Thursday, April 30, 2009

Futte Futte Ball Shaker: Let's get it on!

OK, so now that you've gathered your goods let's make a felt ball or 2. After you have you wool snake (see yesterday's post) you have to rip up the fluff into smaller pieces and fluff it up more so it will go into the futte futte cup better and it will also felt better.

*Fluffed wool in 1 half of the futte futte*
Put the other half of the futte futte on then dunk the whole thing in your SUPER SCALDING HOT tub of soapy water. This is where reading the japanese directions may come in handy. My interpretation is that you have to stir the water with the futte futte. (it's not for the waters sake but for the felting process.) For the 1st ball I "stirred" the water for about 2min.
Then remove from the water, this is where it's nice to be outside if you can. Shake that thing, and shake it! In my dream world (why I ordered the futte futte in the first place) you would be done. Sadly, you are from from it. Re-dip in HOT water, stir, shake, dip, stir, shake, dip, stir, shake, so on and so on.
*My 1st ball midway through the process*
It took me about 15 min. to achieve a ball I was happy with  (green ball in the last picture). I changed my approach slightly with the 2nd ball.

*Red/yellow roving snake for 2nd ball*
I used a bit more roving (which makes a bigger ball) and did the whole dip, stir, shake in a fast progression. It didn't cut down on the time or how much stirring and shaking had to be done.

*2 finished felt balls (2nd attempt on the left)*
All in all the Futte Futte Felt Ball Shaker makes nice balls and totally saves your hands from the hot water, but I don't think it's any faster or better then doing it by hand (aside from not burning your hands off, which I admit is a huge plus). I guess I thought it would take less time. My main motivation in getting the futte futte was to make some christmas garland ("popcorn" and "cranberries") because my 1st string took me a million hours and I didn't even make it that long. I didn't do it though because I lost my motivation when I realized that my time would not be saved. 

It's totally possible I'm doing something wrong as I do not read Japanese. I tried translating the page in google but it didn't really help. If you have any tips or tricks please share. I'd love to hear them! I'll keep working on it too.


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Futte Futte felt ball shaker: Gather your tools

It was super hot and sunny here on Monday and I decided it would be a good day to haul out the old Futte Futte. 1st steps 1st, let's round up all the things you need to make a felt ball.

*The Futte Futte Felt Ball Shaker in all it's glory! *
(comes with a tiny spoon to measure the soap)
*Lovely Colorful wool roving for felt ball making*

*Soap and a some kinda tub*                           
I used Dawn this time to see if it helped 
with felting.(no difference.) 

 A medium sized tub is helpful so you have a good amount of room to swish about in.

                                        Also the water should be HOT, HOT, HOT!

This is a picture of the amount of roving I tore off of the ball. It's about 12 in but really I think it's an eyeball kinda thing. 

(It looks like a weird green flat snake.Hum maybe my next project?)

That's all you need to get started. I recommend doing this outside because it's easier to get you shake on and not make a mess. Stay tuned for the step by step in the futte futte process.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

UFO Sighting #1 Magic Loop Socks

I have many unfinished projects sitting on needles and holders. I thought it might be interesting to take pictures and post some of them. Maybe it will actually get me to finish something. The  1st item/s up for review are a pair of socks I started in 2003 maybe?

                 *With Flash*                    *Without*
Neither one really does the yarn justice. What yarn is it you say? 

Koigu Kersti! 

What colorway is it? Your guess is as good as mine??? It's a lovely apple green/yellow speckled with dk blue.

            *Poor Close Up*
Yes, it's the purl side out! Why? Well when I first started knitting socks it just happened and it took me a few socks to figure out that I could actually stop it from happening. Hum? Fancy that? Also I'm Knitting on size 3 needles instead of the recommended  size 6, to produce a dense and warm sock.

You may have noticed in the picture that I'm not using double pointed needles. I have actually never used them. My preferred method for knitting socks is 2 at a time, toe up, magic loop. I use a figure 8 cast on and do M1  increases for the toe. There is no pattern for the socks I just try them on as I go when it seems right I do a short row heel. My one big problem is that I tend to make my heels too pointy (perhaps I get carried away with the short rows?)

These are sooo close to being done all the hard stuff is out of the way. I just need to go up a bit more (I like short socks). Besides I really could use my size 3 needles back.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Wanna Win?It's A Giveaway in Honer of EarthDay!

