Friday, November 18, 2005

A little felting diversion

The Fischu continues to make progress, but on Wednesday I realized two things. 1. It went to last Wednesday's knitting group at Mind's Eye Yarns, but it perhaps wasn't the best choice when my seatmate on the couch was a woman new to the group who wanted me to explain a number of things to her. I offered to switch seats so she could be next to Lucy, the store owner with the past career as music teacher in the public schools, and therefore knowledgeable about how to convey new information to different learners, but no, she just wanted to take my pattern chart from me and look at it. Fortunately it was during a purl back row. 2. The Mitten Tree for Somerville Family Network is going up on November 25th, and it's nicer when it doesn't just stand there naked for days on end. I better have something to put on it ready to go.

Actually, I do, but the hats are dark blue/black tweed and won't show up well against a dark tree. I like brights on a tree. Therefore: the Barbie hot pink tweed leftovers from the sweater I made in the Spring would make fine felted toddler hats. And I've never felted any of the Cascade 220 family, just Lamb's Pride before this. So the free pattern is here, this knit up in an evening, used just under 2 oz according to the postal scale at the office, and it's now felting in the dryer upstairs with a sopping wet towel. Pre-felting it fits an adult head snuggly, rolling just above the ears.

This was easy enough that there's definitely more coming in the next weeks for the tree, replacing the perpetual sock as the subway knitting. I've got a few leftover bits of Cascade 220 that should use this well (we'll see what comes out of the dryer). I also need to look up my Knitting Embellishments by Nicki Epstein or see if I can remember how to make the curliques without it. They really make it cute. See the hats made last year on the pattern page.

Here's the hat after about 50 minutes in the dryer on high with a wet towel. There was a rewetting of the hat at about 40 minutes, because when it was checked then, it had progressed to merely damp.* There's still some stitch definintion showing, but I'm happy and I need to get going to start my day anyway. For now it's draped over a small empty flower pot to give it some "lift" and shape. The Cascade 220 is floppy felt coming out of the dryer, versus the Lambs Pride Worsted/Wonderful Wool that's much stiffer in general, i.e., last year's hats pretty much stood up by themselves. There was far less lint in the catcher vs. LPW, too, since LPW can give off mohair at a sometimes alarming rate when felted. I'm happy the little tweed bits did stay in, so I'm not sure if they show up in the photo, but there's little muted color bits in the fabric.

* Remember the secret to dryer felting is sopping wet - object to the felted, and objects to do the abuse (really old towels are my preference).

Tonight the Forest Path is going to the Boston Chamber Music Society at Jordan Hall where it will enjoy, amoung other items, Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue for piano four hands. Nice.

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