Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Team Canada - Ravelympics 2010

Skele-gurumi medal


It's kind of goofy for non-knitters, or more specifically, non-Ravelers, but I'm a member of Team Canada for the 2010 Ravelympics.  Basically team members pick projects and enter them into Events.  Finished objects win a medal of honour.  So far, I've completed one project and received one medal.  Silly yes, but lots of fun.

Event - Skelegurumi
Project - Minions by Heather Sebastian (my project)
Yarn - Elann Limited Edition Cantata

Minions collage

These little guys were great fun to make. I don't usually like making toys because I detest finishing, but I had no problems with these. I added beans to the bottoms of the hands, feet and bodies so they actually sit up by themselves.


My next event is WIP Dancing, where I am going to try to finish my unfinished zigzag socks. I finished one today and will try to get to work on the second this evening.


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Adventures in Felting

This past Christmas Dave bought me some awesome felted slippers off Etsy.  Since then, he's been after me to make him a similar pair.  Not a problem ... any excuse to buy yarn.

felted clogs

I had some Paton's Merino Wool (dark grey mix) lying around so I just needed a contrast colour.  Luck would have it, Michael's had their Paton's Classic Wool on sale so I picked up 2 skeins of black.

The needles though were another problem.  The pattern calls for 9mm (US 13) circulars in two lengths.  The only ones I could find were $15 ... EACH.  Oh well, I pulled out my discount card and bit the bullet.  In hindsight, I didn't need the shorter one.

The pattern (felted clogs by Bev Galeskas) is not difficult, but virtually every row needs your full attention.  I started talking to my family halfway through the second slipper and had to rip back multiple rows because I lost my place.  They knit up quickly on the big needles though.

felted clogs

Once you knit the gigantic slippers which will have everyone questioning your knitting skills, the fun part begins - felting them.  (btw - don't worry about hiding your ends - they just felt away) I have a front loader and although you can felt in one, the results seem to be mixed.  So I decided to go the hand felted with a plunger route.   There are great instructions all over the Internet (I mostly referred to these) so I won't go through every step.

felted clogs

After a quick run to Canadian Tire for a NEW plunger and bucket I got set up in the bathroom.  Fill the bucket with the hottest water you can get and set it on a towel in the bathtub (to prevent scratches), throw in your slippers and some soap and go to town.  I like the bathtub because there's lots of room for splashing.  It took most of the morning, on and off, to get them felted down.  But they still weren't short enough.  So I tied them into a pillowcase and tossed them in a hot dryer with some towels and voila, perfect fit.

felted clogs

The last step was to put them on Dave's feet over plastic bags and mould them to his feet.  I spent some time working on the arch and the curve of the toe.  It took a little over a day for them to dry but they turned out perfectly.

A few hints.  For the soap, I just threw a little bar of soap (Jergens maybe?) in the bucket until it had created enough suds, then took it out.  I also shocked the slippers a couple of times by plunging them into cold water in the sink then back into the hot water.  And very importantly, make sure you strain the water before it goes down the drain.  The plunger causes a lot of lint and you'd hate to clog up your drain.  I used filters you use for straining paint.

I bought suede soles, but the ones at my LYS weren't the fiber trend ones and I'm not crazy about the way they look.  So we decided that when the soles wear out I will add the suede soles then.

felted clogs

Dave loves his new slippers - says he's stealthy in them because they don't make any noise.  (insert eyeroll)

Friday, February 5, 2010

Weeks 4-5

I didn't post last week because they only worked two days (Tuesday and Friday if I remember correctly) and it was just paint and trim.  The doors went up early this week.

Day 21

We finally picked a wall colour - Behr Sandstone Cliff.  I wasn't crazy about the swatch but now that it's on the walls I'm pleased.  It has just a hint of green in certain lights and enough grey to make it look nice against the white cabinets.

Oh yes, we have cabinets!  Probably the most exciting part of the project so far (maybe tied with tearing down the walls).  By the end of the week all the boxes were installed, most of the valance was up and the island was in place.  I was so nervous that the island would be too big, but it's perfect.

Day 24
Day 24

On Monday the counter guy will be here to measure for the quartz countertops. They will overhang 30cm (12 ") on two side for eating.

Day 24

The appliances are still on order because we thought this project would take a lot longer than it has.  The lights for over the island aren't in yet either.  And since we can't pick a chandelier I figure the bare bulb will be our modern touch.