Thursday, November 29, 2007

These Bunad boots are made for felting.....

At long last - an update on the Bunad Mukluks from Folk Style. I've been progressing a step at a time on this project, as it involves a few elements that are unfamiliar or new to me. But the knitting has been done and has gone through the felting process so it's long overdue for a progress report.

As may be recalled from earlier posts, the knitting has done with a striped section added in the leg portion to be sure I had enough yarn to complete the project. Of course, as fate would have it, it turned out I would have had plenty of yarn to make the Bunads in a solid colour after all. Bu I really liked the effect of the stripes, and once I worked the duplicate stitch embroidery they really started to come to life. This photo shows the completed knitted, embroidered, pre-felted leg portion. So onto the felting!

I must admit to having a slightly unorthodox approach to felting (or fulling, as it's technically considered to be but who's really that picky about this stuff?) When I felt knitting I find the whole process to be slower than many authorities would have us believe, so my 1st round of felting usually involves a cycle through a hot wash/cold rinse in the washer (enclosed in a zippered pillow cover), followed by a trip through the dryer. Gasp. However, this photo is of the leg portion after round 1 of the felting through the wash only. I must admit, though, that all my earlier felting attempts didn't involve trying to make something be a particular size. So I erred on the side of caution this time and forswore the dryer throughout the process in favour of more wash cycles than usual.

Everything I have ever felted needed more work than one wash cycle, so multiple trips through the washer were definitely in order. After each wash cycle it was time to evaluate the boots and see how much more might be needed. In the case of the Bunads, I ended up doing 3 wash cycles. This is what they looked like after the final wash but before shaping into a boot and allowing to dry. By what I am sure is absolute luck, they are exactly the right size for my feet.

As they are drying, I am pondering the next steps. The original Bunad Mukluk pattern calls for a solid coloured knitted boot with embroidered details added after the felting. Since I did an duplicate-stitch embroidered design in the pre-felting stage I am assuming I will need more details to be added later in the form of some more free-hand embroidery to pucnh up the felted, and probably somewhat blurred from felting design. So far I am very happy with how the boots are developing but there is still lots of room for exploration and experimentation. More to come...

1 comment:

VickeryKnits said...

What about needle felting?? I haven't read the pattern but that might be fun!