Posts Tagged ‘felted wool’

During this busy, hectic summer, we found a way to bring it back last night!

Ethel came with sweater dreams.

Ethel with Knit Picks sweater

Sweater dreams Canon EOS 20D O.6s ISO 200

She found the yarn in a Knit Picks ad in the new Knitscene Accessories It’s a beautiful eye-candy of a yarn in ultra-soft Pima cotton and modal.

Ethel’s Knit Picks yarn

She’s making a lace-pattern sweater. While she was at the web site, she bought some Knit Picks interchangeable circular needles in 3 sizes. I’ve been looking at several interchangeable sets, and wondered if this would be a worthwhile purchase? Knit Picks has an introductory set that’s only $20. What do some of you expert knitters think?

Oh, let me explain the 2 pics of Ethel: I’ve gotten in on WordPress’s postaweek 2012 photography challenge. This week’s entry is called Dreaming. Perhaps I haven’t gotten all the requirements correct for this entry but I’m just getting my feet wet. Check it out, you might be up to the challenge!

Ethel’s other sweater

Ethel is also working on another sweater in garter stitch. Lois agreed that working on two things at once is the way to go with knitting, as long as one is soothing, comforting yards and yards of garter stitch.

Lois and a hat-in-the=round

Tina yarning

We were all happy to see Tina after a long time. She brought us up to date on the move to North Carolina.

During our meeting hiatus, I worked on the stash (here is a pic of it for crayons and milk, who asked to see. I took this pic of the mirror that hangs on the wall opposite the yarn stash part of the sewing room.

the location of the yarn build-up

Now this is what I’ve been working on, a grocery tote from Love of Knitting. This is my first ever Intarsia attempt. I can’t say that it all went along like a breeze, but it could have been worse!

“Go Green” bag, unfelted

Bob thinks I was thoughtfully spreading out the woolly bag for him to relax upon

With eight 220-yard skeins of wool yarn (held double) to be felted, this huge but humble grocery tote is going to end up costing me about $70 to make. Ouch. I used a cheap (if you think $6.99 is cheap) black yarn but the 2 greens, Berroco Peruvia, and Rio de la Plata, were pricey. Also, 100% wool colored green was not easy to find anywhere. Is green the new red-headed step-child in the yarn family?

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Aaargh! Another week of summer gone by without Wednesday Night Knitting. We even thought about temporarily creating Thursday Night Knitting, but this knitter felt too ill. I even skipped the Fourth of July festivities, worried that my wheezing chest and seemingly cracked ribs from coughing, might not appreciate labored breathing of gunpowder smoke lingering in the hot, humid, night air.

During my time of quarantine, some projects were miraculously completed.

Baby blanket and what was left of Color A

I’m not completely happy with the symmetry of it, but in my defense, it’s the very first blanket I’ve ever knitted. Reminds me of my ex-mother-in-law’s crocheted blankets, some of which were all uneven and wonky and were made of jarring color combinations. I can recall the looks of “no thanks” on my kids’ faces when I tried to pass along to them a memento of their granny’s loving handiwork, and hope that they don’t feel the same about some of my artifacts I try to press on them. This pattern was from the Summer 2012 issue of Love of Knitting ; theirs was in 2 shades of blue with white for the star pattern. As you can see from the pic, that was how much I had left of the pink. I used Caron Simply Soft acrylic sport yarn for the pink and gray, and Sensations Rainbow Boucle, which I had tons of, for the white.

I like that issue and want to make a few more things from it. I’ve already started on the “go green” felted bag. I just hope I can locate the woolly yarn stashed away.

Also, I finally saw my “grandchildren bracelet,” my Mother’s Day present from DH. It’s got a heart and birthstone for each one, even the most recent one for whom the Star-struck blankie was knitted.

Grandchildren bracelet

Oh! Thanks to an inspiring post from another blogger called crayons and milk, I decided to catalog my yarn stash. I made up a database with content, color, and size. I also listed where I got the yarn, and that was surprisingly easy to remember considering I have about 120 different listings, not counting the leftover scraps of skeins. Most of it is made up of skeins of acrylic yarn that were given to me. Thanks to all my generous benefactors! I’m excited to search for this new Entomology yarn by Malabrigo; just saw a tweet about it. So when are you going to tally up what you’ve got in your stash?

