Don’t Point that Thing at Me My adventures in felting began when my husband machine washed and dried a Harrisville highland wool Viking sweater I had spent 6 weeks knitting. Yes, it is a sad story. I will give you a minute to compose yourself.
I saw a picture of a throw made from recycled sweaters in Natural Home magazine, and felted up a few more sweaters, cut them up, and made a throw which I like very much. Later, I made a couple of Christmas gifts by knitting and then felting. These have been my felting successes. They have something in common: all of them started out as nice ordinary knitting (the gifts were 5 stitches to the inch in the first place) and were then felted just to make that good thick non-stretchy fabric out of them. It didn’t really matter what size they ended up, and the shapes were determined either before or after the felting.
In between these felting successes, however, I also had a great felting failure. I bought the ubiquitous felted clogs pattern and some Lamb’s Pride and knitted up a couple of gargantuan slippers.They were in an enormous gauge, too, about 2.5 to the inch — very loose and floppy.
I felted them. While both are clogs, and each is fine in its own way, they are absolutely not a pair. They are probably destined to be cut up and sewn into something. although I still imagine that I might make a third, hoping that it will match one of the first two.
However, before I try that, I intend to make a new pair. This time I will use a different pattern. I will pay close attention, stopping to count stitches and generally to be as knitting-geek-like as I can. I will take notes on which choices I made when there were choices in the pattern. I will read all the information on felting, so that I will have the science of it clear in my mind. Then I will felt them carefully, stopping the machine every few minutes to check on them.
In order to do all this precise work, I will have to take on some other personality. In Don’t Point That Thing at Me, a character is described as having “only two personalities.” I have only one, myself, so I was a little confused by that. But my personality is not suited to counting, or to following directions exactly. I will seek out some precise and capable alter-ego. Clearly, a pirate is not what’s needed here. I will have to become someone like Natalie http://knitting.xaviermusketeer.com/ , who is more precise about her knit-washing than I am about my knitting, and has perhaps the only non-frilling DNA scarf in existence. Or like my Aunt Perfect, who has no dust behind her piano, even when she is out of town. I mention these two ladies because both are also happy and fun. I don’t want to channel someone like the author of Another Knitting Blog http://mimoknits.typepad.com/ , who does beautiful work, but seems to be rather depressed all the time. After all, you never know when you might get stuck with the other personality you have borrowed for the nonce.
I am making the new clogs in a wonderful sea green, in the Classic Wool which feels so good to work with. This way, even if I fail miserably and end up only with more scraps for coasters, I will still enjoy the process. I am getting on with my second DNA scarf, which is in a finer yarn than the first and so is being a somewhat different experience. And I have one day left to devote to cleaning and baking and such before Mary Alice arrives tonight. My mother always told me, the goal in housework is not to make it look as though you have just cleaned, but to make it look as though you always clean. Since I actually do clean on a regular basis, I am mostly just having to deal with the inevitable evidences of daily life, plus those areas that tend to get overlooked — well, by me, at least. When I bring in that new personality to help me with the clogs, I may find that she is the kind of person who mops the laundry room floor regularly.