Twin Studies

Doppelgangers have enormous appeal for me in all forms: professional celebrity impersonators, Dostoyevsky’s The Double, Nabokov’s Despair, houses with miniature/to-scale versions that serve as mailboxes—the list goes on and on! But my current Top-of-the-Heap favorite is crocheted toy twins.

To begin, a question: What makes a good doppelganger? Ideally, it should be both precious and eerie in its sameness—but with most small toys, you’re also painting with a broad brush. Therefore cats (and the like) are a terrific subject, because very simple changes can be made to a pattern to mimic their varying fur and markings.

Recently, I found Claudia van K.’s joyful “Mr. Tibbles the Cat” free pattern on Ravelry and I knew exactly who to model it after…

Meet Harvey, my boyfriend’s cat. He enjoys dirt, moths, making Snoopy noises and sleeping on his very own military cot:


Now, meet Mr. Harvey the Cat. He enjoys eating polyfill and being very quiet:


Customer Question of the Week: Felting with Knit Picks Yarns

Hey there! Welcome to “Customer Question of the Week”, a new weekly
blog feature wherein our crack team of experts (okay, it’s the KP staff)
answers your most pressing fiber-crafting queries. Have a ponderance or
problem you need solved? Email us at customerquestion@knitpicks.com. Even though we won’t be able to respond to every person, your question may be chosen for this feature!

This week’s winter-appropriate curiosity was answered by Stacey, our super IDP Coordinator.

Q:  “Which Knit Picks yarns work best for felting?”

A:  First of all, a quick definition: Felting
(or fulling as it is also called) is the process of intentionally
shrinking natural untreated fibers into a dense fabric using hot water
and agitation.  Many people use this for projects such as slippers,
bags, mittens, hats, toys, and housewares – anywhere you would prefer a
thick durable fabric.  We have a couple of tutorials on how to felt your
knitted & crochet projects – either by machine or by hand. 

have several yarns that work great for felting.  Remember, you will
want to use untreated yarns – no superwash! – and yarns that are made up
of mostly natural fibers.  Different yarns (such as wool vs alpaca) and
even different colors will felt at different rates, so make sure you do
a swatch before starting a project!

Single ply yarns are some of the best for felting so our Full Circle Worsted and Bulky
are perfect for felted projects. With the blend of Merino and Highland
wools, you’ll not only get very durable accessories such as hats and
mittens, the fabric will be soft and warm through the chilliest of
winter days.

Our 100% Peruvian wools are the most popular for felting – that is, Palette and especially the Wool of the Andes line (sport, worsted and bulky).  You can see this is great for projects such as bags, like Meghan Jones’ Intwined Bag, which uses Wool of the Andes Bulky.


Felting Success!

I love my Galaxy Tab that I bought last autumn. It’s the size of a Kindle but since I bought one as soon as they were available, there were no nice covers available. Just a utilitarian, black ugly thing. Ugly enough for me to take it off the Tab after just a week.

The problem was that I wasn’t comfortable toting the Tab around without a cover. As I looked at the leftover yarn from my Merryall Cardigan, I realized a felted cover in that lovely, Wool of the Andes Amethyst purple would be appealing. Bob just returned from a two-week business/golfing with friends trip. That meant I had evenings all to myself to watch through all six series of Jordan’s Crossing.


Tilde Cloche

I was looking for a quick but not mindless project to work on while I
wait for the oodles of yarn to arrive in the mail for my next BIG
project. I sat down to page through my knitting books for inspiration
when My Grandmother’s Knitting popped open to Jared Flood’s Tilden Baby Hat.
I loved the colors and simple but beautiful pattern. I definitely
wanted to knit this for myself, but the pattern was for a toddler sized


Felted slippers… perfect for these cold winter days!

When it gets cold outside, there’s nothing better than to snuggle
your feet in a cozy pair of felted slippers!  They are so toasty warm! I
have made many as gifts and for myself.  Wool of the Andes 
is the perfect yarn for these projects, and my preferred yarn of
choice. I used worsted weight for this project.  This last week I
finished a pair for a good friend of mine using the Fiber Trends Felted
Clogs pattern. (I love this pattern!) They have a double sole which
felts nice and thick. Before felting, these slippers look enormous!

prefelted clogs


Sweater Repair

sweater repair roving

Ice scrapers are a sure sign that it’s time to break out those “serious”
sweaters that I’ve had packed away since Vermont. Oh how those sweaters
kept me toasty! Unfortunately it looks like two of them have met with
the dreaded wool-nibbling moths! I was able to poke a finger through all
four holes. After frowning for a moment and pledging to make some
little sachets of cedar shavings, I brightened up a bit when I realized
that the new Full Circle Roving had the perfect colors to repair both sweaters without any fuss at all!