Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Acorn Bag

This is my Acorn Bag. The bag itself is not my pattern. It's the Fulled Lopi Tote from Hello Yarn. I LOVE this bag pattern. When everyone was making the Buttonhole Bag, this is the bag I was making. The bottom is perfect, in my opinion. I knit the bag, added an acorn knitted from Nicki Epstein's "Knitted Embellishments" and needle felted the leaf from wool roving I hand dyed. Yes, I can do it all when the lights go out.

The trick of needle felting is perspective. I didn't like my leaf when I was done so it started prying it off from the outside edges. That little bit of lifting gave it the 3D look I wanted to achieve. I grew rather fond of this bag but we were having a spinning demonstration at a local event and I put it up for sale. Of course, it sold. Perhaps, now is the time to make another.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Got 100 gms?

This is a super simple project for that extra ball of yarn we end up with after knitting a sweater. Remember, the yardage is more important than the grams/ounces. Think of this hat as a blank canvas with which to create a stunning/outrageous/gorgeous chapeau. The hat at the top is modified with a simple felted I-cord band. I think the addition of the right feather would be nice...while the hat at the bottom became a pumpkin head. The leaf is from Nickie Epstein's Knitted Embellishments. A hat like this screams, "needle felt on me!" I'll save this idea for the next post. :-)

WoolTales Felted Hat

US 10 - 16" circular needle and/or double points
230 yards of feltable worsted weight wool or mohair

With a SINGLE strand of yarn, CO 100 sts -
Join and knit 65 rows.

Next row: *K8, k2tog* repeat around.
Knit 2 rows.

Next row: *K7, k2tog* repeat around.
Knit 2 rows.

Next row: *K6, k2tog* repeat around.
Knit 2 rows.

Continue these three rows (changing to DPs when needed) knitting one less in the decrease row until 30 sts remain. Knit the next two rows.

Last row: K2tog around. Pull thread through remaining sts and finish off.

Felt to desired size.

If this is your first felting attempt, measure you head and add about 1". That is the size you will look for. Trying on a wet hat is not fun. Throw the hat in a zippered pillow case protector or tie it up in an old pillow case and throw in with the regular wash. A 100% mohair hat will felt fast...usually one load. An all wool hat will generally take about three loads...but not all wools felt equally! Check the hat often. Take the hat out and spread flat and measure. This is the outside measurement and will be slightly more than the inside measurement. If I want an inside circumference of 23", I felt until I get a measurement of 12" across the flat hat.

Let’s say you over-felted. Soak in a little hair conditioner and stretch the hat out on pot or bowl with the circumference you want.

After you get the size you want, shape and dry out of the sun, usually 1-2 days.

Have you made a slight mistake in a stitch while knitting? Don't worry, it usually becomes invisible after the felting process. If it doesn't, it can become the starting point for decorating your hat. This shouldn't be stressful. Go with the flow.

Copyright 2003 by Janis Garwood a.k.a. WoolTales. All rights reserved.