Wednesday, November 23, 2016

felting tutorial: wet felt mittens

I have never tried to make mittens before, so here goes a detailed tutorial of how I did it!
First, I measured my hand, then made a pattern that is about 50% wider and longer than the finished mitten should be.

 I also made a larger thumb.
 I transferred these to two sets of resist material.  I use an inexpensive foam carpet underpad material (from a big roll that I picked up at Home Depot).  Note the thumbs are taped into place, making one right handed and the other left.
Then I laid these two on a plastic wrap.  Covered them in two directions with a layer of Merino and silk blend roving from The Fibre Garden.  Note at this point the thumb is pointed up so that all the rest can be covered.
Then I wet down the space where the thumb will lie (the top half of the mitten), then covered the area in a small piece of plastic.
Then two layers (opposite directions) of roving were placed over the plastic wrap to cover one side of the thumb.

I pushed the thumb down over those layers, and wrapped the overhanging roving back onto the thumb.  Then I added more roving to completely cover the thumb.  Wet down the whole mitten on this side, and cover with plastic.
Flipping it over, I pulled the overlap to this side,
Then covered and decorated the "back" of the mittens
After wetting that side and covering with plastic, I flipped it once again to the palm side.  I wrapped the excess overlap back to the palm side, then checked the thumb. The gap was covered with a bit more merino roving....
Then the plastic replaced that separates the thumb from the fingers (really important or the thumb will be glued to the top of the mitten!
Then the wet mittens were tumbled and worked until they were well fused, but still too big for my hands.  I then spent about 10 minutes with a hot soapy bucket, rubbing and mushing and throwing them about until they were a perfect fit.  You want to watch this stage and keep trying them on, as they can get too small quickly!

Let them dry and voila!  Warm and interesting mittens.  Not bad for a first pair.

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