Black Dog

Just a little outpost on the web for me to ramble, post pix, share ideas, and be a part of the crowd.

Friday, March 07, 2003

Inspiration From the Most Unusual Places

Just a quick entry to act as a teaser prior to trying this over the weekend, but...............I called myself an enabler here yesterday--why not a tease today?

A friend just dropped by to pick up something left for her by a mutual other friend (Girl Scout cookies..........evilness in a box). She was wearing the most ingenious article of clothing, and I studied it for awhile to capture many of the details and nuances in the garment. Now to conjure up the necessary materials and try to recreate my own project idea, based on what I saw today. Suffice to say it will be knitted (duh!), it will be cotton (literally, but not necessarily like you'd imagine), and it will be (in my opinion) just smashing!

I think it will be VERY fun to work on this over the weekend, and I hope it will translate into something really wonderful. And all of a sudden it's triggering other ideas as well. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm. Me thinks he's onto something here.

Thursday, March 06, 2003

The Alchemy of the Washing Machine

Knitters everywhere are fascinated by the concept of felting (ok, fulling if you're a purist). Felted handbags, project bags, hats, clogs, Fuzzy Feet, and more. And as someone who's made hundreds of felted items in the past two years (and counting), I'm glad to provide any assistance I can to those who have questions. Isn't that the idea behind experience? and community? and supporting a craft (art? I say craft because the finished product is practical and useful, but that's a totally different blog entry, not for today).

Theresa in Chicago (aka Keyboard Biologist) has her own alchemy posted on her site--the evolution of a felted bag, from finished knitting to final felted object. Her color, Cascade 220 in 4009 (Aporto--LOVE that name), turns out incredibly beautiful for a yarn that's predominantly peacock in color with green undertones. The felting brings out the green in a most marvelous way (scroll down her posting to see a close up of the finished fabric). Same for other colors, particularly their heathers and marls (2 plies from each color). One of my absolute favorites that I saw on Sunday at our felting party was Cascade 220 9454 (Rainier Heather). Of course, I had to start my own version that very night, thanks to Cathi and her finished bag. She is responsible for three of the finished bags on the coat tree below (Rainier Heather is in the foreground of the picture). Another magical colorway is 4011 (Sparrow). It reads like a greenish brown, but when you felt it, the black undertones are much more pronounced and it is just striking.

Just a pair of combinations for your perusal. I tell you, it's magic!
Cascade 220 9402 Grey Marl Yarn Grey Marl Felted
(the red fluff is from another stripe on this bag)
Cascade 220 9462 Raspberry Marl Yarn Raspberry Marl Felted
So the the old Amana washer continues to turn out magic, and I continue to be amazed. And local (and not so local) knitters keep making incredible things. And Cascade 220 continues to be my worsted-weight yarn of choice for felting (especially handbags, but I hear that used double, it makes incredible clogs). Questions? Comments? anyting else? Please e-mail me and I'm glad to help in any way possible. But beware, I'm considered a dangerous enabler in these parts.......

Monday, March 03, 2003

Felting Frenzy!

Yesterday was another of our notorious felting parties, where everyone who's been knitting things to felt and wants the company of friends (and snacks) drops by to knit, felt, nosh, and commune. We got to meet Hope, cousin to our bud Lana, both of whom are great knitters with an amazing eye for sweaters. Lana put together her own colorway for a Bounced Check sweater, tho I doubt she'll strike that pose in it. Helen worked on her Obi, done in shades of wild clover and bramble—very Helen colors. And we even got to tempt a new knitter with the concept of practicing just so she could make her own felted bag in the near future.
Of course, Connor was her usual relaxed self, head resting on Judy's project tote she made in a class with me nearly a year ago.
Of course, she positioned herself immediately under the table, for maximum proximity to any dropped snacks from above. Her favorite were the cheese stix I made, including cheddar on the inside and parmesan on the outside. Dogs love cheese... Connor loves food. And her Aunt Helen (who accidentally drops food).
This is the post-felting and drying rack of bags we felted a few handbags (make that SIX handbags). Four were from the flapped handbag, one is a pleated handbag, and one a double handle project bag, all from Two Old Bags, my favorite designers of felted bags.

here's a close up of the double handle project bag, knitted with Cascade Pastaza and felted VERY hard. Expertly knitted by Barb, mother to Judy of above-bag fame, and whom I've known just about a year now, when she took a top-down sweater class with me.

Unfortunately I failed Photography 101 and was taking pictures with highly-reflective snow just outside, causing my pix to be rather dim. Sorry!
And what felting party would be complete without clogs and a pair of fuzzy feet poking in from the upper right?
All in all, it was a WONDERFUL afternoon, and we are repeating the madness again on Saturday, March 15, any time after 12 noon. And another Fuzzy Feet FREE workshop on the 16th, at 2 p.m. Do join us!