Friday, January 9, 2009

Felting Project Blooper

I love felting knitted pieces.  It is satisfying to transform a loose, floppy piece of knitting into a thick, substantial piece of material or a soft but sturdy object.  "Alterknits Felt" is a book full of inspirational projects, and the CRAFT: podcast happened to share the pattern for one of the projects in that book called "Hazel and Maude Pot Holders".  That inspired me to try making one of the pot holders to give as a Christmas present.  But it took me TWO tries before I realized that the "blister stitch" pattern was turning out like a rectangular grid rather than a honeycomb because I didn't follow the directions and stagger the different rows/sets of color.  GRRRR!  Dumb mistake.  So here's the first pot holder....

Another really frustrating thing about this piece was that the edge is an attached i-cord trim.  There ended up being way too many rows of trim along the sides, so the edges were/are wavy.  I picked up and knit on every row, and I guess I should have done every other.  The instructions don't specify, darn it.  That's why this pot holder doesn't have straight sides and isn't square!

I tried another pot holder, this time picking up every-other stitch on the sides for the finishing trim.  It's the one on the right below, and I think that worked out perfectly.  Then I had my "DUH!" moment, realizing that the pattern shapes weren't circular because I wasn't staggering the rows, which is necessary to make the blister stitch pattern work correctly when felted.  Won't make that mistake again!  Luckily my stubborn streak, combined with curiosity, causes me to keep doing a project over until I get it RIGHT.  So the third time I came up with the correctly knit pot holder.  It is on the left, obviously:

It's interesting to see the two patterns side by side.  

Here they are after the first felting in the washing machine:

And here they are after a second felting:

Wahoo - finally succeeded!  I like the look of the mistake one, too, but it was so satisfying to learn how to get that honeycomb pattern.  These two were knitted entirely in Lamb's Pride Worsted, which is my personal favorite felting yarn.  It is fuzzy because of the mohair, but I like that.  I just had to give the pot holders a little haircut when I was done felting them.  Now I am going to make a larger version.  I need two more seat cushions/mats for our kitchen chairs, and this is a perfect pattern for one of them.  I like the fire colors.

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