Needle Felting for Repairs

One of my least favorite things in crochet or knitting is dealing with the loose ends once a project is finished. Needle felting can be a big help in securing those ends though, especially if your project is worked using a wool blend yarn.

Recently one of my friends had an issue with some mittens she had knit. When weaving in ends she had some extra strands on the outside of her fabric. We looked at the mittens trying to figure out how she could weave in the ends. They were going to be super short and there was a good chance they would pop loose.

Needle-felting to the rescue! I grabbed my size 40 felting needle, my “egg” felting surface, and a small steel crochet hook (not shown).

I cut the strand in the center, and had 2 short ends.

I then pulled the 2 loose ends to the wrong side of the fabric by inserting a small crochet hook in from the side.

I turned the mitten inside out and gently pulled on the ends to be sure I didn’t have any excess yarn on outside of mitten. I inserted my felting surface behind the fabric and snugged the fabric where I would be needling tight to the surface.

I then gently needled the ends close to where they came thru the fabric. I checked the outside (right-side) of the fabric regularly to make sure my work wasn’t visible. I wanted to secure the ends but not decrease the stretch of the fabric. Once I was sure the ends were well secured I trimmed off any excess yarn.

You can use this same method with any knit or crochet project. Especially if the project is worked in a wool or other animal fiber yarn. Needle felting can secure other types of fiber, but you may want to test it out before relying on it for your final project.

Needle felting can even be a great way to secure the cut end of longer tails that have been woven in. Especially helpful on items that get a lot of use like hats, mittens, scarves and blankets.

For longer tails, weave in like you usually do, but before cutting the yarn use your felting needle to secure the end. Then cut close to the needle felted spot to remove excess yarn.

One of my favorite tools is Clover’s Single Needle Felting Tool. It is much easier on my hand than just holding the plain needle. The ergonomic shaping also allows for more control of the needle while working.
If you can’t find this tool locally it is available online at Amazon.com. Click on the photo above to go straight to it.

This post contains affiliate links. I may receive compensation (at no additional cost to you) if you make a purchase using these links.

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I Love Paris

 

Tour de Effiel

Paris, France is one of my favorite cities. I dreamt of visiting it for many years before I finally got to see it for real. When I went there for the very first time it was April.

Garden in Paris

The gardens were just beginning to show color, but the weather was occasionally rainy and gray. The colors of the gardens would be muted by the subdued light yet it was magical and wonderful for me.

Place de Concorde

It’s been years since I last visited, that is a very young me at the fountain in the Place de Concorde. This scarf design was inspired by the gardens of Paris and reminds of my happy visit there.

Paris Garden Scarf2 - M2H Designs

Paris Garden Scarf.  My sample is worked using one ball of Classic Elite’s lovely Alpaca Sox. This is a 60% Alpaca/20% Wool/ 20% Nylon yarn that works up as a light fingering weight. The Nylon will help this scarf hold up to a lot of wear. I designed this to be crocheted with a larger than usual hook size to show off the soft halo of the yarn.

Paris Garden Scarf3 - M2H Designs

This pattern is available in my Ravelry Shop for $3.99. Click here to buy it now.

Paris Garden Scarf - M2H Designs

My original proto-type was made working with 2 strands of yarn at the same time. I used 1 ball of Classic Elite’s Silky Alpaca Lace (70% Alpaca/30% Silk) and 2 balls of Pirouette (67% Mohair/25% Bamboo/8% Nylon). Unfortunately the Pirouette yarn was discontinued. But I’m still very happy to wear my original scarf.

This is a great take-along project for more experienced crocheters, the stitches aren’t complicated, but they are interesting enough to keep you entertained.  I found the second scarf took me only about 8 hours to work up.

If you are looking for a lovely lacy and warm scarf for a gift this one would be a good match. All 5 of my patterns released the past month were designed with gift-giving in mind. This is a great time of year to get started on those holiday gifts.

National Crochet Month just around the corner

So February is over after today. I can never figure out why it seems like such a super short month, after all it’s only 2 days shorter than most of the other months. Though, once again, it went screaming by.

Tomorrow is March and National Crochet Month. I’m reminded of the saying, “March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb.” I’m really hoping there is some truth to that this year.

Front Deck to Left

This is the scene outside my front door right now.  It’s rather beautiful with the sunshine and blue sky, but the temperature is a balmy 17 degrees Fahrenheit.