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Last night was a great night for getting back on track with our knitting projects. Ethel worked on the Amber hat she had started (remember this pic from a September blog post?)

Amber Hat from Louisa Harding book

Ethel has it all finished except for the blanket stitch around the brim to conceal the metal ring, and the flowers, which will be in a very similar but not exactly the same yarn. And she showed us the beginnings of a cape or poncho, in a gorgeous complementary mix of brown alpaca and acrylic yarns.

Debbie sewing the seams on a machine-knit sweater

Debbie sat down and realized she hadn’t brought any needles. No problem; she took the machine-knit sweater out of her bag and sewed up the seams. Here’s a close up of the hem and stitch pattern the machine did.

sweater close-up

She brought along some new Patons Lacy Sequin yarn, and several new books and mags to keep us amused and informed. My favorite was Knit Simple Knits Plus, a Vogue mag, and I liked almost everything in it.

Cossack hat from Folk Hats

I finished the cossack hat from Ethel’s book Folk Hats. Ethel also gave me the skein of bulky yarn that I used for this. Great to have fiber-friends!

Lisa working on baby hat

Lisa came to knit after a long hiatus, yay! She got back on track and worked on the brim of a baby hat in the round. Good to hear about what she’s been up to and express our support for her new career path!

Hat by Lois

Lois showed us a new finished hat, and gave us a look at something new she’s been working on: fingerless gloves. She got a pattern from one of the vendors at the Florida Fiber In.

Lois' variations of fingerless mitts; pink, gray and purple

Ceramic yarn bowl

Ethel demonstrated the use of her ceramic “yarn bowl”–a sought-after accessory for us fiber diva’s who want to keep CONTROL over that wandering thread…Brooke Madsen had some yarn bowls at one time on her etsy link, Magnolia Pottery, but I don’t see any currently. Check out some of her beautiful items for sale there!

little pouch for felting

Last is my little wool pouch, in stockinette with an I-cord loop, ready to be felted before I attach a button. Stitched in Universal Yarn Inc.’s Chunky 100% Wool from Tuesday Morning, in Coral, and a pattern from One Skein Wonders. And, if you would care to see what I’ve done recently using felted sweaters, check out my sewing blog post at Remnant Redo. Re-purposing sweaters is a most rewarding pastime!

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Knittin’: Ethel is almost finished with the Debbie Birkin Bunty Bunny–just embroidering the border on her little knitted dress!

Ethel's Bunty

She started work on a new project

A fuzzy lamb in progress

called Fuzzy Lamb by Barbara Prime; see the link here.
She brought some luscious new alpaca/merino wool to wind into a ball that pulls out from the middle.

Alpaca/merino--can you see how soft it must feel?

Natterin’: Ethel ordered some exciting new books from Interweave’s Hurt Book sale (now over but you can still check out some lingering bargains). We had a great time checking out the marvelous finds in these 3 books.

Coolest finds from Ethel's Hurt Book shipment

Other nattering nonsense included commentary on Sister Wives, Twilight, and Harry Potter while noshing on Ethel’s chocolate almond biscotti and English malted milk balls.


Tiffany and Hunter's Stitch block

How excellent to see Tiffany back! She is continuing the Sampler Afghan, except she found some better colors of yarn that seem to go together in a warmer way, so the two blocks she’s finished so far may be a separate sampler. It’s all good, when you like to knit.

Lois and Ethel hashing it out

Lois was busy, having finished some miraculous crocheted edging on a linen handkerchief, which I sadly forgot to photograph–maybe good because the recipient of it may read the blog and then might miss out on the surprise. I saw a glimpse of a new project she is working on with circular needles. Could it have possibly been a…hat? I believe so!

I worked on a hat also, from One Skein Wonders. It’s my first venture into cable knitting!

