Thursday, May 11, 2006


In another bit of my life, I teach an embroidery class. Last week, crafts collided - we were doing canvaswork, and a couple of the ladies in the class brought bags of tapestry wool of various brands which they had accumulated as ends-of-kits or for other projects, or were unable to sell at a local charity shop. In the end, I was the only one who wanted them, for felting, so they came home... (Nothing wrong with the wool, but canvaswork/needlepoint has moved on and there are so many more materials available now.)

On Monday night, I took possession of a set of US West Wing Series Two DVDs, (The Ones With The Extra Features, as opposed to the UK ones which only have the episodes). The commentated episodes necessitate reading closed captioning while listening to the actors/directors, so while that was going on I mindlessly wound a couple of dozen skeins of browns and pinks into a nice big ball of yarn, and last night I knitted it up. Started with 9 stitches on straight 6mm needles; gradually increased on alternate rows in sections to 99 sts; then carried on on circulars (#10.5 Denises) and seamed the edge of the circular-shaped bit before felting. The finished pre-felted dimensions were 32 cm wide by 33 high. Then I whacked it into the washing machine at 60 degrees C, long wash, with a couple of bath-towels from the washing pile; et voilĂ . Here it is drying over a vase I made in a long-ago pottery class:

and here it is lounging about on the beautiful Christmas-present throw from Jan.

Finished dimensions are 22cm wide by 15cm high... I know Jan's done this before (and I have a couple of bags of Paternayan from her which I will also now play with) but I was unprepared for how completely and solidly tapestry wool felts in a single wash. Remarkable. I'm hooked. Next time I'll safety-pin some bubble-wrap into the middle though to stop the fabric felting to itself - gave me a couple of Bad Moments and has caused a lot of distortion to the edging...

In Cambridge-specific news, Sew Creative on King Street have restocked with a much larger range of Regia Sock Yarn than previously, having given the impression they'd stopped selling it. Got a couple of balls of this (Skater colourway) at lunchtime.


Wibbo said...

Tapestry wool felts fantastically well - the, er, vessel looks great! I usually crochet mine as crochet seems to distort less than knitting when it's washed. I've always preferred to crochet in the round, but I'm starting to get the hang of knitting with circs these days.

Rosie said...

Love the felted container! Have v. mixed feelings about Sew Creative getting more Regia in. I'm glad it is there but I mustn't get any more. Still, now that Jaycraft (Bury St Edmunds) is no more am very glad that SC is still trying new lines.