Front Deck to Right

I am definitely in the mood for crocheting warm accessories. As many of my readers know, my very favorite accessory to crochet is a hat. And in keeping with my goal to create “teaching” patterns I am pleased to announce I have published my first one.

Perfect Fit Crocheted Hat
Perfect Fit Crocheted Hat

My “Perfect Fit Crocheted Hat” pattern/lesson is available now in my Ravelry shop for $6.50.

This pattern was based off my Perfect Fit Crocheted Hat class that I have taught the last 2 years at Longmont Yarn Shoppe. I’ll actually be teaching this class at the shop again next weekend. But for those of you that are too far away to join me for a class, this pattern is a chance to be able to learn the skills for making hats that are exactly the size you want.

Perfect Fit Crocheted Hat
Perfect Fit Crocheted Hat

What I like the best about this pattern/lesson is that you can use the formula taught in it to use any size yarn or hook to create a hat that is just the right size. A great way to use up the bits and pieces of yarn you may have left in your stash, since I usually only need about 110 yards of worsted weight yarn to make a standard woman’s size hat, even less yardage is needed to make hats for children.

So celebrate some crochet this month with making a warm hat or 2 for yourself or others you care about. Hoping we will all be seeing a more “lamb” like March by the end of the month.

 

The Continental Divide

This past Saturday I attempted to learn how to knit continental style. 

ContinentalDivide-1
The Necessary Yarn

Now the word “Continental” inspires romantic visions of sophistication and elegance in my mind.  This could possibly be due to the fact that I was raised in the wilds of Kansas.  Continental knitting it turns out has nothing to do with elegance, at least not in my hands.

Knitting is not really my talent.  I can sort of knit using the English style, where one “throws” the yarn.  I generally need to have an illustrated knitting book open for prompting each step.

After a bit I am zipping along with basic knit and purl stitches (which is about the time I get in trouble with unintended increases or decreases). I have even been known to make a square that has a close resemblance to a flat four-sided object with 90 degree corners (sometimes by a judicious application of force to reshape the wonky).

I’ve been crocheting for nearly 40 years,  so it has been a very long while since I was at the “just learning” stage.  I am discovering in my knitting adventures that I am at the very beginning, in fact at times I wonder if I am in some twilight region that precedes the beginning.

Being I am a brave and adventurous soul I decided I wanted to get better at knitting.  Many knitters, that also crochet, had promised me that knitting continental style is much easier to learn since you hold the yarn similar to crochet.   This sounded good to me, though possibly I was simply delusional.

I made plans with a friend that I see at The Lamb Shoppe’s monthly Pajama Jam to teach me how to knit continental style.  My ambitious idea being that I would make a hat for another friend’s soon to arrive baby.

I had packed a few sizes of needles from my meager stash of knitting accoutrement into my project bag for the evening.  It was decided after a confab that I would use my Size 7 needles and worsted weight yarn knitted flat then seamed to construct the hat.

Being I did not have a yarn with me that would fit the bill, and was fortuitously in a yarn shop at the moment, it was time for yarn shopping.  For once I did not dilly dally at this most wonderful of errands and quickly decided on Cascade 220 Superwash Paints in the lovely Tropical Seas colorway.

I then cast-on using my crochet hook (I was informed that what I was doing was considered a provisional cast-on, but it would work) and began to knit my first ever swatch continental style.  It took a bit of time, but I eventually was working at a steady clip with knit stitches and accomplished a few rows of garter stitch.

Some of my friends at the table with me were highly entertained at my method of knitting.  One went so far to say that I was crocheting my knitting.  I replied that it was perfectly sensible that I would as I am a crochet designer.  I was beginning to feel fairly happy with my knitting progress, when I was told it was time to learn to purl.

Hmmmm, another word with mental picture issues.  In my mind (and experience) pearls are iridescent lovely gems, and though the word “purl” in knitting sounds similar this stitch is certainly no gem.  When my helper told me that purling isn’t anything to be afraid of I knew I was in serious trouble.

My rows of knit stitch had only taken me about 40 minutes. 2 hours after I had started my first row of purling I finally finished it. Let’s just say now that my friend’s baby is likely to be in kindergarten before I get a hat knit (I may be whipping up a crochet one just in case).

My 3 meager rows of Continental Knitting
My 3 meager rows of Continental Knitting