Felting is really very simple. The process involves shrinking the size of a knitted project until it has a thick dense slightly fuzzy result. You may already have created a few “accidental” felted sweaters when you washed and dried a wool sweater.
Now we felt them on purpose with a planned result. The yarn you choose will dictate your results.
Yarns of 100% wool, NOT “superwash” will really perform well. Once you find a good felting yarn, stick with it until you get a feel for how yarn felting works. Sometimes your pattern is already designed to be worked up “oversized” using a specific yarn and designed shrinkage rate of 20%.
Combining eyelash or ribbon yarns together with the wool yarn will create a fun result of felt with built-in embellishments. The novelty non wool yarns will not felt so they will twist and turn and fit in with the wool.
Once your knitted project is finished then “its time for felting”
Let’s head to the washing machine- top load I hope!! Putting your project into a washing bag or tied pillow case along with old jeans or heavy towels along with a HOT cycle followed by a COLD rinse cycle will do the trick. Use laundry soap, not too much, no bleach content and get the machine started. Keep checking every 3-5 minutes just to see how the felting process is working. You decide when your project has reached the desired size. When the knitting stitches are no longer visible- you are done!!!
Spin out most of the water but refrain from allowing the full rinse cycle to run through as this may cause permanent creasing. Pull into the desired shape and air dry away from a heat source until dry.
This could take a couple of days to fully dry. You could use the dryer keeping a careful eye on the felting process.
Check your pattern for any special instructions like blocking using a shaping form or pinning.
Otherwise, have fun. Embellish as desired and make more felted projects.
The sky is the limit for endless uses of felted scarves, purses, mittens, hats, ipod cases, eyeglass cases, doggie coats, clogs etc.
Check with Grey Heron Wool shop - your local Collingwood yarn store for a class on felting and join in the fun. Come in and see our samples…they look really cool.
Brenda Harris and Donna Bere are our class instructors. They both bring years of experience and tips & tricks to each class program.