Basic Felting Instructions

I’ve felted many knitted items and this is my basic procedure:

Felting tips

  1. Agitation is the key to felting. To help increase the agitation, you may wish to add an old pair of jeans to the wash. Be careful not to add anything like towels, as lint may get caught up in your felt.
  2. Hot water is used to soften the wool and speed the felting process, but extremely hot or boiling water is not needed. It will make little difference in the felting time and makes it difficult to handle your knitted item during the process.
  3. Detergent or soap works with the hot water to soften the wool and speed felting.
  4. To protect your washer from excess lint, place the knitted item in a zippered pillow protector, or at the very least, a fine mesh bag.
  5. The most important step in felting is to check on the progress regularly. That is the only way that you will be able to stop when the size is right.
  6. Some people do not use your washer’s spin and rinse cycle as it may set permanent creases in your felt. I have not experienced this as a problem.

Felting Instructions

To begin felting, set washer for hot wash, low water level, and maximum agitation. Add a small amount of a mild detergent. Place the bag with the knitted item in the washer.

After about 5 minutes, check on the progress. Check again every 3 to 5 minutes. Every time you check on the progress, remove the knitted item(s) from the bag and change the way they are folded before returning to the washer. Reset the washer to continue agitating if necessary. Do not let it drain and spin. Just keep agitating and checking on them, until they are down to size and firm enough to hold their shape. Smaller items may take quite awhile to felt. When the items appear to be the right size, remove and rinse by hand in cool water. Use a towel to remove some water and check the fit.

If they are still too large, return to the washer and continue agitating. When you are happy with the size, remove and rinse by hand. Machine rinsing is not recommended, as it is impossible to control the amount of additional shrinkage that may occur (I don’t have a problem when I machine-rinse.)

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Hantsuki Shawl

New from Berroco, an alpaca/viscose yarn named Folio, and a pattern booklet designed for that yarn. Today in their e-newsletter, they’ve offered a free download of a lacy little shawl that would be perfect for summer evenings. You can view Folio colors


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Textile History: Henry VIII and Cloth of Gold

Cloth of gold – today we are blase about lame, but 500 years ago, it was the stuff of royalty. Extremely fine strips of gold or silver were cut from thin sheets of metal. In most cases, the core yarn is silk wrapped with a band or strip of the silver or gold filé. Though the resulting fabric was rather stiff and heavy, it was worn whenever “glam” was the order of the day.

Henry VIII, of course, is famed for his extravagance and his insistence on luxury. In June of 1520, he travelled to France to negotiate an alliance with King Francois I, against the Holy Roman Empire. The two kings were both regarded as paragons of manliness, kingliness, handsomeness, courtliness, and all the other  positive -nesses any man would want to be. They were also arch-rivals. Henry and Francois decided to meet near Calais, each arriving with huge retinues of courtiers and household necessities. They promptly set about showing each other up, sparing no expense in setting up grand temporary cities, with most of their clothing and huge pavilions covered in cloth of gold. They jousted, banqueted, strutted about, partied……the world had never seen the like, and the extravaganza became known as The Field of the Cloth of Gold. Apparently they left little time apart from their revelry, because an alliance was never accomplished. The Field of Gold was a political fiasco, virtually bankrupting both governments. But it must have been tons of fun…..

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His or Her Vintage Knit Pullover

From American Thread Co. Star Book No. 185, Fashions. Probably 1960′s. Click on photo and link to access.


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Linda’s Favorite Sock Recipe – All Sizes


I’m the kind of knitter who tends to fixate upon a certain type of project to the exclusion of others. At times, I get on a sock-knitting tear. I make them in different yarns, weights, and patterns, and have developed the perfect pattern to fit my own feet. For larger or smaller, I simply adapt this basic template.


Magic Loop Socks

Size 4 circular needle.
cast on 42 sts; divide between the needles, half on each. Knit the cuff in the pattern of your choice, to the length desired.

