I finished the last random-stripe place-mat yesterday! I've been working on these for at least two years -- put them aside when it was pretty clear that I would run out of some of the colors much sooner than others, and I got a little discouraged. It seemed silly, though, not to carry on and finish, especially when I had only four mats, and I wanted at least five, and six would be better, when I certainly had enough wool by weight.
These are Araucania Nature Wool, in blue, lilac, red, and green, worked in garter stitch on US7 needles, then fulled in the washing machine. They shrank rather more than I had anticipated, so they look a bit stingy even under the smaller plates that we use for regular meals, but they are wonderfully thick, and the colors are so beautiful that I must accept that -- and I do have six, there is that!
These were about 21 x 16 inches (136g) before fulling, and about 14 x 9 inches afterwards -- a whopping 35% loss in height!
I ran out of blue wool first, long before any of the other colors looked dangerously low, so I ripped out the mittens I made for Julia many moons ago, which she wore once or twice then left in the corner of her closet floor until they were ratty and moth-eaten. (Long-ago-grown-out-of, anyway -- I'm using Laura's as pockets for my reading glasses.) But the extra wool got me quite a few more blue stripes -- you can see how wretched the wool looks in the "before" photos of the mats, but after fulling they're quite indistinguishable from the others.
It's really a shame that the Nature Wool is discontinued -- it's really gorgeous stuff, a pleasure to knit with, and the colors are just sumptuous, the red and green especially.
As it turned out, I ended up with at least two skeins of green left after the last mat, so I thought I'd whip up a pair of Fuzzyfeet for what I hope will be winter this year. I made a pair years ago that ended up too small, so I thought I'd err on the side of generosity, and estimated a stitch count based on the shrinkage of the place-mats.
Another reason to make them über-gigantic is that my Easy House Slippers, which I wore for a couple of years, kept shrinking with every wash, and eventually my big toe poked a hole at the end of each sock.
These are worked on US7 needles with one US8 because the set was only four needles, so the gauge is rather smaller than you usually do for fulling, but I already had a reference point from the mats, which after a couple of washes are tight and thick. David and Julia both mocked me for making them so big, but I erred on the side of caution, in fact. They are just comfy now, so I will have to wash them by hand, I guess.
(I'm using "Henry V" for scale as I am doing the FutureLearn "Shakespeare and His World" online course again, and it's this week's play ...)