I have always loved strawberries. In fact, they are my absolute favorite food. They are so yummy and refreshing. Growing up my favorite cartoon character was Strawberry Shortcake; I even had Strawberry Shortcake sheets, lunch box, curtains, dolls, etc. No, I wasn't obsessed...it was the 80's. So, there was no question in my mind when I saw the Spring 2007 issue of Knitscene on Ravlery in a friend's library that I was going to have to knit the Strawberry Clutch. It was not easy finding a back issue, but I lucked out. As soon as I had the issue in my hands, I immediately ran out and bought some red and green Ella Rae Classic so that I could cast on right away. Here are my strawberries pre-felting/pre-seaming.
This project had a lot of firsts for me. This was my first foray into the wonders of duplicate stitch, and I really enjoyed adding the seeds. Surprisingly, it did not become boring. It is such a versatile technique, and I am looking forward to using it again and again in my future projects. This was also my first experience with intarsia. I did not like it. Now, it wasn't hard, just very annoying and clumsy. This could be because I held the yarn doubled, but I really did not enjoy making the green portions of these berries. I am going to try intarsia again, but I am not going to seek out a pattern that uses it anytime soon. Another first for me with this project was using my front load washer to felt it. I used my front load to partially felt a bowl last year, but it wasn't a very successful experience. So of course I decided to throw my beautiful strawberries into my washer without doing a test swatch.
The finished size is big enough for a sock project, and it fits on my wrist comfortably. The felting process took 5 mini cycles (about 70 minutes), and I think I probably could have gone for one more. I am pretty pleased with the results, but I think I am going to stick with felting in a top load machine. I know this would have turned out much better that way, so I might actually knit this project again.
Overall, I had a great time knitting this quick little project. I learned some new techniques, and I now know that strawberries are not only yummy....they are cute too.