Friday, April 8, 2011

Felted Hat

Hello, friends!
In this post I am going to do a tutorial on felting crochet projects. I have a book called The Colour Book of Felted Crochet, and in it is a pattern for a Fedora hat, which I had wanted to make for a long time. A little over a week ago, my mother, sister and I were at Michaels's, and I decided to go ahead and get the wool yarn I would need for my hat. I started crocheting it on Tuesday, and finished it yesterday. Today, I felted it {with Mom's help}. First, I tried felting a swatch I had made from the leftover yarn, and that came out pretty well. So anyway, here is step-by-step instructions, with pictures, on how to felt :-)

Felting Crocheted Projects

Notes and tips before starting:
1. Your project must be made out of wool yarn. 100% wool felts best, but anywhere from 50% up should work.
2. I noticed that taller crochet stitches {such as treble or double treble} do not felt as well. They do not blend together.
3. When crocheting the project you are going to felt, it is best to make the stitches a little on the loose side {don't forget to check that with your gauge!}. The looser the stitches, the more friction you will have when felting it, and your project will felt better.

You will need:
A basin deep enough to fill with water to cover your project
Rubber gloves
Mild dish soap or shampoo {I used baby shampoo on the swatch, and both baby shampoo and dish soap on the hat.}
A towel
Warm and cold water
Optional: blocking aids {pins, a bowl, etc.}
Optional: A hair dryer
Something to felt :-)

Fill basin with enough hot water to cover your project. Make sure the water is very hot but not so hot that you can't keep you hands in it, like me :P The hotter the water, the faster your project will felt, and the colder the water, the slower it will felt. Add a small squirt of shampoo/dish soap.

Completely submerge project in the water, and agitate it evenly with your hands. To soft-felt it, only work it so that the stitches are slightly fused together, but still clearly visible. To hard-felt it, continue to agitate until the stitches are no longer visible, the fabric is thicker, and a little stiff. If the fabric does not seem to be felting, you can "shock" it, by putting it in cold water for a few minutes, and then returning it to the hot water.

When your project is felted to your satisfaction, take it out of the hot water and place it in cold water. Gently rinse it without agitating it anymore. The cold water will stop the felting.

After you have rinsed your project, lay it as flat as possible on a clean, dry towel. Roll the towel with the item in it as tight as possible, to squeeze out the excess water. Unroll it, and block it if you need to, as it may be a little out of shape from the felting.

At first, I tried using a bowl to block my hat, but then I used a hat form, and blocked only the brim. I also used a hair dryer to help it dry more quickly.

My hat turned out pretty well, except the brim is a little too wide and floppy for my liking, but I can easily change that.

Before - It was a little to big.


If you try felting using this tutorial, please comment and let me know how it turns out! :-) And feel free to ask any questions.

Happy Felting,

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