I love to knit and crochet. A fav is to knit with wool and then felt it. I have felted coasters, bags, and knitted flat pieces to felt, cut out into shapes, and then use as embellishments on my art quilts. I love to see the outcome on each of these projects. Once wool is felted it will not fray or unravel!!
I also, like to have ways of housing my yarn while I am knitting a project. I do use the KnitClutchTM that I make to use as a portable way to take your knitting projects with you; however, I wanted something to use at home on projects that were too large to transport. I did purchase a beautiful yarn bowl made out of pottery and love it with the exception that I cannot change projects in mid-stream. I am always adding new WIPs and this piece did not work.
While searching Ravelry, I came across yarn bowls and, WOW were they gorgeous. They are a quick knit and a great first felting project. These bowls are a purchase pattern on Ravelry and you can search Molly Conroy for her really neat patterns. Oh, and you get three sizes with the purchase of her pattern.
Make sure that you have wool felting yarn because if the yarn is a superwash or has another other fiber mixed in you will not get the felting that you need. Also, another tip, I have tried felting white wool and did not have good results. I have been told that it has been through so much bleaching and pulling processes that it does not have good results. I do like to felt with Malabrigo, LionBrand Shepherd’s Wool, Plymouth Yarn Encore, just to name a few. My newest discovery is by Viking and is called Naturgarn. It is a pure wool and states on the label that it is for knitting and felting. The yarn I chose is a multi-colored yarn (very colorful) and has the texture of wool roving. It was wonderful to knit with and the felting was successful!
For this blog entry, I chose the middle size bowl. And you will need the following to knit it . . .
The Naturgarn yarn used 2 full skeins and a part of the 3rd skein for the middle size. It probably would do a large bow. But to be sure, check gauge.
Circular needles in the size that yarn calls for, four stitch markers with one being different to designate the beginning of the round, scissors, darning needle, stuffing (I will explain later why I use stuffing), washing machine, small amount of dishsoap, and VERY hot water!!! Oh, and of course the pattern that you choose. With the one that I chose you will need a closure of your choice.
Once bowl is complete it will be large and very floppy . . .
Place the bowl into a lingerie bag or pillowcase (secured tightly) and place in washing machine with jeans, old towels, etc. Put your machine on the lowest water level, hot water, and highest washing level. Be sure to watch and make sure your project doesn’t go through the spin cycle and check periodically on the felting process. I find that a zippered lingerie bag works better for this part of the process. You will need to place the wool project into one of these as the fibers will pull out and might clog up your machine.
This is the bowl stuffed and dried . . .
On to the stuffing . . . some felters recommend using plastic grocery bags, but I choose to use plain old stuffing. One of the main reasons is that you can shape your bowl or project around the stuffing and it will hold its shape. Also, I place my stuffed project over a vent in my floor so that the air will help dry it more quickly. Try this for yourself and pick the one you like.
Once dry, you can add the closure. The pattern gives two options…two buttons or one clasp. I chose the clasp and here is an example of the one with the clasp.
These make wonderful gifts for your knitting friends and also beautiful décor for your home when not using with your knitting project. There are many patterns that you can use for felting bowls. I have also made felted Pueblo vases, box shapes, plain bowls, and am really thinking about doing the 40 year bowl…check that one out on Knitting Pattern Central.
Have fun with your felting and remember . . .
“Breathe in inspiration and trust yourself, the answer is, Yes You Can!”
Check out KnitClutch.myshopify.com or MainStreetYarns.com for yarns and my KnitClutchTM