Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Solstice Bird

On Ravelry, I came across this super cute Solstice Bird pattern by Uma Joy. I purchased some Navy WoTA Bulky yarn from Knitpicks and used size 10 needles to knit up the hexagons.

Looking at pictures of the other projects on Ravelry, a number of the birds come out shorter and longer than the one in the pattern. I think this could be attributed to overfelting. To keep some of the garter stitch in the bird, I choose to hand felt these swatches. (If I were to machine felt them I would loose all stitch definition).

This was the fastest hand felting I've ever experienced in my life. I don't know if it is because the pieces are so small, or that the WoTA Bulky yarn is just that happy to felt (maybe the twist is looser). Whatever the reason, it was fast. I blocked the pieces to have a hexagonal-like shape, making sure they were taller than long so my birds would (hopefully) have some height.

It took less than 15 minutes to knit up the bird body, making it longer to felt than to knit! It's about 4.5" square when first knit. ~4"after felting. I did not let them shrink much.

Pre- (right) and post-felting (left)

I don't know how to needle felt so I just embroidered on the wings. I did not love my attempt at the beautiful wings created by Uma Joy, so I opted to do a three-loop wing on the rest of my birds.

Cutting these pieces, they are less felted than I had originally thought. I constructed two birds of this "less felted" mode. I decided it would have been prudent to felt the other birds more. I dont' want them falling apart! If I give you one of my birds, please use it for decoration only!

Cut hexagon (right) and the cut edge (left). The birds have not fallen apart, but I did pull out a couple of loose stitches.

Another great thing about working in pairs is that if you mess up cutting one, you can cut another to size to give you tall and short rather than trimming down.

Big birds and little birds!

I love my little flock! This was a fun fast project. It would be easy to create many of these in a single day, if you're willing to stitch them together when they're still wet from felting!