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Thursday, February 2, 2017

Tips on Felting

To Felt a Crochet or Knit Item

When a crocheted or knitted item is felted, the stitches do not show, so it resembles fabric. Things can be felted in different ways, depending on how much you want the stitches to disappear, or how much you want your purse (or item) to shrink.
I'm showing felted purses, an ipod/phone case, a scarf and 2 different felted bowls.

The brown felted shoulderbag is one I designed for my book, Positively Crochet!, published in 2007. This book which has 50 projects of garments and accessories, has been a best seller and continues to be very popular today. Projects are still stylish! You can see them all on my Ravelry designer page here.

Different washing machines and water temperatures may also cause an item to felt and shrink differently. Some people may only need to put their item through the wash once, where as some machine’s may require you to put it through a cycle 4 times.

At left is my iPod case, also in Positively Crochet! Its quick and easy, with a pocket in back for your ear buds, key or money.

One of the most important things you need to know is that you HAVE to use wool yarn or other animal fiber in order for the felting process to work. Otherwise, you will just be wasting your time.
Before and After Felting

Instructions for Felting                                 
1. Place the item inside a zippered pillowcase, and put into washing machine on lowest water level and hottest setting.

Felted Bowl
If water is not hot enough, turn up heat or pour boiling water in machine as it fills up. Place tennis shoes (or tennis balls) in washer to help with agitation. This really helps with the felting process.

2. Add 1 tablespoon Ivory Snow soap or Dawn dishwashing liquid and 1/4 cup baking soda.

Kep scrolling, but first I want to tell you about my felted bowl! It was such a fun project and I love the outcome. I'm not sure I even wrote down the pattern, but if I can find it I'll post it as a free pattern. I believe I made a beannie hat shape that was much larger than a regular hat. After it was felted, but still wet, I found a bowl that it fit over tightly. If its loose, it won't dry right. I made different colored circles in different sizes in case I wanted to make it polka dotted.

I just looked up Felted projects on Ravelry and found 30 pages of projects here. I found patterns for just about anything you can think of, including bowls like mine! I hadn't seen anyone else do that.
3. You may have to repeat this process 1-2 more times depending on how you want it to look. Rinse in cold water; reshape and let spin to take out excess water.

Keep scrolling, but first, I want you to see the Houndstooth purse I designed to be in my book Crochet That Fits, a book with 33 garmrnts and accessories, voted "Best Crochet Pattern Book of 2008".  The one shown in the book is a slate blue and gray color. This purse is also lined and has peltex, a stiffener for a structured feel.

Felted Dish - my free pattern, not posted yet!
4. Placing piece in sink with ice water at end of cycle will help it to felt. Block purse in this manner: Before the felting process you should have a box with the dimensions of your bag ready with a plastic bag over it.

I usually have more then 1 box ready in case the purse doesn’t end up the size I expect. Immediately place wet purse onto the box, making sure it’s a tight fit. Let it air dry completely for 2-3 days.

The scarf, also in Positively Crochet!, is much longer before being felted. But see the difference in the stitches? The sideways cluster stitches ended up forming into little balls on the felted scarf. It's a very quick and easy project. In fact, its beginner level. See before and after felting below!

This is the way I showed the scarf in one of my fashion shows
To read more about felting see the book, Felted Crochet, by Jane Davis.

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