Flip it around

I keep peeking inside this hat because I like how it looks on the inside almost (almost…there’s still a clear winner) as much as how it looks on the outside.  So here’s the outside (look…it’s gotten bigger)!

And here’s the inside.

And here’s another shot (pulled properly inside out so you can tell what side is the top…because that last one is a little crumpled).

I should have this done fairly soon here (I’m finally better enough and have found a comfortable enough way to sit that I can knit, which is awfully helpful for moving forward on patterns!).  I suspect it will go up for testing some in the next several weeks, and with a little luck it will be March’s pattern!

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Blocking

We’ve talked about this before, but just for the record, I’m still strongly in favor of blocking your cowls.  And I’m still absolutely convinced this is the best way to do it.

I started by threading blocking wires through the fabric at the top and bottom (you can hold them closed with a paperclip, or you can just keep threading the ends through until you’ve used up the whole wire).  Then I used long needles tucked under the wires to make spokes at the top, and set the whole thing on a roll of paper towels.

There’s some flexibility here.  You don’t have to use knitting needles across the top.  You can use pencils or dowels or rulers or whatever else you have that’s skinny and long.  And you don’t have to use paper towels in the middle.  You can use anything that’s tall enough and fits inside your knitting to hold it up (vase? a bottle of orange juice?).  Go wandering around your kitchen and bathroom, I bet you’ve got something that would work!

And you’re wondering, this cowl (and the matching mitts!) are out with testers right now.  They’ll probably be February’s pattern (once again, all I need is the final pictures, and I’ll be taking those just as soon as the broken leg is well enough to safely pull that off).  But soon…very soon!

 

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Alright, let’s fix them

Back in early August, The Boy got a pair of the spiffy Allbirds shoes (the ones made of wool!) to wear as slippers.  He likes them and has worn them around the house for the last few months.  However, come the end of December, it became clear there was a problem.  The lining of the shoes had worn through over his big toes, and the outer layer of fabric was starting to get thin.  If we didn’t do something, there would soon be a hole.

We didn’t really want to buy new ones (especially if they only last 5 months…), and they were in otherwise good shape, so I thought I’d see if I could fix them.

Needle felting seemed like the best bet.  I had the wool on hand (I also had some less colorful wool in the stash, but The Boy liked these…please don’t write to me and tell me I’m a monster for putting something colorful on a guy’s shoes — it will annoy me, and it won’t change the shoes).  I bought a felting needle and some foam and started experimenting.

I started by cutting the foam down to fit in the shoe so I’d have a firm backing behind the fabric to stab into.  Then I pulled off a tuft of the yellow wool, set it over the thin spot, and started stabbing.

It stuck just fine (which makes sense…wool sticks to wool).  I kept building up the yellow, making it thickest where the hole was, and then added on some orange, again making it thickest where the existing fabric had worn thin.  A little bit of purple finished it out.

When I pulled out the foam and put my hand in, I could totally feel where the wool and poked through and reinforced the whole area.  I suspect it will continue to felt down and tighten up as they’re worn over the next few weeks.  I’ll report back later in the year and let you know how its holding up.

I think this will solve the problem.  The worn spot is much thicker and sturdier now, and it seems like the patch will hold.  I won’t know for sure until they get some more wear on them, and I’m a little bugged that the shoes needed a repair after less than six months, but with any luck, this should make them last a lot longer!

Now for the fun bit

Made it through the ribbing…all 6 flipping inches of it.

I console myself with the idea that my ears will be warm and cozy.

And that the fun part is pretty enough to make up for the quiet start!

 

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