Cable cuff of hat, in progress

I finished my Tundra scarf and can’t wait to do more of these.

Tundra ruffled scarf

I put together the orange monstrosity into another gator purse. If you want to see all the agony I went through to make it in more detail, here’s my studio entry on the BurdaStyle site.

practicing for stadium security entry: see, no contraband in here!

Ethel winding and Tina casting on in background

Due to camera malfunction, some of my pics didn’t turn up, like the one of Ethel’s pompom scarf! Also, sorry I didn’t get a better pic of Tina and her upcoming project, straps for the felted purse. Great idea to start on something portable for the summer months, when vacationing just might happen!

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Wednesday Night Knitting started out with some new developments. 1) Lois brought a strikingly gorgeous flower from her garden

Passion flower vine

and 2) Susan came to join us! Yay! She wants to learn to knit.

Lisa showing Susan how to cast on with Lois observing

The flower is such an intricate natural work of art, which Lois says will be gone tomorrow. The bloom lasts one day! “Consider the lilies of the field; they neither toil nor spin…” Makes me feel a bit crass about blogging for recognition and/or renown in my own limited efforts…but how beautiful is the flower, today, right now!
Lisa, after having conquered intarsia (thanks, Wikipedia), is liking it much better. She’s now working on a rose-colored sweater from this pattern:

Seed stitch sweater

Lois is back to working on her hamster. We saw on Facebook Lois’s previously finished hat (dark rose with white Fair Isle hearts) on the happy recipient, her grand-daughter. Susan decided to start knitting and purling, with plans to make wash cloths and dish cloths. Amazing how heart-warming it is to find someone who appreciates those luscious knitted cloths!
My current project was #1 in the book One Skein Wonders edited by Judith Durant, felted coasters. I used the Debbie Bliss bulky Shetland tweed wool and was able to get 8 coasters knitted in garter stitch from the skein. Once they were knitted and the ends woven in, they were felted in the washer and dryer, which made them shrink to coaster-size. My idea was to do them in red, white and blue to match some other table linens I wanted to make for the patriotic holidays of summer (ok, I already missed Memorial Day so we’ll shoot for Flag Day and the 4th of July). A few eons ago I bought a needle-felting tool and tray but this is the first time I used them. It was awesome fun! You get wool roving from your favorite supplier –it’s on the shelf at JoAnn’s, A-1 Sewing, Yarnworks–and pull off a wisp of it and punch it into the felted coaster. A teensy bit of it goes a long way!

Using the needle felting paraphernalia

So here’s my raft of coasters with patriotic [in my mind] motifs.

Three cheers, I finally finished something!

Lots of projects in the works for next time!

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Wednesday Night Knitting was a treat!

Ethel made some knitted cupcakes to show, with different “toppings”–irresistible.

Tina with loom

Looks scrumptious! the colored flecks are ribbon pieces woven in the yarn.

Yummy good! No calorie cupcakes

Tina is making a woollen panel on her long loom, with a plan to felt it and make a purse. Here’s a pic of one of her recent experiments in felting knitted wool (see the pink piece below). This was knit using 2 strands and she washed it 3 times.  “I feel like it’s a little too felted,” she said. “Maybe the next one I’ll only wash  twice instead.” The felted piece is about 1/2 inch thick, won’t unravel, and can be cut into shapes for appliques.

Tina's felted wool

Ethel's dreamy hank of alpaca

Ethel showed us the worsted weight alpaca yarn she just bought through the mail from Dream Chaser Farm Alpacas in Foxboro, Wisconsin. The wool came from Mia, and had an interesting feel and smell to it.  We’ve strayed from the days when people would go to the animal to get wool to use.  “Black sheep, black sheep, have you any wool?” And then the sheep would answer, “Yes sir, yes sir, three bags full,” and furthermore the sheep had a say as to who the wool was for.

