I’ve been remiss about blogging lately, partly because I’ve been ill but mostly because I just wasn’t sure where to begin again. I was initially intending to scatter in a few finished project posts here and there, to catch up on those that I haven’t blogged about over the past few months. But then I started feeling reluctant to post about shiny new projects when there were so many old finished ones that were still lingering. And then of course, some of those new projects turned into finished projects, and the mojo just stalled. All those FOs evolved into a big bloggy yarny white elephant in my mind.
So I’ve decided to post them all now, and start afresh.
Let’s start with the 2010 projects, and the loooong overdue Christmas FOs first:
French Press Felted Slippers by Melynda Bernardi
Yarn: Texere Yarns Troon Tweed in Cranberry
A Christmas present for my boyfriends sister. I love these. The colour is so rich and beautiful, and I dearly wish I could have kept them for myself, but surely that makes a gift all the more worth giving. The only thing I changed was to make LilyKate’s ruffle mod instead of the strap in the pattern, and I think they’re all the sweeter for it!
I dillied and dallied over making these. I knew I was going to make them for her for months before hand. I even bought the wool in September. But if you glance at the project info on Ravelry you will see that I didn’t even start knitting them until Christmas Day! Tut tut.
The knitting was quick enough. I started them in the late afternoon, after Christmas dinner, and they were cast off and sewn up by bedtime. This was my first real experience with hand felting, and I wish I’d taken a before photo. They looked like boats! I started felting these the next morning, and it took f o r e v e r ! I tried doing it in the kitchen sink to start with, agitating them it very hot, soapy water and then shocking in very cold water, but it didn’t really seem to be doing much and I was getting fed up of having to constantly reheat the water, so I got my crockpot out and started agitating in that instead. They finally shrunk down, but it was hard work getting there! I think I must have worked off my Christmas dinner by this activity alone, although I confess I did have to get the boyfriend in to take over for a bit and give my arms a wee rest. I always thought that wool would full quite easily, but it seems not so much! I quite fancied a pair of these for myself, but after all that I think it’s going to be a long while before I hand felting another try…
Quick Cable Slouch Hat by Azure
Yarn: Stylecraft Ethical Twist 70/30
Stylecraft Ethical Twist 85/15
For some reason, despite all the energy, sweat and swearing that went into the making of the ruffled slippers, I decided that the slippers alone were not enough of a gift, so I quickly raided that Ravelry pattern database and decided to knock out this hat.
The pattern required a bulky weight yarn, but I couldn’t find a suitable one in my stash, so I used two strands of Ethical Twist DK. The yarn is scrumptious. It’s soft and silky and beautiful. They do two different blends: a 70% organic Falkland wool 30% alpaca, and an 85% organic Falkland wool 15% baby alpaca. The 85/15 is ever so slightly softer than the 70/30, but there’s not really much between them. I couldn’t decide which of the two to use, so ended up using one of each, and even though the colours are different (85/15 is “Cream”, the 70/30 “Natural”) the difference is negligible.
The pattern is simple and straight forward, and more importantly for last-minute Larry over here, it works up super fast. I started it in the evening, finished and blocked it the next morning.
One thing though, this yarn grows like crazy when wet. Anyone who knows me, knows that I am swatch-averse. I only really swatch for projects when absolutely necessary and under duress, and the number of times I've actually washed and blocked a swatch before starting a project can probably be counted on one hand. So I did slightly panic when the pre-blocked normal sized hat grew to epic proportions as soon as it hit the water, and chastised myself for not steam blocking instead of wet blocking. I hovered over it as it dried, tszujing it into shape now and then, and thankfully it dried back to a normal size, but this is probably something I should bear in mind the next time I use this yarn.
Top Down Bonnet with Anime Character by Adrian Bizilia
Yarn: Sirdar Country Style DK
Apologies for the abysmal quality photo, but it was taken in December darkness before rushing off to gift it. This is the last of the December FOs, and was an embarrassingly long time in the making! I started it back in April, and got as far finishing the hat, attaching the i-cords and one ear, and then it stalled until December when I finally pushed myself to knit on the other ear and finish the face. Needless to say, it doesn’t fit the intended child any more, but it seemed a shame not to gift it anyway, and it is now perched rather fetchingly on the Teddy by the child’s bed.
I was going to use felt circles for the eyes, but I didn’t have any on hand so I chain crocheted them on with white acrylic, finishing it off with a little black acrylic for the pupil, and embroidered the nose and mouth on with the same black acrylic. It is an adorable pattern, and I wish I’d finished it on time, or made a bigger size so I could see my Godchild wearing it! I have had a request from the boyfriend to make him a man sized one, although I’m a little dubious to see how a 20-something year old man will look in such an adorable hat. It might have to be on the proviso that he doesn’t wear it in public when I’m around!
I think this post has waffled on for quite long enough, so I’ll stop here and carry on tomorrow with my FOs of 2011 so far!