Plum Blossom pillow

Use a felting kit to make this design

Would-be knitters deterred by a dropped stitch, take heart: There's salvation in a kit.

Felting — shrinking a knitted item by wetting and agitating it in hot water, then shaping it — is the passion of Maggie Pace, founder of Pick Up Sticks. The Oakland-based company produces gift-friendly kits with patterns and yarn to make home and fashion accessories, such as this Plum Blossom pillow ($32, needles and pillow form not included).

"Felting is so forgiving of basic knitting mistakes," says Pace, an advanced but admittedly sloppy knitter. Her enthusiasm is contagious: "When I started, I felted everything that wasn't pinned down." And her designs, from cozy pillows to chic bell-shaped hats, are sure to inspire a similar addiction.

Resource: Kits from $11; Pick Up Sticks or 510/339-2129.

Blog: See 2 more pillows made from the Plum Blossom pillow kit »

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