Symbiosis means the living together of unlike organisms in a close, long lasting relationship. I want to describe to you my crafty friends a technique I use a lot for joining wool to fabric in a symbiotic way. I did not invent this technique and I actually have no idea who did but I have developed it in a versatile way. It has multiple uses and can be used to join any kind of fabric or clothing to any form of knitting or crochet. I want to share some of the recent items I have made using this technique. The basic tools and materials you will need if you want to give it a try are : fabric, wool or any suitable fiber, ric rac or picot lace trim, thread, sewing machine or if hand sewing sewing needles, a crochet hook and knitting needles suitable for your project ( I usually knit in the round so use 4 needle sets) . I hope I didn't forget anything.
This first example is how I made a mushroom softie. I cut a circle out of a vintage cashmere scarf. I then sewed picot edge lace trim around the circumference with the picots facing outwards.
Now pick up the wool through the holes on the picot edge. You can do this with your knitting needle directly or you can use a crochet hook to assist you. Pick up one stitch through each hole . Now you are ready to start knitting your object. If you are a crocheter same concept just pick up and make a single crochet through each of the holes to complete one round.
Keep knitting in the round to the desired length. This example being a mushroom cap I knit for about 5cm. Break the thread and with a darning needle run this through all the stitches. Don't pull the thread to gather them yet.
Now I stuffed the cap with fleece but you can use any stuffing material. I stuffed the outer part and left the center hollow like a donut or bagel. I tightened the gathering thread a little but left a large hole in the middle for the stem.
Now I inserted the stem I had made of felt . It is just a cylinder with a round base sewn on that was stuffed with crushed stones to give it weight and then some fleece. I embroidered a simple face on it and added a little crown at the top. After you have inserted the stem pull the gathering thread tight and secure it with a few stitches . The mushroom is complete.
I leave this long post with a picture of my most recent project. A simple lace yoke knitted on a thrifted cotton sweater after cutting off the v neck collar and adding an off white lace trim. This picture is of it pinned for blocking and drying. I will post a picture on flickr when it is ready.
If you have any questions or comments I will try to do my best to answer them and if you happen to be inspired to make something using this technique please send me a picture. As a reward for reading this long post and to celebrate the birth of this blog I will be giving away the brown mushroom softie. Please leave a comment and on Sunday, January 20th I will draw a name . This will be the first of many giveaways this year.