Sunday, February 16, 2014

Making Felted Boots

Since I learned how to crochet this winter, one of my big goals has been to make us plenty of warm wool things so we don't freeze to death at Gulf Wars. As I've been finding patterns, I've been saving them to my pinterest so I could find them later. Then I came across these:

Linwood Crafts
Hubby immediately latched on to these and wanted a pair. And I thought, "Ya know, I think I can do that!!" And so the Felted Boots project was born.

I first chose the wool: Paton's Wool Roving in Natural.

Then I determined how I needed to change my go-to sock pattern. Because felting causes shrinkage of the item, I knew that the pre-felted sock needed to be about 1/3 bigger than normal. I did some playing around with felting swatches of this wool- trying the process with different sized hooks to see how it affected the outcome.

The pattern I used is this awesome Knee-High Boot Sock Pattern. I pretty much followed the pattern as far as stitch count, etc. I simply used bulkier wool than called for and a 10.0mm N-hook instead of the 6.0mm J-hook called for. Here's what the "sock" looked like before felting:

Then it was time to start the felting process! I did a two-fold process, part in the washing machine and part by hand on hubby's feet. First I put plenty of hot water and a little soap in the machine, along with my sock and a towel, for extra agitation. I checked on the sock's progress every few minutes- it wouldn't do have it shrink too small!! When I decided it had shrunk enough in the machine, we pulled it out, rolled the water out with a hand towel, then put them on hubby's feet. We completed the felting process on his feet to be sure that they would be shaped to his feet.

After they were felted to satisfaction, he took them off and we stuffed them with plastic bags to help them retain that shape while they dried. Here's a glimpse of the final product:

This did take about 2 skeins for the first boot (more than I expected or had) so I'm waiting on the additional wool I ordered to come before I can do the other boot.

All in all, this was completely experimental, but I'm pretty pleased with the final result!