Before and After
I have never been a big felter. I clearly haven't discovered the joys other felters experience and so, when I had a couple of swaps coming up, I decided I would felt gifts. As part of the Knitting Vacation Swap we were to include a knitted project. I had recently purchased the Mason-Dixon Knitting Book and one of the projects I liked in the book were the Felted Boxes. These are the finished knitting but not yet felted boxes. They are not to gauge (which I couldn't achieve but wasn't too stressed about anyway) but they were a totally quick knit. This is the midway point. Knit in Brown Sheep I knew they would felt rather quickly which, in a small amount of water and a with a few of Nick's new tennis balls, they did. I had to think about the best way to dry them so they would be as square as possible. I actually put them on several layers of towels and used some square/rectangular plastic containers I had and left them for a day or two. They are thick and after a couple of days were only somewhat wet - this was also in the middle of our lovely heat and humidity wave - but I had to get them out soon and they needed to dry. With the help of some A/C they did eventually dry out. Next step was some shaving. I admit the look on Ed's face when I asked him to buy me a package of disposable razors so I could shave my felting was worth it - although not as much as Nick thinking I had bought the razors for him to shave with(as if)! So, these are the finished boxes. I think they turned out rather well. They do fit inside one another which is kind of cool. I hope my Vacation Swap Pal enjoys these. She did say that red is one of her favourite colours - I do think I delivered on that score. Sorry - I could not post the finished photo so I will display in a separate post. (See below). The other swap, the Knitters Tea Swap, kind of begged for a tea cozy even though we did not have to knit anything and most of the tea cozies I have seen I haven't really liked. In Vogue Knitting Felting there is a felted tea cozy so I decided to give it a try. This is the tea cozy knit but not felted. It is knit with Noro Kureyon in Colour 146. Knitted it is huge. Noro takes forever to felt. So against all recommendations for personal safety reasons I used at least three kettles of boiling water to help jack up the hot factor. I must admit that, given my predisposition for clumsiness and general spastic behaviour, my ability to get the kettle to the washer three times without spilling was impressive. The tennis balls really helped as well (they are for road hockey so I wasn't feeling as if I would be taking some edge off the performance of the balls by washing them for an hour or so). The biggest problem I faced was the continuing ginormous size of the sucker. While it was shrinking around, it was not shrinking enough in length, no matter what I did. So, once it was dry, I cut it to the right length. I think next time what I would do is guestimate the length and do a rolled up bottom in order to compensate for this problem. Thanks to the suggestions of Ann and Jean-Anne I ended up doing a blanket stitch around the bottom and both the handle and spout edges just to give a more finished edge. Next was the decorating (okay I had already started when I did the blanket stitching). I was not putting the ribbons on the tea cozy that were called for in the pattern. At the same time I really didn't factor how many buttons I would be sewing on - close to 50. Still, I think it turned out okay and I hope my tea swap pal likes it.