Friday, February 22, 2008

New Batch of Hats

I finished knitting my first batch of felted hats for this season today. I've knitted 36 of them since Christmas and it's time to start running them through the washing machine to felt, or full, them. The proper term is fulling which refers to shrinking a fabric knitted or woven of wool. Properly felting involves making a fabric straight from the wool fiber without turning into a cloth first. But we are all so used to calling hats such as mine felted that I go with the flow.

The hats are knitted of wool or a yarn blended from wool and something like alpaca or mohair on big needles and them shrunk in a washing machine using a hot wash, cold rinse cycle. The wool fibers are made of scales that have little hooks on them that catch on each other when subjected to hot water, soap or detergent and agitation. They turn into a thick soft, cold and water resistant fabric.

I like to add a bit of embellishment to my hats, like a glitzy knitting yarn or knitted flowers or a hand made button or hats pins made by my granddaughter, Lauren. And I also enjoying using up the last bits and pieces of different colors in stripes and blended colors. The batch above is blacks and greys but there are also bright colors coming up.

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