Friday, November 30, 2007

Beginnings of Knitted Farmyard

You can just begin to see the pond to the left and the start of the cornfields above. Under that is one of the meadows and one shrub so far!
Here is the start of the cut cornfields.
Hopefully, this is what my finished project will look like!

If you haven't gotten your copy of The Knitted Farmyard by Hannelore Wernhard yet, go! Right now! Go get one! This is one of the best books ever!!! The actual playmat of mine is going to measure about 3 feet by 4 feet, so that is why it is taking SO long! Kent has volunteered to do some yarn cutting for me (more service hours earned for him) ... this will be a big help because it really slows me down to have to stop and cut more yarn. Once I've got my rhythm going of picking up yarn, latching it in and picking up another piece, it's like that ad on TV about the person who pays by check or cash instead of the Visa card! Everything comes to a screeching halt! Anyhow, I'm making myself work on the rug canvas first ... once that's completed I'll start on the houses and the people.

Another fantastic project I'm about to begin has the same ideas ... it's Knitted Gardens by Jan Messent. I LOVE this book, too. Her gardens are a bit smaller and the knitted areas are glued to cardboard. Both are good ideas and I will probably end up combining the two.

Meanwhile, I'm still working on my monk wine bag. I'm just going to have to experiment with increasing for the hood when I get to the top. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Also, I'm still finishing Father Christmas and will post a photo soon. However, if anyone is interested in working the pattern, I found a fabulous blog that has incredible directions for making legs which really work out for Father Christmas, too. Take a look at MochiMochiland. I wish I had found this earlier!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Another Pair of Booties Finished

I kept meaning to knit these booties for one of the program coordinators at the museum where Kent volunteers ... days turned into weeks and finally! This weekend I made myself focus and I started/finished them. This is the easiest pattern I have ever used!!! I bought it on eBay from Over the Rainbow Designs. These little booties only take about an afternoon to knit ... I used washable dk for the ribbed part. These have already been washed in the washer/gentle and tumbled dry (low) two times! The color difference in the booties comes from using Sirdar's Funky Fur Magic eyelash yarn. I love it! So easy to work with. The best eyelash ever made! And yes! There is a difference in eyelash yarns!!! (Well, in my opinion.)

Monday, November 26, 2007

Thanksgiving Vacation

Amelia's contribution to the baking day ... eating the dough!
Kent using the ancient, but wonderful, Mirro Cookie Press (note gloves for germ-free cookies)!
Spritz Christmas trees. Kent did all the decorating, too. I was really impressed.

Here's Colette, ready for more dough making! She was such a great help.

We had a terrific time over the Thanksgiving holidays! Since we had sort of celebrated Thanksgiving last weekend with one of my brothers and his family, we decided to go for a Honey-Baked Ham for the "real" Thanksgiving meal. What a time saver that was! (I'll have to write about the actual purchasing of the Honey-baked Ham later, as that is quite a story in itself.)
It was a lot of fun to have Colette home for a few days ... and we were able to get a good deal for Amelia on a laptop computer (which she's been wanting for a really, really, really long time). No, it wasn't door-buster deal, but it was still pretty good. Colette and Kent did some power baking and baked about 5 dozen Spritz butter cookies for our church's annual Cookie Walk. Phew! What a relief to have them do it all!!! Kent certainly earned his Confirmation service hours!!
Meanwhile, I'm still working on Father Christmas, but had to put him aside for awhile as I started a few other projects ... like the booties I've been promising to knit for one of the program coordinators who works at the museum where Kent volunteers ... and I started a Jean Greenhowe project from her "Christmas Special" that's a little knitted envelope for seeds or, in this case, bath salts.
I've also come up with ideas for some felted bottle bags ... I think I'll call them Bring Your Own Bottle Bags ... I'm working on a monk with a hood. It's taking A LOT more yarn than I thought, so I better stop at the yarn shop this afternoon for more brown cascade 220. I have ideas for a snowman and a Santa, as well. I'm hoping the hood on the monk will be all right. It seems like it's going to be really big right now, but I wanted sort of a cowl ... and cascade 220 always felts really well.
Meanwhile ... I ordered 8 pounds of roving! YIKES! What was I thinking??? Anyhow, 6 pounds are BFL, the other two are a gorgeous merino. It's all just right for dyeing and spinning. Now, when will I have the time to do that, I wonder?

