I have tried to keep up with everything, and knitting hasn’t been a top priority.  Since, I finished the Felted Heating Pad, I’ve been a little stuck.  I want to make a lacy scarf with a very fine yarn, but I it is not easy.  I have to try to memorize the eyelet pattern so I don’t mess it up to severely.

On my way home, I stopped by the library and to my surprise- grabbed Stitch ‘n Bitch Crochet, The Happy Hooker.  And no- I haven’t found a new way to support my yarn addiction.  I can crochet, but not well.  When I was a little girl my mother tried to teach me, and I refused to listen to her.  She went away for the weekend and when she returned, I had crocheted a pair of slippers.  I can make many things, as long as they aren’t square and don’t require a pattern.  This weekend’s yarn goal will be to learn the basics of crochet.  I’ll report back to you soon.

Felted Heating Pad 2010-01

We all have aches and pains and what a great way to soothe them than with a heating pad.  To create your own knitted or felted heating pad, begin with natural fiber.  Acrylics are likely to melt with heat.  If you are not sure how the material will react to heat, make a swatch and apply a hot pan to it.  If it melts/scorches, don’t use it.  If felting, use 100% wool.  Other materials will not felt as well.

For the heating pad above, choose three colors of 100% wool yarn.  I used Galway from Gabriella’s knit shop.  Gauge does not really matter because of the shrinkage, but the gauge in this case was 5 stitches x 4 rows = 1 inch with size 7 needles. 

Cast on 50 stitches.

With colors A,B,C

Row 1:  K2A, K1B, K2A, continue to end

Row 2: P1A, P1B, P1C, P1A, continue to end

Row 3: K1A, K3C, K1A, continue to end

Row 4: P1A, P3C, P1A, continue to end

Row 5: K1A, K1B, K1C, K1A, continue to end

Row 6: P2A, P1B, P2A, continue to end

Work these six rows until it measures about 14×9 inches.

Work another panel as you did above.

Sew these two with right sides together leaving a small section 2-3 inch section open.

Turn so that right side is facing out.

Throw it in a pillowcase rubberbanded closed or zippered shut.  Place in washer machine to felt.  To felt, put washer machine on lowest water setting with highest heat setting and use a pair of jeans or tennis balls to help with agitation.  Put  longest cycle and check regularly.  Finished project should be about 11×7 inches, unless otherwise desired.  If necessary, let machine cycle again- do not let it go into rinse cycle.  Take felted project out, rinse manually, and allow to completely dry.  (See my entry on felting

Fill with buckwheat husks (better at maintaining heat), rice, or beans.  Sew up the small hole and toss in microwave.  Relax.


Before - Felting
After - Felting

Materials: 100% wool, pillow case, rubber band, top loading washer machine, hot water   

  • First pick out a 100% wool yarn.  Make sure it is not superwash.  You can check the label.  It should say whether it is feltable.  If you are not sure, make a swatch to felt beforehand to double-check.
  • Create a swatch to test how much it will shrink.  

(It is a great way to determine how big to make your item, but I’m lazy and never do this).  

  • Put your project into a pillow case and close with a rubber band.  This will protect your washer machine from the fuzzies that come off. 
  • Set the washer machine to the lowest water setting and set to highest temperature and longest possible cycle. 
  • Some instructions tell you to add detergent.  I find that there is enough residue in the washer that no more detergent is necessary.
  • Place project in pillow case into washer machine.  (Fuzz comes off the project during the cycle and can damage your machine if not placed in protective case.) Check project often.  I usually check after twenty minutes and then every ten minutes there after.  Do not let the washer enter the rinse cycle.  If project is ‘felted’ enough, restart agitation cycle again and keep checking!  You’ll be surprised how quickly those slippers can turn into doll’s clothes!
  • When your project is the right size, take it out of the washer and rinse the detergent residue off. 
  • Place somewhere to dry.  If you want a specific shape (like a big square purse) wrap a box or something related to the shape in a plastic bag and place in your item.  As it dries, your project will hold that shape.
  • Enjoy

Misti Alpaca Socks

Misti Alpaca Socks

The Sunday after Christmas, a few members of my family and I went into Manhattan to see a few sites and of course- to visit a knit shop!  After seeing Rockefeller Center and FAO Schwartz, we headed down to 79th Street to visit Knitty City.  The shop was cute.  It was a long narrow without a lot of space, as all places in Manhattan are short on space, but there were still comfortable niches to hang out in.  My mother bought me a skein of Misti Alpaca hand painted sock yarn.  I had plans of designing a shawl from it and it would be the best thing ever.  I started and frogged repeatedly until I finally relented and went to the website.  I knitted a pair of socks off their basic pattern, and they are the most comfortable socks I have ever worn.  The last few days have been so cold in the new office, I’ve now taken to wearing these.  They truly are better than slippers.

Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone.  Valentine’s day is meant to celebrate the love.  If you didn’t receive flowers or chocolates or perfume this year, you are not alone.  When my husband and I first met, I discovered that his former girlfriend had not given him a card because it was a girl’s holiday and this upset him.  For our first Valentine’s Day together I gave him about 20 cards.  They were all less than $1, but the sentiment was there.  That day was a disaster.  I can’t think of a good V-day before or after meeting my sweet heart.  It seems we are always broke and unable to celebrate the materialistic side of the holiday.  I know it is a hallmark holiday.

Anyway, I hope I’m not bumming too many people out.  I’m in a bit of a funk lately and need to snap out of it.  I should have knit my honey a heart, but wasn’t really into it.  I am working on something now that I think will turn out fantastic with a new pattern to post, but I’d rather not jinx it too early.

I did also start posting to the stitch library.  Please visit my page and click on stitch library at the top to see more.  So far I have stockinette, garter, seed, double seed, rib and double rib.  I can’t wait to add more.  I need a better way to take pictures so they show better. 

Happy Valentine’s Day to all today.  Show someone you love them anyway you can.

Knit Therapy

There is a reason that I latched onto knitting so long ago.  Knitting and crocheting are great for stress relief and depression.  The repetitive motion is soothing.  It is like watching tv with white noise.  The mind blanks out.  The world, its stresses, the rambling unending thoughts dissipate.  It’s an escape- even if temporary.  It’s also great because you are creating something and can find fulfillment in that.  It is also cheaper than therapy, unless of course you love really expensive yarn.  Think productive meditation!

I also knit in the car to keep my eyes off the road while my hubby is driving.  I think it helps our marriage in many ways- especially to keep me from backseat driving.  Well, most of the time it does.  It’s a portable hobby and still becoming more trendy.  It is even easier to learn in the age of YouTube and the internet.  Anything you’ve ever wanted to know is at your fingertips.