Sunday, February 19, 2006

My First Fulled (felted) Bag: Mag-Knits Sophie purse in Unikat yarn

I never really "got" the whole fulling/felting thing.

Some people say they knitted and felted one item and were absolutely hooked, couldn't stop felting everything they made, or making things that called for felting. The fact that it was becoming the "in" thing to do, bordering on a fad, is what made me hesitate to try a fulled-purse (or anything) pattern. But a friend's cute red bag changed my mind, and I finally gave in.

Well, I have to say I love this bag. And I LOVE the Unikat yarn, both to work with and in terms of the colors they offer. MagKnits' "Sophie" purse pattern is wonderful... chic without being too complicated or overdone.

And in the end, isn't that what chic really means? Some people say, "It's all in the details." And that may be true. But I like to keep details to a minimum and let the design and the yarn speak for themselves.

Here's how it turned out, after felting and blocking (shown, of course, with Maggie, who almost never plays with my yarn while I'm knitting!):

So in the end, I think my opinion on fulling (felting is actually what you do to unspun fibers) is that it's lovely for certain patterns. I can imagine the fulled vest in Sally Melville's Purl Stitch book, for example, would be cozy and would look great on my husband. And who knows, I may come across (or design) another pattern for something that needs to be fulled.

In other words, I like it. Fulling is fun, and the results look great. But I'm not likely to become a fulling fiend, throwing all of my hand knits into the washing machine. Unless I make something with a hideous mistake (like a hole) that needs to be covered up!


Hand-made Knitting Bag (photo!)

In my first posting, I wrote about a knitting bag I made that had received a lot of compliments. Here's a picture of the bag, with Maggie alongside...

And here's a close-up shot of the inside of the bag; you can see how I created the buttoned yarn-feeder...

Since I made this bag, I've bought pounds of different fabrics, so I can make more. That way I can have my knitting with me all the time without looking like a bag lady...


Sunday, February 12, 2006

And here they are!

Here's a picture of the gloves I knit for my sister, from AlterKnits... I think they turned out really well! (In fact, I'd like to keep them... but I've mentioned that before, haven't I?)


Saturday, February 11, 2006

Wrist warmers and AlterKnits gloves (I'm still hanging on to them)

For those of us in cold-but-not-Arctic climates, can anything beat the wrist warmer? I mean really, you feel warm because your pulse points are covered, AND you can knit, to boot. Also...

I really do have to say that I LOVE the AlterKnits lace-up gloves... the ones in Manos del Uruguay with the Hanna Silk ribbon ties? The pair I made for my sister is STILL sitting in my kitchen waiting to be mailed out to her (for Christmas--hah!). But they're so pretty that I want to keep them. And they feel all nice and scrunchy. Yum. This is a great pattern.

Next I'm going to try the Irish Hiking Wrist Warmers that I found on "Wine and Needles" ( Fun blog (from a fellow Californian) and a VERY nice pattern, but I want to alter it so I can knit in the round (I detest seaming...), so I'll let you know how that goes and what changes I needed to make, if any.

Photos are coming soon. Really. (We just moved and I haven't unearthed my camera yet.) Then you'll see how gorgeous those AlterKnits gloves are! (And can "ooh and aah" over my handmade "boudoir" knitting bag. I'd love to design more and sell these online--I know other knitters would like them, since I use mine all the time and get tons of compliments on it).

Until later... time to wake up the napping husband and feed the circling cats. THEN I am going to work on a design for a throw rug knitted out of twine I got at the hardware store...I found some that came in natural AND a great forest green. If it works out, I'll post the pattern here.


Monday, February 06, 2006

Knitting Podcasts, AlterKnits Gloves, and Knitted (British) Monkeys

I love to knit. And I love to read about knitting. But unfortunately I can't do both at the same time. That's why I was so excited to find knitting podcasts (and, because I'm not always up on techno-stuff) to realize I could listen to them on my laptop.

My first foray into podcast land was Knitcast. Marie Irshad's production is smooth and professional. Her interviews are well thought out and insightful, and it's clear she loves doing what she does. My only question is: Marie, where do you get the time and money to travel around talking to all these cool people?

Soon after, I listened to Knitting Newscast. It's a little on the rough side... I know she's new at this and am sure she'll improve over time. In fact, if you listen to Episode 1 and compare it with the latest episode, you can see it's getting a little better. My best advice for Rhonda: Please start the show when the show starts, instead of introducing the show and then going on and on about "other stuff" before you get to the point. People are tuning in to hear about knitting. So don't be afraid to get more in-depth and BE the Expert! (Marie's great at that part...)

I've listened to a few others, too. Some good, some so-so, some pretty bad. But almost all of them beat knitting in silence. And since we swore off of Comcast (their D.C. packages are CRAP!) when we moved last month, my choices are limited radio channels, our incredible jazz collection (now on the external hard drive, thanks to my husband's efforts!), silence (sometimes it really IS golden), or knitting podcasts. So when I feel in need of knitting company, I choose the podcasts and knit "among friends."

So here's a warm "Thank you!" to everyone putting in the time and effort to entertain us as we knit/crochet. Hopefully, if I figure out how to do it, I'll join you one day.


I finished the lace-up gloves from AlterKnits! They're a gift for my sister, Sarah (Christmas... "Late" is a family tradition). I'll try to upload a photo of them soon. I love these gloves! And they were fun to knit. It will be hard to part with them, but I know Sarah will love them.

I also started, and almost finished, the MagKnits Sophie bag. I'm using Unikat yarn, which I picked up in Cape May, NJ. Wonderful colors! Like a Turkish rug. I don't know if I'll actually carry this as a purse or use it as a knitting bag. Probably the latter, since I'm not prone to carrying striped purses. But if I like how it looks once it's felted, I may knit one up in a solid. However, it's almost Spring... Can you carry a knitted bag in Spring/Summer? Or is that like wearing white after Labor Day? Hmmm.

Since I ripped out part of my AlterKnits tubular scarf and then regretted it, I cast another one on. This time I used size 9 needles, though. I like the "hole-ier" fabric. Instead of lavender I used a yummy raspberry shade (Rowan Kidsilk Haze).

AND--it was a busy knitting weekend--I also swatched the cute Monkey from Simply Knitting magazine (from the UK). He was in one of the first few issues, and my monkey-loving husband decided he wanted one. I usually don't like knitted toys, but this one really IS cute, so he'll be done as soon as my Sophie bag is felted.

Well, I'm off to figure out once and for all how to post photos to my blog. How sad is that?