Full throw before felting
Full throw before felting

In accordance with my resolution to use all the yarn I have before buying any more, I recently picked out some yarn I originally bought because it was cheap. I also bought it online, so not being able to see its true colour or feel its texture, I did not know at that time just how dislikeable I would end up finding it. When the package arrived with 6 skeins of this yarn (3 of a deep, forest green that the website had claimed was “teal” – I never wear forest green: it makes me look ill, and 3 a more reasonable cherry red), I was more than a little disappointed with it. [Note: the photos in this post make it look more like the teal I had expected – I used a setting on the camera that makes it look more blue than green.] After discovering I am fairly sensitive to natural wool fibre, I attempted to offload the yarn onto my mother who, inspired by my interest in knitting, had recently also picked up her sticks again. But by this point, she’d already lost her steam and I couldn’t even give her the yarn.

When I first made the above-mentioned resolution at the beginning of 2012, I picked up the green yarn and decided to make a freeform “blanket” out of it. I started, lost interest as the yarn scratched up my highly irritated, dry, winter hands, and left it for exactly a year – until this past Christmas, when I had just completed the Daybreak shawl, and wanted something both bulky, and very easy, to knit next.

A month later, I had a relatively small patch of freeform material, and figured what the hey – I couldn’t think of a more fitting yarn to felt. Though I had originally planned for this to be a sort of cushion to place on the seat of a dark green, very old, leather IKEA recliner my parents offloaded onto me – due to its small size, I figured I may as well felt it.

So I did, using the instructions found here. It shrunk a bit – I forgot to measure the final knitted piece before felting it, so I’ve no idea by how much. But now it’s a very reasonable sort of material that I can easily make some sort of purse out of, and, as a shoulder-slung accessory, I shall never have to worry about its making me look ill.

Next step: actually turn it into a purse. I’m still working out how to go about it so that it’s a) something I’ll actually use, b) attractive enough not to look like something I picked up from the local church craft fair.

I had an idea to use it as a backdrop to a bunch of other felted material, but I don’t think I have the time or interest to work out how to properly felt things in an artwork sort of way. I’m okay with the lazy felt-your-knitting-in-the-washing-machine method.

I’ll keep you posted.

Closeup of the felted texture
Closeup of the felted texture

View the project on Ravelry.

Felting Experiment #1 – Freeform Desert Throw
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