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I wasn't born with wings, so I'm trying to make my own
 
Tuesday, February 18, 2003  

Gather ‘round if you’d like to hear the tale of the Fuzzy Feet. Long ago and far away (a.k.a. a few weeks ago at my mom’s house :-) I decided that I wanted to take part in the Fuzzy Feet Felt along started by Kate. I thought the fuzzy feet were very cute, and I needed something to keep my feet warm, and since socks were taking me so long (twelve days a piece so far) I figured Fuzzy Feet would be the solution. So, I try to find Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride Worsted around here. There’s none to be found, so I decide to try Woodland Wool Works, since I’ve heard such great things about them. Since I hated to pay shipping on one or two balls of yarn, I decide to see if there’s anything else I want from them. I’ve been thinking about making a knitted, felted bag for my knitting and they had a very cute pattern for one on the page with the Lamb’s Pride. It’s called My Constant Companion, and it calls for five balls of yarn. And then I have what I think is a very clever idea for my bag and fuzzy feet. I’ll make the bag black and buy a bunch of colors to use for all the accent pieces, then needle felt little designs on the bag, then make my fuzzy feet out of the extra yarn. So this plan brings me up to a total of nine balls of yarn, which is quite a dent in my tiny yarn budget. But, it’s a bag and two to three pairs of fuzzy feet, so I think it’s a pretty good value. So, I order the yarn February 1st, thinking that while I won’t be able to start with everyone else on the 4th, I can at least begin the same week. WRONG! I wait for the yarn… and wait... and wait… and wait some more! I finally call on the seventh, figuring that UPS is supposed to take three to five business days to arrive, so it ought to be there. So I call them to check on my order… and they can’t find it. They put me on hold, just in time to avoid me going into a screaming rage (I had a really bad day at work, and I was looking forward to getting my yarn to work on it that weekend, and that was just about the last straw. But I kept my cool… barely) Anyway, they came back and apparently they had me in their system in two separate places and the first woman pulled up the one that didn’t have my order. So, they told me that the yarn was on the way and was last seen in Illinois (UPS tracking… valuable and frustrating. It was so close, but still so far!). So, the yarn doesn’t arrive until the 11th! I’m sorry, maybe I’ve become one of those instant gratification Americans, but ten days seems too long to wait to get a package from Oregon. I’ve gotten packages from England quicker than that. One part was that I ordered it on Saturday, and they didn’t ship it until Tuesday. That’s four days later! I understand they couldn’t do it Sunday, but you’d think that they could at least do it Monday. (You’re probably rolling your eyes at me, but I was very excited to get this yarn, and I was having a rough time at work. The only thing getting me through the day was the thought of coming home to embryonic fuzzy feet!) So, I get the yarn… at long last. I had my Multi-fizz from my naughty trip to the yarn store, so I start swatching about the second I open the box. I do the swatch size, twelve stitches and eighteen rows. I measure. And my swatch, which is apparently supposed to be 4x4” is actually 3x3.25.” Arg! I had special ordered the 10.5 double points, and I had no 11’s, so I was screwed. First of all, I spent seven bucks on needles I didn’t even need, which can be a big deal when you’re on a budget, and I couldn’t start my fuzzy feet because I wasn’t getting the right gauge. And my LYS was already closed for the night when I finished my swatch. GRRRR. So, fast forward to Wednesday, my day off. I of course head straight for my LYS after my job interview. I drag Mark along with the promise of a trip to our favorite bakery around the corner. While I’m there, I check out more Multi-Fizz because the one I bought last week seems kind of dark for the blue I’m using, and I want something brighter. So, I get my 11 dps and some rainbow pastel Multi-Fizz, which I think goes better with the blue I’m using. The needles are $11, so now I’ve spent $18 trying to get the right needles for this project (sigh). And I’m still not getting the right gauge, but it’s a lot closer and felting is pretty forgiving, so I decide the 11’s are it. We hit the bakery and head home. All I have time for that day is to swatch. When I’m over at my mom’s house that night, I felt the swatches with the laundry I’m doing. After they’re all felted, I see that the part with the Multi-Fizz didn’t shrink AT ALL, so I decide to make a smaller cuff on the fuzzy feet so that they’ll be snug. By the time I get home and get the laundry put away, I’m too tired to do anything but read a bit and go to bed. So, Thursday I finally start the Fuzzy Feet officially! You’d think that would be the end of my tail of woe, but it’s not, oh no, it’s not. After work Thursday I come home and start my fuzzy feet. By the time I go to bed they look like this:



This is the cuff and the heel flap. I had to tear out the cuff and start over three times to get it to fit right. The next day I work on the fuzzy foot and it’s done by the time I go back to my mom’s, so I go ahead and felt the first one because I’m too impatient to wait and felt them as a pair. Here it is pre-felting:



This is Friday night (Valentine’s Day, when my honey was at work :-( Well, I throw it in with a pair of jeans and a flannel shirt my dad needs washed. Both are dark blue and my fuzzy foot is lighter blue, but I think nothing of it. So, I throw it in and go upstairs for ten minutes. I go back down, and it’s barely felted at all. Ten more minutes… barely felted. Ten MORE minutes. It’s gone from 12.5 to 10.5, so I think good, it’s almost there. But it’s kind of tall. But I think, hey maybe it will shrink some more “around.” So, ten more minutes, come down, still the same size. I kind of tug it length wise to see if will “flatten” some. I get it to a “height” I like and measure it again. It’s once again 12” long! It had barely felted at all! Thirty more minutes later, I’m ticked off and tired of going up and down a flight of stairs every ten minutes for no reason. So, I decide to pull it out. And then I notice the blotches. The jeans and shirt had shed fuzz and it had felted into the Fuzzy Feet. So now my f.f. has irregular dark blue splotches on the light blue background. Much screaming occurred at this point. So, discouraged, but not defeated, I figure heat will shrink them! So, I head upstairs, put it on my foot and start to blow dry it, figuring the heat will shrink it down to fit me perfectly, and I can stop when it’s a comfortable fit. I try this for awhile and nada. So, I say f*** it and throw it in the dryer with the pants and shirt. Half and hour later, I pull it out and it hasn’t shrunk a millimeter! Double, triple, quadruple AAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGG! So, I pull and prod and get it too a good length, but it’s more than two inches too big “around.” At this point, I never wanted to hear the words “fuzzy” or “feet” ever again! But I took a few days and got back in the saddle last night. I redesigned the pattern to be much smaller “around” and I already finished the first one in the new size. I’ll be washing it tomorrow to see if I got the size right. Cross your fingers! If this one doesn’t work, you will hear it… as a matter of fact, if you live in North America, you may ACTUALLY hear it… my screaming, that is. Without a doubt, this has been the most frustrating project I’ve encountered in a LONG time. From getting the yarn, to the gauge, to the felting, it seems as though NOTHING has gone right. If it has gone wrong again, I’ll cry UNCLE, as I’m obviously not meant to have fuzzy feet! Well, if you made it this far, you’re a brave soul. Thanks for reading!

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