Friday, December 09, 2005

Finishing the Gift Bag

So, how did the felting go?

Once your gift bag is dry, remove whatever you inserted into it to shape it. Pull out the cotton waste yarn and thread the twisted cord drawstring through the eyelets.

Hopefully your bag looks like this:

That's it!

Don't Leave Yet!

I have two more top-down hats to share. The first is one I knit from a skein of Rowan Calmer. For this one, I did not use Emily Ocker's cast on because I wanted to keep the little hole at the top:

The star pattern I used for the top is an adaptation of a doily pattern I found in an old pattern booklet. I knit the sides plain and then used the I-cord bind off.

The second, and far more spectacular hat, was knit by Ann in Canada. I received this email from Ann the other day and she's allowed me to share it with you:

On Sunday the Knitting Goddesses bopped me over the head and told me
to knit your no-gauge hat. Fine - my son and I are having a very frugal holiday season so I decided to knit this for him. Fine - grabbed a
nice wool yarn and appropriate needles. I had originally meant this to be for my son. The Knitting Goddesses thought otherwise. The knit stitch I chose for the body of the hat did not work out well - spread like mad. Ripped it all out. Second go at this hat had to be ripped out as well. Finally it dawned on me this hat was meant for me so I went nuts. After a couple fixable errors I had a hat I really liked. I
washed it. It expanded after washing. Not to fret - this is real wool - it can shrink. I have worked hard on this now many hours plus I wrecked my back by sitting in a chair I know I ought to never sit in. The problem is I knit it fairly densely since it was to be a hat. Had I meant it to be felted from the inception of this project I would have used different needles and a different stitch count. I just needed it a bit smaller, not tons smaller. If pressed I would have admitted I
could have worn it the way it was after the first wash but Ms. Persnickety wasn't going for that notion.

Right now I think it is fine. Frankly I do not have the hours to
stand around as the thing bounces around in the washing machine. It is hung upside down and is dripping into a dishpan. The cats Bert and Simon
are rapt - where are these wonderfully noisy drips of water coming from?
How can this be? I suspect this will amuse them for at least half an hour before Simon gets bored. Perhaps later on today I may throw it into the dryer for a test trip.

And what does this wonder look like? My son was fascinated and horrified at the same time. It has a band of wild worm-like bits around the top edge - Lambs Tails in two different lengths in three differing rows. The yarn is a marl - one strand of dark red and one strand of black plied together. The worms, before they were washed, projected madly at all sorts of angles. They got limp when washed but now that they are partially felted they are recovering their independence. This is why I am letting it drip dry upside down - to encourage the worms to be free and do their own thing. I suspect one cannot totally tame a worm. I suspect this is the sort of hats out-of-touch adults would think a kid or teen would love. Wrong - very wrong. Only tiny babies who do not know any better and are unable to form opinions about style or adults who don't give a damn would wear this hat. I can't wait to wear it outside but that will be a couple days yet depending on my level of persnicketiness as to how dry this really must be before venturing into freezing weather.

Many thanks,

Well, of course I immediately wanted to see a photo of this hat and Ann didn't disappoint. Here's one of the photos she sent me:

How fun is that hat!!!!

Here's a little more information from Ann on how she knit it:

I think the yarn might be Briggs and Little - I was given quite a bit
of it but there were no bands and it is elderly. I started off with a
three stitch I-cord before expanding to six stitches. This little bit
looked silly ( and this from the woman who knit worms in cold blood! )
so at finishing time i bent it over and sewed it down to form a tidy
little nub. Do have to admit to changing needles sizes three time -
once for the I-cord, Once for the first four or five rounds and then to
a better size for the yarn, blissfully unaware of how it would enlarge
when it hit the water.

I put the worms in a half drop repeat pattern - staggered in the three
worm rows BUT only in the middle worm row I knit smaller worms directly
under their bigger friends to balance the full sized worms - these do
not show really well in the photos.

I challenge anyone to top this!

Who's linking here?

Running commentary on my unending quest to knit up my stash.