close knit: the neighborhood yarn shop

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Not-So Last Minute

Now that we have the sale behind us and fall yarns tricking in, I am thinking about gifts.  I won't give you the countdown or anything, but the holiday season is going to happen again this year.  Regardless of what or how you celebrate, it's always nice to give handmade.  

We will, of course, be stocking up on the super bulky yarns later in the fall for you last-minute knitters, but I thought I'd offer up some ideas if you'd like to get started a little earlier.

First up, the Felted Shetland Beret from Churchmouse Yarns.  I was inspired to make this by one of my kids who complained that her knitted hats were always "too holey."

This sweet little cap knits up quickly and requires only 2 balls of Jamieson's Shetland Spindrift, which we have in a lovely array of tweedy colors. 

The pattern gives instructions for hand-felting, but I cheated and just ran it through my front-loader.  I put the hat in a zippered pillowcase, added a few pairs of grubby old jeans, and ran it through a few cycles on hot.  If you choose to use your machine, be sure to check the progress after each cycle.  If possible, try to skip the spin cycle, as the spinning can lead to creases.

Before felting, it is pretty big and loose.

After felting, the fabric is soft and dense with a nice little halo.

The best part?  The whole thing comes in well under $20.  My kid mostly approves of the final product.  Her only request was that it be red, so it looks like I'll be knitting another.

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