Thursday, October 25, 2007


Thursday, 25 October

It's a full moon, so you'll just have to pardon the odd digression here.

Has anybody ever felted anything? (Get your mind out of middle school.) I figured the next step in my hat making is to learn how to felt. Through the felting process, a knitted item completely changes texture (shrinks) so that it no longer looks like a piece of twisted and tortured yarn but a smooth, tight, wooly piece of fabric. Turns out the process is not rocket science, just a bit mysterious and not quite certain, which I guess explains the thrill.

I wonder if I can felt pieces of the antique (ancient, decrepit) Pendleton blanket I have. It has bald spots and holes and really has outlived its life as a blanket (I remember that my grandparents used it in its early old age to protect apples in their shed all winter so it's probably 75 years old). If I can bear to cut it up, can I make felted placemats or bowls (for potpourri, not cornflakes) or maybe scarves or a table runner?

Felting websites cover felting a knitted item and carded wool (lacking sheep in my backyard, I'll have to settle for already crafted items). In a touch of the bizarre, I found one blogger who felted her cat's fur so that she'd have some part of him to treasure always. I understand the sentiment, but somehow the end result seems a little....gross.

All I have to do to felt a hat is make one that's 25% too big, run it through the hot-water wash cycle in my washing machine a few times, rinse, wring, and shape to dry. The mysterious part is you don't know how any particular yarn will break down in this process, and you don't know how much any given item will shrink. They say that it produces a lot of lint--and it's addictive. What else am I going to do on a rainy weekend when I've had enough of riding my bike through puddles besides pummel a poor hat in the washing machine? Stay tuned....

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