Thursday, August 24, 2006

Felting Frenzy

I LOVE FELTING! Lest you think I'm not doing anything (knitting-wise), I offer this picture. I am in the middle of a full blown felting frenzy that can only be satisfied by small , quick projects that knit up fast so I can toss them in the magic felting bag and sit with bated breath by the washer. I am fascinated by what happens to a plain piece of knitted fabric when it gets into hot water with my old "felting jeans". Nothing fancy for me. I usually use Cascade, but am finding that Paton Classic Wool does a wonderful job of felting, is cheaper and readily available at the local Michael's should I run out of a certain color. Colors available are limited tho'. I used #8's or 10's, whatever I have that isn't in use for another project.'s into the magic felting bag (a net bag for washing ligerie in a former life) and into my washing machine. This is an old twin washer/dryer that was here when I rented the house. It is in my front coat closet and this is as far back as I could get to photograph it as the hall is narrow. I set it for a small load, hot wash, cold rinse, short cycle. I throw the bag in with an old pair of jeans, a shot of detergent and let 'er rip. Sometimes, with the Cascade, I need to run it for 2 cycles. When it's felted to my liking, I stretch it to shape and let it dry, usually on top of the washer. I have used a rice pilaf box in a plastic bag as a formto get a square bottom. So simple, so satisfying.
In the above photo: The 'watermelon bag'-waiting for a strap and maybe a snap. The black and blue clutch needs some sort of closure-maybe a big, funky button. The small bag is for my iPod and only needs a strap. The bumblebee clutch needs something but I'm not sure what yet. (See August 13 for the before shot.) Another pouch waiting for a strap. The black bag with leaves is waiting for cherries, for which I am trying several versions, and a strap. The Brown (very dark in this picture) bag was made to experiment with needle felting designs with Annet, the Enabler.
I have perfected I-cord, I-cord bind off and applied I-cord. I am a Felt Fanatic!

Sunday, August 20, 2006


Remember the sock I started down the shore? I was buzzing along, down past the heel, heading toward the finish line. Sure it looked a bit big....but the length was good. Maybe I should try it on.
*&##!!!_&*. If only the rest of me was as svelte as my ankles. I sat for a full 10 minutes trying to decide if I should go on and put them in the "gift drawer" or frog them.

*sigh* Well, this was my first pair of socks and I sort of wanted them for me. Just the first pair, you know?

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Cold Spring Booty

Peridots and apatites.
Will look great with

Bargains buys.
Silky Wool and

More stash, The Trekking,
Opal and Magico

Stash Enhancing

My favorite enabler, Annet, called yesterday morning. Trouble. She was bored and trying to entice me to go out and "do something". I should know to check my bank balance when she calls.
So I agreed to meet her halfway which is near Woodbury Commons Outlets. After a cursury run through Michael's where we basically just caught up , I happened to mention that a quick google after she called (see what she makes me do!) showed that there was a yarn shop in Cold Spring. So we were off. It was a gorgeous day and the ride up the Hudson was beautiful. Coldspring is a charming little town with a Main Street that runs down to the river with lots of fun over-priced shops. We had lunch under the trees at the redone train depot, then started exploring. Mostly antique shops, but a great place called Wearable Art where everything was art including the sofa and an awesome bead store where I just had to pick up some beads in my favorite beachy colors (peridots and apatites) No one seemed to know where the knitting store was until the guy in the bead store headed us in the right direction. It's on Chestnut Street which is also Rt. 9D in a little strip mall, sort of set back.
What a find! It's called Knittingsmith. Starting off right at the door with the sale bins-I got some Elsbeth Lavold Silky Wool in Yellow Ocher, Blue and Beige at 30% off- just right for scarves for Christmas gifts. Penelope, the owner was very friendly and very helpful. The selection was incredible and she had lots of sample pieces for inspiration. From chunky to lace weight. I saw yarns I have only read about online. Spent what seemed like hours looking and touching. Also ended up with some Trekking in Prima-greens, Gems Opal in Willow (both for socks) and some Filatura Di Crosa Magico in Teal multi just because it spoke to me and I have no idea what I will do with it. I came in under my self-imposed limit. Annet beat me times 3 but besides a bunch of yarn, she got one of those kits for a jacket (I forget the designer's name, but you know the exquiste yarns and patterns that are a true investment). The kits are on sale, btw, I think 25% off. So we had a blast and I have the ballwinder up and running. If you are nearby, or are planning a nice day trip, this is a great destination.
Annet just e-mailed me that next week she wants to try cleaning, etc the newly shorn fleeces from her "girls", Thelma and Louise. I was bugging her about learning to spin and she has a good supply of wool at hand! Like I have all this spare time to try something new......Art ADD.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Home Again.

