Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Art of Felting

Say you had something you'd knit out of 100% wool, and you had knit too loose or you just weren't happy with it. Or you had made it with original the original intention to felt it. And then, imagine you had no idea how to felt.

To put it simply, felting is shrinking your knitted or crocheted pieces of fabric. Don't confuse it with needle felting, which is a different thing entirely.

I made a bag a few months ago, out of some wool yarn I had spun. I must say, my knitting has improved since then. The bag was loose and the stitches uneven.

My mother had knit a headband out of purple and grey yarn she had spun and plied. It was too big.

We decided to give felting a go. We had no idea how to felt. So we looked it up in the most obvious of places: the Internet.

Having found a sufficient amount of information, we got ready what we needed.

A bucket. We used a smallish white plastic bucket, which easily fit our two things.

Hot water. Originally, we just filled it with warmish water from the sink, but we also boiled some and added it in.

A spoon. We used a nice, long handled wooden spoon.

We put in our two items of woolly consistence into the bucket of warmish water from the sink. We stirred with the wooden spoon. When the water was boiling, we dumped out the warm water and added the boiling water. We kept on stirring.

After a while of stirring, we found that the stitches were getting closer together and fuzzy.

My Mom's headband, instead of shrinking, became very very long. It was interesting. It hasn't yet shrunk back to a good size for headwear. I suspect a lack of balance in the Force.

However, my bag continued to shrink and get awesome. I can't help it, I guess I'm just good at this sort of thing.

Isn't it cute? I'm very pleased with it. I put it on a towel and shaped it to the shape I wanted, and stuck a couple of pins around the edges just for good measure.

Well, this fiber extravaganza went well! For me, anyway... Hopefully, Mom's headband will fix itself... If not, well, we'll think of something!

Felting is fun and easy. We stirred it for probably about 30-40 minutes. If you're not too worried about ruining your project, go for it! You might want to practice on a couple of swatches first, though.

I look forward to future felted projects! I'll post pictures of the bag when It's dry and I've added a couple of touches to it. Like a clasp.

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