelly and I'm loving it. Can you tell that I love Knit Picks yarn? Can you tell that my cat, Max, loves it, too? That's his little kitty foot in the upper right corner. He's into EVERYTHING.

Anyway, I got my Gathering of Lace book from Amazon and immediately had to cast on this shawl. After finishing my Pi shawl, I'm hooked on lace and had to start another shawl immediately. Also on my list is the Flower Basket Shawl from the Fall 2004 Interweave Knits. I've got some Knit Picks (of course) Alpaca Cloud that I'm thinking of using for that one.

Finally, here's a pic of a simple hat I knit up the other day:

I used a pattern from the Head Huggers site. The colors are actually a bit more vivid in real life than this pic shows. I used Lion Brand Micro Spun and the main color is 'Lime'. I knit one for my Mumma (my pet name for my mom) to use as a chemo cap. Her's is orange with red stripes. I love using this Micro Spun yarn. It knits up beautifully and I found it a real pleasure to use. I'm wondering what else I can knit with it.

I keep reaching over and feeling my felted bag to see if it's dry yet. Nope, not yet. I'll be jumping out of bed tomorrow like I used to do on Christmas morning when I was little. "Is it dry yet? Is it dry yet?" I'm such a dork.

Alright, off to bed with me. Will I ever get to bed at a decent time? I highly doubt it.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

A few projects

My first attempt at Kool Aid dyeing. Ta da!

I'm not usually a turquoise person, but it was my first time and I wasn't sure what I'd get. This skein is now well on it's way to becoming a felted bag - also my first.

Also, I finally finished the Pi Shawl I started in February. I finished this about a week or so ago but still have to block it. I've never blocked anything before and I'm still trying to figure out where to do it without a cat or two laying all over it. I don't think the queen size bed in the guest room will be big enough.

Yarn used: Knit Picks Andean Treasure in Fog - 50 gm/110 yds
Needle size: 8
Skeins used: 14 and a bit
Started: February 2005
Finished: July 2005

My first pair of socks! I used the directions from Lion Brand Magic Stripes, but don't really like the way the back of the heel turned out. I used size 3 needles, but I think the fabric is a bit too loose. I'm using size 2's for my next pair.

I knit these in about 2 days while visiting my parents in Michigan. My dad thinks I'm a genius (well okay, maybe I am) because I knit socks with stripes. Hee.

Yarn: Knit Picks Simple Stripes - 50 gms/231 yards
Needle size: 3 but should have used a 1 or 2
Time: 2 days

*Edited to add - Son of a b*tch. I've only had this up for 15 minutes and someone already put spam in my comments. Sheesh. The spam is now GONE.

The pressure!

My very first entry on my blog - oh, the pressure!

This morning I tried my hand at dyeing yarn with Kool Aid and I'm pleased with the result. I only dyed one skein of Knit Picks 'Wool of the Andes', but I'm already planning my next color selection. It was fun and fast! I'm knitting up my first felted bag and and am loving the way it's coming along.

No pics yet, as it's almost 2:30am and I must be getting myself to bed.