How to Make Felted Fall Leaves and Dress Up Your Autumn Wardrobe

comments (0) October 2nd, 2008     

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Tina_Hilton Tina Hilton, contributor
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Knit a corsage of autumn leaves that will never wilt.
Dig out your salad spinner to felt your leaves eco-friendly style.
Subtle felting effects will be achieved by using the spinner versus the washer.
Knit a corsage of autumn leaves that will never wilt.

Knit a corsage of autumn leaves that will never wilt.

Photo: Tina Hilton
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Last week I posted a pretty and simple leaf pattern for you. By that time, I had only made the one prototype. Within a couple of days, I had made a dozen more because they are so fun and easy to produce. Using a variegated/self-striping yarn provides hours of downright addictive knitting as you watch the colors unfurl.

One-third of the leaves were made with a size 9 needle. They were a bit floppy, so I switched to a size 8 for the next four. For the smaller leaves, I used a size 5. Here are two ways you can revise the original pattern to change the look of the leaves.

Shorter Leaves
Cast on 3 sts and make an I-cord 1 inch long.

Row 1: p1, k1, p1
Row 2: k1, m1, p1, m1, k1 – 5 sts
Row 3: p2, k1, p2
Row 4: [k1, m1] 2x, p1, [m1, k1] 2x – 9 sts
Row 5: p4, k1, p4
Row 6: [k2, m1] 2x. p1, [m1, k2] 2x – 13 sts
Row 7: p6, k1, p6
Row 8: bo 2 sts, k3, p1, k 6 – 11 sts
Row 9: bo 2 sts pw, p3, k1, p4 – 9sts
Row 10: k4, p1, k4
Row 11: p4, k1, p4
Rows 12–23: repeat rows 6–11 one time
Row 24: ssk, k2, p1, k2, k2tog – 7 sts
Row 25: p2tog, p1, k1, p1, ssp – 5 sts
Row 26: ssk, p1, k2tog – 3 sts
Row 27: s1 pw, p2tog, psso – 1 st
Fasten off and weave in the ends.

Smaller Leaves
Cast on 3 sts and make an I-cord 3/4 inch long.

Row 1: p1, k1, p1
Row 2: k1, m1, p1, m1, k1 – 5 sts
Row 3: p2, k1, p2
Row 4: [k1, m1] 2x, p1, [m1, k1] 2x – 9 sts
Row 5: p4, k1, p4
Row 6: [k2, m1] 2x, p1, [m1, k2] 2x – 13 sts
Row 7: p6, k1, p6
Row 8: bo 2 sts, k3, p1, k 6 – 11 sts
Row 9: bo 2 sts pw, p3, k1, p4 – 9sts
Row 10: k4, p1, k4
Row 11: p4, k1, p4
Row 12: bo 2 sts, k3, p1, k 6 – 11 sts
Row 13: bo 2 sts pw, p3, k1, p4 – 9sts
Row 14: ssk, p1, k2tog
Row 15: s1 pw, p2tog, psso
Fasten off and weave in the ends.

After making the leaves, I liked them but was not in love with them. They needed more substance and character. Felting would definitely do the trick if the fiber would cooperate. I was in luck, as I chose 100% wool for my leaves. Before processing the whole bunch, I tested a few for their felt-ability with boiling water, a salad spinner, and a chunk of rough Caribbean coral. 


Dig out your salad spinner to felt your leaves eco-friendly style.

Mission accomplished! A tumble in the dryer firmed up the leaves and further blended the colors. 


Subtle felting effects will be achieved by using the spinner versus the washer.

I pinned the remaining leaves into groups of three and gave them a hot run through the washer and dryer.


I grouped the leaves by color compatibility and size prior to the trip to the washer.

I now had a pile of leaves ready to go! Here are a couple of ideas to get you started on crafting your own felted leaves into embellishments for your apparel and home.

Adornments:

Leaf Corsage
Group three leaves together of different color and size variety. With sewing thread, tack the three leaves together securely. 


Sew the leaves together in a pleasing design with regular sewing thread.

Sew a pin back to the reverse. 


You can buy pin backs at any craft store. A safety pin would work, too.

I used a vintage button that reminds me of an acorn to tie it all together. Pin to your shirt or jacket for a splash of color and a ton of compliments. 


Thanks to my friend Chris Sheets for modeling the corsage. You look great!

Secure it to your hat, scarf, purse . . . whatever needs a new look for the season. Dress up your home for the holidays—pin them to your drape tiebacks, napkin rings, or make an autumn wreath.

Barrette
Take a tired old hair clasp and give it new life by gluing a felted leaf directly onto it. I used white craft glue and a 99-cent barrette to make this designer coiffure clip.


Use a barrette that is the exact size of the leaf for a custom look. A glue gun versus craft glue is best if you have one.

 


You can never have enough glue! Take the time to hold the leaf to the clip until it sets a bit.

 


Mackenzie Beshear's shiny chestnut mane really complements the barrette.

Necklace
One can never have too many necklaces! I’m lucky to have a great local bead shop in beautiful downtown Boone, NC, that accommodates the jewelry-making impaired (such as myself) and is happy to make your vision become a reality. 


Beads and knitting are good companions. The Bead Box helps me make the marriage work.

Owner Nikki Rezvani took the time to embellish a simple cotton cord with a bronze-toned jewelry wire for a simple yet elegant necklace to hang a perfect felted leaf specimen.


Simple cotton cord and flexible jewlery wire were combined to make a simple yet elegant necklace to showcase my favorite leaf.

 


Make one for yourself and your best friend.

What will you do with your leaves? Post your adornments so I can see how much fun you are having!

See you in a couple of weeks. I am off to Tuscany to knit and cook. I’ll tell you all about it when I return!

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posted in: Felted autumn leaves, leaf necklace, leaf pin, leaf corsage, leaf hair accessory

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