Thursday, March 8, 2012

Felted Potholders

I made some terrific felted potholders recently, but forgot to download the photos from my camera until today. So now I can give you the little tutorial I had planned on writing. Better late than never.  Of course, I forgot how many stitches I cast on. So technically, this isn't a pattern, just a how-to.

I used 100% non-superwash wool. It was Knit Picks Wool of the Andes (worsted) in a discontinued color called Tomato. I think I used a US8 needle.

I started with the tubular caston, and I used an even number. Here's a video tutorial by Ysolda Teague. But instead of doing ribbing after completing the caston, I knitted tubular stockinette. The way to do that is to [Slip1, Knit1] repeat across. And every row is done the same way. I wanted square potholders, so I knit long rectangles, roughly 150% as long as wide. When I felt they were long enough, I used the tubular bindoff. Here's a written tutorial by TechKnitter. I started where she says "Phase 3: Grafting". You can see the measurements of the potholders in the photo below.
 Being relatively inexperienced at felting, I wasn't sure how well these tubular rectangles would felt. I was afraid that the two sides wouldn't felt together to make a nice flat piece, so I basted them with sewing thread. Not sure whether that was necessary, but it didn't hurt.
 Then I ran them through the washer with some jeans. Twice. I have a front-loader, so it doesn't agitate much. They didn't come out perfectly square, but I think they're close enough! So I pinned them out to dry. Here's the after-felting pic:
 And then, since I didn't want plain, boring potholders, I crocheted some tiny snowflakes out of white laceweight wool. After blocking them, I needle-felted them on to the potholders. I had never needle-felted before, and I enjoyed it. It was very easy, and I love the finished product.
 So there you have it: how-to make felted potholders.

In other knitting news, I finished the Sisterhood Blanket! The color isn't quite right on this pic. I'll take more pics once it's dry.

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