Here's Tricia working on the slippers

Lois' new Fair Isle project, a hat with hearts

Tricia brought her new light heathery green yarn to work on the slippers she started and to get Ethel’s help with. Lois is working on a beautiful new hat with a heart pattern (see pic).
I finished a purple alpaca and acrylic hat from Luxury One Skein Wonders by Judith Durant, and needed Ethel’s help on another hat which began slipping away into nothingness once I transferred it from the circular needles to the dpn’s. She got it all straightened out. It will have an I-cord so I surveyed Ethel as she demonstrated that skill for me. It’s so great to have a group!

I-cord tutorial from Ethel

Alpaca hat

Just an interesting side story related obscurely to knitting:

Sunday my family was watching the General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on TV, when a member of the Seventy, Lynn G. Robbins, spoke. Wikipedia reports that Robbins is co-founder of Franklin Institute, which later became Franklin Covey.  And he is the great-great-great grandson of George Reynolds, an early pioneer who was tried and convicted of bigamy and  sent to prison in Nebraska, where he was appointed bookkeeper of the Knitting Department during the 25 days he served in that prison.
Try googling “knitting in prison” for some interesting reading about our favorite hobby!

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The Wednesday Night Knitting group started off a bit slow but we had a great evening. Sorry I didn’t get better pics.

Tina started on a project on one of her looms; to become a felted wool purse.

loomed 2-strand twisted stockinette

here's what the back looks like

Love that 100% wool. I was reading somewhere that the correct term for knitted things that are shrunk by washing and drying is “fulled” and not “felted.” Wool that is not knitted into anything but is loosely piled together and agitated into forming a mat-like material is felted. Interesting; needs more research.

Lisa partly finished the bunny hat with one bunny ear. Cute! Adorable!

Tiffany dropped by and showed her progress on the afghan in Hunter’s stitch:

Hunter's stitch in progress

I actually did a dishcloth in seed stitch but it is nothing to brag about, especially with all the evidence of stockinette rows that I swear I do not know how they got there. It’s a good thing I like the cotton yarn because I am going to have to redeem myself by doing another one that looks better.

Lois is working on a project in the Angel Hair yarn that is self-striping. We love the feel of it and how it magically forms stripes.

Debbie fulfilled her assignment and brought back intel collected from the 4 yarn shops in and around Orlando. She had a business card for each of us from The Knitting Patch in Altamonte Springs (“Home of the Friday Night Knitting Club”) and The Black Sheep on North Mills Ave. Tiffany knows where to take her mom when she comes for a visit!

Debbie worked on the socks some more, then decided to regroup. Lots of unwinding and rewinding.


Refreshments consisted of sushi and St. Patrick’s Day molten lava cake. The cake was Lisa’s experiment, and it turned out very holiday-worthy! Pretty and delicious.


I couldn’t get my after pic to turn out–grr. But it was yummy!

Wondering why there are so many instances of knitting in Harry Potter? Is it because knitting is so English?

I love that knitting has so much presence in some cultures: English, Scottish, Scandinavian…

Knitting references I can think of, offhand, from Harry Potter without yet having verified them:

1. Ron gets a hand-knitted sweater from Mrs. Weasley every year for a Christmas present.

2. In the movie Chamber of Secrets, when Fred, George, and Ron rescue Harry in the flying car, when they get home to the Burrow, a bewitched set of knitting needles is going at it in the living room while the family is sleeping.

3. Hermione knits caps and other items of “clothes” for the house-elves as part of her House Elf Liberation campaign, and tries to get Harry to help, too. He’s not interested.

4. After Harry and Ron reconcile in the common room following Harry’s completion of the 1st task in the Tri-Wizard tournament, Fred or George says, “All right everyone, get back to your knitting!”

5. Harry gets a pair of socks from Mrs. Weasley knitted in a pattern of golden snitches.

6. In the beginning of Half-Blood Prince, Harry and Dumbledore try to recruit the old Potions professor to return to Hogwarts. Dumbledore retires to the bathroom to give Harry some time to convince the professor to come out of retirement, then explains his absence by saying he was busy looking at Muggle knitting patterns.

And to think I read these books before I was into knitting. Kinda scary that I recall obscure knitting scenes from Harry Potter but not a bit of calculus or trig that I learned in college.

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