Saturday, May 1, 2010

Week Eighteen: Felted Cupholder

This is my one hundredth post on this blog. Meep! I wish I had something more exciting than a cupholder to share with you. If only last week's pattern had been the hundredth post--it's gone over really well, and is already my third-most favorited on Ravelry.

I used up the ends of the Mauch Chunky I had from making the Wishbone Hat and Bottle Rocket for this. I do love the colors available for this yarn; they're incredibly bright and cheery. This was my first try felting this yarn and while it shrank to about half its size vertically, it did not shrink as much horizontally. Still, no complaints. I have three more skeins of this stuff in my stash and will probably use it for felting again.

I don't know if any of you other mothers out there have this particular problem, but every stroller I have owned thus far has lost its cupholders. Maybe it's me. Anyway, I wanted a cupholder-sized bag that I could tie to the place where the cupholder used to be so I can still take water or soda along with me when I take Z for walks (which is almost every day when the weather is nice, and some even when it's not.)

Pre-felting:

Felted Cupholder

Post-felting:

Felted Cupholder

Felted Cupholder

Felted Cupholder is intended to replace missing cupholders on strollers and other places where having an extra hands-free pouch comes in useful.

Yarn: You will need approximately 100 yards of a bulky-weight wool which felts well for best results. (Pictured: Kraemer Yarns Mauch Chunky in Blue Lagoon and Kiwi – bulky, 1 skein / 100g / 120 yards, 100% wool) Example cupholder is worked in alternating stripes, but could just as easily be done in a single color.

Supplies:
  • 16” US size 10 circular needle
  • 4 US size 10 double-pointed needles (optional)
  • 1 crochet hook, size F or larger (optional)
  • tapestry needle
Gauge (pre-felting): 4 inches = 16 sts / 20 rows in stockinette

Sizing: Finished, felted cupholder measures approximately 5 inches high and 5 inches in diameter. Size may be adjusted by casting on more or fewer stitches, knitting more or fewer rows, and/or felting for a longer or shorter period.

Note from me: I'd intended the cupholder to be smaller, more the size of a standard cupholder, but the yarn did not felt horizontally as much as I'd anticipated. I don't mind—there's room enough in there now for a soda can plus an icepack, an extra snack, a bigger cup, or even a second soda if I'd like one, and it's not so big as to be unwieldy. The pattern is written to reproduce the pictured cupholder that I ended up with, but if you wanted something smaller, I would suggest casting on only 32 sts, and skipping rounds 41-44 when you come to them.

~@~

Symbols and Abbreviations Used:

k = knit
p = purl
yo = yarn over
k2tog = knit the next 2 sts together as one st
(x) = repeat x as indicated
CO = cast on
BO = bind off

~@~

CO 64 sts. Join to work in the round, being careful not to twist.

Round 1: (p1, yo, k2tog) twice, p26, (p1, yo, k2tog) twice, p26.
Rounds 2-40: Knit. For striped cupholder as pictured, alternate colors every 2 rounds.

Decrease for bottom of bag as follows. As the number of stitches grows smaller, either switch to dpns or begin using Magic Loop on circular needle.

Round 41: k2tog to end of round. 32 sts remain.
Rounds 42-44: Knit.
Round 45: k2tog to end of round. 16 sts remain.
Round 46: Knit.
Round 47: k2tog to end of round. 8 sts remain.
Round 48: Knit.

Break yarn, leaving long tail. Using tapestry needle, pull tail through remaining sts several times and pull tight. Using tapestry needle, weave in loose ends.

Either using crochet hook to make single chain or dpns to make i-cord, make two cords approximately 18” long. Thread through holes (yos) in top of cupholder.

Felting: Place cupholder in pillowcase and close securely. Agitate in hot water (washing machine works well), checking every five minutes. When cupholder has felted to desired size, allow to drip dry and cool.

Note from me again: I didn't find that I needed to block my finished cupholder, but you could let it dry around an upside-down mug or a soda can.

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