Monday, May 3, 2010

May Day - Two Days Late

I meant to post this Saturday, but the day got away from me and between X and other things around the house, I never got back to the computer to blog. 

When I was little, I remember making May Day baskets - whether it be in school or at home.  It was fun to exchange them or leave them on people's doorsteps.  As a little kid, it was especially fun to do the doorbell ringing and running away (although we rarely did that part!). 

This year I thought it would be fun to knit a few May Day baskets and include sweets or flowers and send them or give them to people.  I found a pattern on Ravelry (Felted May Day Baskets by Annie Skarphol) that came with 4 different basket patterns.  I had the foresight to start at the beginning of April on these, knowing that I wouldn't get 4 days in a row to knit them up. 

The first basket is called "Morning Glory."  I used Universal Yarn Deluxe Worsted Tones in the colorway Torini Blues.  I liked the simplistic design of the basket and was anxious to use this yarn.  Since I received the yarn in a swap from Melissa, I thought it would be fun to send this basket to her.  It arrived safe and sound just a couple days before May Day and from what I'm told, her pup was pretty pleased she got to carry the mail up to the house! You can read more about this basket here.
The second basket was "Evening Primrose."  This basket I sent out to Colorado to my sister.  Since she lives away from home I thought it would be a fun care package.  I included a chocolate & nuts mixture (sweet & salty!) along with some chocolate from Easter.  From what she tells me, it was soft and squishy (the basket) and delicious (the sweets)!  This basket was much larger than the first and I had a hard time blocking it properly, but it was nice to see what the design looked like.  I'd use a different yarn next time, though.  I had a really hard time felting this yarn.  I should probably go back and double check that it was 100% wool - now that I think of it - there may have been some acrylic mixed in.
The third basket knit was "Baby Snapdragon."  This one I made for Mom.  I modified the pattern a bit since I was using bulky wool - Bernat's Felting Wool (I think).  I cast-on 120 stitches instead of 180 and instead of knitting 3 regular rounds between each decrease round, I knit 2 rounds. After the last decrease, I knit one round instead of 2.  Instead of treats I put little daisies in this one.  Mom loves daisies.  The white contrasting against the blue is pretty.  This basket felted the best.  I don't know why but this design is my favorite.
The final basket was "Johnny Jump-Up."  I put pinkish-purple daisies (or something like it) in this basket for my MIL.  For whatever reason this design is MUCH smaller than any of the others.  Like a baby-sized basket - perfect for little kids.  Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of this last basket.  I'll have to get one the next time I'm at her house. 

On side note - this was my first time trying to felt anything.  I wasn't sure how things would turn out since we have a front-loading washer. I've heard that since the washer doesn't have an agitator like the top-loading machines, it makes the process more difficult.  I found that everything needed at least 2 go-arounds in the machine.  If I decide to felt something in the future, I may try it in my mom's machine to compare.  There are a couple felting projects I'd like to try (Button-Hole Bag, Frenchpress Slippers, Seamless Slippers) and I don't want to have to wash them several times to get them right! :)


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