It's always hard leaving the beach, but when we get home it's good to be here. Picked up the pup from the kennel and, boy, was he glad to see us! Sure, increase my already immense guilt about leaving him. I didn't get as much knitting done as I thought I would this past week since macrame "surfer" bracelets and necklaces were very much in demand by the boys. The boys were too cool for words, hanging on the beach with their guitars and playing for a crowd of teens. They had a great time and #2's GF managed to get down for a couple of days. Summer down the shore hasn't changed much from when I was a teenager.
But I did finish my first M-D dishcloth and start another. I wanted something fun and mindless and it's easy to remember the pattern in a short while. The colors certainly don't go with my kitchen, but I love the bright summery cottons. And I am a scrubber sponge girl, but I may just have to give dishrags a try.
I also finished knitting the "bumblebee clutch" I am designing. Now I just have to sew the bottom seam, add an I-cord around the opening and felt it. The flap will be solid yellow and I made a little bee to felt and use as a decoration, but I haven't figured out the wings yet. I may need some advice when I get to that part.
Wendy's blog got me thinking about linings and closures for felted bags. I will be adding a lining and a snap closure in addition to the eyelets for the strap on my striped knitting bag since I want it to last FOREVER. I am really in love with it and got lots of compliments.
I did manage to find a yarn store on the island (using my yarn radar) called, of course, Island Knits. It was a tiny little place, but there were some lovely yarns and the owner was super friendly and helpful. It's a great place to pick up a little something for a vacation project and she has tons of patterns and suggestions. So I got some Sockotta Yarn from Plymouth Yarns. It's a cotton-wool-nylon blend and has a nice feel. I am using Yarn Harlot's generic sock pattern, since I haven't done socks in years and wanted to get working on it without having to do the heel turning bits too soon. I do want to try Wendy's Toe-up sock, if only to be able to try it on as I knit! The picture isn't great. but the yarn is sort of denimy, faded looking. I can't wait to wear my first pair of handknit socks.
Got to go finish unpacking and start thinking about school. Yuck.

Friday, August 04, 2006


Okay, so I didn't get anything posted. Mea culpa. I really meant to...but I wanted to take the pix outside and suddenly it was too late or raining or too early. But I actually HAVE been working on lots of stuff....some Mason Dixon projects, more felting, of course, and a project to bring my jewelry making and knitting together!
I always get lots done during my week at LBI. Now that the kids are old enough to watch out for themselves (okay, I check when they aren't watching) I have tons of time between getting up and pina colada sunsets (a venerable tradition) to do what ever I feel like. Plus my best friend, Kat's fiance (Tony) loves to cook and actually washes the dishes. Sigh...that's a vacation.
So I stopped at my LYS today (I actually raised a son who will drive me and then sit in the car while I shop!) and it's August Sale time when they are trying to get rid of the summery stuff to make room for the wintery stuff. I was looking for Euroflax, but ended up with Maggi Knits cotton/linen blend (at 20% off) which seems to have the drape I want for some M-D handtowels. I got an oatmeal, a mustard an olive and a denimy blue. Also some Second Time Cotton in the Tahiti, Bermuda and Istanbul colorways. (I PROMISE pictures sometime in the near future).
So I have lots to keep me busy this week.
Hopefully I will find a hot spot to post. DS #2 is bringing his laptop and I just opened a flickr account. If not, see you in a week.

Thursday, August 03, 2006


Wow! I got my first comments! Thanks to Ariane for letting me know that I wasn't allowing anonymous comments. I think I have that fixed now. I will definitely post tonight with updates on what I am working on. We are leaving for the shore on Saturday am and I don't know if I will be able to post for that week. And thanks for the compliments on the bag. I love it too.