Monday, October 15, 2007

HHCC Celebrates Sixth Year Anniversary!

Yesterday, with many thanks to our President, Grace, and to our lovely host, Margaret, The Happily Hooked on Crocheting Club, Connecticut Chapter of the Crochet Guild of America, celebrated it's sixth year anniversary!

Margaret volunteered to teach us felted cut flowers.  This entailed we do some homework beforehand and boy! was I ever happy that my BFF was up to the task because on Saturday I still hadn't finished crocheting and/or felting up the base, the bag,  that the flowers would eventually be added to!  So Mini~Dee and Dee Jr. took turns with the Innovations Knitting Machine, working up three fourths of my green wool.  The rest I decided to crochet up using various motif patterns from the book "201 Crochet Motifs, Blocks, Patterns and Ideas" by Melody Griffiths as I was curious how the felting would effect taller stitches.

I do want to note, especially with the oak leaf motif, that I changed the stitches ever-so-slightly.  When the instructions stated to do double crochet and treble/triple crochet stitches -- I linked them!   (Linked stitches is the technique of inserting the hook into the side of a previously made stitch and pulling up a loop; this loop takes the place of a normal yarn over for the intended stitch in progress.)  I linked my stitches as I wanted to ensure there would be no holes normally associated with taller stitches.  At one in the morning I finished all my crocheting and threw all my pieces into the wash, adding in two gallons of boiling water (a marvelous tip of Margaret's!).  Later, when I checked the pieces in the washer, I was delighted with the outcome! 

Since the celebration/workshop was just hours away I didn't have time to block them.  So I took a shortcut: I set my iron on it's highest steam/heat setting and steamed the pieces flat.Felting Tool - W/3 Needle

At the Celebration, Margaret showed us how to cut the shapes to create various flowers; I chose to do the rose.  Wanting to keep pressure off my "newly healed" wrist, I used my new "spring loaded" Fiskars scissors.  Oh! Everyone should own a pair; they were a dream to work with when cutting into the thick fabric!

Once the pieces were cut, it was time to assemble.  I decided it would be a perfect time to try needle felting.  Needle felting is the technique of using very sharp, barbed, needles to push fibers of one piece into a second piece.  I used a tool (pictured to the right) that let me safely use up to six needles at a time. This allows the pieces to stick together.   (Just be careful as it does hurt should you poke yourself; yes, this is from my own personal experience! Yee-ouch!)  I needle felted all the pieces onto my bag except the rose.  The rose was too heavy and needed to be sewn together, and then sewn onto the bag.

I'm not quite done, but below you can see my progress:
Dee's felting; click onto image for a closer view
The oak leaf and the greenery behind the rose are motifs from the aforementioned book.  The stem was something I was playing with --  single rows of felted single crochet stitches. The rose instructions were compliments of Margaret who got them from Nicky Epstein.

When I arrived back home and showed it to Mr. Dee he exclaimed, "Whoa!" ... he liked the colors and the 3-D effect. 

It was a fantastic afternoon; a most wonderful way to celebrate six great years!  :)

For more pictures and details about our fun celebration, please visit Margaret's blog here! 
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1 comment:

wenpen said...

Dee,
The bag looks great!  Congratulations to you and HHCC on six years!
Wendy