13 July 2008

Is this felt?

Hi! Don't worry, I haven't abandoned this blog, I've just been busy being outside, getting FRESH AIR and SUNBURNS. It's summer in Seattle, and it's beautiful.

These days I am interested in knitting small, quick projects like toys to use up random scrap yarn I have accumulated. I started one of these little hearts with the intention that it would be my first felted project. You know how if you accidentally put knitted wool in the wash/hot water, and it shrinks and the material gets all tight and firm and bound together? That's FELTING in action!

Sidenote: C. has a joke. He'll look at some material, such as a garment, and say, "Is this felt?" Then he will touch it and say "It is now!" Then he laughs, and that part makes me laugh.

So, here's the heart in progress...

And at this point I still didn't really know what the fiber content of my yarn was, because it was just some scraps I had laying around. It felt kind of wooly, so I was hoping for the best. Acrylic/synthetic yarns are washing machine and hot water safe because they don't felt, they come out looking just like they did when they went in. Synthetics won't felt, it takes a miracle of NATURE. I figured I should do a little experiment to see if this was really wool...

On the left is the yarn, as-is. On the right is the same yarn, only I threw it in some hot water with soap and mushed it around, because that's how you felt, I think. I dunno, I've never done this before. What I do know is, the yarn all bound together like wool should, and I had made myself a solid ring of fibers. I put it on my finger, and it gave me superpowers.

Anyway, I finished the heart, it's maybe 3 inches across. It turns out the yarn I was using was too fine and my needles too big to give the heart the right proportions, even after I added some extra rounds to the pattern to try to fudge it. So my heart is looking a little squershed.

Still cute, though. It actually looked even more squershed after felting it (not pictured), and I prefer the pre-felting texture... I'll probably try this one again with a different yarn.


Premium T. said...

"Is this felt?" Lol.

I saw a Martha Stewart article some years ago where she bought up old wool sweaters at second hand stores, felted them, then cut them in squares and made a quilt. Reading your post makes me want to try it!

illenion said...

I think I saw that too. I can imagine it would look really nice if one were to combine a lot of different textures/patterns, but all within the same color family. If you end up trying it, let me know!