Wednesday, June 27, 2007

It's Not What You Think...

My future felted laptop case has been taking shape really quickly. I suppose it was to be expected when you use size 15 needles and garter stitch! In the pic above it looks kinda like a jumper.

The cardboard is a replica to scale of the recipient's laptop. The case is being knit all in one piece so it starts to make more sense when you wrap it around the "laptop."

If you can see past Cosette's rapidly expanding belly you can start to get an idea of how the finished product will look. The opening in the front is so the user can easily reach in and grab his laptop without having to dig his hand all the way into the case. I'm hoping to finish all the knitting by this weekend so I can get to the fun part: felting!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Secret Feet

Since my Secret Feet knitter fell through the ever fabulous and super-speedy Penelope subbed in and made the socks of my dreams. They're Jaywalkers in the color scheme I requested and one of my fav sock yarns-Koigu. She even made the right foot a 1/2 inch larger than the left to accomodate my differently sized feet! Thank you Penelope. You're the best!

Cosette says, "Yeah, yeah where are my Secret Feet? These paws don't clean themselves ya know!"

Monday, June 18, 2007

Never Felt this Way Before

JF's coworker inquired whether I would be interested in being paid to make a felted laptop case for him. He was specific in that he wanted a light natural colored wool and since he's into graphic design he even made a 2-D model of how it would look "unfolded." I had the above yarn in my stash from the 2006 MD Sheep and Wool Festival. Although it was variegated and dark in some areas I figured I'd give it a try and see how he liked it. After handfelting it looked like this:

I didn't really like the look of it all that much. It kinda resembles a dead squirrel on the side of the road. Although he didn't like the color of that yarn he liked how the felted fabric looked. He ordered this yarn from WEBS in the 8015 shade. As a sidenote WEBS ships everything UPS. It was going to cost $5 to ship one $15 skein of yarn. He emailed them requesting they ship it first class instead which they were willing to do!

Before I entered into this I was a little concerned about the whole payment issue. I had the usual conundrum about whether he'd be able to really pay me what my time was worth. After all I was designing this case from scratch, knitting it, then felting it. It may very well not come out right the first time as you just never know with felting and I would have to do it again. What I worked out was rather than him paying we'd trade services. Since he's very good with computers and design he could help me out with the layout of my website so I'm not doing the same generic background everyone on Blogger is using.

Well it's time to start swatching!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Needle Organization: Part Deux

In my last post I shared my new circular needle ID tags. I have now completed the next step and broke out this purchase I picked up at WEBS:

"The Circular Solution" is a cloth hanging organizer with labelled slots for most needle sizes:

It was helpful to have all my needles labeled clearly. However, they were all still in a jumble in my Lantern Moon case. If I was looking for one needle I ended up pulling everything out.

I realized that both products are good but the combination of the two are ideal. If I only had the hanging case and not the needle ID tags then when I removed a couple needles from their slots I would still have to use my needle sizer before putting them away.

Yesterday I made a gauge swatch and it was great being able to see right away that I owned Size 13's. Then when my stitches were too loose I went back to the closet and pulled out a set of 11's in just a couple seconds. Sometimes I think I put off projects just because I'm not sure if I own the right needles or I'm in a rush to leave and it's too much trouble to pull out three different needles. In the worst case scenario such as my last pair of socks I was knitting with what I thought were 3's and they were only 2's. My fingers were cramping up and I couldn't figure out why the toe of the sock was way too tight!