Hedgehog, Ho!

There’s something amazing yet slightly terrifying about felting something that you’ve knitted. I still feel a bit of worry, a moment of hestitation, before I ‘casually’ toss the pillowcase in the water and hit the buttons to start things churning.

Granted, most of the items I’ve felted to date have only taken four to ten hours to knit, meaning I won’t be losing a month’s worth of effort if something goes wrong. Still, there’s that moment, however brief it may be.

I think that feeling is worse with the felted toys. By the time I’m done knitting and seaming them, they have already begun to develop a sense of character, of “personality” if you will, that I would hate to lose.

Fortunately, watching the piece literally take shape during successive progress checks quickly replaces any concern with a real sense of excitement and accomplishment. It’s that process, that transformation, that makes felting so very appealing to me.

Hedgehog Notes

Knitting this little guy was fun and rather satisfying. The front is completed first, which means that almost immediately you can begin to see a reflection of the final character.

Then, after picking up the stitches all the way around, the ordering of the short rows means that you are basically knitting the back from the top down, as if your hedgehog pal were growing a shell like a turtle. It makes it very easy to tell how far you’ve come (and how far you have to go!).

The piece knits fairly quickly, with total knitting time around the 5 1/2 to 6 hour mark. Best yet – there’s no real seaming to do before felting – just baste the opening closed.

I finished and felted the little guy on Wednesday, and he’s been patiently drying in the spare bathroom since then. I still need to add eyes and a nose – either buttons or crewel work – then restuff him and sew his little behind closed.

A-Froggin’ We Will Go

Months (and months) ago, I picked up a single skein of the absolutely gorgeous Fuchsia Red and Green hand dyed wool by Rio de la Plata. I just couldn’t resist the softness, the glorious colors, the thick-and-thin structure.

With only one skein in hand (stash), I figured best use would be a scarf, right? I wanted to find a stitch that would show off the colorway and the quality best, so I pulled out my stitch dictionaries and eventually settled on a travelling rib pattern.

I knitted up the first six inches or so, and then put it aside as other projects took over.

And it sat, and it sat, and it sat. And I’d lose track of the project bag, then find it again, pull it out and look at it, and fail to continue.

So that wonderful yarn was just sitting there, forlorn and nearly forgotten, and I wasn’t really sure why.

Yesterday, however, I decided it was finally time to do something about it. I found the bag, pulled out the scarf-in-progress, looked at it, I held it against my cheek, sniffed it and fondled it. 🙂

And then I frogged it.

I think, ultimately, I just wasn’t that happy with the selected stitch. It really calls for something else (perhaps a woven stitch of some kind)? So now the (very kinked) yarn is all back in a ball, where it will sit for (hopefully) only a little while longer, while I ponder on patterns again.

But somehow I feel better about it all, knowing that it’s now a ball with potential, not a scarf that will languish.

Just Before Frogging

Stash Afghan W.I.P.

Remember this post?

Well, anyway, I restarted my stash afghan without the extra cream base yarn, and I’m a lot happier with the results so far. I’m using the “roll 2 dice to figure out what to knit” method, where one die represents the accent yarn to use, and one represents the number of rows.

Purse W.I.P.

I knitted up the mitered purse from the “Yarn Stash Workbook,” and am now stuck trying to teach myself how to do a row of reverse single crochet around the edge of the top and the flap.

I’ve reviewed every book/magazine I have that has pictures of crochet stitches. I asked a friend who used to do crochet at class on Saturday, and we thought we’d figured it out. When I went home and tried it myself, however, I ended up pulling it out and starting over a half dozen times, because it just didn’t look right. Grawr.

I probably need to pull out my practice yarn and just do a swatch of regular crochet rows, then finish off with a reverse crochet row for practice, with yarn that’s easier to see than the stuff I used for the purse. But if anyone knows any helpful references online, let me know. 😀

p.s. If I ever get the edging done, last steps are to do a braided strap (three 3-stitch pieces of I-cord). I’ll probably add a button or something to the flap, since I didn’t include beads on the first row, and thus it may not stay closed just by its weight alone.

Hedgehog Progress

Finally got back to this little guy yesterday, just long enough to pick up the stitches for the back and do the first 5 rows. I decided to start with the gray wool plus chocolate fur, then switch to the brown wool after a row or two, to hopefully give a bit of a blended edge to the whole furry back thing. 🙂

Knitting time to date: 4 hours
Next steps: All the lovely short rows, round and round and round 😀