Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter!

I've been having some fun preparing for Easter. Another little break when I couldn't concentrate on the Whistler sweater.

I also had some fun with the photo shoot. Troy had conveniently just brought me a bouquet of pink tulips when I was ready to take the pictures.

I bought the pattern for these eggs last year already knowing I would have leftovers from my 2009 afghan to use. Yes, I probably could have figured out my own pattern for the egg shape, but the pattern was right there and it's so easy to just follow directions! Plus it was nice to have something to look at to stimulate some embellishment ideas.

Although the project was pretty quick, it did not happen all at once. It was a few weeks ago that I knit them up over a couple days, in minutes stolen here or there, and at the end of the day when I couldn't concentrate on anything more complicated.Project Stats
Started: 22 Mar 10
Finished: 27 Mar 10
Pattern: Woolly Eggs by Marie Mayhew ($6)
Materials: Malabrigo leftovers from my 2009 RP afghan; buttons on hand

Then came the felting. While I was at it, I threw in a few sweaters I have sitting around waiting for the right time. I probably could have felted the eggs a little more but they're ok. (It's hard to tell how felted it is when it's sopping wet.)

A few days later, I finally got to the stuffing and embellishing. The most fun, I have to say, but also the most fiddly.
From top left, we have a striped egg--but they're not just any stripes. I used a helix striping technique I'd recently read about. You can see in the detail pic to the right that the colours literally spiral. There's no jog from doing one colour followed by another. The colours are all worked at the same time, stacked on top of each other like interlocked spirals. This egg was fun little project to practice the technique.

In the middle top, I knit stripes and then used buttons for flower blossoms. The stems and leaves are needle felted. (More on that in a minute.)

Top right is a small plain robin blue egg. So simple, and yet it might be my favourite!

Bottom left has a knit stripe and borders done with needle felting.

Bottom middle is a plain egg in hollyhock dressed up with swirls and dots of needle felting. (Also in the running for my favourite!)

And bottom right is a speckled egg, done by knitting with two colours held together--the taupe Malabrigo and a bit of the thin green wool rescued from this vest. Again, very simple, but a great effect nonetheless.

And then there is this egg:
I abandoned the pattern and tried knitting an egg in the other direction to make vertical stripes easier. I used short rows for the shaping, and it worked pretty well...except I cast on too many to start. So it's more like a torpedo egg. And then I embroidered it with the feather stitch, carefully placing each colour opposite its knitted section.

Oh yeah...I did one more too. I could call it my measles egg. I knit it in orange and then duplicate stitched some red dots on it.
They didn't stand out very well after felting, so I thought I'd outline them. I pulled out my new toy, a pen style needle felter. This model has three needles for fine work. Each needle is barbed so that it grabs material on the way down and pushes it through lower layers. You set the wool where you want it and just start punching through it. (Keep fingers at a safe distance!)
In the above pic, you can see one dot done on the left, and I'm working on another. The outline didn't end up helping a lot with defining the polka dots, but it was worth a try. It did, at least, add a little texture to the egg.
I had been curious about needle felting for a while now. I wasn't sure if it would be like other embroidery and embellishments for me: ok, but not especially enjoyable. But I have to say that I really liked it. It certainly is easy and fast, and you have a good amount of control. I'll be pulling that needle felting pen out more often when I want to dress something up!

And now I'll leave you with a picture containing just about every Easter cliche I could think of!
As a side note, I'm not normally a stuffed toy person, but I am oddly attached to these two bunnies. They were gifts from two different people the same year and are good representations of our bunnies, (the late) Chocolate and (the still going) Red. (And when you squeeze their front paws, they cluck like chickens!)

Hope you all have a happy Easter!

PS: Last night I finished the second sleeve on my Whistler! Woo hoo!


  1. Pretty!
    The purple needle felted one is my favorite. I've recently gotten into needle felting too, I love how I can make things so quickly.

  2. Christina, thanks for leaving your blog site for us to read, it's a great blog. Check our facebook page on Friday to find out the winner of the Blog-of-the-Week!

    Cute, cute, cute eggs! Keep up the good work.


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