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Ann Budd's Father Christmas ... "Lite" version

I am now re-working most of the Father Christmas pattern to suit me! I like easy, simple projects that end up looking pretty good ... I'm not really a knitter who likes to be completely challenged, baffled and confused when it comes to directions.

So, with that in mind, I'm knitting Father Christmas differently! Right now, I have the body (I did the lower body and upper body, along with the head, as all one piece) and the two legs. I am just about to start the arms. I am going to experiment with the infamous "loop stitch," but if it, too, becomes more of a nuisance than a pleasure, I'm going to try latching the yarn in on the ends in a sort of fringe, instead.

I'll keep you posted!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Father Christmas

I've started Father Christmas from Interweave for my mother-in-law. The beginning of the boot is terribly difficult! I had to rip it out about four times before it finally worked for me. Even then, I had to fudge it a bit in the back, as the last round was supposed to end in the middle of the back of the boot. This knowledge would have been helpful when casting on. Oh well! The next boot should go a bit more smoothly, I hope. I had to shift stitches from one needle to the next and then end a bit early in order to have it end in the back center. AAACKKK. I'm NOT doing it over, though. Although I'm sure this mistake will haunt me forever. *sigh

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Knitted Angel Pattern

Here is the knitted version of the angel. I just finished her last night. I think she looks a little bit like Carol Channing in Thoroughly Modern Millie, but oh well! I am not good with embroidering faces! This is so frustrating. I need lots more practice. I made an extra head of the Rebecca doll, as it's nice and large, and am starting to use this to practice embroidering eyes and mouths, as well as testing out colored pencils for cheeks, etc.

Knitted Angel
Copyright 2007 Anita M. Wheeless

Materials needed:

Size US 3 (3.25 mm) Double-Pointed Needles

Plymouth Encore DK-weight yarn in White

Paton's DK-weight in Peach or Sirdar Bonus DK in Flesh or whatever DK-weight skin-tone color you would like to use

Lion Brand Glitterspun in gold

Oddments of Reynolds Lopi Lite in Mustard for halo (or any golden color DK-weight yarn)

Oddments of Angora blend in white for hair

Sparkle thread for hair

Embroidery floss or acrylic paints for face

Angel Body

Using size US 3 (3.25 mm) double-pointed needles and one strand of white held together with one strand of glitterspun, cast on 36 stitches.

Divide by purling onto three double-pointed needles so that you have 12 stitches on each needle. Place your stitch marker and prepare to join.

Knit two rounds. Cut glitterspun and continue with white.

Knit 12 rounds.

Start decreases for shaping:

k2tog, k8, k2 tog all around

knit two rounds more

k2 tog, k2, k2 tog, k2, k2 tog

Knit 5 rounds more

k2 tog, k3, k2 tog

knit one round more

k2tog, k1, k2 tog

knit three rounds more

Join your skin-tone color yarn and cut white.

Knit one round

Increase in each stitch by knitting in the front and back of each

Knit 9 rounds more

knit 2 tog all the way around

Gather remaining stitches onto an embroidery or yarn needle and thread a length of yarn through the stitches. Gather tightly. Insert needle down into top of head and knot off underneath.

Arms/Hands (make two)

Using size US 3 (3.25) straight needles, cast on 8 stitches using white yarn.

Starting with a knit row, st-st for 3 rows.

Join skin-tone yarn and cut white.

St-st for three more rows.

Gather stitches onto a yarn needle. Thread a length of yarn through, pull tightly and knot off.

Wings (make two)

Using one strand of white yarn held together with one strand of gold Glitterspun, cast on 5 stitches onto size 3 (3.25 mm) straight needles.

Knit one row

On the purl row, increase in first and last stitch by purling into the front, then move your yarn to the back and knit into the back of the stitch.

Knit one row

Again, increase in first and last again (purl into the front of the stitch you are increasing, move yarn to back, knit into the back)

knit one row

Increase in the first, purl 3, increase in the fourth, purl 3, increase in last


Now, knit into the front and back of each stitch


Decrease by knitting 2 tog all the way

Bind off


Using size US 3 (3.25 mm) DPN, cast on 36 stitches using white yarn.

