There has been a huge craze for felted knitting, a process where you knit a loose garment and then wash it in the washing machine to shrink and thicken the fabric. Things that are typically felted are clogs or slippers, tote bags and vests, but you can do a lot more.Bev Galeskas has some great instructions here, including an invaluable gauge check. You knit a square of a particular gauge, mark it with thread and then wash according to instructions. The thread marks the shrinkage and tells you how to adjust your knitting to get the felt to result in the size you desire.There are also instructions for how to leave button holes or eyelets in the knitting so they don't close up, what yarns work well and which ones don't, how to felt in a front-loading washing machine (hint: it has to be the kind that lets you stop and open the door mid-cycle. My American front-loader does allow this but my European one did not. If you have the kind that locks during the cycle, Bev suggests you find a friend with a toploader and borrow their machine!) The only small disappointment was that a pattern for felted clogs was not included. But there is a pattern for "ballet slippers" which do look something like clogs, so I suppose they can be sized up for adults, even men. Just don't CALL them ballet slippers. Felted clogs are very popular to make for gifts and to keep by the door as shoe-replacements to save your floors and carpets from wear and tear.
The information on felting in the first half of the book is extremely thorough and helpful, probably the most comprehensive and definitive.
On the other hand, I was not impressed with the patterns. Some can only be found in this book, and others can be found seperately where ever Fiber Trends patterns are sold. And even the included patterns are not their most popular.
The Bag section is uninspired and boring; the bags are too similar in shape and a plain one at that (the tab top tote pictured on the cover is the exception.)
The brimmed hats look like pattern number AC-2 "Felt Hat II" I think this was a stingy use of these pages since Fiber Trends publishes several brim variations (including the derby & the stylish crusher brim) in a single pattern (AC-1). The beret looks like pattern number AC-6.
The adult mittens look like AC-17 "Snow Country Felt Mittens" but you also get them in toddler and child sizes and w/ ideas for cuff variations. But each of these size groups plus the Fur-Cuffed variation is treated like a different and seperate pattern although the directions for each are fundamentally the same. So when you see 4 different mittens listed in the table of contents it's very misleading, really there's just 1 mitten pattern w/ sizes for the whole family and a furry cuff variation. The Muff looks like "Winter in the City" pattern. The Vest is cute and looks like (although uses lighter weight yarn than) WP-2 "Woolpak Felt Jacket" but w/o sleeves, and a zipper instead of buttons.
The ballet slippers for women/children look like pattern AC-14. The felted moccasins for men/children are very cute! The baby booties are alright. But alas, the stingies excluded the clogs everyone wants.Read more ›
I love this book. The patterns are not only great to look at, but well written and easy to follow too. I made a couple pairs of the baby booties, and they were quite quick to make. And, felted up beautifully.Same with the pocketbook. Not that the instructions are as critical there, but still- well written and easy to follow, again. And the results were gorgeous. People compliment me on it all the time. I've been inspired to begin a hat- but it's too early to discuss the finished results. Still- I have faith it will be perfect.She tells you all about how to choose your yarn, what yarns felt well, gives suggestions for figuring out gauge and discusses washing machine vs. sink techniques. Lots of nice pics in the beginning to get a feel how much felting changes your fabric. I found that helpful, as I had no idea what novelty yarns worked in might look like. Given how gorgeous they are, and that I would have been afraid to even try, I feel as if it's almost a public service to include those.
This is a great book for learning about the art of felting. The illustrations are gorgeous and directions are very clear. However, the best component of this book is the discussion on how different yarns felt in different ways. Forinstance, there is a clear explanation that addresses how yarn may shrink in length rather than in width, suggesting that it is crucial to make test swatches.
Having tried some felting, I now understand the how's and why's of felting. This book provides a good list of available resources and is filled with projects that inspire. Enjoy!
If you want to learn to felt or learn more about felting, this is the book to do it. I had already done a couple of projects but now will have more control over the felting process becasue of this book. Excellent.
I checked this book out from a local library 3 times before it dawned on me that I needed to just buy it. This is an excellent guide for a relatively new knitter who wants to try felting. The author has many great tips and useful nuggets of information about felting andknitting in general, as well as reassurances along the way for when a felting project turns into something unrecognizable! I've made several purses from this book as well as modified a few of the patterns for different sizes and shapes and found the patterns are easily adaptable for simple variations. This is a "must hav" as far as I'm concerned.