I went to the local craft store and purchased Lion Brand Fishermen’s Wool, Nature’s Brown color. I never used it before, but I bought Fishermen’s wool for two reasons: I imagined that fishermen get really cold out there on the sea, and this kind of wool would keep them especially warm; and it says “PERFECT FOR FELTING” right on the label. Having used Lion Brand before with great results, I tend to trust what it says on the label. But I knew nothing about felting and I thought it would be a long and tedious process.
As I knit the mittens on the green straight loom using 1 over 2 e-wrap stitch, I asked the online group I’m in about felting. I received excellent responses, one of which led me to http://www.lusciousgracious.com/felt.htm where I found easy to read and understand directions for felting, using a washing machine. After I knit the mittens extra large to allow for shrinking during the felting process, I turned them inside out.
I felted the mittens according to the instructions on the website. They turned out great!
Except for my first try I shrank one of them a little too much and had to knit it over again. The other mitten I was able to stretch over an oatmeal container so it would fit his hand properly, and I stuck a small zucchini up into the thumb so it would retain its shape also. I discovered that the felting process elongated the thumbs on the mittens, but I trusted that I would be able to cut and sew them to the proper size once they dried. I also discovered that I didn’t make the mittens long enough and would have to find something to use for a cuff. I decided on some fleece that I had leftover from a project I had made over 10 years ago (who throws anything away?). I folded the fleece over so I could enclose a strip of elastic inside, to prevent the cold air from getting inside the mittens. This worked out really well. After I had knitted and felted the smaller mitten, I stretched it over a coffee can to dry (and used another zucchini for the thumb).
Then I was able to have him try them on. He was so excited and glad to get them, and they fit perfectly!
I trimmed and sewed the thumbs so they would fit, after I took this picture. Of course, now I may have caught the felting bug since the project was so easy to do, and I’m glad that I bought the Fishermen’s Wool to felt with.