Thursday, March 15, 2012

Felting the Adele Button Hat and a failure


I have been experimenting with other felting yarns in making my Adele Hat (named after my mom).  These three hats were all made with the same pattern (with the exception of making the tab longer on the striped hat) with three different yarns and they all felted completely different (my original pattern available at  Actually, I just recently made the striped and beige hat -- the blue one I made about a year ago.
· The blue hat is made from Paton's Classical Wool. I felted it once and shaped it in over a bowl that measures about 22 inches.  I have made several of these (see more pictures of this hat at the Adele Button post from June, 2011) and it comes out perfectly every time. 
· The striped hat is made from Brown Sheep Lanaloft yarn. I ended up felting this hat FOUR TIMES before it got to 23 inches. Hopefully someone with a big head will buy it. I sell hats at the Renaissance Faire in Larkspur CO every summer. Obviously, if you want to use this yarn, you may want to use a smaller needle or downsize the pattern.
· The beige one is made of Lion Brand Fisherman's Wool in Oatmeal. When I felted this hat, it really shrank down! I pulled and tugged at it trying to get it big enough to fit over my bowl. Once I got it over the bowl, I pulled it off the bowl and let it shrink back a bit. It ended up 21½ inches once it was dry.
Felting is sometimes hit and miss. I have felted dozens and dozens of hats and bags, and it always makes me nervous. Most of the time, I am pleased with how they turn out.  I would suggest you keep a written journal or log of your knitting, tracking the brand of yarn, pattern you used, any changes you made to the pattern, and details about how you felted it, including washing machine temperature and felting time.  I have been keeping a written log of my knitting for years. Watch for future posting showing my little beat-up journal.

I have felted dozens of hats, but not all have been successes.  A few years ago, I tried to make a gray hat with a design on the band. It was one of my first attempts, and it showed. I used two different brands of yarn. NEVER do that. I don't even remember what yarns I used, but here is the result. Ugh!
Quote from Neko:
"Sleep with one eye open, lady." 

Even Neko doesn't like this hat.  I don't understand why. It's just his size and gray and blue are his colors.


  1. Felting can be tricky - I notice that the rate of felting even changes from year to year in my fiber animals. Great hats even the one that Neko is not happy about wearing.

  2. Did you say, "Even Neko doesn't like this hat. I don't understand why."? (of course you did, since I just copied and pasted the comment) Do I have to state the obvious? Neko doesn't like much that I'm aware of. Does he wear other hats? Didn't you have to sleep with one eye open before you knit the hat? Is that Ken holding him? Does he still have eyes to keep open at night? What a brave husband!

    Oh, about the HATS...! They're beautiful! Even Nekos. You could sell the failures that shrink that small as doll hats. I told the girls they couldn't take the hats I got from you last August (has it been that long?!) until they model them so I can send photos. I've had them all here at the same time twice since then and the in the ensuing chaos, the hats went right out of my head (RRR). I'll put them up on my living room wall as decorations so the next time I can get my hands on one of my daughters, I'll remember to slap a few hats on her so I can photograph how beautiful they are on someone other than the poor creatures you have wearing them pictured here. (Your models clearly don't get enough sun.)

    I'd model one for you, but I'm afraid the extra skin on my neck would detract from the focus of the photo, and that's no way to sell hats.

    1. Yes, I want to see pictures of the hats on the girls. I wish you were closer so I could use them as models instead of my pale-faced head with no eyes. I'll look forward to the pictures.