Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Anatomy of a Crocheted Felted Hat

How many of you have felted or fulled (and why do these terms confuse me so?) an item? The pattern I bought from Fiber Trends calls it a Crocheted Felt hat, yet other have said when you felt wool, it's fulled. In any case, felting is a bit of a fun way to play around with wool and also make a wonderful fabric using crocheting or knitting.
As you may know, I haven't been crocheting much, concentrating on other things, craft and non-craft wise. The conundrum was I had a bug about making some items, I bought some patterns, yada-yada-yada, I got sick and felt compelled to make a hat for someone special who I mentioned I would make a hat for ages ago. I also got sick again. After 7 years of thinking things were behind me, maybe they are, maybe they aren't, we don't know and I guess after the beginning of the year we shall start trying to figure it out.

In any event, I am kind of stuck in the house, feeling sick, feverish and achy and decide I must do this hat come hell or high water. I've used Bev's pattern before and I love it. It also is seamless, another love, but it involves a lot of counting, which I don't love too much. My feverish brain lost count too many times and after many frogging episodes it was completed to my satisfaction. I will say, the front loader felts great, however you have no control about stopping it mid-cycle so a lot of pacing and wondering happens during the process.

First off, I used Plymouth Wool Outback Yarn (100% wool, a must for felting, although the SWS felts nicely, this was plain wool) in a colorway I don't even remember the name of, just had a number. These are giant skeins, 370 yards, a little lighter than suggested, but I took my chances.

I have made the brimmed hat at the very top, but decided for this one, I would make the one on the right-sort of semi-brimmed (darker navy one) for this design and off I went. I crocheted, counted, frogged, crocheted, counted, frogged, cursed and finally, it was done. Now these "things" look kind of like the character on the cartoon "Fat Albert" from when I was a kid (really aging myself here), but sort of like this:
They are huge and I took pics using my phone of the actual hat on the man head mannequin head I have (sorry, they aren't so great)

But, you get my drift. Now comes the fun. I know it's for someone who has a larger head than myself, so I worry about the sizing. I toss it in the washing machine with two pair of old jeans and a little soap, put the water temp on hot wash/cold rinse and normal setting and leave the room. I check 1/2 hour later and it felted well, however I wanted it a little tighter, so I switched the washer to the "quick" cycle and repeated. I checked, rather hesitantly and it seemed to be the size I needed. I bought the big "mans" size mannequin head specifically for blocking felted hats because of the size and because when making chemo caps I can adjust for size using that head. I would love the millinery hat blockers, but between cost and all the sizes, this works out great. Okay, back to the hat-I stretched it to shape, formed the brim and let it dry.


Daisy said...

I love it!

I think what I've read is that if you're using unspun wool, it's felting and if you're doing it to fabric that's already been knit/crocheted/whatever it's fulling, or something like that but eh. It's easier to use felting for either one.

Hope you're feeling better soon!

Crafty Andy said...

In my opinion, felting is when the stitch definition disappears and you have a solid fabric. Fulling is when you can still see the stitches that you use and is used to just make the yarn bloom, yet you can still see the stitches. Great posting..

Deneen said...

Thank you both. I was told by someone who uses only fiber and bubble wrap and makes fabric from it that it's fulling, period and what you have made is wool felt. However, pattern names seem to be interchangeable. I want to start the real "fulling" soon, but still love making felted projects. This hat is one of my favorite patterns, although the counting does annoy me so!

CrochetBlogger said...

Terrific post on felting or fulling or whatever it is!! :)

Vik said...

Happy New Year dear Deneen! Best wishes!!

Congratulations: The felted hat looks wonderful! I enjoyed the post!

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