Wednesday, July 16, 2008

My First Felting Project with Knifty Knitter™

I'm taking a bit of a break from the "plarning" with plastic bags, as it is really time consuming. I have a couple of balls of plarn ready to go, and after I finish my next project, I'll start up again.

I've always wanted to try felting, which is turning wool into a felt-like material by throwing it into the washing machine with very hot water and agitating it for a while. (There is also a way to felt by hand, but I'm the machine first.)

With a co-worker having twins soon, I thought I'd start small: baby hats. And even though wool is a bit scratchy, especially for babies, I thought after the felting it would get softer. I used a Knifty Knitter™ (bought at Michaels; I've also seen 'em at JoAnn's Fabrics), which comes in a set of four plastic circles with little posts on top:

This is a super-simple and QUICK way to make hats and all kinds of other yarn crafts!

You start off by wrapping yarn twice around the little posts (it comes with complete instructions, which I've somehow managed to lose...).

Then, using a little pick that comes in the kit, you lift the bottom loop over the top loop and off the post.

Then you simply wrap another round of loops around the posts and keep going. You can see how it's starting to make little cables:

When you're done, you simply weave some yarn through the loops left on the posts and pull tying the yarn in a knot. You can add a pom-pon on top or other fun things; I left mine plain as it was mainly an experiment to see how the yarn turned out.

At this point, you are done, unless you want to felt it. (You have to use 100% wool yarn.) I think the hats come out looking just great, even if you don't felt them. But I was on a mission...

I put mine into the washing machine for 5-minute increments since I wasn't sure how much time I'd need. After the first 5 minutes, the hat was actually larger than before because the yarn relaxes before it starts to contract.

Here it is after 10 minutes. You can see it's starting to get a bit fuzzy.

20 minutes

30 minutes

After about 40 minutes or so, I decided that was enough. I took it out of the washer and washed it in cold water.

I reshaped it and let it dry, which actually took a couple of days. Here is the finished result.

I like the way the yarn turned out! Of course, you can see it is way too small, so I ended up quickly knitting two more (twins!) and didn't felt them. They look like the beginning picture, except I did them in pink with a white trim.

There are tons of sites on crocheting and felting where I've found really easy patterns and instructions. And the Knifty Knitter comes with easy-to-follow instructions as well.

I've found tons of stuff on My Recycled Bags, as well as Crochet Pattern Central. They have lots of information about felting, and crocheting/knitting in general.

And of course, for more ideas, go to Rocks in My Dryer!


Anonymous said...

Great idea! I've been crocheting for awhile and I've started to pick-up knitting as well. I haven't felted anything, but your end result is great so maybe I'll give it a try!

Kama said...

That is really a cute hat! Maybe a doll could wear it. I know how to knit...scarves only. I'd like to learn something else too!

mindi said...

Very neat!! I might have to try this!