Friday, July 30, 2010

High on Wool

I've been in a creative frenzy.  I hadn't crocheted in over 3 months and then *BAM*!  Two weeks ago the flood gates were opened.  It may have been the excitement of using my hooks again or just a backlog of creative juices that needed to flow, but most likely it was the enticing aroma and feel of my wool. It sat there watching me, just biding its time.  It knew that sooner or later I would come by and just catch a glimpse of its sensuous ends dangling out of its box slithering a come hither dance, enticing me to catch a whiff of its woolly goodness.  Most people would be fooled into thinking it was my cat who playfully helped it escape and merely the A/C blowing it around, but I'm no fool.  Wool Stash, you are a devious little temptress.

I do have a lot of yarn- about 8 large plastic tubs full of wool alone.  (Side bar- Since I have so much, I've been thinking of selling kits with my patterns.  I do have enough for kits for the Watermelon Felted Tote and will be posting them soon since I've already received a request for it.)  However, it's mostly Patons. (I went a little wild at Michaels and AC Moore when I found that I loved felting.  Don't judge me.)  I love Patons- it has served me very well.  I have a few Lion Brand Wool, too- I used both wools together in the Marilyn bag I made my sister.  I love their colors, I love the way it felts, and I truly do love the way it smells.  (I went shopping with my friend and she caught me snorting smelling the wool- it would have been more embarrassing had she not known me as well as she does.) 

Anywho, I really want to try branching out with new yarns- specifically wools for felting, but also different weights to make scarves/shawls out of something other than worsted weight.  So, first I went to Webs and scored some wool that was on closeout. 

Newest addition to the fam.

I am going to try my hand at Valley Yarns wool as well as Shepherd Classic wool.  There are 5 skeins each and I bought 8 skeins of black (can't remember which brand....I was high on wool, I tell you!) but they are back ordered so I'll hopefully receive them in the next couple weeks.  (WEEKS! GAH!)

Well, I can't wait a few weeks for another fix.  My wool high was wearing off and I need another hit NOW.  I may need wool rehab.  But, can you really blame me if I found a sale for 40% off the entire freakin' store?  Oh yes, my friends.  I found a new dealer.  Eleganza Yarns in Frederick, MD had a Midnight Madness sale and, from 9-midnight this past Saturday, their entire store was 40% off.  MUAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHA!!! I dragged my Mister out there at 11pm just to get another score.  Hey, he's been wanting me to get my crochet back on- blame him for being an enabler.

Caution: May cause an OD on wool
If you are a wool newbie, you may want to back away from your screen- I don't know if you can handle the potency of the wool yet.  You need to build a tolerance for it otherwise you risk a wool coma.  Clockwise from the top left:

1) Elegant yarns Kaleidoscope. It's a self striping yarn- check out some of the projects on Ravelry that have used this yarn- beautiful! It's 100% wool and feltable.  I've already planned a project with it- see below...

2) Next is Jojoland Melody superwash.  It's a DK weight and is washable- also self striping.  I am pretty sure I know what I want to make with this yarn....more on that tomorrow.

3) Dalegarn Tiur- a sport weight Mohair/wool blend from Norway.  It was on clearance- 50% off- I'm the best shopper in the world!!  Have no idea what to do with it..... 

4) The yellow yarn is Universal Yarn Deluxe Worsted 100% wool.  Again, feltable.  If you noticed, I bought a lot of yellow from Webs, too.  Yellow is the one color I don't have much of in my Patons stash, so I bought more.  That and....I forgot I bought it at Webs when I was at Eleganza.  The fumes were overpowering.

5) And finally, the yarn I've been wanting to try for quite a while- Noro Silk Garden.  I started using this baby right away.  I was a little loopy and didn't know what to do with this colorful woolly goodness, so I started a Half-Granny shawl (more on that in another post).

Being on a wool high triggered my designing impulses.  Now, I'm not an organized person.  I scrawl my ideas on whatever piece of paper I may find at hand (yes, even some napkins).  I've got a lot of ideas that have been bombarding my wool-intoxicated mind and I really would like to use a *single* notebook (rather than one of the many I have strewn across my home), but I also need to utilize graph paper for some of my designs.  Yesterday I was finally able to see the solution through the cloud of the wool fumes and off to Staples I went for some more retail therapy.

I iz professional now.
I bought a spiral graph paper notebook, which I've already put to good use (have a great project for that Kaleidoscope mapped out!), some colorful pens to aid with my designing, some new color pencils (I actually already had some, but spending money is almost as addicting as snorting wool.....don't tell my Mister), pencil sharpener, and erasers. I usually do my designing with a pen; however, after putting my new notebook through the paces today, I realized I should have bought myself a pencil, as well.  Now, here's the thing....before I collected yarn, I collected writing utensils.  I have literally hundreds of pens and pencils.  Why oh why did I buy more??  I WAS HIGH ON WOOL!!!! 

So, what started this wool addiction of mine?  I actually did not start out felting with Patons.  The first item I ever felted was a messenger bag that I ended up giving to my sister-in-law.  She has the very first GegeCrochet bag!  I made it with Sensations Kashmira wool (the JoAnn's house brand).  I never got pictures of it but finally remembered to ask my SIL to send me some.  Here is my first felted project:

I made it Christmas 2007 which we spent in AZ with my in-laws.  I started it on the plane ride there and tried first hand-felting it in the bathroom sink (not on the plane).  I then used the washing machine and was very pleased with the outcome.  With my current bags, I like to felt them even more- no stitch definition at all.  But, this one holds a special place in my heart.

 I crocheted the handle and was crossing my fingers that it wouldn't be too terribly long.  It's tough to gauge when you're felting.

I also integrated a pocket.  I actually made all my bags like this until I decided to line them.  I like the simplicity of the the felted interior and may do the same thing again when I make one for me.

I actually made a second one in the same exact colors with just a slightly different stripe sequence for me.....and then my sister fell in love with it so... I gave it to her.  *Sigh* I really want a freakin' messenger bag!!! 

So, there you have it- the project responsible for my wool addiction and the ongoing consequences of that first hit.  Let this be a lesson to you, kids.  Just say no to wool.  It may lead you down paths you never would have envisioned yourself traversing- like late night shopping at a store 40 minutes away for a 40% off sale. Besides, if you say no to wool, there will be more for me! MUAHAHAHAHAHAHA!


  1. Ok, it's official, you definitely have a wool addiction! But, I'm just glad to see you back crocheting. :-D

  2. Hi my name is kuddles and I'm a woolaholic! I have about 10 bins of yarn right now and I have a good 4 of them of wool! I LOVE to felt too! It's so addicting! Thanks for the yarn info! Or should I say no thank you, cause now I want more!!!

  3. Libby- I know, right?? I think my Mister is planning an intervention....and it's great to be back. ;)

    Kuddles- admitting you have a problem is the first step. First step to what, I don't know, but that's what people say. I think wool addiction is a relatively safe sickness to have. Granted, I'm an addict, so I'll try and rationalize it however I can. Welcome, friend. We'll form a support group.