Friday, February 22, 2008

I Can Knit, a Bit;)

I had not knit in many many years. Let's just not go into exactly how many. About a year ago I decided for some strange reason to give it a go. I mean how hard could it be really.... I have this beautiful Brother knitting machine with ribbing attachment and everything sitting practically new in a box in my basement and it intimidates me. So I thought " If I understood knitting" more it wouldn't be so intimidating. So..... I decided to knit. I found a cute pattern on MagKnits, right here for a little knit and felt purse to start of with. I will preface this with the fact that I have never knit with a pattern before. When I was little, my grama taught me to knit mittens on four needles without a pattern. I remember rocking and knitting in her big rocking chair which would slowly wander the room as you rocked. Wonderfuly easy mittens with strangely unattractive pointed thumbs and finger tips. But I had never seen or even heard of circular needles. Grama sure didn't have any of those in her Black Velvet needle cylinder. I found online insructions for stich names and fancier manouvers for increasing and decreasing and made out just fine with the MagKnits pattern. In fact, the most fabulous thing about felting handknit objects is that you can be the most terrible knitter ever, and by the time it is all shrunk and felted one can tell. Now you just have to love that!

The moral of this story is that if you ever feel like learning to knit...A felted project is very forgiving and is a great place to start. I found I could knit up one of these purses in two evenings. So I proceeded to make one cream, one black, one light blue, and one brown. I think I even have another one half made in a bag somewhere. The process of this "hand knit then felt" is very cool. As you knit your way along you will find that the project requires one full 100g ball of worsted weight 100% wool yarn and is knit up on fairly fat (size 6 I think) needles. The end result is that the bag before being felted in the washing machine is quite large. Almost the size of a white plastic shopping bag. After felting in a hot washing machine however it is magically transformed into a cute little hand bag.

Since having such great results with the little felted bag, I went on to try mittens, slippers, and even a hand puppet. The mittens were from a Felting book I got as a gift, the slippers were the "Fuzzy feet" pattern from, and the hand puppet was from a library book. I wish I had taken a photo of the blue purse as it had turned out to be my favourite. I had decorated the front of it with a needle felted flower, and now it's gone on a swap to Europe. I guess I'll just have to try another one. The hand puppet still sits in my cabinet waiting to be felted. One of these days....I'll put it on my to do list.

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