In honer of Earth Day I'm having a contest! Woo Hoo! This is your chance to win a one of a kind Kookababy sweater bunny. This isn't your average bunny. This one is made of a recycled wool sweater and t-shirt then stuffed with eco-friendly bamboo fill!  So it simple to enter, all you have to do is post a comment to my blog by 12pm EST on April 29th (Post from 4/22-4/29 are eligible). The comment must be relevant to the post and be on a post made in 2009. I will draw a winner at random on Thursday April 30th and then announce the winner on Friday.

He could be yours!
Don't forget to include contact info (email or blog link) so I can notify you and collect your address.

Monday, April 20, 2009


Just a quick post to admit that I have not been able to keep my every other day post goal. It's true I'm a huge slacker. Stay tuned because it will be worth it (think contest, giveaway).

Friday, April 17, 2009

Oh Sunny Day!!

In addition to my love of all things fiber artsy. I am a super cloth diaper loving mama! Today has been a lovely, sunny warm day. I got up early so I could get those diapers out on the line. It really is one of my favorite sights besides little baby cloths hanging in the sun.I use a mix mostly Bumgenius , but I also have some Thirsties AIO (the neon orange one) and am trying out the new Gro Baby OS (the plumy purple one)
Another thing I'm crazy about it babywearing. Here I am wearing  my 2 year old on my back in a Zidee Podaegi I got on the babywearer. I think my days of wearing my toddler are fast coming to a close, so I'm trying to squeeze them all in while I can.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Manos Love or Lack Thereof.

I have had 4 skeins of Manos del Uruguay in Wildflowers (113) for about 5 years now. 
Of course I have never used it, why have yarn and actually use it? My orginal plan was to make the Serendipity Cardigan from Hollywood Knits out of it but after my 1st attempt (in another colorway) I changed my mind.

*Serendipity Cardigan, made waaaay back in 2005 * 

So my next thought was to try the Hot Lava Cardigan by Blue Alvarez ,but then I got my hands on some super soft Malabrigo Chunky in Apple green and did it in that instead.

*HOT LAVA 2006* 
I finally pulled the Manos out of the box and put it in basket in my bedroom hoping the inspiration would strike. So far all I can come up with is to do another "hot lava" because I wear my other one all the time and love it! I guess we will see. I have to finish the blanket 1st.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Sweet Success!

Pants in Action!!! This morning I managed to get the pants I made on him. These are made out of two sleeves from a felted thrift store sweater. I used a basic pant pattern to know where to cut the crotch and rise. I think I will make some tweaks to it and then try again. Maybe I'll even generate my own pattern. We'll see. It might be a bit ambitious. 

So soft and Cozy! So much so that he didn't even want to take them off.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Great Toddler Stand Off

I know it sounds like an excuse but really Loki is very against trying on the pants I made. Maybe I'm just catching him at bad times. 

Who knew a toddler could be so picky about his clothing. 

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Nothing crafty, pouty rocker won't try on pants.

So my little rock star of a toddler did not feel like trying on the pants I made yesterday, so I'll attempt the fashion photo shoot later today and then there really will be some tangible evidence of my sewing efforts.  

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Wool Longies from old Sweater Sleeves. Way to save money!

 Look 2 posts in one week! Wow! My goal is going to be posting  every other day for the month of April, so check back often you never now what your going to find

I have a pile of sweaters that were supposed to become sweater bunnies but have been sitting in a heap instead. I hacked them all up into manageable pieces. 

I saved all the sleeves intact so that I could try my hand at making some wool longies.

I think I'm going to start with the blue ribbed ones and then move onto the crazy giraffe print ones. They are both super soft merino wool.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Sorry to be away soooo long.

So after a super duper long, long break I'm back to posting and am going to try to keep it sort of regular. I'm even working on a free knitting pattern. Stay tuned. 

I've been knitting on and off (mostly off due to a shoulder injury, blah) and here is the progress:

It 's the beginning of  a baby blanket for the new little one coming in July. The pattern is from  Mason-Dixon Knitting and is the Moderne Baby Blanket which is done with "log cabin" style knitting. I must confess this is one of my favortie ways to knit a blanket because it allows for a ton of freedom and lots of creativity. I'm using Knitpicks Swish Worsted Yarn in allspice, marine heather, tidepool heather, lawn and bok choy. I was a bit disappointed at the rustiness of the allspice but it's starting to grow on me. I was wanting this to be a gender neutral blanket but because of the rust seems to be leaning in the boy direction. I think I'd like to add a creamsicle orange to it or maybe a lavender to balance it out. Any suggestions???