Thursday, February 05, 2009

Wool Yarn for Felting

I have been asked what type of yarn I use for my felted bags. I use the Wool of the Andes from Knit Picks. I have had the best results with the solid and not the heathered. I have not tried the kettled dyed yet. Hope to soon though. All the colors have been quite yummy I have used. Just remember, you must use 100% wool. No acrylic added. Just plain wool.

The technique for my felted crochet is pretty simple. I use a size F or G hook. Half double of single crochet stithc. Both photos are of hd. My tension is very tight normally and this is a good thing when you are felting. You do not want a loose tension. I have also found that going around with a single crochet will make the item not felt as small. In regular work, I like to give a finished edge, but with a felted piece, I try to not do that.

My felting process is very simple. I place the piece into a garment bag if it is small. If it is a larger project I do not. Set the water level on small and the temp on hot wash/cold rinse. I use a tablespoon of laundry soap and 2 tablespoons of baking soda. You want all the agitation you can get, so you need to add either some jeans or some other heavy clothes. I do not use towels because I do not want the crochet to get fuzzies on this. Bedding sheets work also, remember you are using hot water, so think shrinkage. I run the washer through the complete cycle. Remove your project. If you are satisfied with the texture and shrinkage, the you are done. It you want it to be tighter or smaller, repeat the process. I do not use a dryer for my projects, EXCEPT for large purses. I do then just to remove the soppiness. Lay your item out on a flat surface. Make sure the corners are even and the piece lays flat. Now is the time to pull and tug everthing into place.

This is a bag I made for Michelle in 2007. You can see how much it shrank! (I need to go back and add tags to my first year+ of posts). I used 8 balls of 110 yd Wool of the Andes for this. You do not have to worry about the handles coming off. They felt solid with the base. Which is great for carrying heavy items. I think I added a pocket to it also. To do this, just crochet a rectangle and then use a chenille needle to sew it in place before felting.
Right now I am working with a soft pink, a new color for me. Will post a pic when I am finished. I hope my simple instructions will encourage someone to try felting. To do something new and different.
If you have any questions, just ask. If I do not know the answer, maybe one of the other readers will. I would like to make some felted houseslippers soon for my mom. Oh my so long "wanna do" list. LOL
Hope you are warm and cozy wherever you are.


Pat said...

Interesting to me. A lot of women in my quilt guild knit and do wool felting, but it never occurred to me that I could do it with crocheted items. silly of me. I am much more comfortable with crochet than with knitting, so maybe I will try something like this! Thanks for the good instructions.

Stellar Creations said...

yet another project to add to my to do I love the bag and my have to try it but I'm not very good at knitting.


Melody said...

Thanks for sharing your method.

Pumpkin Patch Quilter said...

I haven't tried wool felting yet but it's on my some day to do list. LOL* WOW did that ever shrink! :)

Also lovin' the rug there under the table!!! :)