It’s the time of year when my Christmas gift list prompts a visit to my LYS (that’s “local yarn store” in knit-‘Net-speak) and I have an excuse to go a little crazy and buy up a stash of yummy stuff to knit. I like knitting my gifts, because it gives me great pleasure to have an excuse for lots of knitting, and of course it feels more thoughtful and personal than wandering the stores looking for “that perfect gift” (and try doing that with a 3 and 5 year old in tow!). Of course, it also means that I encounter deadlines and timelines that may results in me sitting up late furiously knitting purling to get a project completed in time. I also have to choose projects that knit up fairly quickly, which gives me a chance to do lots of different things in a short period of time. Fun!

This year I’m trying my hand at felting. Like wool isn’t remarkable enough, what with it’s water-resistant and antibacterial properties; it also has this property whereby dunking it in hot water and agitating the fibres causes them to mat up. The result is just what the name suggests: felt (think about the sort of felt shapes you played with as a child on a felt board). It’s thick, water-resistant, and you can even cut it like fabric! I’ve never felted before, but many of my knitting friends have and swear that it is just as easy as the instructions suggest. All you need is a washing machine (and actually you could do it by hand if need be).

And while I was in said LYS the lady at the shop gave me an amazing idea. Anyone who knits understands that you soon build up a stash of little balls of yarn, leftovers from projects. There isn’t enough yarn to make anything other than a dishcloth, but you liked it so much you can’t bring yourself to throw it out. Well….if you knit them up into little squares (as big as you can get with what you’ve got) and felt them – you have fabric that you can cut into shapes and sew onto knitting projects! Isn’t that fabulous?

I’m going to close with a couple of links to knitting blogs I’m enjoying (other than the ones in my sidebar): Yarn Harlot and Four Friends and a Blog.

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