Many of my knitting friends have yet to try it, but I love felting! It is one of the most forgiving crafts I work with. Although I approach knitting with the same meticulous manner that I do everything else, felting after the fact hides all but the most atrocious of errors. If you are a loose knitter, it will pull the work in and if you are a tight knitter it felts even faster. The only requirement for felting is that you start with 100% wool. Otherwise, it just doesn’t felt properly.
I got the idea for this bag from a Lion Brand pattern. It called for a different yarn, but I had this color on hand and it was 100% wool, so I decided to go for it. I have a tendency not to follow patterns to a T, so my work never actually looks like the original. After the bag was knitted, I made a long tube - approx. 10 feet - and then felted them both. I always felt in my washing machine on the hottest temperature setting using a hand washing fabric soap. I like to use one that is lavender so my pieces smell yummy when they are finished. It really adds to the piece. I felt the pieces as many times as is required to get them to the size and tightness that I like. When properly felted, you can cut a knitted piece into anything you want and it won’t ravel.
|Handbag I made for my daughter-in-law, Liz
After both pieces were felted I sewed the tube to the rim of the bag at evenly spaced intervals and added beads to embellish and hold the tube in place for a better fit. Then I added a pair of my favorite handles and a nice matching bow to give the piece that special handmade touch!
To get the feel of felting and remove the fear, beginners may want to start out by knitting a huge square or rectangle that can be felted and then used as a piece of fabric. Remember to use a good 100% wool yarn and after you have felted the swatch, make a pattern for a pair of mittens by drawing a shape around your hands, then cut 2 sides per hand out of your felted fabric. Sew them together just like you are making an article of clothing and voila, you have a very special pair of mittens! You can also try felting an old wool sweater and use that to make your mittens!
This is another bag I made for my other daughter-in-law, Jessica. This is a Noni pattern that I gave a special twist by adding some different yarns to the flowers when I was knitting them. I have a couple more that I have made for them, but I neglected to take good pictures before I sent them on their way. Note to self, "Start taking pictures of your work before you give it away!"