My moonflower rug is finally finished! I love how squishy it is (as do my cats.) I love the colors and the feel of it makes me smile when I get out of bed in the morning. Which is helpful because getting out of bed is NOT my favorite part of my day.
It’s not perfect. The second two flowers are much more warped than the first two. I think if my first had come out that lumpy I’d have figured out something was wrong and I needed to be knitting 6 petals, not 5. But there’s no frogging a felted project, and also I won’t be trying again because this put a serious dent in my colorful fiber collection (which was part of the goal.)
So I have a slightly uneven bedside rug. Life goes on, but now with warmer feet! And maybe after a year of my cats sleeping on it some of the wrinkles will be smoothed out.
(And yes, I should have gotten out the good camera for this FO photo shoot. But when I can’t even get daylight photos I start to get lazy…)
I’ve been knitting away slowly on my moonflower rug, and I thought for sure I’d have a new Finished Object to share this week. I finished knitting the 4th flower, I even added a diamond to the edge of one petal to fill the gap in the center. While it was felting I admitted to myself that if I planned a 5th the rug might never be finished. I’ve also used up most of the colored fibers I chose for this project and was left with mostly brown and white.
So that just leave the seaming, right?
I got this far into seaming before I admitted the last petal overlaps badly with one of the other flowers. I can manage a great deal of denial when it comes to floppy felted sewing.
So I had to rip all that out, and detach the flower tile before it, as well. I figured I must’ve attached it in the wrong spot to have everything line up that poorly.
But now I that might not be the problem either. I think that flowers with 5 petals instead of 6 just don’t tesselate properly. So if you’re planning to work this pattern please knit 6 petals per flower like the directions tell you to!
Me? I’m going to fudge things. I can’t exactly frog now that everything is felted. And I don’t want all that gorgeous fiber going to waste. The rug is pinned now, and it mostly works. Some of those petals will never lie flat. But it’s a rug, not a sweater. I’ll survive.
(also? Yes, the 4th flower is significantly smaller than the first. Felting is never consistent for me.)
During the gift-along I absolutely fell in love with the moonflower mosaic by Valérie Miller:
I just want to move into that photo and sit down with a cup of tea. But I do not live the kind of live that includes knitted table covers (unless I really WANT to encourage my cats to sleep on the table.)
Instead I hatched a plan. My plan involves my very large stash of spinning fiber:
And some very large needles. I’m knitting this pattern out of roving, and felting down each tile as I finish it to make a bedside rug!
The first tile shows that the different types of fiber are felting at different rates. I could probably have predicted that. It’s the equivalent of knitting with different types of yarn and expecting the same result.
However I’ve been able to pair up some of the smaller petals with the larger ones upon seaming to balance everything out. This is about when I realized that the original pattern uses SIX petals per tile. And for reasons of gauge My mosaic tiles are working best with only 5 petals. So far that seems to be going ok, right?
I’m showing here, with the third tile, how much these things shrink down with felting! They’re somewhere between 50-60% of the pre-felted size. They’re super thick and cozy too, which makes sewing them together tricky but the resulting rug is going to be very cushy and soft! (it will make an excellent cat bed.)
Here are the three tiles sewn together. See that gap between the blue and red petals in the center where all three tiles meet? I’m pretty sure this is because I’m knitting 5 petal flowers instead of 6. Oops. I’m going to have to come up with a plan for filling in that gap. Right now I’m considering knitting a diamond and sewing it in. Or just needle felting a filler.
Oh right, because this project is letting me mix my crafts further! Along with using spinning fiber, knitting, and wet felting the fabric. I’m also needle felting extra fiber onto the joins to reinforce the sewing:
I’ve only drawn blood with those needle felting needles once so far! I think that’s a pretty good track record…
If you’re like me you’ve got a lot of little yarn balls around. They’re too big to just throw away. Maybe you’ll use them in a colorwork project someday? But let’s be honest, they’re different weights, brands, textures, fibers…
They’d make a nice Snippet scarf, but eventually you get bored of knitting rectangles. (I have three gallon bags of these scraps)
If you’re like me again, you hate dryer sheets. But just can’t bare to spend $10-20 on felted wool balls.
So here’s my solution, wrap those wool scraps up into pretty balls. Make sure they’re loosely wound, and about the size of a large navel orange.
Carefully (so they don’t come unwound) stuff them into a cotton sock or some pantyhose or something.
And toss them into the washer and dryer with your clothes. Depending on how vigorous your laundry routine is you might need to put them through a couple of times. Eventually they felt and shrink down a bit.
Although you can see I wasn’t paying attention and got some superwash blends mixed in there. Still, they’re felted enough they won’t come apart!
Like your laundry scented? Add some essential oils. It’s noticeable and refreshing but not too strong.
If you’re like me, you’ll get carried away. And end up running out of dirty laundry for all those felting loads before you run out of yarn scraps.