Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Felted Granny Coasters
I have combined two rather recent obsessions of mine. Felting and granny squares. But - ha ha - I have combined them to create a useful object - possibly, maybe even a quick and easy gift. So I just had to share my excitement. I know....doesn't take much... And I am not really calling this a pattern because I don't consider either aspect of this project (granny squares or felting) as a new idea. But I do want to share the project and how I did it. Here goes...
Felted Granny Square Coasters
I used 100% wool. Any combination of feltable yarn would work. But if you do want each part of the granny to felt evenly, you will probably want to use similar yarn for each round. My grannies have a combination of Paton's, Universal & Cascade yarns.
I used a G hook (4.0 mm) with the worsted weight yarn. There are many, many, many granny square patterns out there. I went with the simple, traditional pattern that I was taught:
-Chain 4 and ss into a circle.
-Chain 3, make 2 dc in circle then chain 3, [make 3 dc and chain 3]three times. SS to top of the chain 3. Fasten off old color.
-Attach new color in any chain 3 corner. Chain 3 and make 2 more dc in the same space, chain 3 and make 3 more dc still in the same space, ch 1 (corner made). In the next chain 3 corners, [3 dc, ch 3, 3dc, ch1] three times. SS to top of the chain 3. Fasten off old color.
-Attach new color in any chain 3 corner. Chain 3 and make 2 more dc in the same space, chain 3 and make 3 more dc still in the same space, ch 1 (corner made). In next chain 1 space make 3 dc, ch1. *In the next chain 3 corner, [3 dc, ch 3, 3dc, ch1] then 3 dc in next ch 1 space and ch1. Repeat from * twice more. SS to top of the chain 3. Fasten off old color.
-Attach new color in any chain 3 corner. Chain 3 and make 2 more dc in the same space, chain 3 and make 3 more dc still in the same space, ch 1 (corner made). In the next two ch 1 spaces make (3 dc, ch1). *In the next chain 3 corner, [3 dc, ch 3, 3dc, ch1] then (3 dc, 1 ch) in the next two ch 1 spaces. Repeat from * twice more. SS to top of the chain 3. Fasten off.
-Weave in your tails if you didn't already crochet over them. Because we will be felting, they don't have to look perfect.
My 4 round squares before felting were about 4.5 inches. But I am a loose crocheter. They did felt down to a nice coaster size though - about 3.25 inches.
The Felting Business
I am really just starting out with felting but it is very fun. As long as you are willing to be flexible with the results. It takes practice with different yarns and sometimes you get a bit disappointed with the results. But that is why I think this is a fun project to start to learn felting - you can use scraps of wool yarn, the squares are quick to crochet up and you can actually use the results for something useful.
Again, there is tons of info out there about how to felt. I am giving it very basic. I threw my four crocheted squares into a lingerie bag with two pairs of jeans. I used regular laundry detergent, lowest level of hot water and high agitation cycle. I ran them through the agitation cycle twice and took them out before the spin dry cycle (because sometimes your felted items can get creased during this cycle). I thought they looked pretty good but then I ran a regular load of laundry next and just threw them in loose just for giggles. And they felted just a bit more.
Then I took them out and shaped them just the tiniest bit and I put them under two big books so they dried flat.
Not too shabby, eh? I wasn't sure if it would felt completely or if my chain 3 spaces would leave big holes - but pretty much it's a solid felted surface. Perfect for cold margaritas, me thinks. :-)
Again, I would caution to have fun with the felting because every yarn can felt different and even the same yarn but with different colors and dye lots can felt differently or the color can bleed slightly.
This one is my fave of the bunch:
I hope you enjoyed my little pseudo tutorial. Please let me know if you see any glaring errors or have any questions. And I would LOVE to see how yours come out! Please do share.