Divide by purling 12 onto each needle. Place your stitch marker.

Knit two rounds

Decrease by knitting 2tog, k3, k2tog, k3, k2 tog


Decrease again by knitting k2tog, k3, k2tog, k2


Continue decrease by knitting k2tog, k2, k2tog, k1


k2 tog, k3


k2 tog all the way around

Gather remaining stitches onto a yarn needle and pull a length of yarn through. Pull tightly and knot off.


Holding gold or mustard colored yarn along with glitterspun, cast on 40 stitches onto a size 3 needle leaving a nice, long tail of glitterspun. Bind off, leaving the glitterspun tail for now.

To make up:

Stuff body with polyester fiberfill. Take arms and fold them, overstitching the edges together to shape into an arm. You can stuff it lightly or leave it without stuffing, as it's so small. Decide which section looks the best to be the front of the angel and center the arms, sewing them in place.

Put the base on underneath the angel and stitch it in place.

Take the wings and unbend them a bit (as the stocking stitch makes them want to roll inward). Find the right spot on her back and sew them in place.

To make the hair, take the sparkly thread held together with the angora and wind the two strands held together around your index finger about 4-5 times. Ease the loops off your finger and snip the yarn/thread leaving a tail to insert into the loops to hold them in place. Knot off. Repeat this about 7 or more times to get enough little curls to cover the angel's head. Using the bit of tail left, stitch in place on her head.

Take the halo and center it around the head, crossing the extra in the back of the head. (See photo). Stitch this cross-over to hold it in place, then stitch the halo securely onto the head. Let the bit of glitterspun tails hang down, if you like that.

Embroider the face using three strands of embroidery floss ... or use acrylic paints.

Again, if you have any trouble, please email me and I'll figure it out! I hope you enjoy it.

There are many things we could do with these angels. We could make different hands (holding a book, for instance) and different expressions, too. I have thought about a whole set of them doing chores! (Holding a mixing bowl and spoon; holding a broom, etc.)

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Christmas Angel with First Communion Angel

Here is a photo of my Christmas angel standing alongside my First Communion Angel Candle (circa 1968-69). I wish I had her handy when I was stitching my angel's face. I'll have to use this for inspiration for my knitted one. She looks so ... well, so angelic!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Knitted and Felted Christmas Angel Pattern

I just finished this knitted Christmas angel. She actually looks very much like the angel candle I received on my First Communion Day many, many years ago. I'll have to take a photo of the candle to show you, but that's for another day, as the candle is at my parents' house on their mantle.
This felted angel can either be a free-standing, stuffed figure or you could omit the stuffing and the bottom base (which is felted separately) and use her as a Christmas tree-top angel. She was knitted on size US 6 DPN.
I was very unhappy with her hair! I used a sparkle thread and angora blend held together and rooted them individually into her head before felting. She came out with a felted blob! I had to cut it off, but the remaining hair on her head looks o.k. She needed some sort of hair. Not sure. Maybe next time, I'll felt her first, then root in the hair. It will be more difficult in the felted knit, but it may be worth it.
I also used the sparkle thread held together with Lopi lite throughout. I would recommend not to do this. You can't see the sparkle thread at all, anyhow, and it was a real pain to knit with it. It snaps and tangles easily.
The wings and the halo and the bottom of the angel were knitted with one strand of Glitterspun held together with the Lopi lite.
I am also working on a non-felted version, using much smaller needles and one strand of dk-weight yarn.

