Blog Archives

Here come the (felted) bangles!

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.

IMG_1135

My marble rolling pin made an excellent form for drying and shaping the bracelets. (I only set them on the wooden tray after they were thoroughly dry, and then only long enough to take a photo.)

Late last year I made a few felted bracelets following a pattern someone else developed.

IMG_1025

These were my first attempts, using the other pattern. I decorated a few with needle felting, but broke several felting needles because the bangles are so dense. Needle felt at your own risk.

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.

This is a 5-stich i-cord.

This is a 5-stich i-cord.

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:

IMG_1129

Looks like a bunch of hair scrunchies, huh?

The same bunch, after two feltings:

A bunch of little bangles, all in a row.

Like magic, the stitches seem to melt away during felting.

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.

These also took two feltings.

These also took two feltings.

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…

My favorite warm tone bangles...

Some of my favorite bangles all in a row!

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.

Turning scrap wool into a basket of Easter eggs

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.

Last year I stumbled upon a simple pattern for making felted Easter eggs. Well, it’s simple if you know how to use double pointed needles.

IMG_0541

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….

IMG_0534

shrink a little and solidify into these….IMG_0538

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?

I Love Yarn Day

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:

Wavy scarf (Alpaca blend)

Dan’s hockey socks

Felted Easter eggs (worsted wool)

Barbie’s “mink” (made of extra long fun fur / eyelash yarn)

My favorite afghan, then on the needles (wool-acrylic blend)

Reese’s hat & scarf (bulky wool roving)

A pile of Bohemian shawls (acrylic-wool blend medium weight roving)

Aidan’s knitted/woven toy ball (self-patterning acrylic yarn)

Sweater coat I’m wearing as I write this (super bulky acrylic)

Yarn is incredibly versatile stuff. No wonder I love yarn.

What are some of your favorite things made from yarn?

Starting From Scratch

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.

Dawson Dinners

A family of four sharing the planning, execution and enjoyment of the family dinner

Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions

A Place for Plans, Dreams, and Commitment

Roving Crafters

a place to share knitting, crocheting, and spinning adventures

Permacooking

Delicious ways to reduce food waste

alifemoment

Colourful Good Food & Positive Lifestyle

Lattes & Llamas

Home of the Geek-A-Long

WGN Radio 720 - Chicago's Very Own

Live and Local News, Talk, Sports, Traffic, Weather, Business, Blackhawks, White Sox, Northwestern

In Print Writers

Maintaining connections among writing friends

Genevieve Knits

A Blog for Vampire Knits and Once Upon A Knit

The Tommy Westphall Universe

The little boy, the snowglobe and all of television

theflexifoodie.wordpress.com/

Delicious plant-based, whole food recipes & my healthy living tips!

All Night Knits

Sleep All Day. Knit All Night.

UK Crochet Patterns

We seriously heart crochet and love to promote patterns in UK terms!

Funky Air Bear

Traditional & Modern Knits

Recording "Guitarrista!"

A topnotch WordPress.com site

Agujas

The Art of Knitting

Simply Flagstaff

A Blog About Getting Back to Basics

Cook Up a Story

Inspiration and Recipes for Growing Families

The Daily Varnish

The daily musings of two nail polish addicts.

Fika and more

Baking, living and all the rest

my sister's pantry

Eat food... real food

made by mike

Just another WordPress.com site

Chilli Marmalade

Adventures inside and outside my kitchen

In search of flavor

enriching the everyday

maggiesonebuttkitchen

Passionate about cooking and baking and love to share.

Doris Chan Crochet

Musings from Doris Chan, crochet designer, author, space cadet

Happiness Stan Lives Here

Notes from Nowhere Near the Edge

Just another WordPress.com site

Black Bear Journal

Just another WordPress.com site

Words on the Page

Just another WordPress.com site

Patons Blog - We've moved!

Patons Fans with Patons Yarns and Patons Patterns

%d bloggers like this: