Felting? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 04-26-2003, 11:24 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Has anyone done this before? I saw a mention on another thread about felting thrift store sweaters, How is that done? I have only seen felting done with unspun wool. What do you do differently to use the sweaters?

I am facinated by this and want to try it!!!

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#2 of 6 Old 04-26-2003, 11:56 PM
 
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If you want to felt a sweater, you will probably use your washing machine. Here are instructions on felting an already-knit fabric: http://www.getcrafty.com/read/craft/features/felting/

I am about to start knitting a bag with the intention of felting it. I got the pattern at http://www.knitkit.com/ (I'm doing the Oregon Tote). She has this free pattern for tiny felted bags: http://www.knitkit.com/SpecialCompanion.htm.

So far though, I have only done needle felting from wool roving. I have made some very cute little animal toys for my daughters.
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#3 of 6 Old 04-28-2003, 12:52 AM
 
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I felt with wool roving, but haven't done anything with knitted items. You could probably figure out how small it will shrink by looking at some patterns. I know they shrink ALOT.

Have fun!
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#4 of 6 Old 04-28-2003, 06:18 AM
 
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What do you want to do with the sweater once it's felted? If you want to felt a thrift shop sweater and actually wear it, the results can be a little iffy as the sweaters tend to flet unevenly. The torso may be short and tight while the arms remain long.

I love purchasing and recycling thrift shop clothing--maybe it's the thrill of the hunt! We go through a lot of mittens in the winter and they tend to get expensive if I buy pre-made mittens. Since I certainly don't have enough time to knit all those mitties, I buy 100% wool sweaters in pretty colors, run them through the hot water wash cycle 1 or 2 times and dry them in the dryer (though often thrift shop sweaters have already been shrunk in the wash which is why they are at the thrift shop!) I have a basic mitten pattern that I made by taking apart another pair of mitts. By carefully choosing the cutting placement I can take advantage of the sweater's existing design elements such as stripes or other patterns. Plain colors can also easily be embellished with embroidery or other trims. I've also used fabric from felted sweaters for other projects including rugs, doll making, and a wool afghan. Felted sweaters would also make great stuffed animals.
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#5 of 6 Old 04-28-2003, 06:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I was thinking of making dipaer covers and maybe some little stuffed toys or something. Possibly some booties, nothing too complicated- I don't have the time any more!!

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#6 of 6 Old 04-29-2003, 01:03 PM
 
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DancingHen, those mittens are a great idea. I've also seen funky children's hats made from felted sweaters selling in boutique selling for $$$$$$.

I knit, and I recently saw (can't remember where though!) a free pattern for knitting mittens extra loose and large out of wool, and knitting the cuffs, in the child's actual size, out of a non-felting blend, and then felting them. That way the mitten part felts and gets really thick and warm, but the cuff part stays stretchy and keeps the mitten on the child's hand (of course this could be done for an adult as well).

If you want to knit something to felt, you knit extra large and extra loose. You use needles a couple sizes larger than the yarn calls for. And the yarn has to be 100% wool.

I saw a great felted diaper bag pattern in a knitting book by Melanie Falick that might interest any knitters here. It looked like something one could maybe piece together from old sweaters, too. I can find the title of the book if anyone wants it.
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