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Fall into Felting

Sep 14, 2009

Needle-Felted Lovelies

Now that fall is here, I've been thinking a lot about felting projects because I like to make felted items for holiday gifts. In the past I've made felted slippers, bags, beads for necklaces, and coasters. The coasters are a favorite because I just knit yardage in stockinette stitch, felt it firmly, and cut it into circles. Stack in groups of four, tie with a pretty ribbon, and viola! A set of coasters.

This year my time is a little more limited than in the past, so I'm going to do some needle-felted items. My inspiration is this darling little bird that a friend gave me for my birthday. It's so sweet. It looks like a mass-produced item, but no, she made it herself. So impressive!

The little bird is needle felted and then finished with wire feet, straight-pin eyes, and a felt beak and tail. I love him; he sits on my dresser and greets me each morning.

I'm not sure I can do something as lovely as the bird, but I wanted to try needle felting, so I took on a small flower project. This rose is made up of different sized hearts that are arranged to form the flower, which is a great idea. I used a mold for this, but you could easily use a couple of sizes of heart-shaped cookie cutters.

This project was so easy and FUN! I attached a little pinback to the rose so the recipient can wear it on a winter coat or a (felted) handbag.

Knitted Felting, Too! 

My last show-and-tell is a fabulous scarf (if I do say so myself). This is a mixed project, knit with two different yarns that felt differently. It's beautiful and so much easier than it looks! It's knit out of a merino-silk blend (the two brown sections) that felts and a silk yarn that doesn't felt so much as soften up in the wash.

The effect gives the scarf a ruffled look, and the silk  blend is divine. You can try this technique yourself by experimenting with fibers that felt differently. You can also combine different pattern stitches—this one has lace—to get different effects during the felting process.


Fall Felting for You!

I was taking a gander at our free felting patterns and I came up with three that are perfect for fall knitting and felting. Here they are!

The Montana Felted Eco-Tote appeared on Knitting Daily TV, Episode 313. Adina Klein, the creative director for Tahki Stacy Charles, Inc., talked about making eco-friendly yarns and provided this pattern. I love a big carry-all and this fits the bill perfectly. I'm not sure I'd carry wood in the bag, but groceries or farmers-market purchases? For sure.

The Formal Boot Bag (at right) might be my favorite felted bag pattern EVER. I love the mix of felted bits and unfelted bits, the shape and size of the bag is perfect for me, and those buttons? Love them! This is a Laura Irwin pattern—you might recognize Laura from her book Boutique Knits, which is a wonderful collection of unique, fashion-forward accessories. The Formal Boot Bag appeared in Bag Style, and it's been a popular pattern since it debuted. 

The Shibori Scarf, by cutting-edge designer Leigh Radford from her book Alterknits Felt (STC Craft), packs a lot of punch and is an easy project. You make the "bobbles" by drawing up 1-inch sections a stockinette scarf and wrapping the sections with small rubber bands. After felting, you take off the rubber bands to reveal the unique bobbles. Amazing! And this pattern provides directions for a scarf or a cravat. This project appeared on Knitting Daily TV during the first season.

I hope you choose to knit one or more of these projects this fall.




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CaroleF@2 wrote
on Apr 12, 2012 3:56 PM

Hi, I would like a pattern for the Shibori felted scarf show in episode #409.

sjhunt41 wrote
on Apr 13, 2010 6:14 AM

I understand that a business is to make $$$.  However can't you just give us a freebie also?  A pattern?  A knitting hint??

KathyP@19 wrote
on Sep 21, 2009 10:16 AM

Hi Kathleen, Interesting felting projects.  Do  you have a link or source for the magician's scarf?

knitiotsis wrote
on Sep 17, 2009 8:41 AM

I, too would really like your pattern for the Magician's scarf.

Please let me know how I can obtain it.  I have tried and tried to find it.  

Deborahann wrote
on Sep 15, 2009 8:19 AM

Kathleen -  I love the Magician's scarf!  Would you mind sharing the pattern?  I could try to figure it out, but your design is beautiful and I have some malabrigo silky-merino just waiting to be used!  Thanks!

Amanda.crane wrote
on Sep 14, 2009 9:51 PM

Sorry, but I don't know how "cutting-edge" that Shibori Scarf is, considering Nicki Epstein published her version nearly two years ago in "Knitting Never Felt Better".

on Sep 14, 2009 9:34 PM

Hi Linda,

Your point is exactly what I was trying to get across--don't assume beautiful things are mass produced. I guess I didn't explain it clearly enough.

Take care,


LindaA@2 wrote
on Sep 14, 2009 6:57 PM


You said:  "It's so sweet! It looks like a mass-produced item, but no, she made it herself. So impressive!"

Shouldn't it be the other way around?  I'm far more impressed with the look of a well-crafted, hand-knitted item.

Isn't "mass-produced" the exact antithesis of what the knitting world is trying to achieve?

Betz wrote
on Sep 14, 2009 4:09 PM

I would also like to know how to get a  copy of the pattern for the Magician's Scarf.  Thanks, Betz

on Sep 14, 2009 3:21 PM

I enjoyed the needle felting information and downloaded the free patterns. I was wondering if there were actual patterns for the felted flower and lacy scarf? What kind of yarn to use and needle sizes, etc.


bglaser wrote
on Sep 14, 2009 1:33 PM

I'm very excited about trying the needle felted rose pin.  Please refer me to the pattern.  I'm so inspired by your daily emails. thanks.  bsg

SandyK@30 wrote
on Sep 14, 2009 1:21 PM

I've been searching for a felted bag pattern and think 'Formal Boot Bag' just might be the one. I think I'll try it in an army green or plum color and make a felted strap. Thanks!! - Sandy

Kathy wrote
on Sep 14, 2009 12:48 PM

HELP PLEASE!  Does anyone know if (and how?!) you can felt in a front loading washer?  I love mine for clothes but really do not want to use a commercial washer for felting!

LindaD@55 wrote
on Sep 14, 2009 11:21 AM

I would like a pattern for the Magician's Scarf as well.

mizjudy wrote
on Sep 14, 2009 10:50 AM


Where can I find the pattern for the magical scarf?  It looks like a fun  project.

on Sep 14, 2009 10:31 AM

Stay tuned for more technique posts, Theresa! I've got several in the works, and there have been a bunch recently, so look back on the blog to see those.

The magician's scarf is an Alchemy pattern, so look it up online (Ravelry has it) and you can find it. It's not an Interweave project.

The felted rose is from a Clover mold kit that I bought a couple of years ago at my LYS. Check the Clover website to see if they still have it.

Thanks for asking! Kathleen

Francesca@3 wrote
on Sep 14, 2009 9:45 AM

How do I get the pattern for the Magician's scarf and the Felted Rose pin?

PegW@3 wrote
on Sep 14, 2009 9:37 AM

Love all of these projects as I know they will be forgiving of my dropped stitches and uneven tension. Can't wait to get started on Xmas projects soon!  Is the Magician's Scarf available as a download?  Thanks for you wonderful work!


Sandra Capps wrote
on Sep 14, 2009 9:35 AM

So how do I get a pattern of the Magician's Scarf.

TheresaM@2 wrote
on Sep 14, 2009 9:31 AM

Why is it that Knitting Daily is so often not about knitting or barely about knitting? When I subscribed I was expecting more technique and pattern articles. Often, I feel like I signed up for one big Interweave ad campaign. I have content suggestions. How about a series of illustrated cast ons with information about when and why to choose one over another. The same could be done for bind offs, increases, decreases, etc. It doesn't have to be every day but, say, Tuesday is the lesson and Friday is a day to respond to reader's questions and comments.