Saturday, June 13, 2009

Felting My Crochet For The Very First Time

Well I found this free pattern on line, for a pair of hexagon boot slippers. Now knowing US foot sizing is different to AU sizing, I decided to make them im 100% wool that I could felt if they were too big for me. As you can see from the picture below, they were far too big. So now my very first felting project had to come to light.
Compare this picture to the picture underneath it for the felting success.
Small enough to fit me now. But I did have an adventure felting these.
I first tried felting by hand, but the slippers were too big to do it by hand, I even had them boiling in a pot for more shrinkage. Scrubbed lots and lots of a high quality dish washing liquid into them and even gave them the shock cold water process. I was not getting far at all by this stage.
The idea of machine felting was against me from the very beginning. I have a front loader. Once the cycle begins, you cannot open the door to check on the felting process, also my machine is not connected to hot water, so I had to fill up and boil the kettle several times to fill the lower part of the machine. I thought I would be fine to begin the cycle, front loaders use low suds powder or liquid and I neglected to rinse out all of that high quality dish washing liquid I had begun with! Eeek, my machine is not supposed to look like this!
Eeek! It is foaming from places it should not be!
It's foaming from more places!
I have a foaming mess!
It just gets worse!
After draining and cleaning up, I begin another cycle with hot water. This is what the machine should look like when it has a load in it. No foam! My slippers are actually in there at this point too.
Once the second cycle of the felting had finished I saw the results! Yes, thay have felted and shrunk! I stuff them with news paper to shape them and dry them off in front of my little fan heater.
Not all of my crocheting went to plan either, I ran out of the blue wool on the second sole and had to use another colour, oh well, I'll be walking on that part any how's.
I'm sure I could have felted these a little bit better and they do need a little more shrinkage. But wait for this, after this fiasco, a US crochet buddy said, I could have just washed the slippers first then put them into the dryer for felting! Why oh why did I have to find this out the hard way. I am going to wash then once more and put them into the dryer, I can also open the dryer door to check on their progress.
When they first dried I was so excited and put them on, then ran into the kitchen to make a cuppa', woops! I nearly went for a sixer, the soles are far too slippery! I know there are several ways to make a woolen sole non slip, I just have to plan that one out next.
I do hope you get some enjoyment out of reading this post!
By the way, I think felting is just a fancy word for shrinking wool, what do you think?