Friday, January 7, 2011

1st Felting

This is a potholder I crocheted from some light brown wool yarn I got for Christmas and some gold yarn I got when I worked at Conner Prairie and was learning to knit. That yarn is from their own sheep that the staff spun themselves. It's special yarn to me, so I had to use it in my first ever attempt at felting!

I started out by mashing the pot holder in hot, soapy water in a bowl. Out wafted the most delicious smell of woodsmoke! I was totally not expecting that and I'm not sure where that came from - probably the Conner Prairie yarn since they cook on hearths there. This smell made me completely happy and I mashed away. I wanted to get a feeling for hand felting, but it was taking a long time, so I switched it to the washing machine, bundled up in a pillow case. (I've read that felting can clog up your washing machine.)
And, this was the result!:

I know, it doesn't look much different, except for it maybe being a little fluffier. I could have run it through the wash a few more times, but I liked it the way it was. I had crocheted it pretty tight, so I'm not sure how much more it would have shrunk without making it all warped. I let it dry overnight and now I have a beautiful wool potholder. Hooray! I'm excited to try my hand at making baby toy balls using roving. I'll let you know how it goes!


Sarah Rachele said...

Great job! I just crocheted some dish towels and am quite pleased with them. I have yet to venture into the world of felting though.

Katherine said...

I haven't crocheted before, but I've done felting with bits of sheep's wool in an art retreat (which I got to do at Langtree as a 'stress-reliever'). There is a lot of oil in the wool, and you could make a picture/ design with several bits on a table. Then you take water mixed with detergent/ soap and soak the wool; this takes away the oil, thus binding the bits together into fabric. Mine didn't come out so well, but I'm sure would come out great with practice.

Sarah said...

Its lovely. It didn't felt up very tightly because of how tightly you stitched it to begin with. Next time use a J or a K hook.

The thing I found to make hand felting easier was using laundry detergent and putting a washcloth in the bowl. The more the fibers are irritated the closer its going to felt. I also kept adding more hot water to the bowl so the water never got too cold.

I like your pillowcase idea. Next time put a towel in with it so it can be irritated by something rougher than linen.

I love how different the two yarns felted up. I think it looks great!

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