Helen reports on the latest workshop at Toft...
From talking to visitors to Toft studio it seems that a lot of people discovered us by eying up the Giant Button Bags at the craft shows we attend, a definite fashion statement- they certainly stick in the mind.
|Ooooh, where did you get that bag?!|
Top tip for newcomers to circular knitting:
Knitting Stockinette Stitch in the round is super easy as all you do is knit, knit and then knit some more! Because you're working around in a circle (or rather a spiral) you're always on the right side of the work so you don't have to do purl rows like you would on straight needles. However, if you want to make Garter Stitch you have to knit 1 round, then purl a round, then knit a round. It's just the opposite of working on straights - simple.
|Circular needles - nothing to get wound up about|
If you try the Button Bag for yourself you'll notice that the needle size you use is much bigger than the one recommended for the yarn type this is because the bag is felted once you've knit it. So it starts off really loose, open knit and floppy, then in the magic of a 2 hour 40 degree wash cycle the fibres shrink and compact down to create the dense, firm felt structure.
Top Tips for Knitted Felting:
Now, normally we'd recommend you to handwash your alpaca knits with a gentle wool detergent and dry flat away from heat, but because we want to deliberately shrink our knitting we need a more vigorous hotter wash and a standard non-biological detergent, be sure to use a non-bio though or your bag might turn out a little fuzzier than you expected! You'll also want to avoid using soapflakes like Lux as these will hinder the felting process.
Once the bag is felted, future washes can be done on a 30 degree wool cycle.
|The finishing touch|
The next Button bag workshop is on Sat 15th September so do go to our website and book a place if you fancy a go yourself or know someone who would like a fantastic gift day experience.