Knitted/Felted Christmas Angel
Copyright 2007 Anita M. Wheeless
I used one strand of Reynolds Lopi Lite in white (it's kind of off-white, actually) and size US 6 double-pointed needles. You could also use one strand of regular Lopi, if you'd prefer. I think even Cascade wool would do fine. I would hold two strands of Cascade together, though. For the very bottom, you will also need gold Lion Brand Glitterspun yarn. You will cast on holding the Lopi and the Glitterspun together.
Begin by casting on 36 stitches.
Divide among the three DPNs by purling 12 onto each needle.
Knit for two rows more
Cut the gold thread and continue only with the white.
Knit 12 rows more
Start decreases to shape the body:
k2tog, k8, k2tog all around
Knit 2 rows more
k2tog, k2, k2 tog, k2, k2tog all around
knit 5 rows more
k2 tog, k3, k2tog all around
Knit 1 row more
k2tog, k1, k2 tog
knit 3 rows more
Join whatever face color yarn you'd like to use and cut the white.
increase in each stitch all the way around
Knit 7 rows
k2 tog all the way around.
Gather the remaining stitches onto an embroidery needle and pull a length of yarn through, gathering tightly. Bring your yarn through the top of the head and knot off. (So you won't see the knot)
HAIR: I used one strand of angora blend and one strand of glitter thread, cut about 4" in length and rooted them into her head with a crochet hook. This DID NOT WORK. The hair all felted together into a blog and had to be cut. I suggest waiting until the head is felted, and then you can attach hair at that point. However, if you would like, you could just root some white onto her head before felting and let it felt into her head, giving her just a little hair. I had really wanted long hair that I could pull up, softening around her face. I am going to try this next on my non-felted version.
HALO: Using one strand of Reynold's Lopi Lite Mustard and one strand of Lion Brand Glitterspun in gold, cast on 40 stitches. Leave a long tail. Bind off. I liked the gold strands that were left from the tail, so did not cut them. (I did cut the Lopi, though.) See photo.
WINGS (make two): Using one strand of Lopi Lite in white and one strand in angora blend, if you'd like (although you really don't notice it), and knitting back and forth, cast on 10 stitches.
Knit 5 rows
k2tog to last 2 stitches, then knit these together
k2 tog, k4, k2 tog
knit four rows more
bind off
I overstitched the wing sides/edges with gold Glitterspun.
Felt all pieces together in a lingerie bag. See my felting instructions. The angel body felted faster than the head (as they were different yarns), but when the body was felted to my liking, I removed the pieces. The halo didn't really felt very much, as the glitterspun does not felt and there was only one strand of Lopi. You wouldn't really even have to felt this piece, in my opinion. Since it's quick to knit up (only casting on and binding off), you could experiment and do one both ways to see what you like better. It is an advantage to have it thoroughly wet, so that it can be shaped. I did like that about having felted it.
Take the angel out and shape it. Some suggestions for molds while she's drying: a small funnel, a spritz bottle of the right shape, etc. Let it dry.
Place the halo on the head how you'd like it and criss-cross it at the back and tie it, letting the gold strands hang down.
Shape the wings by folding them in half and letting them dry like that, if you like sort of a fluttery look, as opposed to just straight, flat wings. Folding them while they dry gives them a more bent, in-flight look. Stitch them onto the angel body with gold Glitterspun.
Embroider the face, using three strands (or less) for her eyes and one strand for the mouth. I didn't put a nose on because I just didn't like any I tried! I also used one strand of pale yellow (because I didn't have any white, but I think white would be better) and just placed one stitch for inside her eyes. The mouth was stitched with straight stitches, one under the other, varying the length. Another option would be to paint on the face with a very fine paintbrush and acrylic paint.
For the Christmas Tree-Top Angel, do not stuff and do not make a base. Simply let dry on one of the mold ideas, and put on your tree top!
For a stuffed figure, add the following base:
Still using three, size US 6 DPN needles, Cast on 36,
Divide by purling 12 onto each needle. Place stitch marker.
Knit two rows more
Decrease by k2tog, k3, k2 tog, k3, k2tog
k2 tog, k3, k2 tog, k2
k2tog, k2, k2tog
knit 2tog all the way around
knit 5 rows more
Gather remaining stitches onto an embroidery needle and pull length of yarn through. Knot underneath.
Felt with other pieces.
Stuff the angel using polyester fiberfill. Be sure stuffing fills up head. You may need to use a knitting needle, chopstick or end of wooden spoon to push the stuffing all the way to her head.
Stitch the base onto the bottom, using gold glitterspun.
As always, if you run into anything troubling, please email me. I will figure it out! I hope you enjoy it.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Christmas Pickle Pattern!

