Friday, June 30, 2006


Today, is my fantabulous friend Miriam's birthday and this is my birthday-surprise-post!


We've been friends now for 13 years and in that time we've been through loads and loads of good and bad stuff together, she's my stepping stone, my roots and my anchor (and much, much more) We've had a break, found each other again by total coincidence, or maybe a higher force, and have been the closest of friends ever since. Now, before I get al teary-eyed and mushy, I'll explain the birthday-surprise-post.

Miriam's thing with birthdays and presents in general is that she really really really wants to know what the present is before she gets it, but at the same time she really doesn't. So every year we play basically the same typical sketch:

On the phone
Sas: 'Guess what I have in my haaahaaaands??'
Mir: 'What???'
Sas: 'Your preseeeeeeeeent!!'
Mir: 'OW, OW, OW, what is it, what is it?
Sas: 'weeeel....'
Mir: 'Oh no... wait...wait... I don't want to know!
Sas: 'Ok, I'm not telling you anyway.'
Mir: 'But I'm so curious, what is it, what is it?
Sas: 'Not tellin' ya!'
Mir: 'No, no-don't tell me.'

Mir: '....but....what is it?'

This morning though, a milder version was acted out, age?? .... perhaps... hehehe!
I thought, this year, I will let her know what her present is. But in a different kind of way, through my blog. So today, on her actual birthday, she'll get a semi-present, and tomorrow at the party she'll get the real deal. And I've still got some other pressies (yeah Mir, more, more!!) so the surprise isn't all gone.

I started browsing the web for interesting, pretty and/or practicall designs. And came up with this, the HOT HOT HEAT ovenmitt. (I renamed it...) Miriam is a creative and great cook and I realized I hardly ever get her cooking stuff.
I love fast learning, and I decided I had to make her something using techniques I've never used before. It's my first hand-felted project and my first dyeing project and I must say, I'm rather proud of the finished results. (As I usually am, I'm always pleasantly surprised when my projects don't go horribly wrong...)

1. I made a first swatch, felted it by hand and found out that the yarn was treated so it can be washed in the machine... bummer... it wouldn't felt, obviously.

2. I bought some natural, 100% wool, untreated, in a skein and spent a fair bit of one afternoon winding balls by hand.

3. I made two swatches and tossed one in the washingmachine and the other I felted by hand. Offcourse the one in the washingmachine ended up as my first felting project; looking like cat puke, in a ball, felted in some parts, not felted in other parts.

4. So I knitted the mitten and used my bare hands and muscular power to turn the yarn into a fireproof mitten.

5. I bought some dylon fabric dye. I wanted to use Kool-Aid but wasn't able to find out where to get it here in Rotterdam (any ideas anyone?) so I got the stuff I used to make tie&dye T-shirts with in highschool. Boy, I used to really go nuts with this stuff, making all kinds of fashion 'no-no's'

6. The piece of yarn I had leftover from knitting the mitten, I soaked in HOT HOT dye on the gas, let it dry,rinsedd it and let it dry again (see: collage on dyeing below)

7. I put some of the dye in a pot and let the HOT HOT HEAT ovenmitt soak it up. Pretty cool look huh?!

8.Rinsedd it.

9. Dried it.

10. Added my personal label and ... all done!

The finished product:

Happy Birthday Mir, the



is yours!

I made these labels printing them on an 'iron-on-T-shirt-print-sheet' and.... well... ironed it on a piece of cotton. It's make-do, I already found out they won't survive the washing machine. I did some research on having real labels made, but that was way to expensive.

My dyeing whish fulfilledd!


miriam said...

I love it, I love it, I LOOOOOOOOOVVVVVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
purrrrr.....purrrrrr.....purrrrrrrr....Thanks mop!

Drea Renee said...

very impressed. yet to try dying...must add that to the list!

Rachael said...

Nice work Saskia!