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felting mittens??

Posted by: maryb (IP Logged)
Date: May 28, 2009 01:01PM

A while back I asked for a mitten pattern, which were made successfully. As I browse old topics, I see that Alex suggested I crochet the mittens very loosely and felt them. I do not know how to do this , but would love to try....HELP!!


Posted by: Alex (IP Logged)
Date: May 28, 2009 08:01PM

Did I? Wow; that doesn't sound like me, but it makes sense. (
Maybe I was a little full of myself that day.) I'd felted knitted things, but never a crocheted item.

Well, I crocheted and felted a tea cozy a few weeks ago and found a couple of surprises. 1. I had expected a lot more density in the fabric. That didn't happen. It simply shrank and the holes closed up with the fuzz action.
2. In knit-to-be felted items the general rule is to increase the size by about one third. This piece wasn't nearly a third larger than what I desired and it was fully felted after the first hot-water treatment. Since it was an experimental piece I threw it into a very hot wash with a lot of other stuff (for extra abrasion) about a week after I first felted it. I then dried it at high heat with jeans and other tough things. It didn't shrink or otherwise change.
The fiber was a coarse wool.

I've never cared much for crocheted mittens because the thumb joints always seem too thick and the fabric never seems windproof enough for me because of the little holes. From this experiment I think mittens might be a really good crocheted and felted garment.

If you are planning to throw them into a hot mixed wash to felt them (you get good agitation as well as the heat that way), you should take them out several times and try them on. Then remove them from the process when you are satisfied. I may have been lucky with my experiment. I certainly wouldn't go the dryer route or do the second bath with anything as fitted as a mitten.

Posted by: maryb (IP Logged)
Date: May 29, 2009 12:55PM

Do I have this right..you throw them into the wash machine in very hot water? With other laundry or alone? That's it ??? That will felt them? I thought someone told me you had to "beat up" the object to be felted. Thanks (in advance) for your patience. I only crochet, although I'd like to learn to knit. I'm trying to branch-out >so to speak.
Thanks for your help
I love looking things up on this site....I get "lost" for hours

Posted by: ami (IP Logged)
Date: May 29, 2009 05:48PM

There is a lot of information in this article.


Posted by: Alex (IP Logged)
Date: May 30, 2009 07:40PM

I read the knitty article and I'd say that that's almost exactly what I do (well, except for the wash-and-dry experiment). By the way, I have a front-loader which I didn't think would work as well as my old top-loader, but it sure did the job on the tea cozy. The problem is that you have to let it stop dripping when you try to take things out in mid-cycle. It's a little messy, but then so am I.

My next felting project is going to be a pair of house slippers. I thought I'd knit them, but now I think I'll try crocheting them.

And yes, I totally agree about the boiling water. The first thing I felted was a boiled project and it was the least successful.

Stretchers are great things to have for mittens and socks. You can buy them, but you could also make them out of heavy-gauge wire (something along the lines of the lighter-weight dry-cleaner hangers).

Posted by: Mother Hen (IP Logged)
Date: May 31, 2009 12:14PM

Hi MaryB >>
Read this small part and see if it helps any ??
The opened web site has more to offer >> !

I had this site for some time now and I think this part ( that I made bold and red lettered ) is interesting and helpful in doing a controlled >>> shrink/felt !


There are also moderns ways to cheat mechanically. An old-fashioned washing board is a big help when you're trying to full by hand. It's a good tool, especially for a small project, because you keep an eye on what's happening and you can stop precisely when you reach a satisfactory state, and also because you can full some spots more or less and keep better control on the final shaping.

Mother Hen <><
" Creating Is A God Thing "