I finished the Christmas Pickle! Randy is holding it so you can get an idea of its size. This is not felted. I knit it on three size US 3 double-pointed needles using one strand of a dk-weight green yarn and one strand of glittery thread held together. The "ornament hook" is made of Glitterspun yarn.

Knitted Christmas Pickle Ornament
copyright 2007 Anita M. Wheeless
k2tog: knit two together (decrease)
kf&b: knit front and back (increase)
k: knit
Using one size US 3 double-pointed needle, and gold Lion Brand Glitterspun yarn, cast on 9 stitches.
Divide these stitches among three double-pointed needles by knitting three stitches onto each needle. Place a stitch marker at the first needle.
Knit 5 rounds
Cut gold yarn and join one strand of green double-knitting weight yarn and one strand of sparkly thread held together.
Increase in each stitch all the way around by knitting into the front and back of each stitch.
Knit two rounds more
Increase by knitting into the front and back of the first stitch, then k4, then knit into the front and back of last stitch on each needle.
Knit five rounds more
Now to shape the pickle:
k2tog, k2 all the way around on needles one and two only. Knit needle three.
Knit all the way around on all three needles.
k2, k2tog, k2 on needles one and two only. Knit needle three.
Knit two rounds more on all three needles.
k2 tog, knit 3 on needles one and two. Knit needle three.
Knit three rounds more on all three needles.
Knit front and back of first stitch, k3 on needles one and two. Knit needle three.
Knit all around for two rounds more.
k2, kf&b, k2 on needles one and two. Knit needle three.
Knit all around for two rounds more.
kf&b, k2 all the way around on needles one and two. Knit needle three.
Knit for four rows more.
K2tog all the way around.
Use an embroidery needle or yarn needle and thread a length of yarn through all the remaining stitches, but don't gather yet. Stuff your pickle with polyester fiberfill. Then draw up the yarn and pull tightly. Knot off. You may add bumps on your pickle by embroidering French knots wherever you want a bump.
I used the bit of tail I had of the Glitterspun and looped it over to form a little hanging loop. I stitched it in place with an embroidery needle. Weave in any loose ends.
I hope you enjoy! If you have any questions or run into trouble spots, please email me.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Felted Thanksgiving Turkey Pattern

Felted Thanksgiving Turkey with Pilgrim Hat

Copyright 2007 Anita M. Wheeless

I used four size 10 1/2 double-pointed needles for this project. I used Tondo yarn by OnLine. This yarn has been discontinued ... I bought mine on sale, so it was in my stash to use for this turkey. Feel free to substitute either one strand of Lopi or two strands of Cascade ... either one chunky and one 220 or something similar. For me, the turkey, itself, took exactly one 50 gram ball of Tondo and then there were still the feathers (wings) to knit. I would definitely purchase two to use. I used another ball of Tondo (in a multi-color) to knit the tail.

For body and head:

Cast on one stitch.

Knit one, purl one and knit one again into this stitch. You now have three stitches on your needle.


Knit front and back in each stitch (increasing one for every stitch). You now have 6 stitches.


Knit front and back in each stitch again. You now have 12 stitches.

Divide these 12 stitches among the four needles by knitting three onto each needle. Put a stitch marker to show where your first stitch/needle is.

knit 1 f&b, k1, k1 f&b on each needle

knit 1 f&b, k2, k1 f&b, k1 on each needle


knit 1 f&b, k3, k1 f&b, k2 on each needle


knit 1 f&b, k4, k1 f&b, k3 on each needle


knit 1 f&b, k5, k1 f&b, k4 on each needle


k1 f&b, k6, k1 f&b, k5 on each needle

knit for 11 rows more (this gives the main body of the turkey)
Now we start to decrease for the neck:

k2tog, k4, k2 tog, k5, k2tog on each needle

k2tog, k2, k2tog, k2, k2 tog, k2 tog on each needle


k2 tog, k2, k2 tog, k2 on each needle


k2, k2 tog, k2

knit four rows more

Now we will start the increases for the head:

k2, k1 f&b, k2


k1 f&b, k2, k1 f&b, k2


k1 f&b, k2, k1 f&b, k2, k1 f&b, k1

knit four more rounds

Now we will start the decreases for the top of the head:

k2 tog, k2, k2 tog, k2, k2 tog, k1

k2 tog all the way around

k1, k2 tog, k1 all the way around ... be sure at this point that you are leaving a big enough opening for stuffing. You will cover the top of his head with the hat later.

