L’heure de Square Est Arrivee
April 23, 2004
Salut, cherie! Look what just arrived via Carrier Husband. Michel, the husband of my friend M.J., also known as the Afghanalong’s French Mail Drop, is here on a business trip. His valise was stuffed with gorgeous squares from nos amies les belles tricoteuses francaises.
Sacre bleu! In one whompin’ parcel, we got 13 squares from Anne and 4 from Marie. Some of the 13 are pictured above, and here is:
….a clever square done in self-patterning sock wool, and:
…four in jazzy chromatic stripes.
We also got these two from another French knitter, Florence:
…which made me think: Lily Pulitzer meets Peppermint Twist!
Meanwhile, M.J. informs me that she just received a luscious shipment of squares from Belgium! Merci mille fois!!!
Since You Asked
Yes, it’s true: I have a secret felting habit. (Not that there’s anything wrong with it.) I find felting so mysterious, so drippy, so addicting. It all started when I was toying with the idea of making felted Easter Baskets. It was one of those As If I Didn’t Have Enough To Do kind of ideas, which was only abandoned when it was too late to act like a normal person and buy the Easter baskets.
Full disclosure: I have a history of excessive craftiness when it comes to Easter Baskets. Years ago, I was sitting in my friend Diana’s kitchen, and I noticed that in every direction, as far as the eye could see, there was a charming basket. I asked Di, What’s with the baskets? Are you a collector? Di told me that every spring, her mom mailed her an Easter basket filled with treats. This expression of maternal love seemed all the more touching given that Diana was in her 30s at the time. We’re talking a lot of Easter Baskets. I had no children then, but I made a mental note: Easter Baskets are important.
Until the recent Felting Incident, my most extreme Easter Basket crafting episode was a few years ago when I stayed up until 2 a.m. to make these:
Yes, friends, this is what Self-Taught Decoupage looks like. But I achieved my goal of creating a long-lasting Easter basket, as we still use these poignant little containers to hold crayons.
But back to felting. First, like a sensible person, I followed Melissa’s instructions to make a
Pretty dang Easter baskety, no?
But then I got the idea of making a tray-shaped Easter basket, with slanty corners. (For readers with MDK Sense-Surround, the soundtrack is going: Dum-de-dum-dum.) Unaware of the danger, I knit up a big garter stitch square, and then log cabinned on a mitered border. So far so good. Felted the thing like 8 times in the washing machine, until it was sufficiently boardy. Then came the tricky part. Naturally, being knitted flat, the thing wanted to say flat. Decidedly un-Easter baskety. So I resorted to my Secret Weapon:
Yes, the Clothespins Plus Marcal Napkin Package Molding Technique (patent pending).
Unfortunately, even after much spritzing and Rowenta-ing, the thing just did not want to be a basket. It preferred to lie down. I realized that I could solve the problem by simply stitching the corners together, but by this time, I was Sick and Tired. I scrounged around for the store-bought 2001 Easter Baskets, inserted chocolates, and called it a night until next Easter.
The good news is: it looks like just the design for your chair covers, including the flange. The bad news: It’s doll-sized. Back to the drawing board! Keep on with your upholstery crusade; I believe in you, babe.