Crafty Rantings

I'm Crafty. I Rant. These are Crafty Rantings!

Saturday, July 01, 2006


Here is what the bowl looked like before felting. It really was a gorgeous color!

Hopefully you can see the yellow/orange in with the red.

Here is what it looks like on the bowl still drying and you can see it's fuzzy but hasn't lost all its color. I think if I had felted until you couldn't see stitched anymore, it wouldn't have the color I like. It's not as vibrant but it's still there.

Felted Bowl - Part Deux

As I've said before, when I get it in my head to do something, I just keep at it until I do it. Well last night after admiring my small felted bowl all day long and thinking about the wonderful yummy wool my great Secret Pal sent me that was sitting in the bag with the cashmere and alpaca (hints someone on what I can make with these!), I said that I was definitely going to make a large bowl. I saw that the pattern called for 125 yards and the balls were 110 yards. Yikes! Well, I figured somehow it would work because even when I knit "loosely", it's still a lot tighter than most people. One ball was more greenish and the other was orange/red/yellow. I had no idea what it would look like together but I didn't really have any concerns because the other two matched so beautifully together that I knew no matter what, I'd like it. And once you felt it's kinda hard sometimes to tell what the original colors were anyway (hence I am really glad I took pictures!).

Because the large bowl starts with 55 stitches (small with 45) I knew that if I followed what Linda had done for the small one, I could make the large one fit on the circular without a problem. I did! Surprise! Anyway, I also made it through another session with the DDPs! I went out to the clothesline and took the two pair of now-dry jeans off the line. I had bought them at the thrift store just for felting. Thanks for that hint, again, Roni! Again, I took a picture of it before felting which I will post here. The bowl is not dry yet but I will also post a picture of it after felting. I'll post a picture of the bowl completely dry and the inside probably tomorrow. I ran it through the wash twice and yes, you can still see some of the stitches but I like that. I didn't want to lose too much size. And like the small one, it went down one size. I look at this one drying and think, "well probably one more time wouldn't hurt" but I just like it as it is and won't do anything more than let it dry. I suppose if I was going to give it away I might just so it would be totally fuzzy but still, I really like the bowl this way.

I can't stress enough how incredibly EASY these are to make. Maybe Roni and I should set up shop - she can make purses and I can make bowls. hehehehe. I am thinking that if I can get a good deal on some wool yarn on-line I might make a small and large set to give a couple of people I know who are hard to buy for. I am especially thinking about making some as birthday gifts. I know my friend Amy (who knits some, too) would probably like them. And someone else who I won't name (forget it Roni... you're so good at felting and EVERYTHING that once you make a set, you'll never stop!). These are addicting. They basically can be done in one night including the felting.

And now that I am starting to get over my intense hatred (now it's just a normal "I don't like you" relationship) with the DDPs, maybe I'll tackle another project or two out of the "One Skein" book.

Since blogger is having difficulties, I will try to post the pictures in another post.

Friday, June 30, 2006

The Felted Bowl

This is what the felted bowl looked like when it was done. This is the small version. It really DID look like a little hat. The loosely cast on stitches (necessary!) curled up and it looked like a hat with a rolled bottom. Truth be told, it really didn't take very long to knit and once it got to the decrease, it was done before I knew it! So that y'all can get an idea of what it looked like before and after, I thought I'd post both types of pictures. I probably should have taken one of the size bowl I used to display it in the before and after pictures but take in mind they are only one size different. I did not want to felt it into oblivion! Not after really, really, really wanting to do it and finally getting to it. Besides, I think that it turned out perfectly and I like the size. Now all I have to do is figure out what I could put into it. Christmas time I will put some silver ball ornaments in there to display instead of what I normally do.

So over to the right is the finished product. This is the bowl once it was felted. I ran it through the wash twice. I am not sure how well you can see that it is a little bit fuzzy (the way felted items are supposed to be!) or the color but it has a green rim and it's red/blue. To see the red/blue part better, here's a picture of the inside of the bowl, too.

Because this took very little time to make and it was fun and I *LOVE* the finished product, I am going to take the other yarn my Secret Pal sent me and make a LARGE felted bowl. If I have enough yarn left over from the two projects (she sent me 4! balls of this wonderful yarn!) then I may make another small one. BTW, the yarn that I used was Jojoland Rhythm color M24. One ball was more of a blue/green and the other was a red/green. The bowl is truly unique and fun and I have to say a BIG THANK YOU to my wonderful Secret Pal for sending me this great yarn and inspiring me to try making the felted bowl. Another thanks, again, to Linda and Brooke for making me jump into the unknown and doing it. I love you all!


Here's the tote I made. Not fancy and horrible writing but it was fun and hopefully the lady I'm spoiling will find some use for it. This will be in her second and final package which I will probably mail around the middle of next month.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

A Crafty Tale - Part Two

Part two begins with me going shopping for vacuum cleaner bags last night. No, I didn't get them. Duh! Forgot what size! So what do I do? The only thing I *can* do - I wander into the craft section.

I will be the first to tell you that when it comes to crafting ability there are two things I absolutely, positvely, beyond no doubt, cannot do even after lessons and years of trying - sew or draw. But I'll also tell you that it doesn't stop me if I get a bee in my bonnet. (Yes, I *do* occasionally wear hats and believe it or not, my dad raised bees when I was a kid so I know what that could be like!)