Feathers ... Wings (make two)

Using straight 10 1/2 inch needles, cast on 10

Knit 5 rows in garter stitch

k2 tog to last 2, then knit these two together


k2 tog, k4, k2 tog

knit two rows more

k2 tog, k2, k2 tog

knit two rows more

bind off

After felting, take each wing and fold it in half. Using mattress stitch, and same color yarn (or one color of the yarn) from his tail, oversew the top edges/side together. You will not need to stuff, as the doubling over makes the feathers nice and thick on their own.


Using three size 10 1/2 double pointed needles, cast on one stitch.

Knit one, purl one and knit again into this one stitch. You now have three stitches on your needle.

Increase in each stitch by knitting into the front and back of each. You now have 6 stitches.


Increase in each again, by knitting into the front and back of each. You now have 12 stitches.

Divide these stitches evenly (four each) by knitting them onto three double-pointed needles.

Increase again, this time by (knitting 1 f&b, then k1) all the way around


(Knit 1 f&b, k2) all the way around


(knit 1f&b, k3) all the way around


(knit 1f&b, k4) all the way around


(knit 1 f&b, k5) all the way around


(knit 1 f&b, k6) on needles one and two. Bind off needle three and knit the rest of the way around.

Turn and purl back on just the two needles.

*Turn and k1 f&b in each stitch

Turn and purl two together all the way back

Use a crochet bind off** to get the little loops.

*If you want your tail larger than the one I made, simply do this as many more rows as you like, increasing in the same way (for instance, on the next row, instead of increasing in each stitch for the ruffle edge, you would k1 f&b, k7 and then purl back ... on the next row, you would k1 f&b, k8, etc.) until you get to the desired size. If you like mine, then you will just continue with the ruffle part by increasing one stitch in every stitch as above.

**Using a few chain stitches hooked together makes a nice, little loop. But if this is too fussy for you, I would knit/purl back a couple more rows after the doubling increase and then simply bind off in the usual way. You should still get a ruffle.

Using the crochet chain stitch is easy, just time consuming. Simply insert a crochet hook into the first stitch on your needle. Chain 5, which is a lot like latch-hooking a rug. You just bring the yarn around the end of the crochet hook and pull it through your stitch. See how it's made a little yarn circle? Now you have one chain. Do this again and again until you have five little yarn circles or "chains." This little chain thing will extend beyond your knitting, if that makes sense. Then, insert your crochet hook into the next TWO stitches on your needle and pull the yarn all the way through all three stitches (the two you've just inserted the hook into and the first one that is on your hook already). There's your first loop! Now you just chain five again, insert hook into the next two stitches, pull yarn through all three, etc., until you have used up all the stitches! That's all there is to it!

Pilgrim Hat

I used three size US 10 1/2 double-pointed needles and one strand of Cascade Bollicine Revolution yarn for the hat, white dk weight (or worsted would be fine) for the band and a tiny bit of Lion Brand Glitterspun for the buckle.

Cast on 48 stitches onto one needle.

Divide among the three needles by purling 16 onto each. Place a stitch marker.

Knit 6 rows (or for a narrower brim, knit less rows)

Then decrease for the rest of the hat: knit 2 together all the way around.

I knitted two rows more at this point, then continued decreasing.

k2 together, k4, k2 together

Knit 10 rows more

Then k2 tog, k2, k2 tog all the way around


knit 2 tog all the way around and, using a gathering stitch and a yarn needle, pull a length of yarn through the remaining stitches, pull tightly and knot off.

If you liked the smaller hat, please do as follows. I used two strands of New Zealand 2-ply yarn, but you could also use 2 strands of Cascade 220 or something similar:

Using size US 10 1/2 double-pointed needles,

Cast on 36 stitches

Divide onto the three double-pointed needles by purling 12 onto each. Place stitch marker.

