Decreasing Stitches

• knit two together (k2tog)— decreased stitch slants to the right

Working from left to right at the point of the decrease, insert the tip of the right needle into the second and then the first stitch on the left needle; knit the two stitches together as shown in the illustration at right.

• purl two together (p2tog)— decreased stitch slants to the right

Working from right to left at the point of the decrease, insert the tip of the right needle into the first two stitches on the left needle and purl the two stitches together. See the illustration at right.

making a pom-pom

Wind yarn around a piece of cardboard or the palm of your hand loosely 100 times. Tie a 10-inch strand tightly around all the loops. Cut the yarn bundle opposite the tied end. Leaving the tails free, trim the pom-pom so that it is rounded and measures 1-2" in diameter. Tie onto piece with tails; trim tails.

for more hel

Visit www.YarnStandards.com for downloadable knitting information Compiled by the Craft Yarn Council of America. You'll find standard sizing information, abbreviations, yarn weights and sizes, and more—all valuable data for knitters.

grafting stockinette stitche

Hold wrong sides together with the needles pointed to the right. Thread the yarn tail into a yarn needle. *Insert the yarn needle knitwisc through the first stitch on the front needle and let the stitch drop from the needle.

Insert the yarn needle into the second stitch on the front needle purlwise and pull the yarn through, leaving the stitch on the needle.

Insert the yarn needle into the first stitch on the back needle purlwise and let it drop from the needle. Insert the yarn needle knitwise through the second stitch on the back needle and pull the yarn through, leaving the stitch on the needle. Repeat from * across until all stitches have been joined. Adjust the tension as necessary. Weave in loose ends.

elting

After you've knitted the fabric for your felted project, place it in a mesh lingerie bag and put it in the washing machine with Ivory Flakes or shampoo (avoid detergents), along with other lint-free items such as old T-shirts or jeans—they provide the necessary friction as the machine agitates to promote the felting. Do not hand-wash the item—without the agitation of the machine and the friction of the other items, the fabric will not felt.

Successful felting occurs when the stitches visually disappear. But there are times when its a good idea not to let the felting go too far, especially when you're felting with novelty yarns or when fit is important, as in mittens or hats. Remove the felted item from the washer when you think it has reached the size you want.You can always put it back in for another washing if you want it smaller. If you remove it in the middle of a wash cycle, hand-rinse it in cold water, and then roll it in a towel to remove excess water.

Don't put a washed felted item in the dryer at any time. Machine-drying does not promote felting; it only promotes shrinkage. Let the felting process do the shrinking. You'll find that felting will shrink your item from 15 to 20 percent across its width and from 25 to 40 percent in length.

SHAPING IT UP

Shape your project as soon as you remove it from the washing machine. Stretch it, pull it, and, if appropriate, stuff it until it becomes the shape you want. Use items around the house to hold the article s shape as it dries. For example, tuck a book wrapped in plastic snugly inside a straight-sided item. Stuff plastic bags around curved shapes, much as you would stuff" fiberfill into a soft toy. Keep the "stuffing" in the project until the shape is established and the article is almost dry. Then remove the stuffing, and let the item dry completely, allowing up to two days.

If you don't like the way an item is shaping up, wet it and reshape. For a soft and fuzzy finish, brush the item with a wire brush after it is completely dry.

MAKE A SWATCH. If you're new to felting, make a swatch, wash it, and observe how the swatch transforms itself to become a totally new "thing." Note how the swatch changes in appearance and size with each successive washing.

KEEP A FELTING JOURNAL. Write down the yarn you've felted. Be sure to include such information as the needle size you used, the number of stitches, the size of the swatch before felting, and the number of washings. Next time, you'll have a felting record for that yarn.

ADD FELTED EMBELLISHMENTS. To make felted embellishments of a contrasting color, knit a straight piece of stockinette stitch, felt it by washing it at least twice, cut out the shapes you want, and then wash them once more to soften the blunt cut edges. Or consider buying wool sweaters at garage sales for the same purpose. Wash them twice and then cut them into the desired shapes.

knitted bag of navajo-churro wool

SKILL LEVEL: Intermediate

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