Thursday, March 11, 2010
Gratis Grass and the felting experience
I've knit up two versions, trying out different ways of knitting in the round. Did one without taking out the "extra" end stitches - considered as an aid in sewing together. That one looks decidedly more robust (on the left). The one with the "extra" taken off the ends is quite slender by comparison. I also tried different directions for the decreases, and have decided that they need to lean away from each other, in the direction of the curl of the grass. Otherwise, you get some gaps.
Speaking of gaps, be sure you stitch up the little gap between the blades. I did some duplicate stitch sort of stitches, but crossing between the front and back, and side to side. It's not going to matter too much what you do here, once it's felted, so don't stress over what stitches you do to close it up. (boy, what a difference it makes to have it in natural light - I promise, that's the exact same knitted grass as the one on the right in the first picture, just taken in a different location.)
I threw one in to the wash to felt it. It's not noticeably smaller after just one run through the washer and dryer. The one on the left is the one that's been through the wash. It's more wrinkled, but certainly not much smaller. I am not one of those types that can just wash what I'm felting - it hurts my conscience to run anything but a full load. Not to worry, though - plenty of dirty clothes handy to throw in with my little grassy friend for another go at it.
I also tossed in one of the baby cocoons I'd knit last week. It was in bamboo and wool blend, and only when I was almost done with it did I remember to look at the washing instructions. Because anything for a baby should be easy care, as it will likely need doing hundreds of times over. It wanted: hand wash warm, lay flat to dry. Sure, that'll happen. So I didn't gift it, I set it aside to see how it held up under "normal" washing conditions instead. After all, it does say it can take warm water, and I generally wash in cold. Oh. My. Goodness! Did it ever shrink! I pulled it from it's little zippered bag, just to see how it held up, before putting anything in the dryer. I left it laid out to dry instead, fearing it may not even fit a doll by the time it's done if I tried to dry it even on low heat. Just one wash, and it lost at least 3 inches in length. My stitches look really nice and even, though. But, yeah, that yarn is not for baby stuff. Not in my world, anyway. Wonder how small it would get before it was done shrinking? Should I find out?