I always look forward to the new patterns from Nora Bellows aka Noni. I think she is immensly talented. She doesn’t dissapoint with her new bag patterns. To the right is the The Bettie Boop Bag. It is so flirty, girly, sexy, what with the bling in the middle of the flowers, not to mention the flowers themselves. Doesn’t it just reek of femininity? Very aptly named, I think. We have the pattern, and all the hardware to complete the bag. And of course, we have the Shepherd’s Wool that her samples are done in. As she has done in the past, Nora has made the Bling Flower pattern available separately, so if you love the flowers, but the bag not so much, you can still get the flower pattern. And if you love the Sparkle Rivets (the bling in the middle of the flowers) but have a totally different idea in mind, you can get those individually, as well. They are available in four colors (pink, green, clear, and black) and two sizes (10mm and 7mm).
Also new from Noni Bags is the Bedouin Bag. The ridges are simple to create, but sure do add to the visual appeal. They give it kind of a scrunchy look without compromising the space in the bag. Click on the link above to see the specs on the sizing, but trust me when I say that the biggest size is BIG! As in, you could carry a small child in it big. Now that’s my kind of bag. I carry absolutely everything I might possible need if standed somewhere, whether that somewhere be the peaks of the Alps or the most remote part of the Saraha. I am carrying a somewhat smaller bag right now and am busting at the seams- really, I cannot close the bag. Maybe I should add this to my Rav queue?
It dawned on me this morning (no pun intended) that I have never posted pics of my Felted Door Mitten. This has been finished and hanging on my back door for three weeks now. I’ve had the pics, just not the time to post it. I really enjoyed this project. It was a very easy knit (absolutely HUGE pre-felting but I accidentally trashed the picture so you’re just going to have to trust me) and pretty darn quick, if you don’t include the whole double stranding debacle. I did not want a mitten that would be used only for Christmas, so instead of needle felting I chose to embroider snowflakes and add a few seed beads for sparkle.
I used three matching buttons from my Grandma’s button jar- one for the middle of each snowflake. I love the sparkle they add to the middle of the snowflake, plus they tie in with the seed beads really well. I wish you could see them better in the pics, but as they are somewhat clear it’s difficult to get them to come through. I’m happy with the way it turned out, however I think if I make one for my front door (and most likely I will) I will stuff it with plastic bags while it dries. I think it would have better shaping. So, what do you think?
Now, my final observations re: felting the Alpaca Love and Full O’ Sheep. I was not able to get the Alpaca Love to felt enough to suit me. When I am felting I don’t want any stitch definition whatsoever. Not even a hint. I want a nice, dense felted fabric. I just couldn’t achieve that with the Alpaca Love. To be fair, I should tell you that I used a size 9 needle and it may have felted better had I used a 10. I do like the Full O’ Sheep and I think I will try a pair of felted clogs in it. It yielded a very dense fabric even though I used only one strand, also on a size 9. Please share with us if you have used either of these for felting or not, and what you’re thoughts are.
Quick- finish this phrase without thinking: I say Red Heart, you say ______. You said Super Saver, didn’t you?! I know you did because that’s what Red Heart means to almost everyone. It always has to me, anyway.
I feel I must warn you that what I am about to say may offend some people, and please understand that this is not my intention. Before reading on, one must understand that I am a self proclaimed Yarn Snob. Notice the capital letters; this is on purpose. When I found out that we would be carrying Red Heart I could feel my nose begin to wrinkle and my lip involuntarily curled. I may have shuddered, but I’m not sure. This reaction comes from the immediate Red Heart – Super Saver connection. I am not a fan of Super Saver. There, I said it. I don’t like the feel or the look. I cannot imagine wearing it next to the skin or wrapping up in an afghan made from it. I realize that it certainly serves a purpose and fills a need, but as I said, I am a Yarn Snob. I thought that I would never, ever like a Red Heart yarn. Ever.
And then we got our first shipment of Red Heart product. Included in that shipment (in addition to the Super Saver) was Full O’ Sheep, Alpaca Love, and Bamboo Ewe, all from Stitch Nation by Debbie Stoller. (Also included was Mystic, an Alpaca/Acrylic blend that is just lovely to the touch. I’ve not knitted with it yet so today I am going to focus on the Stitch Nation by Debbie Stoller). I have to admit that my interest was piqued.
I immediately liked the Full O’ Sheep, a single ply 100% wool with a bit of a lofty feel to it. The colors are rich and bright, and have a slight sheen that you don’t usually see with wool. The Alpaca Love is a wool/alpaca blend that is also nice but not quite as soft to the touch. I like to felt, so I was curious as to how these would do, and I have finally put them to the test, by knitting a large swatch out of each.
I used a size US9 needle, could have stood a 10 I think. I must say I enjoyed knitting with both of these yarns. The Full O’ Sheep (darker pink) is a bit splitty (for me, anyway) but I liked it none the less. It’s like a younger cousin of Mauch Chunky from Kraemer Yarns, as it has the same loosely spun feel. I was very happy with the swatch, even being knit loosely; I could easily see myself knitting a garment out of this. The Alpaca love was a bit easier for me to knit with and I was happy with the way it turned out as well. This morning I threw them in the washer with some old t-shirts and a pair of sneakers to see how they would felt. I have a front loader, so it usually takes me some time to get the results I like.
I expected the Full O’ Sheep to felt pretty quickly, and it did felt down more than the Alpaca Love (which very definitely needed another go round). However, I didn’t have adequate time, as I needed to get to the shop so I will throw them in again this evening. I don’t think the Full O’ Sheep will take much longer. The pic posted is after felting for one cycle. I will post another after I give it another go.
Long story (very long story) short- I have to re-think my stance on Red Heart. Just because a yarn says Red Heart on the label does not mean that picky knitters/crocheters need avoid it. I plan on knitting something out of the Mystic because it really does feel wonderful. I will also try the Bamboo Ewe; I am interested to see how it holds up, etc.