Monday, August 15, 2005

That didn't take very long

When we last left off yesterday morning, I didn't have much to show of the kettle bag, due to the gauge problems of the night before.

I'm going to estimate actual knitting took between 3-4 hours, done in short bursts. Skill set: being able to pick up stitches along an edge and being able to follow a pattern by knowing how many rows you've done. That last seems pretty obvious to me, but then again I was surprized earlier this year by a co-worker who was equally surprized I would count rows to know I was matching my second sock to the first, rather than just knitting so many inches. This pattern has you increase and decrease at regular intervals, so knowing that you've done so many rows since your last increase/decrease is a skill I'll list. If you need help reading your knitting, let me know.

I started felting by hand in a double sink and then realized at the time it was 88 degrees with 58% RH in that un-air conditioned part of the house and gave it up. Later, after the cooling storms had come through, I popped a sopping wet future-bag in the dryer with two sopping wet towels, set them for a long, hottest setting cycle, checking about every twenty-thirty minutes, resopping them once about 2/3rds through. Heat and mechanical action felt wool with wetness helping alot. (Have we seen felted patches on sweaters from where the purse strap rubs? There is such a thing as dry action felting, but it takes alot longer.) I think felting took about an hour and a quarter. Remember to empty the lint trap for mohair whenever you stop the dryer to check progress. There wasn't as much lint this time as there has been with other projects with the same yarn.

Note the reduction in size between the before/after pictures. I didn't have the ruler handy for the after, but if you count the slats of the table, before it takes up 5 slats of the table top to bottom and after it takes up only 3.

When it comes out of the dryer, it should still be wet. I've set it in a place where it can dry peacefully, and since I want it to be a 3-D when it's done, I've made sure the bottom is resting flat and the sides are puffed out, so when it is a purse it will be ready to hold items. The fabric isn't rigid (still very damp 12+ hours later), but this is the time when you can influence how you want it to be when dry. It almost feels like it's a vase. Be prepared that whatever surface you put it on for drying will absorb water from it. It's okay to pick it up and move it to a new surface, but be careful to maintain the shaping.

A note on color -- At first I was putting the difference in color in the photos between before/after to the difference in light yesterday/today. There is no sun up today. Then I remembered that in the 15 minutes I tried felting in the sink before giving it up as an insane choice in the heat, there had been some pink exhaust in the hot and cold water. So here's another picure with the drying bag and some of the leftover skein. There's been some change, but I'll make a case for lighting change and still damp object to account for the difference.

In all, a project you could easily knit in either an evening (or two depending on how long your evening time is) or a weekend day, about an hour - hour and a quarter in the dryer, and then allow at least a day or two for the object to fully dry (this is when you can influence shape). It took part of two skeins of Wonderful Wool from Steadfast Fibers (the pattern calls for either bulky wool or two stands of worsted worked together). This will be a shop model for Mind's Eye Yarns and it should be there for display next weekend. Lucy? I hope you didn't give me the handles for this bag already because I'm not finding them here . . . . I'll keep looking.

Not to worry, I'm pretty sure I didn't give you the handles, just the yarn. It'll be fun to put the handles on it Wednesday!
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