Saturday, January 3, 2009

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! Hope you all had a great time during the holidays! Time has flown by. Although I haven't blogged about anything in over a month, I've been busy with all the holiday hustle and bustle. Seems all I did over the past few weeks was eat, eat, eat. Not that I'm complaining.

Onto the knitting. I managed to cram in a lot of knitting, whenever I could. It's my way of keeping calm and centered.

Old business first. This is my first felted project ever. I made Meema's Felted Tote Bag from the first Stitch N Bitch book. Knit on 15s with 3 skeins of Knitpicks' Wool of the Andes Bulky in Grape.

081123 felted tote bag
Finished knitting within days back in October, but the felting process took me a lot longer. Since I only have coin-op washing machines in my building and can't control the speed, I hand felted the bag. Taking advice from my friend, Annika, the felting queen, I had super hot water ready, dish soap, and rubber gloves. Now, being the smartypants that I am, I decided to use my silcone oven mitts (way too big for my hands, by the way), so I wouldn't feel the boiling water as I pummeled the poor wool into felt fabric. Well, I managed to rub the skin off my knuckles because of too much movement inside the silicone mitts. EEEWWW. So, that set me back at least a week before the stinging subsided. Anyway, after the bag dried, I wanted to lose more of the stitch definition, plus shrink it more. A month and a half later (I was lazy), I re-felted the bag in hot (not boiling water) and didn't need gloves after the water cooled a bit.

081221 refelted tote bag
Pre-felting bag dimensions: length x width x height, 11 inches x 6.5 inches x 16.5 inches
Final dimensions: 10 inches x 5 inches x 10 inches
Decreased ~40% vertically and ~15% horizontally

Next, I made a cowl from yarn I bought at Stitches West 2008.
081207 argosy cowl2
It's super luxurious cashmere silk from Argosy. Haiku 4ply in Blackberry. I took the shell lace stitch pattern from Barbara Walker's First Treasury of Stitch Patterns, calculated for a 20 inch circumference, and knit til I used up all of the yarn, ~200 yards. Feels great against my neck.
081207 argosy cowl

There's more but that's all for now. Happy 2009!