Knit four rows more

k2 together all the way around

knit 6 rows more

k2 tog, k2, k2 tog all the way around


k2 tog all the way around and use gathering stitch as above to finish off.

How to Felt Your Pieces:

After you have all the pieces made, put them in a lingerie bag. Put a bit of Woolite or other laundry detergent in your washing machine and set it to "small" or "mini" load. I usually add a pair of blue jeans to help with the agitation. Blue jeans do not give off lint, like other items might. Try to keep other items out at this point. Set your washer to "hot." I usually throw my lingerie bag in the area where the water is filling, so that it gets pounded by the rushing water. Close lid and set a timer for about 5 minutes. Check it every five minutes or so, just to make sure it's felting as you'd like. You may have to reshape it a bit. Tug it this way or that. Some pieces may felt faster than others, so go ahead and remove them when they are to your liking. Rinse them in cool water and roll in a towel.

When your turkey body is finished, rinsed and patted dry, stuff with polyester fiberfill, pushing it all the way down into the bottom and all around, filling him full to the top. This may take a little doing, as you've left a pretty small hole in his head! I pulled the hole open a bit and stuffed the stuffing down, working it around to fill out his body.

The hat needs to be placed on a form of some sort to get the right shape. Ideally, I think a shape like the top of a Redi-Whip whipped cream can looks about like a Pilgrim hat, but I used an upside-down glass votive candle holder. I wrapped a rubber band around the area where the band would be on the hat. Let it stay like this until completely dry. (Most likely that will take a day or two.) You may stuff the upper part of the hat with polyester fiberfill before securing to head, if you like.

Finishing: Let the other pieces dry, then mattress stitch the feathers as directed above. With white yarn, chain stitch the band along the Pilgrim hat and straight stitch a buckle. For his beak, I wet felted a bit of yellow roving in my hands, rolling it back and forth and then folded it down upon itself. For the wattle, I used a little red roving and also wet felted this in the same way, but left it a little less compact so that I could place a piece onto his beak. I think this part is called the snood! I then sewed this pieces onto his face with a bit of embroidery thread. His eyes are satin stitched with black yarn and outlined in straight stitches with white yarn.

As always, if you have any questions, or run into any problems, please email me! I hope you enjoy your turkey!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Still Working on New Pilgrim Hat

I have a new hat drying right now (on an upside-down votive candle for the shape) and will try to chain stitch a white area around the base, then add a chain-stitched buckle in gold and will see how that looks. It is A LOT bigger and this may not be a good thing! I will probably knit another a little smaller and see how that works.
The first hat was knit with two-strands of New Zealand 2-ply (dk weight) yarn held together and I cast on 36 stitches for the brim, working from the outside to the inside.
The second hat I used a Cascade very thick yarn (will have to check the label again) only one strand and cast on 48 stitches. This I think made the brim too wide and so I let it felt for a really long time, trying to shrink it more. It did become very sturdy! But I think it may still be too large, which tells me that 42 stitches probably would have been just right.
I'm sorry I didn't get to knit at all in the hospital yesterday while waiting for my Dad's surgery, as I thought I would. They kept moving us around from room to room, so I never could settle in and pull out all my stuff. I was going to start working on the pickle, which I will try to do tonight! The idea intrigues me, although my poor Rebecca doll lays forlornly on my dresser, quietly calling out to me, "I need arms and legs and clothes... I need arms and legs and clothes ... please don't forget about me!"
And to make matters worse, the pattern and yarn came in for the Lula doll!!! .... meanwhile, the playmat part of the Knitted Farmyard (which, by the way, is an incredible book) is still very bare, as I have only completed two corn fields and half a meadow in this giant landscape! I have enlisted Kent's help. He will now be the official yarn cutter, as I need TONS of different sizes of yarn cut for me to latch into the rug canvas. Once I get a rhythm going with latching pieces, I can run through a stack pretty quickly and I find it completely irritating to have to stop and measure and cut more.
Not to mention Alan Dart's Dickensian Mice, which I've started and his Knights, which I've almost started. (I say almost, as I needed the needles and had to take off the poor knight's foot and leg.) And of course, last (and certainly least), Randy's socks.
More later ...
More later ...