How to Felt a Bobbled Scarfletcomments (11) October 4th, 2013
Last week I showed you how to make different textures with felt, and this tutorial takes it a step further to turn your felting experiments into wearable art. A fuzzy scarflet makes a perfect gift and it's also sure to be a conversation starter. I made my first textured, felted scarf when a colleague of mine was about to throw her hand-knit, felted pieces in the garbage (she was designing a cat bed, but the large pieces didn't felt the way the swatch did). I still wear it, and it always gets lots of compliments. If you gather enough sweaters and pebbles, you might just take care of your whole holiday list with one load of laundry.
To get started, you'll need:
- One wool sweater that felts (do a test-run with a swatch from the sleeve)
- 100–200 small glass marbles, pebbles, hazelnuts, or other round shapes that can be put through the wash
- Rubber bands
- Washing machine with agitator
- Old pair of jeans
- Sewing machine
- Three large buttons
First, you'll need to cut out the section to use for your scarflet. I cut off a 14-inch-wide band starting at the bottom of the sweater. Start rubber-banding pebbles into the sweater about 3 inches from the edge. Fill up the sweater with lines of rubber-banded pebbles until the pebbled section is at least 8 inches wide.
Next, place your pebbled sweater into a mesh garment bag. Put it in the washer with an old pair of jeans, and set the washer to hot wash/cool rinse. Add a spoonful of detergent and run the washer. Check the progress, and put the scarf through another cycle or two (I used three cycles for mine) until the sweater is felted as desired. The body of the scarflet should shrink up while the pebbled areas stay stretched. You may lose a few pebbles in the process, but don't freak out-no one will notice on the finished scarflet, since the pebble-less bobble will just further felt into a closed dot.
This part can be kind of tedious, so I recommend doing this while watching something fun on TV.
Now cut a scalloped edge well away from the bobbles. You can just wing it. A straight edge would be fine, too. Place the scarflet around your neck and cut the short edge if necessary to shorten it. The piece should fit snugly around your neck with a 3-inch overlap. For a more finished look, you can zigzag-stitch or serge around the edges, but it's not required.
On one short side of the scarflet, make three snips to serve as buttonholes. Make them slightly smaller than whatever size button you are using. Zigzag around the sides of the buttonhole to keep them from stretching out. I used a contrasting color of thread so they are easy to find amongst the bobbles. (Note: You can also make the buttonhole the traditional way, and snip the hole after stitching the buttonhole. Do whatever works for you.)
Sew three buttons to the opposite short side of the scarflet that align with the buttonholes. You may want to try it on and pin the buttons in place to figure out where exactly to place them.
These can be very fun pieces the more you experiment with them. Different textures, multicolored sweaters, and the addition of some needle felting or contrast stitching will make each one unique-and enjoyable to wear.
After you make this project, show off your work to other members!
Post your project in the gallery
Dare to Make It! Holiday
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