It’s really easy, but I’m going to post a tutorial for anyone who’s interested.
Materials you’ll need:
- Feltable yarn and suitable knitting needles
- Old-fashioned wash-board
- Cotton embroidery floss (contrasting)
- Embroidery needle
- Liquid dishsoap
- Sink or tub
Knit a swatch. Determine gauge – both sts/ inch and rows/ inch. Using the embroidery needle and floss, mark your gauge. Since my row gauge was 15 rows/ 2 inches, I decided to mark a 2″ square, 12 sts by 15 rows:
In a sink with a really large drain (clogs = bad) or a tub, get the swatch wet with hot water (the hotter the better) and add some dishsoap to the swatch as well. The soap will help the felting process.
Start scrubbing the swatch against the washboard vigorously. Animal fibers felt primarily because of abrasion. Make sure you apply friction and pressure to the swatch evenly – i.e. felting the corners as much as the center:
Continue felting the swatch until you reach the fabric-weight desired. Rinse with cold water. Pat dry (or air dry). Measure the space between the floss markers now:
My row gauge decreased by 25% and my stitch gauge by 12.5%. Sooo, to get a garment or any FO that’ll be the size I want, I’ll need to use some reverse algebra.
Say I want a 10″ x 10″ square of felt. How many stitches do I CO?
- Felted, my stitch gauge is 87.5% of the original swatch
- 87.5% is equal to 7/8
- 10″ x (8/7) = 11.4″
- 11.4″ x 6 sts/ inch = 68.4
- I’ll CO 68 sts.
How many rows do I work for?
- Felted, my row gauge is 75% of the original swatch
- 75% is equal to 3/4
- 10″ x (4/3) = 13.3 inches
- 13.3 x 7.5 sts/ inch = 99.75
- I’ll knit on 100 rows
Hopefully this makes sense. If not, leave a comment and I’ll try and fix it. Have fun felting!