Monday, January 16, 2012

Don't Fear the Felting

     I love to felt.  It came to me that some friends, each, wanted another hat (I had previously made them hats, a couple of years ago) and they asked if that would be possible.  Sure.  Felting can be a crap shoot.  That's part of its charm.  So off to my stand-by pattern - Felted Hats by Bev Galeskas from Fiber Trends and acquiring the wool I like to use - WoolPak, 14 ply  (you can get it HERE, but it's not the only source).  I knitted 7 - that's SEVEN of them - and then began to plan my felting.
     One needs some sort of washing machine to felt.  I live in an apartment and do not have my own machine.  I've used the community machine here, in the laundry room, in the past but I can't control the water level... not the best way to felt.  I've used the machines at the local laundermat, too, again..... not much control.  What did we do before Google?  I searched for "felting without a washing machine" and this method popped up.....  I LOVE it and will, likely, only felt this way from now on......working the wool, like this provides a lot more control.  It took some upper arm effort - enlist the help of a little kid - and there was a bit of splishing and splashing but I'll not go back to the washing machine! I felted all seven in one day and I will admit... my arms ached all night long.  Thank You, God, for aspirin.

You will need a large bucket (mine is a 30 pound Feta bucket from where I work),
a toilet plunger, a package of tennis balls and some bits of old bluejeans
(or another abrasive type fabric) and some dish soap.
Fill the bucket about 1/3 the way with very hot, hot water, put the tennis balls and jean remnants into the bucket and add some dish soap.  Place the item to felt into the water.
 Using the plunger, begin the agitation.... keep it moving!
 About half way through the process.... still more processing to go. If the water
starts to cool, pour it out and replace with newly hot - add more soap, too..... 
keep checking as you go along to achieve the fabric you want.  
 It took me 30 minutes to get to the level of fabric and size that I wanted.  Rinse well with cold water, squeeze out the excess water and roll up in a towel to remove more water.
 Shape over a small bowl and wait for it to dry, completely...... Soooo pretty!

Bible Verse for This Morning:
"Yet, O LORD, you are our Father.
We are the clay, you are the potter;
we are all the work of your hand." 
 Isaiah 64:8

1 comment:

  1. What an absolutely gorgeous hat! No wonder people asked for more than one.

    I've done a little felting by hand (very small objects) wearing rubber dish gloves. It does take some time.

    Thanks so much for the kind comment on my blog.