Tuesday, April 29, 2008

What a Great Year!!!

On Friday May 2 , Purl and I will have been blogging for a year. It has been so much fun! In celebration, we present this yarn bouquet as a prize. The contents include 3 skeins of Plymouth Galway, 2 skeins of Lion Brand Fun Fur, 2 strings of crow beads and 1 Plymouth circular needle size 13 in a coiled basket made by me, Knit One. It's everything you would need to make a felted bag as seen right here on this blog, pattern and all. Shipping is on us!
In the almost unbelievable case that the winner has no use for yarn, a completed felted bag of our choice may be substituted.

To win this lovely prize , just leave a comment on this post. We considered choosing the winning comment according to the one we like best, but discarded that idea for a straight pull- it- out- of- a- felted-hat drawing. Comments will be numbered in the order they come in and will be drawn from numbers 1 through whatever.

The deadline for this drawing is Sunday May 4, 2008. The winning comment will be announced on the blog on Tuesday May 6.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Wet Felted WIP

This week I took a class in wet- felting- by- hand, taught by Lisa Merian of Spinner's Hill. I've always been curious about wet felting, but never took the plunge , so to speak. Purl decided to pass on this project, after all you can't do everything, can you?

I must say I had a wonderful time. Lisa supplied a gorgeous mound of colored rovings and carded wool for us to use. It was a feast for the eyes with many bright exciting colors to choose.

As you can see we were making felt bags. I chose some some exotic silk threads and fabric to decorate my bag. The bag is worked from the outside in. That means you make your design, and then cover it up with carefully laid layers of wool, running in alternating directions, first on one side and then the other. After that you add water and soap and rub, and rub , and rub...

When the bag is felted enough you cut an opening and turn the bag right side out. Next the handle is felted and inserted between the layers, and then you add water and soap and rub, and rub and rub...

When I got home I felt like the "I just flew in from Cleveland, and boy are my arms tired. " joke.
It was really fun , but when I go home , I patted my washer and said "It's you and me kid!"
I'm going back to the knit , and then felt thing.

So here is my bag! It's a WIP. It needs a closure of some kind. the silk threads are not felted down very well. Perhaps some beads, or needle felting will do it. I guess I'll live with it for awhile and decide.

In any case it was great fun trying this new, rather mysterious process. If you could use the exercise, it's a great way to get it!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Subtle Socks

I gave up early on the matching thing with this yarn. The color changes are just too subtle. The yarn is Berroco Comfort Sock. It's nylon and acrylic and machine wash and dry. Hope they launder well. Fingering yarn has been fun, but I think when I finish the second gray sock , I'll go back to my 3 strands of worsted weight and size 13 needles. I feel a felted bag coming on!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Hyberbolic Art

Remember in elementary school, every once in a blue moon the “art lady” would come in wheeling her little cart of goodies and we cleared our desks and had art? I always loved it but somehow I never got it right. “Today we’re going to paint a cow”. She’d pass out paper and paints and brushes and she’d tell us all about cows and that kind of thing. Her talking was sort of the way adult language is represented in “Peanuts”. Once I had my paper and those lovely paints and those big fat brushes I was off and running. I started to draw a cow but somehow it turned into a cat. I was from the city and although I never owned a cat, I had much more experience of cats than of cows. I could never do a cow’s nose because I had no idea what a cow’s nose looked like. I could do a cat’s nose. It was pink. And there were whiskers and ears and a lovely long tail. Art lady would move up and down the aisles and bend over and say things to the kids but when she got to me there was that sigh. There was always a sigh. “Weren’t we painting cows?” she’d ask.
“Well, this is a cat cow.”
“A cat cow?”
“Yeah, well you see cats live alone in the country without people and so they need to get milk by themselves so they have cat cows that they get their milk from and this is one of those.”
I wasn’t sellin’ it. I was only in the second grade.
Well, the Fiber Arts Guild had their monthly meeting and the subject was hyperbolic crochet. You have seen Knit’s example. She even has beads on hers!
I never was good at crochet and after a while mine wasn’t curving. We started by increasing every 5th stitch and then after a row or two, every 4th stitch and then every 3rd stitch and so on. I was getting a very flat yellow thingie. It occurred to me that if I went right to increasing every stitch, I would get wavy stuff happening and so I did and I did.
After a while I had a wavy yellow rim around a yellow flat thing. I was bored. So I started a purple thingie and I started increasing every stitch right from the start. It was cute and it waved all over the place and after a while it sort of fit right into the center of the yellow thingie. So I put it there and stitched it there. Well the art lady came around and said “Weren’t we doing hyperbolic crochet like the lovely coral in the warm waters of the ocean?”
“Well, you see, the coral reefs are just giant apartments sort of for the little critters that the bigger critters eat and they live in these apartments that look sort of like Miami Beach because they’re all pastel colors and the apartments all have ocean views with lots of sunlight coming in so some of the critters put flowers in their ocean view windows and this is one of those.”
Am I sellin' it?