Saturday, July 30, 2005

Blocking before seaming

Alright, so general consensus is that I should block the vines and leaves sweater before I seam it. I'm still working on the sleeves and DH leaves town tonight for a conference so I'm hoping to finish this adorable little sweater before the end of the weekend, if possible.

I'm also working on the Button Hole Bag from the right nav bar of I started this bag last night. I picked four colors because I wanted to have them blend from one color to the next and frankly I couldn't just pick three like the pattern recommends. I finished all the way up through the top shaping last night and then I did the handle (light blue) this morning. That includes taking the time to make all four colors into two balls. DH was kind enought his morning to hold the final hank while I wound. FYI: I used four hanks of Cascade 220 and I still have enough left for another bag in the reverse color pattern.

I've never made anything felted before. So, rather than following the directions on the pattern, though they're just fine, I pulled my copy of Beverly Galeska's Felted Knits off the book shelf.

I dumped the bag into the wash with an old pair of jeans and a capful of Eucalan. I set the washer on HOT wash/ Cold rinse, fine washables water level (extra small) but the book says don't spin and rinse because it can make creases in the felt. Initially, I set it on a short wash and here is the bag once the draining started.

As you can see the bag is still really big. It's about 2/3rds it's original size. So I re-filled the washer and set the cycle on "Power Wash" -- this means Exxxxttra loooongg agitation cycle.

Here's the outcome after about 7 minutes more felting. This second stage happened FAST!!

I went in to check on it and WOW! Pull it out!! Quick!!

Look at the difference with the size of the pen.
I was really hoping that the color changes would be more subtle, but oh well. I was under the impression that color changes in the sample BH Bag in the instructions was smoother too but it's really just a straight line.

Even DH was impressed with this one. I've got a lime green towel in it to help keep it's shape while it dries. When I took it out of the wash, I rolled it in another towel and kneeled on it to get as much of the water out of it as I could. I also stretched it while it was wet so it would be a little bigger. I didn't follow the pattern exactly either, my finished non-felted bag was about 5 rows larger than the pattern suggests. Beverly Galeskas says that if you want to shape something felted you've got to do it while it's still wet or you're doomed (okay, she didn't say the doomed part). The next one I think is going to be even deeper with my leftover yarn.

Here's a quick side shot.
Tonight I'm going to finish the sleeves on my vines and leaves sweater and block the pieces. I'm hoping to get it done this weekend, I just needed some instant gratification after so many little stitches on little needles. Wish me luck!!


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