Sunday, April 25, 2010


Over the last year or so, I've felted several bags in my washing machine. In most cases it worked out quite well, even though my washing machine is a front-loader, while most people recommend to use a top-loader for felting (a top-loader gives one the chance to stop the whole process anytime you want to check on the felting progress, so you can stop whenever you deem the whole thing is just right. With a front-loader this is not exactly possible, but given that my washing machine is in the basement of my house and checking on it would mean I would need to run down 64 steps every single time, it's not very likely I would do it anyway)

Last time I used my washing machine for felting was a bit of a disaster due to lint blocking my drainage and me finding new and creative ways to get the water out of the machine that involved NOT flooding the room, so I decided I would like to try another way to felt my stuff. Originally I heard about hand-felting on the Yarn Harlot's blog, but she in turn reverences a Knitty article from 2007, so I'm going the same.

For my objects to felt, I choose a) three little entralac bags I've knitted a while ago with left over Noro Kureyon yarn and b) a pot holder I've knitted with a sock yarn I've heard rumor of that it might felt, even though it is supposed to be super wash (Sockenwolle 'Treviso' bought at a sale at Lidl). Either way - if it felts, or if it not felts - would be fine with me. I just need to know. So I knitted a smallish object that would work both ways, and threw it in with the bags.

When you hand-felt, you need a bucket, a plunger (a new one preferably), something place your bucket on so you don't damage your bath tub and some muscles.

I threw in the stuff I wanted to felt, some detergent and hot water, as hot as it comes from the tap.
Then I started to agitate it.

I timed myself with my kitchen timer, taking a break every 10 minutes or so. After some time, I moved the whole caboodle out to the balcony (we have perfect weather today and it would be a shame to waste it)

I'm not quite sure, but I would guess it took a good 30 min before the bags actually started to felt, but I kept going another 20 to 30 min after that before I decided I had enough.

I've learned two things from this:
Yes, the sock yarn I've bought does felt.
Here's a before and after picture:

(I freaking love that holder and will certainly knit a partner to it)

And hand-felting can be fun, though it is nothing for the impatient.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Spring Time

Since Friday the air traffic in Germany and most of Europe has been grounded thanks to the eruption of the Eyjafjallajökull.

Some people still get their planes up into the air, even though, sadly, no passengers in those (unless they are really, really small)

In order to get off the ground, some people just climb up into the trees

(here in my home town a tree climbing garden has opened a couple of weeks back - it does look like fun)

And, Spring has clearly - finally - arrived.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Decision Time

As I had six of the sixteen balls of yarn left after finishing the Mondo Sweater (well, let's say I thought I was done with it, but more about that later) I returned those back to where I bought them.
I came back home with thirteen balls of 'Borkum', a cotton / linen mix by Wolle Rödel (a chain of yarn stores that has a couple of house brands)

The question is, what to do with this yarn.

I've been thinking about a short sleeved cardigan for the summer and had a list of about eight patterns I liked. I've now narrowed it down to three options.
1) Tappan Zee, a free pattern from the last edition of Knitty
2) Ditto from the Berroco webside
3) Drops 118-17 from - obviously - Drops Garnstudio

At the moment Ditto is the most likely candidate. I do also like the Tappan Zee a lot, but I'm not so sure the yarn would work so well with it (the example in the pattern is knitted with a wool/silk mix) .
I did knit up a gauge swatch and it came out with 20.5 stitches to 10 cm which is fairly close to the gauge asked for in the pattern.

The Mondo Caple pullover was finished last week and I did actually wear it on Friday, but then decided that I don't like the basic shape (a slight A-line) so I ripped everything up to the height of the chest and restarted with a bit more waist shaping. I hope this works out.

To keep my mood up I did knit a small shawl as a gift for a friend of mine. The pattern is called 'Traveling Woman' by Liz Abinante. It is a hugely popular (and free) pattern on Raverly and I knitted it in Heritage Paints yarn by Cascade Yarn in a green colorway.

Love the yarn, love the pattern and love the finished object (it's still blocking right now)

Finally, the obligatory update on Nefertiti
It's moving along rather well, I think.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

More Progress

I know it looks as if all I'm doing is stitching on Nefertiti, but that's not true. I did finish the Mondo pullover on Saturday and it's blocking right now. Before washing it, it was a bit on the short side, but I do have the feeling it's long enough now. If not, I've got plenty of the yarn left.

Progress on the queen:
I've had a stretch of rather boring stitching - for two days I've used basically only three colors and one of those was for back stitching those hieroglyphs and the two bird people.

Tomorrow - Easter Monday - my family will decent on me expecting to be fed. I'll be busy.