Last week I set out on an adventure. It was an armchair adventure, but an adventure nonetheless. I set out to learn the ancient art of crochet. I began with a Youtube video aptly titled Learn How to Crochet, which demonstrated the basic structure of the stitches. "Okay, I think I could do that", I said. My sister loaned me some yarn and a crochet hook, and I commenced with a simple square washcloth. A couple of failed attempts preempted my first completed square. After that I was, as they say, "hooked"!
Shortly thereafter I found a Beanie Hat tutorial on Youtube that I liked the looks of. I understood everything that was done in the video, so I green-lighted the project. A quick trip to Joann's, 50% off coupons in hand, netted me the yarn I wanted - Lion Alpine Wool Yarn in the color Oatmeal.
I purposely purchased wool partly for its warmth, but mainly for its feltability. Felting (or, more properly though less commonly, fulling) is when a wool yarn that has been knitted or crocheted has its fibers interlocked, creating a felt. This is accomplished by throwing the piece in the washer where the combination of agitation, heat, and moisture tangle all the fibers up. I like the look of felted crochet, so I decided to not only make a hat for my first real project but to also felt the hat.
Before embarking on this potentially disappointing journey, I really wanted to see how crochet looks before and after felting, and I specifically wanted to see how the yarn I bought would look felted. I Googled my heart out, but try as I might I could not find any examples of Lion Alpine yarn felted, and only a few before and after felting photos. So as a secondary objective to my project I decided to add something to this World Wide Web of ours that I felt (no pun intended) was lacking. So I present to you The Beanie: Before and After!
Felting an object shrinks it considerably as you can see from the photos below, so I made my hat much larger than necessary in anticipation of that final step. The felted product is a lot stiffer and less stretchy than its crocheted counterpart. It keeps some stitch definition, but not much.
|I spy a berry...|
Here's a detail before and after shot of the top of the hat, illustrating the high stitch definition start and the diminished definition finish.
I had most of a skein left after completing the hat, which required about a skein and a sixth, so I searched out another project. I ended up crocheting a Kindle case - following the pattern found on the Roses n Lilies blog.
It's a great way to use up leftovers!
One other difference between felted/non-felted objects I want to point out: I did notice a slight color change in the yarn. In the picture below the felted hat is above and the unfelted Kindle case is below. It's a slight difference (hardly noticeable in the picture - more so in real life) but one I thought I ought to draw attention to.
I loved working with this yarn! It's color name, oatmeal, really does it justice. The main color is a warm cream/light tan, with streaks and flecks of brown and black. Very creamy, warm, and comfy. Just like a nice big bowl of oatmeal.