Wednesday, February 22, 2012

More Explorations in Felted Crochet

These are some observations I have on felting crochet:
Although I have another floor mat in progress, below, I wanted to make a few smaller items using this technique.  (The "technique" is a single crochet stitch using multiple strands of shrinkable wool yarn, and then felting it in the washing machine)
So I crocheted several little bowls.  Before felting they looked like caps.  Basically they are flat bottoms with short sides.
I washed them once, dried them in the dryer, washed them a second time, and pushed them into the shape and allowed them to air dry.

I crocheted them as a spiral, and so there is a bit of a lump where the stitches end on some of them.


 They really do shrink up into quite a pleasing thickness.  And there is no problem with the walls flopping inwards.
I will need to do a larger one now! 

This is the mat that I am currently working on:
 I started with a section of back and forth rows for the center.  Then I started to go in rounds around it.  It became a little too squarish, and so I added a few extra rows in yellow at either end.
 I am still using my 15mm hook!  and I'm holding many strands together.  I like the blue.
I started to wonder what would happen if I added in accent colors with thinner thread pulled up in the spaces using a smaller hook and a chain stitch.  So.....
 
I decided to make a little test swatch (what? just now after making several projects?)
this shows the back of the chain stitch
this shows the front of the chain stitch
this shows the swatch washed once.
I really like how the chain stitch blends in so well when it is felted, so I will pretty surely add it to the mat.  You can also see on the swatch how some combinations shrink quite a bit more than others.  The green is a lot bigger than the yellow, although it might have more strands to start with.   This is not a particularly scientific process, (but the intention is to use the yarns productively)


8 comments:

  1. morning michelle! what fun you're having with felted crochet...i've been sick and have not even rummaged through my feltables....but you're keeping me inspired! one of the things i like best about felting is the unpredictability (which normally is anathema to me!). you're never really sure what's going to happen to the f.o. until you see it....for example: imagine how i felt when i first saw the slippers i'd slaved over once they'd been felted and the inside soles shrank instantly to practically nothing and the outsides hardly shrank at all....they felted up so hard i couldn't even cut them out... :( on the other hand - i've had mostly wonderful results - seldom what i had expected, but wonderful nonetheless!
    cheers
    molly

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    1. oh Molly, I am sorry that you are feeling sick. I know that I;m sick when the sight of felt doesn't make me want to do something. You're right about the unpredictabliliy of the felting. It's sort of exciting, like opening the kiln on a glaze firing. m

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  2. Wow! The felted crochet looks so amazing. I don't think I have seen it before! Love how the chain stitches blended in the bottom photo!

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  3. I love your felted bowls...they have given a few ideas:)

    Mary Ann...visiting from Needle & Thread

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  4. The difference between felted and un-felted bowls is amazing. I diminish my "bumps" by making the last stitch a chain stitch instead of a single crochet - in case you haven't tried that yet.

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  5. The felted bowls would make perfect cat beds....at least Cassie thinks so. Come to think about it, she thinks everything makes a good bed. :)

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