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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Adventures in Felting

I'm all about trying new things. I have a very small attention span, especially when it comes to crafting. One week I love scrapbooking ... the next I love sewing ... then I feel the need to quilt ... back to card making. I may not have one thing that I'm an expert in, but I will have many things that i can do fairly well.

Which brings me to my latest adventure ... Adventures in Felting. Felting knitted items was always a mystery to me. Who hasn't accidentally "felted" a sweater or two?? I always had this notion in my head that it was hard to felt something, until I started reading a few books that said you could felt an item just by washing it. Brilliant!

I started with a basic purse ... easy enough right? Knit a rectangle ... it shrinks ... sew it together. Well this week (as the temperatures dropped here in Chicago ...) I decided that I wanted a really nice pair of felted mittens and a hat to match. I love floppy flapper hats. The ones that are usually fuzzy, with a ribbon along the base of the brim ... sold at the Gap by the millions. I had this great pattern to make my very own felted floppy hat.

I have never been so excited to do laundry before, let me tell you. What came out though ... resembled more of a beanie. Doesn't even come close to being my dreamed of hat .. way too small.

I also tried a mitten which was closer to the right size for sure, but I'm going to have to sell it as a girl's size large. I tried again last night, but it's just so had for me to decide how big the item needs to be pre-felting. I tried to count how many rows I had per inch after felting to calculate how many extra rows I needed to make the mitten fit. As demonstrated in the picture ... I now have one mitten that was maybe an inch and half too short to another mitten that is just huge!!

Help!!! I'd love to get some advice from all of you knitters on felting and how to best gauge sizing. Does anyone have any good patterns for felted mittens???

More to come!!
Until next time,
The girl behind the lama
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kim* said...

that is awesome you like to try different crafts. i tend to stick to the same but explore within it. :)

Lenox Knits said...

I wish I could be more help but I haven't done much experimenting with felting. I think it also probably depends on the yarn. you could do a swatch and wash it to see how much it shrinks and then do the math to figure out how many stitches you would need to add to get the right size. It's probably going to be a matter of trial and error, but hey knitting is always fun right!

Jen said...

I think your supposed to knit a square, way larger than the size you need, then wash it to felt it, then cut out the pattern that you want to sew.


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