First Felting Project

Way back at Christmas, my aunt asked me to make her some fingerless gloves. I’m finally getting around to it. I’d been putting it off mostly because the yarn she wanted was a bulky weight, and for all the gloves I’ve made in the past 3 years, never once have I used bulky yarn to make them. I didn’t exactly have a pattern to follow, so I had to wing it. I started several different times, each time testing a different number of stitches and rows, and each time ripping it all out at the end because the glove was 5 times too big. I finally settled on 18 stitches and was pleased with the result. At least, more pleased than I had been with previous attempts. This is what it looked like:

purple fingerless gloves

But the gloves were still a little too loose, and I’m pretty sure my aunt has smaller hands than me. Even if I used less stitches, I realized that the whole thing was just too airy. The bulky weight (and needles that were probably a size too big) created a lot of gaps in the stitches that cold air could breeze right through. These things weren’t going to be very useful at keeping your hands warm.

So I had an idea. What about felting?! I’ve never done felting, and to start on a project that’s intended for someone else seemed like a risk. But I did it anyway. I research methods and decided on doing it by hand with a bowl of really hot water and a bowl of ice water. You can find instructions on that method over at KnitPicks.

The finished gloves:

semi-felted gloves

 

They look a little darker in the second photo because of the poor late-day lighting in my room (the first photo was taken in early afternoon). But overall, a success! The fiber didn’t felt completely since it’s only 50% wool (the other half is organic cotton). It took about 20 minutes per glove to reach the size I wanted, and I must say, it was quite a workout! My arms were getting really tired by the end. Yes, I’m a little wimpy. Oh well.

Now the gloves look and fit great! I’m so happy with how they turned out, I think I might have to felt some other wool projects I have lying around. Another great lesson learned in trying something new 🙂

 

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