A couple weeks ago my sister-in-law told me “heavy wrists” are in style this season – the more bangles the better – so I decided to make some.
Late last year I made a few felted bracelets following a pattern someone else developed.
Some turned out really cute, but some wound up with a groove down the back where the edges curved in during felting. I knew there had to be a way to make smoother edges, so I created my own “pattern” by knitting and felting i-cord.
What’s i-cord, you ask? It’s a small tube of knitted fabric that looks kind of like knitted rope, and is often used as drawstrings or handles on bags.
Knitting i-cord is faster than knitting the same number of stitches in a flat piece since you never turn it. It’s sort of like a micro version of knitting in the round – using only two double-pointed needles.
My “pattern” is simple: knit about 12″ of i-cord from feltable wool yarn, then whip stitch the ends to form a circle. Some are made using 3-stitch i-cord, some with 5-stitch i-cord, a couple with 7-stitch i-cord.
Once you’ve knitted a few, pop them into a zipped laundry bag or into a pillow case tightly closed with rubber bands (I usually knot it, too). Set your washing machine for a small load and hot water. I like to add a tablespoon or so of baking soda to alleviate the “wet wool” smell. They might felt perfectly the first time, but sometimes it takes two or three cycles to achieve the look you want.
This is my trial batch, before felting:
The same bunch, after two feltings:
I put them on a marble rolling pin to dry because it seemed about the right circumference for bangles. It was perfect. My first batch was made with single stranded wool using size US 10.5 double-pointed needles. Next, I decided to try double stranding on size US 13 DPNs. That let me mix colors as desired. The result: slightly bulkier bracelets.
I kind of like mixing and matching the thicker and thinner bracelets. Pardon the odd angle, but it’s a bit tricky to take a photo of your own arm…
Heavy wrists might be in vogue, but I think I may have overdone it a bit. In my defense, they all went well with what I happened to be wearing that day.
If you’re a crocheter who’d like to try making felted bangles, let me know. Crocheted stitches don’t dissolve as nicely as knitted stitches, but I’m up for trying to test some ideas for crocheting some felted bangles, too.
Dyeing Easter eggs is messy. I don’t actually like hard boiled eggs, but I do like the symbolism they hold this time of year. That’s why I try to find different ways to bring eggs to the Easter table.
Similar patterns are probably available elsewhere online for crocheters, but crocheted stitches don’t always felt as smoothly as knitted stitches.
The eggs don’t use much yarn, making them a great way to use scraps – just make sure they’re wool, alpaca, mohair or other feltable fibers. Synthetics won’t felt.
You can incorporate shorter lengths of yarn by knitting stripes or patterns. Want larger eggs? Use two strands of wool and use larger needles. I even doubled white yarn with a strand made of short bits of random colors, which resulted in speckled eggs. I call those my duck eggs. Use more scrap wool to stuff the eggs if you want solid eggs, or stuff them with fiberfill that you can remove later if you want to hide candy inside. (I tried both. The solid ones turned out the best.)
The magic of felting comes after the knitting is done. Pop the pieces into a zippered laundry bag or pillow case, toss them into the washing machine using hot water…a little agitation and and these….
Looking at the eggs reminds me of the projects some of the yarn came from. I wonder who I’ve made things for can spot remnants of their bag, clogs or scarf among these eggs?
If you want to get really creative, try needle felting designs or names on the eggs. Carefully, of course.
What spring projects are you working on right now?
Happy I Love Yarn Day, everyone! It’s like Christmas for knitters, crocheters, weavers, felters and anyone who enjoys working or playing with yarn.
I am a yarn-a-holic.
The first clue? As a kid my favorite Dr. Seuss book was A Big Ball of String. (Second runner up: One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish.) What can I say? I never liked eggs or ham.
What do I love so much about yarn? Aside from obvious things like textures and colors, I love how each skein of yarn holds multiple possibilities.
Some yarns tell you what to make with them. Others sit there a while before you think of the perfect uses for them. Sweater. Scarf. Throw pillow. Afghan. Mittens. Hat. Wrist warmers. Cowl. Headband. Shawl. Lacy curtains. Toys. Bedspread. Table runner. Place mats. Socks. Dishcloth. Decorations. Even jewelry.
Yarn can be made of nearly any fiber. Some are natural fibers – cotton, wool, alpaca, soy, silk, even bamboo – others are man made. Some are blends. There are even yarns made of recycles fibers.
Along with macrame-ing the pool table pocket nets from worsted wool, here are a few things I’ve made from yarn in the last year or so:
Yarn is incredibly versatile stuff. No wonder I love yarn.
What are some of your favorite things made from yarn?
As far back as I can remember, I’ve loved the idea of making something from nothing. Well, maybe not from nothing, but by taking disparate elements and combining them into new and wonderful things.
Baking. Knitting. Writing. Felting. Crocheting. Scrap quilting. I enjoy all kinds of creative challenges, even when things don’t turn out precisely as planned. After all, creativity is a fluid thing so there’s always something to learn from a failed attempt.
I want this blog to be a place where we can share our creative pursuits, whatever they may be. I’ll post updates on my various projects and hope you’ll discuss yours as well.