Thursday, September 23, 2010

New Projects

I'm trying a few new projects based on the idea of the patchwork wool blanket that I wrote about last week.

One of the great surprises of felting wool sweaters is that you never quite know how the wool will felt up in the end. Sometimes it's supple and drapes well, while other times you get a thick, woolly piece that's as stiff as a board. Thick, board-ey material isn't good for a blanket or my usual projects, but it does make a good rug.


I used a cream Irish fisherman sweater and a nubby gray silk and wool sweater to make a patchwork rug. The pieces are butt seamed together using a zigzag stitch that I stitched over a second time for reinforcement and durability. It's a good size for a bath mat, or maybe a cozy winter nap mat for a dog or cat. A small project like this goes together very quickly with nearly instant gratification, except for the d@mn cables. The zigzag stitch grabbed the top of the cables just fine, but when I turned the rug over to inspect the underside I realized that I would have to go back over and stitch it again to make sure the needle went all the way through the cable part. Lesson learned: I won't be using wool with very thick patterns like large cabling in projects like this again.

I also put together a similar project using wool squares in various shades of gray, black, and red. Some of these squares have a floral pattern embroidered on them, while others are argyle and Fair Isle.


Initially I thought this might be another wool rug, but the weight of the felt simply isn't thick enough to go on the floor. Instead, it's become a lap blanket or perhaps a security blanket for a very sophisticated toddler living in a big city somewheres.

And last, I have a pile of chubby pumpkins for the arts and craft show in Floyd next weekend. Or at least I do if Ally doesn't claim them all for her own.


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