Of Rats and Jen (Inactive)

Tales of a Perpetual
Work In Progress

FOs, New Challenges, and Discoveries

Filed under: Gryphon,Knitting,Rats!,Sewing,Shopping Adventures — folkcat at 4:27 pm on Monday, March 5, 2007

It was a weekend of adventure for Gryphon and me. We made some discoveries of local resources we didn’t know about. I took on some new crafting challenges (I’ve hinted at them before, but now it’s probably going to actually happen). And I finished a recent WIP, as well as start-to-finish completed two more that you haven’t even heard about!


First up, though, a touch of old business. You may remember that I knit a request for a friend – a dicky for her motorcycle-riding boyfriend, Ken? Said friend recently sent me a photo of Ken wearing the dicky, along with the crocheted hat she made from the leftover yarn.

Ken in his dicky

I’m pleased with how this looks! And Ken is a great model!

On to more recent business. I finished knitting the Fiber Trends Felted Clogs on Friday, then sewed up the seams in the soles on Saturday. So yesterday was felting day!

Here’s how they looked before:

FO: Gryphon's Felted Clogs, Before

Great big floppy clown shoes!

We sent these through the heavy-duty cycle of the washing machine about, oh…I lost count after six or seven times. I had noted before that the yarn was going to be difficult to felt, but that it would get where we needed it with effort. Well, effort was right.

In the end, Gryphon decided to stop the process with the clogs still fitting a little loosely, with a comment that this way he’s free to throw them in the washer now and then, and let them shrink more as they will. Here’s the finished picture:

FO: Gryphon's Felted Clogs, After

As I said, still a little large. In fact, the instant I took this photo, I realized that the clogs reminded me of nothing else but Goofy’s shoes. I couldn’t find a good clipart for the comparison, though.

Gryphon loves them, though, and has been wearing them all over the house since. So count this as another FO success!

After finishing the clogs, I picked up a big crochet hook*, took the same doubled yarn I’d used for the clogs, and whipped up a nesting bowl for the Rattie Sisters. They have a couple of such bowls that began life as travel water bowls for dogs, but which are perfect for Ratties to curl up in and sleep. They’re getting pretty chewed up, though, and will need replacing eventually.

Here’s the first one I made, being inspected by Sable. (Star helps by turning away to wash her tail.)

FO: Rat Nest Bowl

They haven’t quite taken to it as a substitute for the doggy water bowl yet, but they will. It took them a few days to adjust to the original bowls, after all, but they grew to love them.

Having tasted Fast FO with the bowl, I grabbed some odds and ends of Lamb’s Pride, and started in on another Rattie bowl. This time, I used multiple colors, did a little fancy stitchery around one or two rounds, and cinched in the top a bit to make a cozy, nestable shape.

When I showed the finished product to Gryphon, he jokingly put it on his head.

FO: Gryphon's Crochet Hat

And dang! if it didn’t look quite good on him! He was as surprised as I was – it’s not a style of hat he’d normally go for. But he likes it, and so what was intended as a Rattie Nest Bowl is now being called a Rasta Beanie.

New Challenges

A little bit ago, I mentioned that I was considering taking up quilting. This past week, I received the e-mail newsletter from the Bunkhouse Quilt Shop. One of the tidbits mentioned was a new project/contest. Each month, for $2, you can buy a kit with a pattern and the fabric needed to make one quilt block. You sew up your block, and bring it into the store to hang on the design wall, at which time you also add your name to the jar for the prize drawing.

At the end of the month, one name is chosen randomly. That lucky winner gets to keep all the blocks! All of them are the same, so if enough people participated, you could have a whole bed-sized quilt with almost every bit of piecing done for you!

I thought, “geez, one block is a nice, easy way to get started – depending on the block. And $2? Cheap enough! Let’s check this out!” So Gryphon and I ran up the hill (they’re only a couple miles up the hill from me), and took a look.

Here are the pieces for my block, all laid out. The pattern is the Sawtooth Star, and all the blocks will be this same combination of red and cream-colored prints.

Quilting WIP: Bunkhouse Quilt Shop March Block

Now I just have to get around to sewing it up!

The quilting plan, after this starter block, is to make a complete wall hanging. This way I’ll get to do all the parts of the process – piecing, border, backing – and figure out whether I want to try quilting on my old Kenmore machine, or have it done for me. Once I’ve done a wall hanging, I’ll move on to making the queen-size bed quilt I want (and the desire for which started this whole thing about wanting to quilt).

I’ve even picked out the pattern I’m going to work with, for both the wall hanging and the bed quilt. Found it at Bunkhouse when we were there yesterday, and since they only had one copy left, I decided to take no chances and lock it in.

Quilting Future: Bento Box Pattern

This looks like a good option for me as a beginner. The pieces are all squares and rectangles. All the seams are straight. The instructions are actually geared towards using fat quarters, making it easy for me to find multiple fabrics I like for the project. They even tell me that I need so many light fat quarters, so many dark ones, for each size of quilt you might want to make.


Whoa…you know, I just realized how long this post is getting. So I think maybe these will have to wait until tomorrow! I’ll just offer a teaser, perhaps…

Pink Cloud?

This is one of the items Gryphon and I found a source for, nearby, readymade, and easy to get to. They had a bunch of other things I’ve been wanting, too! I’ll tell you all about it tomorrow – promise!

*I know, I know – I haven’t ever really talked about crochet here. That’s because, though I’m proficient at crochet, I don’t do it all that often. That may change, though…Claudia has talked me into reading the Freeform Crochet Yahoo group…and there’s all this stash to play with…



Comment by Valerie in San Diego

March 5, 2007 @ 6:41 pm

Hey! That “hat” looks great on Gryphon. Hee hee. I’m sure the ratties won’t mind if you make them a different one. Love the rat pics as always… you know I’m a sucker for them!


Comment by jen.

March 5, 2007 @ 10:14 pm

I love how serious Gryphon looks in his photo. He seems so stoic, yet he’s probably very amused by the rat bowl/hat coincidence.

Also, where in AZ did you send the dicky? I’m just curious since there’ve been lots of coincidences between you and me, so I wouldn’t be surprised if it ended up being my (smallish) town. It looks good! I am impressed that you made it up on the fly.


Comment by sarebear

March 7, 2007 @ 12:15 am

Ooo, awesome Rasta Beanie! And the origin of it would make me giggle inside, hee hee! But then, your ratties have good taste, too!

That Bento Box quilt looks fab, and it DOES look easy! I’m trying to find a cool pattern to start with, too. Most of the “easy” patterns, look too, well . . boring, for my taste! This one doesn’t, though!

I’m trying to figure out an inexpensive way to get a sewing machine, because I really NEEEEED and want one, lol!

I hope you win that quilt blocks draw; if you keep participating, it’s “bound” (hee hee) to happen!

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