I started the day by watching one of many taped episodes of Knitty Gritty. I have only started watching this show in the last month or so and now have it set to tape daily on my DVR. Anyway, the particular episode I watched is titled "It's So Mod" and focused on modular knitting designer Iris Schreier, whose book I already own, but whose techniques had pretty much mystified me thus far. Watching her demonstrate the modular technique made it all clear. Sometimes books just don't cut it -- I need video! The star coasters demonstrated on the show seemed perfect to whip up for some gifts.
I decided to try making the coasters with some wool I had and then felting them. My logic being that a felted coaster would be more water-resistant and thus protect furniture better than a non-felted version. Having no pretty handpainted wool on hand, I used the red and white I did have hanging around. Here are the results -- the white one has been through one wash cycle for felting, the red one is fresh off the needles (color balance is bad, the red is really brighter than this).
I like them! And they are fun to knit and work up quite quickly once you get the hang of the pattern. (Although my ability to finish one in 15 minutes, as Iris suggested is possible, is highly unlikely.) Now of course, I'm itching to get some handpainted wool and do some more.
Today I'm working at two different parties, both across town from where I live. One ends at 3:00 and the other doesn't start until 8:00. Since I don't want to drive all the way back and forth between home and party locations, I think I might have to go visit at least one LYS in a part of town I don't get to very often and see what I can find. Of course, I'll take my knitting bag with me, complete with projects to work on. While I'd like to keep working on my shawl, it's been put aside for now and I'm making coasters like crazy instead. I received my Knit Picks order yesterday (I ordered the yarn for the Come in from the Cold coasters and started a set last night), so I'll take that with me, too. Of course, I'm sure I'll come home with at least one skein of handpainted wool to make more modular coasters!
In the meantime, I'm off to deal blackjack this afternoon and three-card poker this evening. Last night was roulette, wherein I managed to throw the ball at guests three times! EEK! If you ever happen to be at a casino party where I'm the croupier at the roulette table, please accept my apologies in advance!