View Full Version : I felted 2 hats - now a question

01-03-2011, 12:32 PM
Using this pattern and Paton's 100% Merino Wool - http://sites.google.com/site/mimicsa/freepattern-warmcapwithbrim - I made this hat, which came out too big.


So I tore it all out and made this hat, which is the perfect size for me.


I then decided I wanted to make it in off-white, so I got some Paton's 100% Merino and made it - too big. I thought I should try felting it and read all I could find about how to felt, but I have a front loading washer, which wasn't going to work. I decided to wash it in the sink while I did a load of laundry in the washer - after which I threw the laundry and the hat in the dryer, not really expecting it to felt, but I wanted to see if it would shrink. It came out like this, after I threw it back in the dryer a second time - a little too small.


So, back to the hook and more Paton's yarn and I made another hat, only I used a larger hook (H instead of G) which made it much bigger, with the hopes that it would felt into the right size when I threw it into the dryer. And it worked - here it is


As you can see, the brim did not felt as much as the rest of the hat - so my question is, if I wet just the brim and throw it in the dryer again, do you think it will felt more and leave the rest of the hat the size that it is now???

I honestly wasn't expecting the hats to felt by just throwing them in the dryer with a load of clothes - from everything I read it was supposed to felt in the washer, which wasn't an option since mine is a front loader and I wouldn't be able to check on the progress during the wash cycle. I'm a little hooked now on felting and have another hat that is slightly big that I'm planning on washing in the sink and throwing in the dryer with another load of laundry!!!

Thanks for any comments and suggestions!!!


Jan in CA
01-03-2011, 02:21 PM
Heat and agitation are what felts. A washer may felt better, but the dryer can do a pretty good job. Some things actually felt a little when worn due to the friction. Underarms, socks, cuffs on a sweater..etc.

Wetting the brim might work, but no guarantees it won't do a little on the rest of the hat, too. It's worth a try if you can't wear it as is.

One other thought.. white yarns sometimes don't felt as well as colored. It has something to do with the chemicals used to bleach the yarn I think.. :??

01-03-2011, 02:29 PM
Thank you for the reply Jan!!! I'm going to try wetting the brim and throwing it in the dryer - you're right, it won't hurt to try it since it's not going to be wearable as it is right now. If it shrinks the whole hat it won't matter much because I'm sure there is a head out there somewhere that it will fit!!! (As much as I like to think that all the hats I make are mine, I inevitably end up donating them all to charity in the end, since I never wear hats!!)

I think the fact that the hat is crocheted and the brim is crocheted with a double strand of wool might add to the problem with felting it uniformly.

I'll just chalk it up as an experiment - one that I'm thoroughly enjoying, I might add!!!

01-03-2011, 04:33 PM
Success!!!! I wet the brim and threw it in the dryer, through two loads of laundry and the brim felted some more without the rest of the hat changing size. I like it, but it's probably not a hat I'll ever wear because it has a snug fit. Will be perfect as a chemo cap for someone who can wear wool!!!

01-03-2011, 05:29 PM
I've got a front-loader too, and have felted my stuff in there anyway. It sometimes takes two or three cycles. Last time I felted, I threw in an old pair of tennis shoes and used just a tiny splash of dish soap--it worked really well. As long as you're experimenting, you might as well try it. I think it shrinks things less than the dryer does. (I like to hang them to dry.)

01-05-2011, 10:15 AM
You could do some hand-felting. With hand-felting, you can focus on the brim and make it felt more. The best option for this is a double-sink. Most kitchen sinks are set up like this. You have one with the hot water and one with cold and just agitate with your hands. This works great if you want to felt some but not all and it's fine for anything that's not huge but works for anything. The washer IS the easier way to felt things but sometimes, you can't use the washer. It felts fairly evenly around. Another thing is you tried felting a yarn that's pretty much white. It was probably bleached and typically any chemical used to lighten something to white or close to white tends to make it not felt so well. The next time you want to felt but want to have it near-white, try to find a yarn that says it's not bleached or is how it naturally looks. It won't be exactly white but it'll felt better. Trust me, I know on the hand-felting thing. I made Christmas presents one year but didn't get them done before we moved to a new place. Apparently, the new place had a broken water heater. So, yeah, it took the guy a month to get it fixed due to basically everything going wrong that could and, yeah, I had to hand-felt. Gogo tea kettle!! lol

01-05-2011, 05:11 PM
Have you ever tried this method of felting?? http://www.woolcrafting.com/boiled-wool.html

01-06-2011, 09:10 AM
Have you ever tried this method of felting?? http://www.woolcrafting.com/boiled-wool.html

Ooh, not yet... I think I might try it for my next item, though. It's a satchel, so I'll have to use a canning pot.