Sunday, April 30, 2006

What is felt?

Felt is the oldest textile fabric. People figured out that making felt was very useful, felting came before spinning, weaving or knitting. Probably during the Bronze Age. When I visited Otzi in the museum in Bolzano Italy, they found felt among his clothing and Otzi is well over 4,000 years old. You know who Otzi is: the ice man found high in the Alps along the Italian/Austrian border. Because he was frozen he was perfectly preserved including the contents of his stomach. So they could tell what he ate, what he wore for clothing and what tools and accesories he had with him.

They say that sheep may have been the first animals to be domesticated after dogs. The sheep provided them with milk and as a by-products their skins and fiber for clothing. The early man figured out really fast that a wad of wool from the sheep was not only warm but it probably made a nice comfortable bed for sleeping. After a few nights of tossing and turning and sweating maybe even rain they found that the woold felted. Feltmaking and the use of felt is still a part of many cultures around the world.

Wool is hair and just like human hair, it has "cuticles" or overlapping scales, you've see dreadlocks well they are just felted hair. Wool pretty much acts the same it tangles and sticks together.

They say that wool fibers absorb eight times their weight in water. But it really depends on the wool, what animal it is from.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

VooDoo Scarf

Knitted and felted. This took a while to do because I first knitted it about 40 stitches, then I crochet the edges. Then I felted it in the machine with an old levi jacket and some tennis balls. Then instead of shaping it wet I just dried it in the machine. So now it's machine washable. But I think it came out nice. All wool and very warm. A little late in the season... but...

Friday, April 21, 2006

Introducing VooDoo Embroidery

I'm especially pleased in the way the sleeves match exactly and the VooDoo Embroidery on wool gabardine, pocket lining.

What is VooDoo Embroidery? I think I made it up. I call it VooDoo because it is so magical. There are no rules! There is no right or wrong! Neatness does not count!

Stress reducing, mezmorizing! It's my new Yoga! Wonderful way to meditate!

I call the jacket "Szöges"

Ok it's a bit too warm for the summer but it's been great early in the morning walking at the beach

How I started

Basically the pattern starts with 3 stitches and you increase 2 stitches per row, alternating two stitches in on either side of the center stitch then one increase at each at the beginning and at the end of the next row. Then I just knit until I reach the with that I want, then I start on the sleeves with the same pattern.

Monday, April 10, 2006

I've been hand knitting most of my life. About 3 years ago I decided that maybe I should look into machine knitting I thought it would boost the speed of my work. One of the women I know who knits for a living used a machine at least to partially knit her garments and it seemed like a fun thing to get into. I knit continental style which goes pretty fast but once in a while I think I just could knit something really fast, so a machine seemed to be just the thing.

So I researched and ended up deciding on the Bulky knitting machine, which supposed to be able to knit with hand knitting weight yarn so I purchased a Brother KH260 on Ebay. This is a machine they do not make anymore I guess the interest is just not there. Although I belong to a couple of discussion groups and there is whole machine knitting community out there in the world. Machine Knitters Unite!

Now I had my machine and had no idea what to do with it, then I heard about a class Tricia Shafer was giving so I signed up. It was great! I learned how to cast on, how to decrease and how to increase and finally cast off. About one and a half hours of instructions and I actually made a child's hat! I loved it.

So I got home immediately set up my machine with my son's help and sat down and cast on all the needles! (I don't know what I was thinking?) Then I passed the carriage and promptly all the stitches fell off. My son is in the background snickering at me. Ok maybe I should do fewer than 100 stitches. So this time I cast on 50 stitches. Passed the carriage and shish one more time all the stitches fell off. I'm not sure what I was doing wrong but my son was laughing at me by now. So I think maybe I should cast on 25 stitches, same result. I really wanted to prove to him that I learned how to do this, I just knit this great hat!

Fine I'll start with 3 stitches and increase on up. Yes! that worked! So I started increasing one stitch at each end and when all the needles were used I cast off. Now my son took a look and said "What is it? A wind sock?". Well I'll show you, I started to fold it this way, fold it that way and Voila! A pancho! Now it needed some edging so I crochet fringes to weigh it down so it would not curl so much (the machine only knits stockinette stitches), then I decided that it needed pockets for my cell phone etc.

And there is my first machine knitted project! I love my Bulky but there is lots to learn.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

My new wallet

As always it's still a work in progress. I knitted a piece in white wool and felted it in my washing machine. Then I added the zipper and sewed the sides. Then I did some VooDoo Magic and VooDoo Embroidered it. Great Fun!

Freeform Knitting & needle felting.....

Lots of great inspiration from this beautiful book.
Here are a few of the pictures from the book, as you can see with freeform sky is the limit.

Well now that I see these beautiful projects I want to delete my pictures of one of the projects I'm working on but it's a work in progress, besides it looks a lot better in person then in the pictures.

Progressing slowly..... but a lot of fun....I just keep adding bits and pieces....

I started this project while I was traveling around the country because it is a yarn that is sold at JoAnn's Fabric store. Most major U.S. cities have a JoAnn's so I could pick up more yarn anywhere...."paprika"
Patons Classic Merino Wool Yarns - 100% Wool

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Budapest Flooding..

The Danube runs over!

Why you may ask do I have pictures of Budapest flooding? Well I was born just a few blocks from that very bridge. I am a Hungarian Refugee. My family and I escaped in 1956 during the Hungarian Revolution.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Progress Report on the Electra...

Progress Report on the Electra...

Right now I'm knitting a Twisted Sisters "Electra" it looks suspiciously similar to Hanne Falkenberg's

Bet you the Twisted Sister's pattern is easier to follow than the Falkenberg.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

The magic of Felting...I can't get enough of it...

"érmelegítő" woollen wristlet
Wonderful for working on my computer and keeping my wrist and thumb area warm.
"dóm" bracelet
Needle felted wool.

What is an UggSock or UggCroc?

Crocs Rock, I can't get out of them! They are so comfortable and light weight that I can wear them all day in total comfort. I've been wearing them for about a year and a half and now I have them in many colors. I especially love them with hand made felted socks. My version of these socks I call UggSock, or when I wear them with my Crocs they become my UggCrocs.

I can't get enough of them. I originally made them to wear around the house for those early morning chill. I live at the beach in an old Spanish house and some mornings my office gets very chilly. But I found these UggCrocks so comfortable that I started wearing them all day and now I wear them out in the world.

I start with a machine knitted rectangle:

Then I block it using Magic Sizing:

Then I sew up the seam and felt it:

Then I just trim it to my foot, a few more stitches sewing up the trimmed bits and it takes shape of my feet as if magic. So far I only have made two pairs but I've had so many people asking me for them that I may just make a couple more for some friends.