On the Needles- Cabled Companion

Last week when I returned from vacation, I posted this picture and promised more info on my WIPS:

Yes, sometimes I get a little side-tracked, but I really felt my readers needed to be a part of my KitchenAid felting adventure :)

To kick things off, I will tell you a bit about my Cabled Companion.  A while back, I was contacted by Charlene, aka Keppygirl on Ravelry.  Charlene has been a big help on the forums of the French Press Knits group on Ravelry.  I have a hard time keeping count, but I think by now she has made at least 30 pairs of French Press Felted Slippers (and they're all beautiful, you should check out her projects!).  

Charlene contacted me and asked me to test knit a pattern she was developing.  At the time, I was working feverishly to get the 3-in-1 Felted Baby Booties published, and let her know I would probably not have a chance before publication.  Soon after the baby booties came out, I got to work on the Cabled Companion. Right now, it looks like this:

Kinda reminds me of a big octopus again- just like my Girasole on the needles.


The Cabled Companion is a great project, and a great break from the other things I am working on.  I am using it as my 'cleansing knit' because all the others I need to think so much about (probably because I am designing them as I go and constantly changing things).   If things go as planned,  I should soon have a new bag that looks something like this:

Beautiful, yes?

KitchenAid... Not just for Bakers Anymore

Well, kind of.  I decided to go ahead with the hair-brained idea last night.

First Step: Choose Your Weapon

I figured the whatchamacallit on the right would get things done without getting little baby booties wrapped around it in the process.

Step 2: Get Together All your "Ingredients"

I started with about 3 cups of super hot water, a squirt of dish soap, and of course the booties.  From here the KitchenAid was turned on the lowest setting and locked down.  It splished, it splashed, water was everywhere.  I decided to check after five minutes: nothing.

I left the KitchenAid alone to do its work and check again after 20 minutes.  Felting was finally occurring, but things looked different than I expected.  It almost seemed that there was too much agitation.  The felted piece was thinner, flatter, and hairier than normal. I decided I would add more water.

You would have thought we had a flood in our kitchen, but then my genius of a husband reminded me that I actually have a splash guard for my KitchenAid... how did I forget?

So after an hour of the KitchenAid working hard (and a TON of shaping on my part), I ended up with these little buggers:

Yes, they still need a good trim and finishing- but they will work.  In a pinch, the KitchenAid came to the rescue once again.  Would I do it again?  Probably not!

KitchenAid to the Rescue?

This evening I have a little dilemma.  A couple months ago I talked to an online knitter friend about taking pictures of my felted baby booties on her daughter's feet.  The original plan was to wait until I needed to felt a load, and knit a pair up really quick.

Well, last night I realized that I would be seeing this person this weekend at TNNA.  I figured I should make a pair to bring with me so I wouldn't have to ship them out later.  So, this morning before work I threw some yarn on the needles and came up with these:

Now, the dilemma- I still don't have anything else ready for felting and would hate to run the whole washing machine just for this one little pair of booties.  That's where this comes in:

Before you start your mocking, it's not my idea- I've read about it in the wonderful blogosphere in the past.  Look here...see?!?  It worked for Kimberly, could it work for me?

So what do you think, should I (or maybe I should say the slippers) take the plunge?

Happy Slipper Day!

The day has finally arrived. Test knitters have given their input, final edits have been made. This weekend I gained designer status on Ravelry, just in time to officially launch my 'French Press Felted Slippers' pattern.

When I first designed this pattern, my only intention was to sell slippers in my Etsy shop. After a couple weeks I started getting emails from other knitters on Etsy asking if I would sell the pattern. At this point, the pattern was basically scribbles and graph paper charts.

Unlike other felted slipper patterns, these are constructed more like a shoe than a sock. Actually, the development of the pattern relied greatly on one of my favorite pairs of ballet flats. It all started by taking some fabric scraps and tracing each part of the shoe. Once I had the fabric pieces identical to the shoe pieces, I enlarged them to allow for felting and started knitting duplicates!

I would love to say that I assembled the shoe, threw it in the wash, and came out with the perfect slipper...but this would be far from the truth. It took much trial and error(and massive note-taking). In fact, if you were to look back at my twitter feed in April, I'm sure you could find one very frustrated knitter rambling about another messed up slipper.

Needless to say, they came together and the pattern is finally available for purchase on Ravelry and in my Etsy shop. Here's what you'll need:

Yarn: about 330 yards of worsted weight feltable yarn(wool)
My favorite kind to use is Paton's Classic Wool. You need just over a 1 (100 g) skein
Needles: size US 15 (10 metric)
Notions: Darning needle
Tapestry Needle
2 Matching Buttons

And of course, the pattern itself- so go buy it! If you have any questions, you can always post something in "Comments" below.