Archive for category Crafty Monster
Among people who have to see me IRL on a regular basis, I am somewhat known for making and wearing cardigans from a wide variety of unrelated yarns, mostly my handspun. My basic approach to knitting is, or has been up until fairly recently, that any project can be a stash-busting project, but now I’m growing tired of that esthetic. It looks fabulous from a distance, but up close it’s a hot mess. I like knitting with my handspun, but I don’t like wearing sweaters made from dozens of odds and ends. I want to wear something in fall weather and air-conditioned offices that shows some design cohesion and structural integrity. Since I don’t currently have enough of any one make/model of yarn (for lack of better terminology) in my current stash, I went browsing around at a retailer that’s sold me decent product before, and found something promising.
Tonight, I did a little Googling for yardage requirements, put together a nice set of three blue/greens in ColorSchemer Studio, and ordered a heap of yarn. And then some new needles to use with it. My only request for shipping was “not from UPS.”
In my defense, the yarn is almost jaw-droppingly cheap for the fiber content. 100% wool, at $2.69 for 50g? That’s a steal.
Some of these are indeed miserable and uncomfortable, but some of them are just bland. Are the pickings really that slim on the Internet for awkward back-to-school pictures? Okay, there are some funny-looking kids, and there are some hilarious clothes, but these people can’t help having oddly-shaped heads and they can’t help having grown up in times of unflattering children’s fashions. They can’t help having parents who dress them badly, either.
There’s miserable and uncomfortable, and then there’s just an unflattering piece of photography.
Maybe I just don’t get it.
- Unused tealights.
- Fragrance oils.
- Remove tealight from tin.
- Apply modest amount of fragrance oil to inside of tin.
- Replace tealight in tin.
- Light it up!
As the wax melts, it will blend with the oil and the room will smell nice.
I don’t know if this is cheaper than buying scented candles, but it gives you more control over the type and amount of scent used.
(Plus, I’m bored and I happen to have these supplies around the house.)
I now have a pretty knit/crocheted wrap, but boy do I ever hate sewing in ends of yarn. You’d think I’d therefore design projects which use as few lengths of yarn as possible, but this is not the case.
Note: they are not paying me for product placement, and if they were I’d question their judgment.
I noticed some Artfelt kits on a shelf at The Mannings on Saturday, and immediately gurgled over the pretty colors in the roving but didn’t pay much attention to the other supplies involved in the kits. I didn’t buy any, either; I’m poor and low on square footage, so my purchases were minimal. I did, however, make a note of the kits for further research. This is what I found on their website:
It’s not needle felting. It’s not wet felting. It’s not fulling. It’s Artfelt® – and it is revolutionizing the way we felt. The Artfelting technique utilizes Artfelt® paper, a patented new paper specifically developed to ease and speed up the felting process. Artfelt® is simple to learn, quick to do and requires no knitting or previous felting experience.
Heh. I find their opening pitch amusing. “It’s not needle felting, it’s not wet felting, it’s not fulling,” it involves doing ALL OF THOSE THINGS. Granted, the total time commitment probably ends up being a lot less than doing the same job in all needle-felting or regular wet felting, and it doesn’t involve knitting anything first. A more accurate pitch would probably be something like, “It’s needle felting without the hours, it’s wet felting with better control, and it’s fulling without having to knit something first!” Still, you need equipment used for needle felting, you have to put your faith in Artfelt while you get your project soaking wet and roll it up, and you need access to a clothes dryer.
But as I said above, the appeal of the kits isn’t really in, “Wow, that Artfelt technique looks like so much fun!”, it’s more like, “Ooooh, lots of roving in pretty colors!” So then I thought it might be fun to just order a bunch of roving from them—a few hanks of tops, a couple skeins of pencil roving—and then just do whatever the fuck I wanted with it, which might not even involve felting anything.
Yeah, well, their price point sort of tosses a wrench into that idea. $10.50 for 50g of multicolored tops? Are you fucking kidding me?!
The most interesting detail of their company, however, is the fiber range they offer. All the roving they sell for their felting technique is either merino or a merino/silk blend. This makes me wonder: is their patented Artfelt method possible with coarser fibers? If it doesn’t work as well with anything other than the finest of fine-wool breeds, why not? I really don’t think it’s a good idea to restrict any type of felting—including high-precision felting—to the finest of shrinkable fibers. Felting is the sort of craft that lends itself well to items meant to withstand some abuse, in which case more rugged (and somewhat cheaper) fibers are in order.
Something tells me their special paper is really no different from any other water-soluble fabric already available at craft/fabric stores, but that said, the paper does seem more reasonably priced than the wool.
Just in case you’re wondering: it is not a good idea to use needle-felted embellishments to improve the structural integrity of knit fabric. Especially a stretchy, high-use knit fabric like a sweater. The problem is needle-felting doesn’t have much structural integrity on its own. So, don’t expect it to do the work of sturdier stuff.
Pick out an animal-fiber yarn which is shrinkable in the wash; wool, alpaca, and mohair are good for this. Make sure it isn’t superwash.
Knit a flat rectangle that covers the width of the laptop (plus room for shrinkage) and is long enough to cover both sides plus a flap. The stitch pattern should have some body, such as garter stitch or a broken rib pattern. I used garter stitch in modular rectangles, but unless you’re using a variegated yarn, the directions in the garter stitch will barely show up.
Place markers at each end of the row that meets the bottom of the case on one side, and again at each end of the row at the other side.