Meet my nemesis...
The adult form of the varied carpet beetle is about 3mm long. They start turning up in April/May, flying around, eating pollen, looking innocent and LAYING EGGS THAT TURN INTO EVIL YARN EATING MONSTERS.
The larvae eat wool and other natural fibres. There is nothing quite so frustrating as trying to knit with a ball of yarn where the thread has been eaten through every few meters. And let's not even mention the horror of looking through your stash and seeing something wriggling.
I am now officially on beetle watch. So, to any carpet beetles reading this, come near me at your own risk.
Sshhh, it's a surprise...
First off, don't worry. I haven't forgotten about the blossom pattern I'm supposed to be writing up. It's just that when I worked it out I wrote it down on a random piece of paper instead of in my special knitting patterns book. I have temporarily misplaced the random bit of paper (that'll teach me) and instead of working the pattern out again, differently, I'm hoping the random piece of paper will show up.
More importantly, what am I going to knit this month? Well, a couple of weeks ago I was given a big box of wool (thank you Gill). It was very exciting but, due to my raging paranoia about bloody carpet beetles, my lovely new wool has been sat in quarantine at the top of the stairs. I think it's finally time to open up the box.
It got me thinking that I should really send a card or something to say thank you. Then I thought that I could knit something and stick it on a card, because that's sort of what I do. Then I thought about fuzzy felt.
Fuzzy felt kits consist of a flocked board and lots of differently shaped pieces of felt – some are simple shapes, others are silhouettes of animals and people. The idea is that you make pictures by arranging the same pieces of felt in different ways. The board stops the pieces sliding around.
I had hours of fun with fuzzy felt when I was little. You could make so many different designs using the same shapes. If I work out a library of flat knitted shapes the same thing will happen. I'll be able to arrange them in an infinite number of designs, then stick my designs to cards or sew them on to other knitting projects.
Put down the knitting,The book and the broom.Time for a holiday.Life is a cabaret, old chum,Come to the cabaret.
Sally Bowles – Cabaret
Since my last update, I've eaten an awful lot of good food, had a trip into the big city, danced, pranced, solved a murder (don't worry, it was a pretend one) and learnt to say pineapple in 26 different languages.
I haven't done much knitting though.
Back to business then. My shell hardening experiments from the beginning of April are probably as set as they are going to get. I can hold up the shells by the edges without warping the shape, but they aren't entirely rigid. I would describe them as about the same stiffness as a thin layer of paper mache. I can't tell if this is how it is supposed to work, or a result of my using non-natural fibres. I'm going to have to perform more tests to find out.
Happily, the hardening solution did not effect the colour or the look of the knitting.
© 2013 All desgins and images are copyright of ODDknit.