I got it into my head to make a tote for the lady I am spoiling as my secret pal for SP8. I spent WAY too much money on a set of 3 canvas totes (I take one every day to work and since nobody cares what they look like but me, I fabric paint on them and do silly things and they're personalized but mine) and fabric paint in glitter colors and then the kind that makes beads. I also bought a ton of different novelty kind of buttons, and thread to sew them on.

Last night when I got home I did what I was going to with the glitter paint. Tonight I embellished with buttons and more fabric paint. It looks like a 6th grader did it but it's definitely personalized and unique and if she doesn't like it (I wouldn't blame her, really), oh well. It was something I did just for fun. Something I did because I want her to know I wanted to do something out of the ordinary. She could very well look at it and go, "Oh yuck! What was she THINKING?!?" and that's OK. I had fun doing it and designing it. I will post a picture when I post the pictures of the bowl from Part One.

My theory has always been that it doesn't matter if it's ugly and you hate it and never use it. If it's homemade it means someone took their time and cared enough about you to do it and that THAT feeling means more to the crafter who made it than whether you liked it or not. It's being able to GIVE that is a reward. It's being able to SHARE whatever amount of talent, large or small, that God gave to you. It's being CARING that matters.

I think the lady I have knows that. She spins and dyes and cares deeply for her husband and pets. She can use it to carry potting soil. She can throw it in the back of the closet. But I don't think she will. She crafts. Crafty people like even the ugliest gifts. Don't you think so?

A Crafty Tale - Part One

This tale has two parts. The first begins this past Sunday when the Knitting Circle gathered at Julie's house (you can see pictures on her blog and this reinforces why Opus the penguin is the picture of me instead of anything typical). In the past I have referred to double pointed needles as the DDPs - Dreaded Double Pointeds. I really am *not* a fan of them. Yes, I know they're very useful for small projects and everyone can be converted eventually. Me? Let's just say I have learned to tolerate them for finishing off projects but certainly NOT for doing an entire project on which will tell you why I have no interest in knitting socks. :)

So it is Sunday, the KC is having a CHAMPS gathering (Julie explains this, too, but if you can't get to her blog - I know I should add links to the other KC members but I'm waiting until after SP8 is done - CHAMPS stands for Chicks (or Crafters if you prefer) Having A Movie and Potluck Session). We watched a great chick flick ("The Family Stone"), cried, ate, laughed, talked, shared recent events and helped each other with our projects. To that end, my dear friend Linda who is the only other person in our group who casts on by knitting on her stitches very kinds cast on the stitches for a small felted bowl for me. The pattern comes from the "One Skein" book and the yarn was from my secret pal. Wonderful, fabulously supportive Brooke told me I would be making the bowl or else because I have talked about doing it since I got the yarn from my secret pal and just couldn't seem to get started. Roni, our felting goddess, hasn't made a bowl yet so being the first one in the group to try one, I have to say, this is not only new and unexplored territory, it was something I was finally making for ME for a change and I was, for the first time, really, really excited.

I went home and picked it up again after only doing about 3 rows at Julie's because I was too engrossed in the movie. I was about 8 rows in when it suddently dawned on me that the darn thing was TWISTED! But because Linda had cast them on very, very loosely so they would fit on my circular, I was able to literally rip everything out down to that row and pick up every single stitch without a problem!

This morning I measured and I was at the point where you begin to decrease. First row, no problem. Down to 35 stitches. It's really stretched but it's ok. Row two is just knit. Still ok. Row three, however, we're going down to 25 stitches. Yup, time to face the DDPs.

OK my KC friends, you will NOT believe this but not only did I NOT dread using them, I was anxious to because it meant I would very soon be done with my bowl. So with 4 DDPs in hand, I did it! I had to sew the bottom just a tiny bit because it wasn't as tight as I would have liked and I want the bottom to already be together the way I want before I felt it.

Tomorrow I have the day off. I am going to get my hair done, go to lunch or shopping if I'm so inclined and whenever I get home (might be the man of steel coming into my life - gotta be fictional because those are the only kind that can deal with me these days!) I am going to felt the bowl. I will then post before and after pictures. I have purchased a couple smaller plastic bowls and so I have plenty to choose from for stretching size.

The yarn is so gorgeous! I used two skeins together, one navy-ish and the other red-ish but they both start out with this green so the bowl is going to have almost a border at the top. The two colors together are really, really beautiful. I can hardly wait to see what it's like when it's done! Right now it looks like a hat so when I take the before picture I'm gonna stretch it over a bowl so the picture will have it looking the right shape.

Secret pal, you did a wonderful thing sending me this beautiful yarn! I was inspired to try a new pattern, tackle the DDPs and finally make something for ME. YOU ARE WONDERFUL!

And this concludes part one of the Crafty Tale.

Monday, June 26, 2006


This is the white shell afghan I recently made and sent to my daughter. I love this pattern because it's so easy and so beautiful. Now I am on the lookout for a very easy pattern for a hat (baby or adult) that I can do on straight needles. Every pattern I see these days calls for either circular or double pointed and while I don't mind the circular, the DDPs and I just aren't all that friendly. So maybe if I have time this week on my day off (Friday!) I will cruise the net to see what's out there. It's still way too hot for me... this is July weather, not June! Weather report just said it's going to be 100 or higher for yet another week. You'd think I'd lose some weight all this melting I'm doing but alas, I don't think so. Hope I can knit a little this week despite the heat!