Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Felt magic!

Dear Shayne,

The process of turning loosely knit wool fabric into wool felt is called fulling or, more commonly, felting. It's so cool, it's like magic.

A couple of Christmases back, I made my mother's husband (Hi, Jeff!) a pair of slippers using this process. After a couple of years of hard wear, he's worn a hole in them and he needs another pair. I'm happy to oblige -- I love it when something I've made is so well loved that it gets worn out.

First, I loosely knit a gigantic pair of the slippers:
Slippers, pre-felting

How gigantic, you ask?
Slippers, pre-felting

Jeff's feet are not, in fact, 15+ inches long, as the tape measure shows these are. Here is a photo showing the pre-felted slippers I have just knit, compared to his old slippers (in the correct Jeff-foot size):
Future slippers + slippers past

Next, I throw them in hot water in the washing machine with a pair of jeans to rough them up and a bit of dishwashing soap. In about 30-45 minutes, voila!
Slippers, done!

See? They've shrunk down to be the same size as his original pair:
New slippers + old slippers

Hopefully, he likes these as well as the originals. I like the new color, but am somewhat suspicious of that fuzziness.

Meanwhile, I took the hole-y pair home to see if I could repair them:
Why Jeff is getting new slippers.

Since felt is basically magic, I've got some ideas that might take care of it.

That, however, will be a post-Christmas activity. (Anyone else in a blind only-ten-days-til-Christmas full on panic right now, or is that just me?)


PS -- For anyone looking to make these slippers, I used this very popular pattern from Fiber Trends.


j0zzzz said...

I'm in complete denial that Christmas is so close. This may finally be the year where I stay up all night on Christmas Eve and everyone gets hand-lettered I.O.U.s. In crayon.

The slippers look great!

kelly said...

I think we both need to maximize our use of the same excuse: We were busy this year getting married!

(I mean, how often do you get to use that one, right?)

Shayne said...

Felting looks like fun!

I have my Christmas shopping done (only buying for Sam, nephews and my mom) but really need to get on the ball card-wise.

JenniferNabers said...

Haha! Wonder how freakishly large you'd have to knit a pair of those for Darrell's size 15s!