Sunday, January 14, 2007

Bring out your felting

Fishing around in the unfinished finds, I settled on finalizing my other Fuzzy Foot, so that I could say I actually had Fuzzy Feet. Whew! Try to say that five times fast. Besides, with five inches of snow outside, warm woolly slippers sounded heavenly. Onto the needles the last slipper went and it was knit up in about two evenings.

Now I love felting. Mostly because it is usually done on big needles, two strands of yarn and goes really quick. Besides, there is something about taking a big ugly mess of knitting, tossing it into a pillow protector, torturing it with hot water and the agitator set on "Destroy," and then pulling it out and discovering you've come up with something all pretty. Mistakes are shrunk away, and you have a one of kind piece that makes even the snobbiest Fashionista get all slobbery with envy.

So here are my big Fuzzy Feet on their way to the washing machine. I have felted so many pieces that I now have a drawer set aside just for felting. Contents: 4 pillow protectors, a pair of jeans that were past patching, and a couple of old towels, along with a box of Shout Color Catchers. Each Fuzzy got its own protector and into the washing machine it went. I always put in a little squirt of detergent. Not a lot, just enough to give it a little suds. Toss in a Color Catcher sheet, the jeans, the towels, and let the washing machine go wild.

But here is where I went wrong. I chose to felt when I had four boys running wild in the house. About the time I was supposed to be checking the status, I was refereeing who got to shoot Lightening MacQueen down the stairs next. Well, no one, considering on the last shot nearly took my eye out as I came unwittingly around the corner. After redirecting the little hoodlums, er darlings, to find a game that did not involve impaling me with small metal cars or the need for new drywall, I remembered my felting.

I pulled out my slippers just in time. Well, nearly in time. They were already heading toward a size 6, and let me say, my feet are no size 6. So after a lot of silent cursing, (well, there were 4 kids in the house) and a lot of pulling, I got them tugged into shape. Now all I have to do is wait for them to dry. Still, I couldn't resist trying them on just once, damp or not.

In the meantime, I cast on the Pursenalities Small Zipper Bag. Again, quick knitting, but here is where I broke my own felting rule.

The first rule of making a felted purse is to make the handles first.

Did I do that? Uh, no.

And I should have, because I was completely guessing on the yarn, since the version in the book is striped in multiple colors and I wanted to do mine with only two colors. Look at how much of the turquoise I had left. That should have been my first clue. But no, I went into finishing mode, down the home stretch, feeling pretty smug that I made it with the blue. Until I started to make the handles. This where my knitting karma got run over by the dogma of yardage.

Yes, as you can see, I am two little i-cords short of finishing. Mutter. Mutter. Mutter. Now, repeat after me. Make the handles first. You'll thank me for it later.

Now if I had only to finish out this handle, I'd rip these two out and fudge it a bit to get enough yarn to finish. But I still need to do the crochet trim in the brown, so darn it--I have to run up to the yarn shop and get another skein. I actually am getting excited to see how it will turn out. I'll finish it up tonight, and felt it tomorrow.

Best laid plans and all.


tiennie said...

Cool feet! I haven't done any felting yet but have a bag started. I can't seem to want to pick it back up though.

Elizabeth said...

I haven't taken them off my feet since they dried. (You can spot them on my feet in the picture of me holding my new knitting bad.) Give felting a try, Tiennie. Tons of fun. You should try it--though a warning--if you love bags and purses, you'll be drowning in them very quickly. I just make them to give away now, because I have so many.