Shape Heel Flap
Knit across 10 sts on first needle, turn.
Row 1 (WS) With empty needle, sl 1 st, purl 9 sts on first needle and 10 sts on 2nd – 20 sts for heel flap. Work back and forth on these sts in rows.
Row 2 * Sl 1, k 1; rep from * across. Rep last 2 rows until a total of 16 rows have been worked, ending with a Row 1.

Turn Heel
Next Row (RS)
Sl 1, k 11, skp, k 1, turn.
Next Row Sl 1, p 5, p2tog, p 1, turn.
Next Row Sl 1, k 6, skp, k 1, turn.
Next Row Sl 1, p 7, p2tog, p 1, turn.
Continue to work in this manner, having 1 more st before decs on each row until 12 sts remain.

With first needle, knit across 12 sts of heel, pick up and k 8 sts along side of heel flap, M1 between heel flap and next (instep) needle, with second needle, work 20 sts across instep needle, with 1st needle, M1 between instep needle and heel flap, pick up 8 sts along remaining side of heel flap, work across 12 sts of heel flap. To decrease, pick up one stitch in every slipped stitch on the side of the heel flap. Resume knitting in the round. Knit across the top, then pick up one stitch from each slipped stitch on the second side of the flap.

Knit across the heel and the stitches you picked up last round, until the last three, then k2tog, k 1. Knit across the instep stitches, till you reach the second side of flap, then k 1, SSK, k across. Do one row plain. Alternate in this way until you have 20 stitches on the heel needle.


Work even in St st until foot measures about 1 1/2″ [4 cm] less than desired length to beg of toes. (7 ½ inches)

Shape Toe
Dec Rnd
K 7, skp, k 2, k2tog, k 14, skp, k 2, k2tog, k7.
Knit 1 rnd.
Rep last 2 rnds until 14 sts remain. Cut yarn, leaving a long tail. Turn sock inside out.  Finish off toe with Kitchener stitch.


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Cable Yoke Cardigan

This unusual pattern caught my eye because it features not only vertical cables, which I’m used to knitting, but horizontal ones as well, which I’ve never tried. Until now. Really looking forward to tackling a new knitting challenge. The pattern is available free of charge at the Paton’s yarn website. Very cool.

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Quotes about Socks

For all those inveterate sock knitters out there (you know who you are!), I’ve updated my list of the thoughts of some well known people about their socks.

“One can never have enough socks.”

Albus Dumbledore

“I got up one morning and couldn’t find my socks, so I called Information. She said, “Hello, Information.” I said, “I can’t find my socks.” She said, “They’re behind the couch.” And they were!”

Steven Wright

“True love is like a pair of socks: you gotta have two and they’ve gotta match.”


“Never put a sock in a toaster.”

Eddie Izzard

“I washed a sock. Then I put it in the dryer. When I took it out, it was gone.”

Rod Schmidt

“The average Southerner has the speech patterns of someone slipping in and out of consciousness. I can change my shoes and socks faster than most people in Mississippi can speak a sentence.”

Bill Bryson

“Never run in the rain with your socks on”


“Both of your socks should always be the same color.  Or they should at least both be fairly dark”

Dave Barry

“Yes, sir. I’m a real Southern boy. I got a red neck, white socks, and Blue Ribbon beer.”

Jimmy Carter

“Choose your friends by their character and your socks by their color. Choosing your socks by their character makes no sense, and choosing your friends by their color is unthinkable.”


“He may be president, but he still comes home and swipes my socks.”

Joseph P. Kennedy

“If it weren’t for women, men would still be wearing last week’s socks.”

Cynthia Nelms

“His socks compelled one’s attention without losing one’s respect”

H.H. Munro

“A man is about thirty-eight before he stockpiles enough socks to be able to get one matching pair”

Merrily Harpur

“Politicians who wear little tennis socks with the balls at the back should not be taken seriously.”

Mo Rocca
Honey, have you ever seen a man knitting socks?” (yes, actually!)

Ezer Weisman

“I have reached an age where if someone tells me to wear socks, I don’t have to.”

Albert Einstein

“My socks DO match. They’re the same thickness.”

Steven Wright

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