Rhymes With Fuchsia

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Science Project

I've known how to knit since I was about six, although I didn't get serious about it until about eight years ago. Thereby hangs a tale I keep meaning to tell you, but not today. Today my topic is Fear of Felting.

In my entire knitting career I've never felted anything on purpose. Having suddenly and involuntarily bequeathed at least one very nice sweater to my sister, seven years younger than I and thoroughly undeserving, I've always viewed felting with suspicion.

Now, however, Taz needs mittens, and red is his favorite color, and the only suitable yarn in my stash is a bulky single-ply wool I bought intending someday to get my friend Anne to teach me to make something like one of her gorgeous bags, or at least a felted tote. So, felted mittens. I will admit that I've been averse to felting partly because it seems like some kind of alchemy: what you end up with looks nothing like what you started with, so how do you know it'll turn out right?

The greenish stuff is acrylic. My theory is that when I felt the mittens, the wool will felt, the acrylic won't, and I will then pull it out and insert another, smaller-gauge wool yarn into the holes and knit cuffs. Wish me luck.

A reminder: the sock photo contest is open until January 31. Socksterhood is powerful! If you've posted a photo but haven't left a comment on the contest post, please do, lest I miss your entry. I've stumbled across at least one entirely by accident.


  • A courageous act! Good for you. It's a growth and learning experience! Go Lucia!! (Felted mitties will be wonderful witner wear.) (Does your yarn diet mean no trades or presents, or just no shopping?)

    By Blogger Roxie, at 9:38 AM  

  • I finally got a picture last night.

    By Blogger margene, at 10:17 AM  

  • good luck with that! i'm wondering if the wool will felt around the acrylic making it virtually impossible to pull the acrylic out. but, i still want you to try because i'm talking out of my ass and could totally be wrong.

    so do it!!!

    By Blogger maryse, at 10:48 AM  

  • What a great theory! I look forward to seeing how that cuff idea works out. If your experiment is successful, it could lead to lots of interesting possibilities for combining fulled knitting with unfulled embellishments.

    Best of luck with it!

    By Blogger Jen, at 12:51 PM  

  • Ooh, clever idea leaving the acrylic in like that. I can't wait to see how that goes.

    By Anonymous Cheryl, at 1:39 PM  

  • Sorry it's been so long since I've seen you. My thoughts on the acrylic cuff idea is that you're brilliant (not that we didn't know that already). I think it SHOULD work but you may need very thin needles for carrying on with the cuff. Good luck and I can't wait to see the results.

    By Anonymous Anne, at 7:08 PM  

  • So adventurous for your first felted project! I might also run some cotton string (not too skinny) through where the acrylic yarn is. I used cotton string to leave "shoelace holes" in some felted mukluks that I made (these were something of a failur, but the holes came out fine). The cotton is easy enough to pull out. The idea of lining the mits is great...if they don't felt down to the size you want and they are fully felted, you can line with a thicker yarn than if they felt smaller. Or you could line them with something sumptious. Go girl!

    By Anonymous lisa, at 9:21 PM  

  • The ack-rylic is a very good idea. Have you tried a swatch to see if it works before knitting the whole mitten? (she said, ducking the book winging its way toward her head).

    Another thought would be to use cotton thread or string.

    By Blogger Ruth, at 6:22 AM  

  • I can't wait to see the mittens. What great cold weather items to receive!

    I'm sure they'll come out great.

    Knit on!

    By Anonymous Latoyal, at 7:32 AM  

  • I didn't know anybody that dressed like that, but then I was about 4 when this was put out. And for sure not associated with preppy crowd!

    By Anonymous lisa, at 5:45 PM  

  • Great idea, Lucia. Felting is fun! Good luck with your project. I would suggest felting a swatch (so that you know how it's going to felt.

    Angelia - Angelia's Knitting

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:58 PM  

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