I’m currently working on a series of spherical felt samples, experimenting with different techniques to introduce additional texture to the form.
I started with straightforward nuno, enclosing the plastic resist with silk cut from an old scarf, felting over it, cutting it open and turning it inside out:
I also tried knitting with strips of silk scarf knotted together and then felting it – on a flat piece this time. I put some wisps of wool over part of the knitting to help it felt in, but it didn’t really need it. The silk knitting felted in very well, but I think the stitches needed to be more open to get the contrast between the felt and the silk:
So then I used crochet – first with 100% wool (Rowan Felted Tweed) and then with a mystery yarn donated by a friend. I suspect it’s synthetic, because it’s quite shiny, but I thought I’d still give it a go, because the contrast in texture would be very interesting.
The wool version did felt in, though it also went quite hairy. The other version didn’t felt in, but seems quite happy sitting on top of the felt. I may try stitching on top just to catch it in and make sure it stays in place.
I’ve got some lambswool yarn that is used at Morley for machine knitting – I’m going to try using that to see if I get a less hairy finish.
What I like about this scarf is that it looks as if it’s made from hundreds of circles sewed together. In fact, it’s made in long strips of circles, which are connected with slip stitch as you go along. So there’s no sewing – only a few ends to tidy up at the end. Which is a relief – I hate having to sew in lots of ends.
And it’s worked in a multicoloured yarn, so you don’t have to keep changing colours all the time.
I found the pattern, by Linda Permann, in an old copy of Inside Crochet magazine, which I picked up at a market stall, but it’s also on Ravelry. I used Silk Garden Sock Yarn by Noro in blue, black, lime, and grey.
My experiments with ironing knitted swatches of plastic yarn (plarn) showed that they lost their elasticity. So I thought I could use this to advantage by ironing some crocheted coasters.
The photo below shows a crocheted circle before ironing. It’s a bit difficult to see, but the different types of plastic make the texture quite uneven, and the coaster doesn’t sit quite flat.
The photo below shows the coaster after ironing – interestingly, it doesn’t shrink very much.
And below is a collection of coasters in different colours. Again, the various plastics all behave slightly differently, leading to varying sizes and irregularities in texture, but I think this is part of their charm.