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Topic: help please? never felted, have questions  (Read 442 times)
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Ruler of Geek
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« on: August 23, 2008 09:07:39 AM »

ok, so i think what i'm wanting to do is technically fulling(?) not felting, but i thought this would be the best place to ask
i got 3 balls of virgin wool (50g/~50mball) and it's all pretty coloured and i'd like to turn it into a pair of slippers for me
should i knit it? crochet it? or just go with whatever seems easiest?
and how much should i expect it to shrink by? i made a pair of mary-janes a little while ago and you just measured them off the foot/feet of the person who was going to wear them so i'm worried that my felted/fulled slippers will come out too small for me to wear
any help would be greatly appreciatedand if this is in the wrong place i'm very sorry

Only dead fish swim with the stream.
Ruler of Geek
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« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2008 02:40:36 AM »

oops, apparently i put this in the wrong place, sorry

any and all help appreciated

Only dead fish swim with the stream.
« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2008 06:36:51 AM »

If you've never fulled/felted before, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. 

First - you will, of course, need to make the slippers bigger than the size you ultimately want them to be because during the felting process, shrinkage occurs.

You'll want to knit (or crochet - you can do either) at a looser gauge than what you might normally for your particular yarn so that you'll have a good fabric once it's felted.  For instance, in a felted clog pattern I've made several times, you use two strands of worsted weight wool and size US15 needles.  It creates a pretty loose, open gauge, but that's what you want when felting.

You MUST make sure you have non-superwash wool (which, by your description, it sounds like you do).  Superwash wool won't felt because it's been subjected to a chemical process that strips the wool fibers of the cuticles.  Wool is hair and, just like our hair, the wool (or other animal fiber - alpaca, etc) has cuticles.  When immersed in HOT water the cuticles open up like the petals on a flower.  Then, when agitated in the hot water the cuticles grab onto each other and begin to pull back in, creating the fulled fabric. 

I'd recommend knitting a swatch, first, and felting it, measuring before and after, to see how your yarn is going to react.

Here is a link to Knitting Pattern Central's page on free slipper patterns - there are several felted patterns on there and even if you want to make yours up as you go along, looking at some of them will give you an idea of the gauge you need:


Here is the link to the same page for Crochet Pattern Central - I'm not sure if there are any felted ones there or not:


Happy Felting!
Ruler of Geek
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« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2008 06:42:51 AM »

wow, huge help, thankyou so much, i'll be sure to post pics when i'm done

Only dead fish swim with the stream.
« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2008 06:49:20 AM »

You're welcome.  If you have any more questions, please let me know.  Oh, and when you put them in the washing machine to felt, remember:

1.  HOT HOT HOT water - as hot as you can get it.
2.  Top loading machines are better - the ones with the agitators.
3.  Set it for the lowest water setting possible.
4.  Throw in an old pair of jeans for added friction.
5.  Use a small amount of detergent.
6.  Check it every few minutes to make sure it's not felting too fast; remove it immediately when it's the size you want.
7.  Do not put it through the spin cycle - the spinning will set creases in the felted fabric that are almost impossible to remove.
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