The long awaited release of Cirilia Rose’s book Magpies, Homebodies and Nomads: A Modern Knitter’s Guide to Discovering and Exploring Style (2014 Stewart, Tabori and Chang) finally came at the beginning of the month – and it’s a stunner.
Posts from the ‘felting’ Category
We love when you make our patterns and show off the results on Ravelry. But why stop there? We want to share your recent projects on our blog, too! This is the first installment of our Knitter’s Spotlight – a weekly look at what you’ve made and the story behind your process.
It’s official: the first snowflakes of the season are falling outside the Berroco office! And what better way to spend a snowy day than tangled in yarn working on a new project? With that in mind, I’m sharing a few independently designed patterns using Berroco yarn.
I knit some hearts out of tomato red Peruvia last night. The plan is to stuff the the little things, then toss them in the washer to felt. If all goes as planned the hearts will show up as a free pattern in Knitbits in early February. I can’t resist the pun – they’ll be called “Heartfelt”
I’ll be posting a second list of books sometime in the future – probably titled something like 10 books you should have in your library. Meanwhile I thought it might be nice to start explaining my “indispensable to me” list:
1. I’ve told this story many times before, so forgive me if it’s a repeat for you. My friend Grace Judson taught me how to knit the summer I was 14. When I returned home I promptly bought some lovely locally grown wool at the county fair, found a nice pattern in a magazine and started going at it. Sometimes the instructions frustrated me. I didn’t speak the speak yet and if there is a way of misinterpreting over interpreting directions, well, I did just that. (I had the same problem with my English homework, but that’s another story). My Mom is left handed and didn’t knit at the time, but she was (and still is) great at calmly sitting down, reading carefully and figuring things out. Still, my perfectionist streak got the best of me more than once – resulting in full-on crying jags. How could Mom resist buying Knitting without Tears when she tripped across it in the book store? It was perfect! This is the book that gave me the tools to knit things “my way”.
New Note: The instructions for Heartfelt are ready on our web site – here.
Back In October, I posted a sketch and picture of , our hexagon pullover, Joyella. One reader (Jenna) asked an interesting question: I’ve been daydreaming of knitting a garment and intentionally fulling it. My inspiration is the classic ‘boiled wool’ jacket. But my pal Lisa says that won’t work: It would shrink unevenly. The seams would pull. I’d have to knit blocks and trim/cut out the pieces, like a regular sewing project. I know fulling shrinks more in length than width, so my stubborn imagination insists that abundant swatching would allow me to re-calculate the knitting schematics. Since Joyella is not tailored AND the modular pieces are plain stitch, would fulling the completed garment be a less cavalier enterprise?
Well, in my experience Lisa is correct. It’s difficult to felt a completed garment. The edges get very ruffly and felting a swatch tells you little about how much a garment will shrink. The weight of of all the pieces pulls the fabric in uneven ways.
Now, in a strange coincidence, about the time Jenna asked this question, Margery and I had just decided to rebuild a Joyella garment into a chair seat cover.I know that sounds like I’m joking, but I’m not! Margery removed the sleeves, sewed up the armholes and the neckline, and threw it in the wash to felt. You can see the results on the left. Most of the piece looks fantastic and the edges ruffle A LOT. For our purposes this is not a problem. You can trim away the excess points and baste the end together with sewing thread to complete the chair cover. If the top side becomes soiled or worn you can undo the basting then put the underside up and re-baste for many more years of wear.
About Jenna’s question – I think you COULD make a successful jacket from Joyella. You’ll want to:
- Replace the center front hexagon with 2 half hexagons so the garment becomes a cardigan
- Test the shrinkage as best you can with a full hexagon swatch.
- Take great care to pull up all open edges prior to felting. I like to thread a piece of
- matching yarn through the edge and pull it up to about 1/2 the edges current length. I use a back stitch at the beg and end and sometimes in between. After felting if the edge is pulled up too much, just pull to break the thread. Meanwhile, the ruffling should be held in check.
- Check the piece often during the felting process. I have to admit that I felt in a front loading machine (which can’t be opened mid-cycle). I don’t think I’d attempt to felt a jacket with that machine.
Keep in mind that this is a big experiment and a big investment. I’d also probably make a Peruvia version before I made a Jasper version. You have a friend you would enjoy a nice boiled jacket, don’t you? I’ve got a saga to tell about how Margery and I “vigorously discussed” how to best make this chair cover, but that’s a story for next time…