Work in Progress Wednesday – Felted Bowls

This last week I finally started making some felted bowls. Since most of my yarn is feltable wool I was going to try making some bowls. So far I’ve only tried one of a few patterns I’ve bookmarked.

Patons SWS in Natural DenimI tested the initial pattern with a wool soy blend so it doesn’t felt quite as quickly or easily as pure wool. It is Patons SWS in Natural Denim. The blend is 70% wool and 30% soy. I really do like the color combination and look. I’m planning on trying to felt it a bit more than I have so far.

Felted BowlsThe second bowl hasn’t been felted yet and is made with a larger bottom and I made it slightly longer. The felted bowl also has a few more rows than the pattern called for. I’ve got enough yarn to do one more bowl, so I’ll end up with a set of three.

If you are interested in the pattern it can be found here.

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Potholders

After moving into my new apartment I realized I didn’t have any potholders (something as a lover of baking I couldn’t live without).  I knew that I had some at one point that my mother had made, but I couldn’t find them in any of the boxes I had initially brought with me.  So I decided that I would make myself some.  I figured it would be a quick weekend job.  I mentally went over my stash of cotton yarn, eyed the Michael’s ad, and then did something I really shouldn’t have.  I went and bought some new yarn even though I had decided that I was going to work through the yarn I had before buying anything new.

The only justifications I can give are that the yarn was under a dollar a skein and that I was going to use it right away.  All of which meant I spent less than $4 on the four Lily Sugar’n Cream skeins of cotton yarn and that I would be making that initial chain right way.

And to be honest, I also wanted to use colors that I would enjoy for years to come.  So I ended up with Warm Brown and Red.  If the store had had more than two skeins of the Warm Brown in the same dye lot, I probably would have bought enough to make a couple dishcloths, placemats, coasters and so on.  Although the only things I’d probably end up actually using would be the dishcloths and potholders.

So, the day after acquiring the new yarn I set to work. My quick weekend project ended up turning into a three month ordeal. Having only recently gotten back into crocheting, my hands weren’t quite up to the task.  I finished two within a week, but the last two took quite a bit longer.  I also visited my mother, found a box I had missed which contained the four potholders she had given me in college, and then I found out one of my friends and his wife were moving into a new place.  So, being as I actually wanted to use up my stash, I brought over all the other Lily Sugar’n Cream yarn I had and let them pick their colors.

Lily Sugar'n Cream Hot Blue and Mod Green potholders
Lily Sugar’n Cream Hot Blue and Mod Green potholders

It took me about a three weeks to finish off their potholders.  But I had a nice deadline to push for, so I didn’t dally as much as I had been with mine after finding my old potholders.  I was also happy to find that this new set of potholders was a much more consistent size then the two I had made for myself so far.  And it meant that I now had 4 less skeins of yarn in my stash. They are also the second gift I’ve made from my yarn stash since the beginning of the year.

Lily Sugar'n Cream Warm Brown and Red Potholders
Lily Sugar’n Cream Warm Brown and Red Potholders

I eventually did end up returning to my own potholders after I found out about the knitting and crochet group meeting twice a month at the yarn shop near my new apartment.  I’m happy to say that I finished them, love the colors and was able to show them off at my birthday party over the weekend.  And now I really wish that I could have bought more of those two colors so that I could deck out my kitchen in these beautiful colors.

If you are interested in making your own potholders, I mainly followed Miss Abigail’s pattern, but I used the starting chain of 31 since I wanted a slightly larger potholder.  These potholders are extra thick as you are crocheting through a loop from the current row and the previous row.

Afghans!

The first thing I every crocheted, outside of just making chains for miles, was an afghan.  Unfortunately that afghan has since passed on and was much loved and cherished.  Since I moved to Texas I didn’t think I’d ever make another one again, at least not till I moved back to a cooler climate.  But then I wanted to do something special for my dad when he got remarried.

BlanketThus we have my first ever knitted afghan.  This also happened to be the first project I’ve actually done since moving to Texas almost three years ago and it was done last year, before I had decided that I needed to start knitting and crocheting more often.  All the yarn for the project was bought specifically for it as I wasn’t working on emptying out my hoard yet.  I also don’t have a whole lot of blue in my stash, but it’s my dad’s favorite color, so I had to buy something just for him.

Considering that knitting is not really my strong suit and it had been 2 years since I had actually handled yarn in any fashion other than to move it out of the way, I’m pretty proud of the results.  I also don’t anticipate that I’ll be making any more afghans soon, not to mention I don’t have very many skeins that would work well together, so I was a little sad to leave this behind when I visited my dad in Colorado.

But it does give me something to look forward to when I get my stash down to zero.  It means I can go buy yarn and I can make myself a new afghan since the only ones I have are ones that were made by my mother.  There’s just something about having something that was made by me, for me.

Yarn, all the yarn…

20150803_212514I have a lot of yarn, maybe not as much as some people. But for someone who, on average, has only been completing about one project a year, I have way too much. I have already improved on this figure having finished two new projects and completing an old one. I mostly crochet these days, but I’ve also done a few knitting projects in the past. I didn’t actually learn to knit until my 20’s. I had tried as a kid when my mother first taught me how to crochet, but it was beyond my ability. It was probably in large part due to the fact that I have a tendency to knit pretty tightly so it was difficult to squeeze a needle in.

20150803_212435At the beginning of this year I knew that at some point in the coming months I would be moving into a much smaller space. I would no longer have room for what probably accounted for 3 large tubs of yarn. I have since whittled it down to two tubs with a few baskets with projects in them. At the moment I have two projects I’m actively working on and about 3 old projects I need to assess and decide if I want to finish them or do something different with the yarn.

20150803_212332All this yarn is of course still too much.  I don’t have room for it.  The yarn all hides under my bed which is sitting on risers so that the tubs will actually fit underneath. The yarn is also only one portion of my craft hoard. I have several containers full of beads and beading materials. I have a few boxes of scrapbooking supplies. I have a smaller tub with fabric inside. And I also have a hat box full of crochet and tatting thread (not that I actually know how to tat at this point in time). All of these things are also scattered, unorganized and haven’t been seriously looked at in years. At some point in the future I will share pictures of these after I’ve sorted, organized and gathered all related materials together. But for now I’ve shared a few different angles of my yarn hoard sitting on my extra large chair, which happens to be the first piece of furniture I ever bought for myself.

Tune in next week for a look at one of the projects I finished this year. Also, feel free to share pictures of your own yarn hoard in the comments!