Saturday, June 23, 2007

So much progress, it's almost too much progress...

So the Summer of Crafting is going along just about how we imagined it back during the Winter of Drudgery. I rushed to finish the camisole I talked about earlier, and since then I've knitted -- and felted! -- several other objects. First, the Fibertrends Felted Clogs in Knit Picks Wool of the Andes. These pictures of one of the pre-felted clogs are pretty much their own reward, so I won't comment much on them, except to say that while the clog has obviously shrunk considerably since the photo was taken, Hazel has progressed through a few dozen growth spurts. She has of course not yet fully emerged from her kitten cocoon, but she's much less pliable now and I'm not sure if she'd stand for such humiliation these days. I guess we will see when I knit another pair of these clogs, since I'm pretty certain that I will. In fact, I'm pretty certain I will knit several pairs -- if you're reading this, you'll probably get a pair. For these, I duplicate stitched my first initial in the contrasting color before felting, which gives the finished clog a nice Laverne-and-Shirley vibe, I think. I've got all kinds of ideas for how to embellish other pairs (but don't worry, I swear to you that none of them involve novelty yarns!) and I'm quite excited to get them underway, especially now that I've gotten a feel for felting in my apartment complex's crappy and expensive washing machine. Aside from the clogs, I also felted a navy blue oven mitt, this time in Wool of the Andes Bulky (see? I try new things -- this time it was bulky!), for Father's Day. I don't have pictures of that one, but it's just a big stiff navy blue glove, so you can probably imagine what it looks like. Instead, to prove what an impartial two-cat owner I am, I offer this photo of Joe inspecting the finished left clog.After my felting binge, I finished the Child's First Sock from the Nancy Bush book, however, aside from turning out far too small, they are so full of mistakes that I can't quite bring myself to photograph them. I also kind of hate the yarn I used; every time I look at it, I relive its scratchiness and tendency towards splitting. I may be exaggerating how badly these turned out -- we'll see how I feel in the fall when I try to wear them. Instead, I'd like to share with you my work on a Very Special Pair of Socks, during the knitting of which I have overcome many difficulties and learned some important lessons. Well, okay, only one of two socks is finished so there may still be more lessons to learn, but nevertheless I'm feeling pretty proud of myself. I used the Koigu I bought at School Products on our tour of NYC yarn stores and I have to admit that it really is just about as excellent as people say it is. I'd originally intended to knit up my Trekking Pro Natura but after considering a ridiculous number of patterns and failing utterly to get the toe of the Sherman Sock properly underway, I switched to the Koigu in an attempt to rouse myself out of the resulting funk. Luckily, an amazing Knitty tutorial, Amy Swenson's Universal Toe-Up Sock Formula, made everything click for me. I don't know enough about short-row heels and toes to judge whether there is anything particularly innovative about this pattern, but Amy's instructions, the Ridged Feather stitch pattern from Sensational Knitted Socks, and the magical Koigu have produced what has definitely been my best sock-knitting experience so far. I've just bound off the first sock, and I'm still jazzed enough to want to start the second one right away -- well, as soon as I weave in those ends.

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