Friday, October 21, 2005

Making it up as I go

Today's title is really about my whole life, but this week I am thinking mostly of my mom's impending visit (Hi Mom!) and how to plan out our time so we do some fun things but have enough sitting around time as well. Mom wants to felt something while she is here and I'm hoping my Calypso washing machine will actually achive felting/fulling on the purse she is making. I'm starting a purse also, which obviously needs to be finished in about 2 weeks to make the November 4 felting deadline.

And... digressing for a moment from deadline doom and planning... how cool is it that my mom, who knit her first socks this year, is continuing to branch out and explore new knitting concepts, like felting? Although it was definitely me who pestered her into knitting socks, the felting thing is her own wish. It remains but for me to facilitate the actual fulling part, which I totally understand because it's so much more fun to do together!

If anyone out there has felting tips for us, please chime in! My first felting experiment in about 1995 ended in doom (DOOM!) when I believed the lore then current on the knitlist that a towel was a good counterweight to your knitting project in the washing machine & got non-extractable fuzzies all over my glorious pink hat! My tip to you: DO NOT use a towel in the washing machine with your felting project. What have you got for me?

And finally today, "making it up as I go" is about my fun scarf project which I've been working on for about a week. I'm using the color changes in my Noro Kureyon (color #92) to determine where I make direction changes in my short rows. This makes more intense patches of color in some already pretty-intense yarn! Here I am just after adding the second skein:


I've tried to go with the flow in knitting this scarf, but I've also ripped out at times when I didn't like the color/shape experience. I suspect I may be cheating. Oh, well! I'm having fun trying to access my creative side with this little rule-based creative exercise.

I've been reading Debbie New's book Unexpected Knitting at bedtime, and this week I also picked up AlterKnits. I'd like to practice some of the odd techniques in Unexpected Knitting - as the knitty review says: "This is the print equivalent of mind-expanding drugs." Just anything to encourage myself in this attempt to access the creative side and shake things up a little. Be more like Mom.


Blogger Emy said...

My cheap ($5 Ked knock-offs from Target) tennies and a pair of crappy jeans that I seriously don't care about are what goes into the washer with my items to be felted. The item itself goes inside of a zippered pillowcase, and I use my washer's Sanitary cycle, because it goes for a really long time and it uses Extra Hot water. About a tablespoon of dishwashing liquid, hit the go button, and check it when I remember. ;)

And I have a front-loader, so I'm sure your Calypso will be fine.

October 22, 2005 8:53 AM  
Blogger Abigail said...

Another front-loader felter here. I put the item to be felted in a pillowcase, like Emy. I also use jeans. So far I've had good felting experiences.

I hope you mom's purse works out!

October 23, 2005 11:13 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

It sounds like Emy & Abigail and I felt the same way. Put it in a zippered pillowcase and throw in some jeans. Best of luck with it!

Oh, and your "Make it up as you go" scarf is coming along great. Good for you for breaking out of your "pattern" comfort zone!

~ Christina

October 24, 2005 8:26 PM  
Blogger lidabit said...

Ditto for me too - frontloader in the laundry room, just throw in 2 old pair of jeans (no pillowcase for me, it's not my washer, I don't care! LOL), a splash of liquid laundry soap, and felt away. I run it on the whites setting and it often takes 2 washes to get it properly felted. Placed on my kitchen table overnight with the ceiling fan going, it's generally dry by the next morning.

October 25, 2005 1:30 PM  
Blogger julia said...

Me too, me too!

Nothing new to add though. I felt just like Emy et. al. I would say, as I'm sure you know, check that sucker every few minutes (hence the use of a *zippered* pillowcase). My first fulling project shrank way, way too much (insert a brief *sob* for the Kureyon I wasted) and ended up wonky because I left it in for too long without checking it.

Looking forward to meeting your Mom (Hi Mary's Mom!) at Meetup.

October 26, 2005 11:53 AM  
Anonymous Gina said...

And if you don't have a zippered pillowcase, a regular one held shut with rubber bands works just fine.

Make sure to pick what you'd like to shape over (if applicable) before fulling. I've used tupperthigns (for hats/bags), cereal boxes (covered in tinfoil), my big glass head (bought at Pier 1 many moons ago) and a deck of cards (for an ipod thingy) quite successfully.

October 26, 2005 12:10 PM  

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