Felted crochet – have you tried it? I’ve always wanted to give it a go and as I was playing with some yarn the other day I came up with a little pattern that I thought could be a perfect first timer if it worked out right – and it’s just the right pattern with valentines day just round the corner!
If you are not familiar with what felting your crocheted work means, well it’s a process that transforms a piece of crochet into a kind of thick, solid, yet flexible fabric with no holes between the stitches.
So what yarn is best for felting?
You need to use 100% animal fibre yarns for best results e.g. sheep wool, alpaca or llama. Yarns such as acrylic, polyester and cotton with only a percentage of wool will not felt – and it’s useful to know that wool’s labelled ‘superwash’ have been treated to prevent felting.
What patterns are best for felting?
You can pretty much felt anything you can crochet. The only things that you need to consider are the felting process shrinks your finished product by quite a bit and crochet tends to shrink along the width of the product instead of the height.
There are loads of patterns out there if you do a search – but the lovely Moogly rounded up 10 free felted crochet patterns to get you started here or keep scrolling for my free mini heart pattern below.
So how do I felt crochet?
The process for felting crochet is pretty simple; all you need is heat, water and agitation. It’s easiest to felt your crocheted work in the washing machine, but you can also felt crochet by hand. The Lion Brand blog has a good piece on how to hand felt with a little help from your kitchen which you can read here.
I used a washing machine as follows:
- I put my crochet into a mesh lingerie bag (or you can use a zippered cushion case) this was so small items or loose fibres wouldn’t escape and break my washing machine (definitely don’t want that!)
- I added that bag into a washing machine with some sturdy non run clothing (like jeans).
- I put the washing machine on it’s longest warm (30°C or 40°C) or hot wash (60°C or 90°C)
- After that had finished I had a look at it – you can wash as many times as needed to achieve your desired affect
- Place it somewhere where you can leave it to completely dry out. Like a normal crochet item it’s best not to twist or wring out the item as it will stretch out of shape.
And that’s it, you’re done! So how about a little pattern to try it out? These little hearts are quick and very easy to make; they are perfect for embellishing anything from cards, bags, hats, cushions, hair-clips – well the possibilities are endless. It’s also a great little applique for left over yarn from your stash!
Little Felted Hearts
Click the following link to add the Little Felted Hearts to your Favourites and Ravelry Queue or keep scrolling for the pattern. For a print friendly version of this page please scroll to the bottom of this post and click on the Print & PDF button.
- Yarn: Scraps of Aran (Worsted) Weight Yarn / Weight #4 in 100% animal fibre
- Hook: 5 mm / US size H
Establishing the correct gauge is not critical to this pattern. Pattern will work in other yarns though gauge/size will be different.
- st(s) = stitch(es)
- sp = space
- sl st = slip stitch
- ch(s) = chain
- dc/sc = UK double / US single crochet
- htr/hdc = UK half treble / US half double crochet
- tr/dc = UK treble / US double crochet
- tr/dc picot = UK treble / US double crochet with a picot stitch at the end
- UK Double Crochet/US Single Crochet (dc/sc): Insert hook in st indicated and pull up a loop (two loops on hook), yarn over, pull through both loops on hook.
- UK Half Double Treble / US Half Double Crochet (htr/hdc): Yarn over, insert hook in indicated st and pull up a loop (three loops on hook), yarn over, pull through all three loops on hook.
- UK Treble / US Double Crochet (tr/dc): Yarn over, insert hook in indicated st and pull up a loop (three loops on hook), yarn over, pull through two loops, yarn over, pull through remaining two loops on hook.
- tr/dc picot: Work as a normal tr/dc, then ch 2, sl st into the top of the tr/dc just made – continue onto next st as normal.
- [ ] = work everything in brackets in one st
Rnd 1: Start with either a magic ring or ch 3 with a sl st to form a ring, ch 3 (counts as first tr/dc), then work 16 tr/dc into the ring, sl st to the top of the beginning ch 3 to join (17 sts)
Rnd 2: Ch 3, 1 tr/dc into the same st as the first ch 3, 1 tr/dc in the next 2 sts, 3 tr/dc in the next st, 1 tr/dc in the next st, 1 htr/hdc in the next 2 sts, 1 dc/sc in the next, then work [1 tr/dc, 1 tr/dc picot, 1 tr/dc in the next st], 1 dc/sc in the next st, 1 htr/hdc in the next 2 sts, 1 tr/dc in the next st, 3 tr/dc in the next st, 1 tr/dc in the next 3 sts, ch 3, sl st in the same st as the last tr/dc worked. Finish off and weave in ends.
My end verdict…well it’s so easy to felt wool, you simply must try it! I’d love to hear about / see what you have felted / tried to felt.
Until next time; keep calm and crochet on my friends xx