Monday, July 16, 2007

Go Ahead & Leaf

I never seem to get around to blogging on weekends. Must be T-Man’s influence — he keeps me busy so I don’t get as much time to play on the computer. Particularly if the weather is good or we have some errands to run. In this case it wasn’t totally his fault though. On Saturday I went to my Spectrum study group. In keeping with our year’s theme of felt, we were each working on something different out on Sandra’s cosy patio:

That’s Chisako and Donna making felted beads, Masami making nuno felt on an old silk scarf and Sandra needlefelting her nuno scarf to better attach some novelty yarn. I was behind the camera but missing are Kirsten and Jo Anne (away on holidays) and Cathie (otherwise occupied). We had a lovely time while trying to keep out of the direct sun! My project, as I mentioned last post, was to knit a leaf from Nicky Epstein’s Knitting Never Felt Better. I tried the Autumn Leaf in 2 moderately variegated handspun 2ply yarns knit on my Denise circulars in US size 8. It took almost as long to embroider the veins in stem stitch as it took to knit the leaf and not much time at all to felt. This is the first one after felting and the second one before so you can see how much they changed. I used soapy water and bubble wrap to felt them by hand and had to keep rotating the leaf’s direction. First it would go long and skinny and then short and fat according to orientation! Eventually it got fairly tight and that was where I quit and rinsed out the soap. The finished size is about 4” long.

When I got home I decided to try the acorn from the same book using the same yarn as the leaf veins for the nut and some brown Corriedale 2ply for the cap. The directions say to stuff lightly with fiberfill as you stitch up the seam but how light is light? The darn thing was huge! See?

And the fiberfill showed badly through the stitches. It’s hard to felt a 3-dimensional shape on bubble wrap. Likely the washing machine method would work much better and I may still throw these things in later. I finally got it felted down far enough to fill in the holes but some of the fiberfill bearded out and had to be snipped off. The acorn is still really big! Over 2” long not including the stem. So I decided to miniaturize the pattern somewhat and tried again. I also changed to the cap colour one row earlier. This time I stuffed it a little firmer but with brown wool which I figured would felt somewhat along with the acorn. It worked much better and this acorn is only 1-1/2” tall, close to life-size. Here’s a comparison shot:

Not quite sure how (or if) I’m going to use these little darlings in an actual project but it was an interesting learning experience! At least these leaves look more like oak leaves where the ones that Nicky shows with the acorns look more like ivy or grape leaves. Yes it matters. To me anyway.

What else is new? I’ve finished the Boring Black Socks (I’ll show you later) and cast-on for a pair for T-Man in Mega Boots Stretch. He still needs more socks at least until his drawer is full and he has enough to wear in between laundry days. Besides I always need some plain socks to knit on when my mind is elsewhere.

We also pulled all the stuff out from the last attic. Yikes! That was the one that hasn’t been thoroughly gone through for a very long time. I am truly amazed at how many fantasy/sci-fi books I’ve got stashed. And yes these are the ones I’ve already read. What to do with the ones I don’t want? It has to be quick and easy because I’m not going to post them to Craigslist or Freecycle or anything. Too much trouble. And first my daughter has to check for ones she doesn’t have. We started putting things like old fish tanks and accompanying paraphernalia out in the back alley a few at a time. They disappeared in record time so I guess the binners were out in force yesterday. I put some hideous acrylic granny square afghans out today and they disappeared within the hour. Amazing how that happens. Now I have to wait for both kids to go through their old books and toys. We didn’t keep many and they’re mostly pretty thrashed. There’s a whole box of Lego though and some vintage Transformers which the man-child will want. And a few things that can be cleaned up for the grandkids. Nothing has all the parts though. Remarkable what one hangs onto and what disappears without a trace, isn’t it?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Really like the leaves and acorns, am curious how you will use them. Will watch in upcoming posts. All your deep-cleaning has inspired me to do the same. (For me its 2-1/2 down, 2-1/2 to go!) Its really good for the soul to get rid of the extra "stuff". (At least thats what I keep telling myself!) Here's to a cooler, albeit, wet day!......