Friday, March 30, 2007

Fee! Fie! Felt! Fun!

I knitted this entrelac tote from a KnitPicks pattern.

Then I felted it in the washing machine.
No kidding.
It really did decrease in size - a lot more than I expected it to.
It was quite a shock to see just how small and tight a clump of wool there was in that zippered pillowcase that I pulled out of the washing machine...

I had to push shove stretch and pry that tight little stubborn wad of felted material $#@!*&?@!*&%#@!! into submission - so it would look something like a tote.
To make matters worse, I'd forgotten to put plastic bags into the holes for the I-Cord handles before felting it, so the holes that I'd knitted in on purpose closed up when the tote felted.
So after the bag air-dried for a few days, I had to cut holes for the handles to go in - which is not as alarming as one might think, because felted wool cuts without a hitch.

Besides the Felt! and the Fun! there was a fair amount of Frustration!

Compared to the felted entrelac totes (from the same pattern) that other students in my knitting class made, mine is definitely tighter, smaller and quite a bit on the cattywompus side of the knitting fence.

However, let us accept this:
That the misshapen, the off-kilter and the full-o-little-patched-up-holes end product is more often than not ~ the result of my creative process. Yet it turned out OK.
Actually, now that I'm over the drama of the felting, I'm beginning to like that sweet little bitty tote more and more each day.

Perfection in all things creative has ... and will always ... continue ... to elude me.


Lauren said...

despite all your frustration with the felting process, i think your bag turned out BEAUTIFUL!! it doesn't look a thing like the pre-shrunken version- how did those loose shapes turn into such perfect diamonds? well done, i'm quite impressed.

Conn said...

now that is AMAZING! is that wool yarn? what kind / brand did you use? size needles? i'm so inspired.
now which box did i pack all my artsy fartsy craft supplies in?

baffle said...

It IS pretty amazing how those loose n' lumpy rectangles turned into 'perfect' diamond shapes post felting, isn't it?

This was the first time for me knitting entrelac.
With all the color changes, there were lots of ends to weave back into the work - but that won't stop me from giving this pattern another go again.

Yarn used: 'Wool of the Andes' (worsted weight) from Knitpicks.
Any wool yarn will do, so long as all the yarn in the one project is the same type/ weight. That is - all from the same company and all worsted, all dk, all sport.
If it isn't, the thing will felt irregularly.

Even more irregularly than mine!
(could prove 'artsy' though)

Size 10.5 - 24" circular needles.
You can always play around with needle size - but do go bigger, not smaller.