Here is the completed Hopkins. It is a big, boxy, cozy, wooly sweater, and I will be glad of it come autumn, but for now it is heading for a high shelf.

It is basically the Siv pattern from Viking Patterns for Knitting by Elsabeth Lavold, done in Wool Ease on size 3 needles. I reworked the sleeves, left off the cables, and added colorwork from Alice Starmore’s Celtic Collection — three different charts.

And yes, we did go camping. I am going to post pictures, too, in a day or so. We did the hike, the swimming, the s’mores, and all the rest of it. We noticed the thunder and darkening clouds while waiting for the cardboard boat race on the lake, and got back to the campsite and packed up our tent and gear and got into the car just as the heavens opened up and the thunderstorm began.

We were disproportionately proud of ourselves for this.

The Sophie bag is also completed. I made it according to the pattern, except that I bound off the short bits at the point where it says to bind off the long bits, and added 5 rows of garter stitch to each of the long bits. Then, after felting it, I sewed in these tortoiseshell handles. I also doubled the bottom of the bag. I just turned it inside out, picked up stitches along the side of the base, knitted across, and bound off while picking up at the other side. I sewed the open edges.  I think this will help it to keep its shape. Then I felted it in the washer and dryer. It was done in Paton’s Classic Wool on size 8 needles, and is therefore smaller than the original, but I had only a few yards of yarn left, so that was the right size to make it. I like it very much.

We also made a hat. We used a Harrisville kit. You put a Gertie ball into a bowl and cover it in particular ways with fleece. It begins pretty quickly to look like a little wool monster of some kind. Then you cover it with several pairs of de-limbed pantyhose. 


Then you saturate it in hot soapy water and dribble it around like a basketball. This is the most humorous part of the process, as you chase the ball around. We ended up dribbling it in the bathtub, on the patio, and then shoving it into the empty cooler (we had it out, as we were packing for the camping, but hadn’t filled it yet) and bouncing it around.

When you finish that, you have felt. You deflate and remove the ball, and then comes the fulling and shaping. I can tell that this is the part requiring skill, and we will doubtless become better at this as we go along. I will confess that we used the washer and dryer to hurry the process up. The directions call for doing the whole thing by hand, but we got bored too quickly and cheated.

And we ended up with a hat, as you can see. It is too small for the watermelon which is posing with it here, but fits human heads just fine. We have the materials for half a dozen of these, which should be enough for us to become experts. I think they’ll make good holiday gifts, or at least a nice addition to the woolies basket. The fleece comes in hot or cool variegated pieces, so using this kit means that you will have a variegated hat, but once you have the concept you could certainly substitute any wool you have hanging around. I’m going to felt a knitted hat, too, I think, as I have a a skein of gray Classic Wool left. I think it will be interesting to compare the two processes and their results.

I go back to work tomorrow, so today will be a re-entry day. I have to do laundry and clean house and stuff like that, so that I can start my workweek with serenity rather than chaos. I also intend to stuff as much lolling as possible into this last day.