Crocheting, along with knitting, is quite a popular hobby among people of all ages. Much of its popularity is attributed to the fact that it is a fun and portable way to relieve stress. Indeed, many useful things can be made thanks to techniques such as felted crochet.
Felted Crochet: What is it?
Felted crochet is simply regular crocheting, in which the yarn that has been used has been turned into felt. Thus, in order to understand what felted crochet really is, one must understand the process behind felting itself.
Felting is a process in which the wool fibers, which are usually rather loose, are tightened so that they are quite strong and durable. The process of felting is one that has been used by various cultures for centuries. Notable examples of techniques resembling felted crochet are various tribal blankets of the Southwestern United States.
In order for a crochet enthusiast to do his or her own felting, it is important to remember that not just any type of yarn can be turned into felt. As a rule, felting is only achievable with yarn that contains animal hair fibers, and these fibers cannot have been chemically treated beforehand in any way.
The best types of yarn for felted crochet projects consist of yarn that is primarily made of wool, or yarn that is of a wool and mohair blend. Avoid yarns that have any acrylic substances in them, as well as yarns that indicate that they are readily washable, since this means that they would contain their original consistency and not become felt.
In order to make a successful felted crochet project, one must also pay special attention to the crochet stitched within the project itself. A project with single crochet stitches will be too tight for proper felting, while a project with double crochet stitches will tend to be too loose. Thus, the best idea is to use half double crochet stitches.
After the project has been crocheted, it is time for the felting process to begin. Place the project in a zippered pillow cover so that the fibers do not go everywhere, and toss it in the washing machine with a few other items like cloths or towels for proper cyclical balance. It is important to only use a small amount of detergent, and then let it wash for a short cycle.
The key to felting is checking to make sure that the project is not overly felted, so it may be necessary to stop the wash cycle once or twice. Once the project has been satisfactorily felted, it should be taken out and air dried. Whether it is a purse, a pair of socks, or perhaps a hat, felted crochet projects are indeed a uniquely creative hobby to enjoy.