Saturday, December 20, 2008

Santa v Grinch: The Ultimate Smack-Down

Well, the Grinch wandering on my block trying to wreak havoc on my holiday spirits failed in his mission. Because in the end, the Grinch took the bad karma from our front doors away with him. (Thanks, Daniel for that insight. Thank you all, for your kind support.)

On Thursday evening the Park Slope Knitting Circle got together for the weekly gathering. This week's event was the Secret Santa gift exchange. My little project was to make Diana's wish come true - some slippers. It was just the push I needed to do something new, something I've never tried before: felting wool.

Secret Santa Felted Slippers

The pattern itself is about the easiest thing I have ever knit in my life! And honestly it could be addicting, because these things knit up in literally a couple of hours. These being the first of what will surely be many more to come, I adorned them with a simple contrast trim. I can imagine taking this further by incorporating stripes, or embroidering on the tops.

The felting was where it got interesting and there's so much to learn. It's subtle because you have to plan ahead as much as you can, but then the process itself (since I have a front loading washer) is a bit more unknown. These slippers were washed in HOT water, COLD rinse three times to get this felted fabric. There are a couple of other settings on the washer and I suppose it would be worthwhile to knit up a bunch of samples and try variations.


Diana seemed quite pleased and I truly hope they fit. She insisted they would. I decided to spruce up the gift by presenting the slippers in a little basket along with a box of sleepytime style tea and a small package of cookies. Sorry I don't have a photo of the whole package, but as usual I put it all together at the last minute!

It was really fun to see all the crafty things that people made for each other. Barbara, a huge D&D fan got a chrocheted dragon. SO cute. And there were lots of neckwarmers, hats, scarves and even a lovely knitted purse.

Naomi made me a wonderful pair of fingerless handwarmers, and just in the nick of time! The weather turned nasty the next day and I've been using them constantly. These are just terrific and I've been lazy about knitting a pair for myself. So warm and cozy. I was thrilled.

Thank you, Naomi!

The Specs
Pattern: Felted Slippers by Robin Smith(ravel it)
Yarn: Cascade 109 LE Bulky; about one skein Aubergine; small bit contrast Gray
Needle: Size US 13
Started and finished: First weekend of December for the knitting, then washed 3 times over the next 2 wks.

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