Crochet: Felted Dot Coasters – craftmade international

Crochet: Felted Dot Coasters – craftmade international

January 1, 2021 Off By Montero Theo

This crochet project was easy and fun, and there are many more ideas to try in this little book, Gifted, Lovely Little Things to Knit + Crochet.  Here is the photo which caught my eye & caused me to purchase one skein each of red and black yarn, from my favorite knitting resource the Sheepy Yarn Shoppe in White Bear Lake, MN.  The yarn was Cascade 220, 100% Peruvian Highland Wool which was labeled excellent for felting.

Because the project required some needle felting for the dots on the coasters, I purchased the Needle Felting Starter Kit.  Having never tried controlled felting in the wash machine or the hand felting with a needle, the adventure in fibers began.

With a size J crochet hook, the initial ring was made by chaining 4 stitches.  This was the anchor for the next 5 rows of double crochet. The following rows increased each time around the circle  from 12 dc (double crochet), to 24 dc, 36 dc, 54dc and finally 72 dc.  This took less than an hour to complete each coaster once your fingers get used to the rhythm.

Now it was time for felting in the washing machine.  The basics are simple:

1. every yarn felts differently, even the same yarn in a different color.

2. every machine produces a different outcome.

3. watch your pieces throughout the process, checking them frequently, every 5-10 minutes during wash cycle.

4. place your project in a zippered pillowcase cover to catch fibers that may clog your machine or adhere to your next load.

5. use the hottest water on the highest agitation, because that is the trick.

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6. don’t allow the machine to go into the spin cycle or you may permanently adhere your trivet to itself if it folds during washing.

7. use a wool cleaner such as Eucalan which is a no rinse for delicate’s.

8. block (shape) your felted project.  The coasters needed only slight pulling to pull them into a perfect circle.

9. do not put your project in the dryer, but allow to air dry, so shape is maintained.

Now that sounds like a lot of pre-reqs and warnings, but felting the coasters really was simple.  I purposely  crocheted up an extra coaster to compare sizes during washing.  It did take 4 tubs of hot water (smallest load), Eucalan, and heaviest agitation to get a solid felt where I could not see any individual stitches.  I put the black and red coasters in 2 pillow covers to protect the colors of each.  I wanted contrast to come from the needle felting and not stray wool from the other color coaster.   When the coasters were felted to the size and thickness I desired, I let them air dry on top of the dryer.

The book, Felted Knits , by Beverly Galeskas gave a thorough understanding of the process of felting and offered invaluable suggestions.

After crocheting, felting and drying, it was time for the final decorative elements…the dots.  The needle felting kit came with a styrofoam block, dyed wool roving in a variety of colors and three extremely sharp needles with barbs up the sides. These barbs are what cause the wool to interlock and create a stable pattern.  I wound up a small amount of red roving, made a small circle then just punched it gently into the styrofoam.  Quickly the surface began to look like an orange skin and voila, the dot was done.  The only warning here is to stab gently and avoid your fingers or you will get poked.

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Because the needle felting kit did not include a black, I decided to deconstruct some black yarn in order to ‘make’ roving for the red coasters.  It worked like a charm, with the short pieces of yarn breaking down quickly into unspun wool.

I encourage anyone to try this project.  You quickly learn a lot and end up with a charming little gift anyone would be pleased to set a hot cup of coffee or tea on.  Have fun!

Knitting: Kid Legwarmers – craftmade international

Here’s what you need to create the cutest little legwarmers for your own little dancer:  a set of 5 double point needles, Blue Sky Leg Warmer’s pattern & your yarn.  I chose a multi-colored knitting worsted weight (machine wash gentle cycle tumble dry).  An interesting thing happened while I was deciding on what size to make.  When I cast on 34 stitches for children’s size 6, the yarn made a striped pattern.  Deciding to go up a size I cast on 36 stitches and a completely different pattern began to emerge, a wide diagonal.

Learning to knit with 5 needles was no big deal at all.  I adjusted the amount of stitches on each needle so that each new needle began with a pearl stitch. This pattern called for a 1 X 1 rib (k1, p1) all the way around until you reach the desired length.

With the leg warmers complete I ran over to Target to find a leotard and tights to complete the Christmas outfit.  Here she is opening her present, not completely sure of what to do with them!

A few minutes later we heard a commotion in the hall and realized the gift was a hit!  Merry Christmas dancer!

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Happy Valentine’s Day – craftmade international

The word heart is found in the Bible 743 times.

Kardia – the Greek word from which we get cardiac

Psuche – the Greek word meaning the ‘soul’, or life, and is another word for heart.

5-8Servants, respectfully obey your earthly masters but always with an eye to obeying the real master, Christ. Don’t just do what you have to do to get by, but work heartily, as Christ’s servants doing what God wants you to do. And work with a smile on your face, always keeping in mind that no matter who happens to be giving the orders, you’re really serving God. Good work will get you good pay from the Master, regardless of whether you are slave or free.  Ephesians 6:6  The Message

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.  Ecclesiastes 3:11

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.  2 Corinthians 4:16

May your heart be strengthened today dear ones.