Hat and Cowl Set Made With Felting Batts

My hat and neck cowl are now finished and dry.  As mentioned in my previous post, I made the neck cowl from felting batts.  This is my felting batt.  It is meant to give a thin cobweb effect, but without holes.

IMG_0161I made six of these for my neck cowl.  I was required to make three of them shorter to fit the resist.  I laid them out as above so that I would have a nice, even edge at the top.  I completely forgot that the felting batts do not shrink that much, and I expect that is due to the layout of the batt as it is in all different directions.  When I make a neck warmer or scarf with batts, they are usually laid out with the top layer facing horizontally.  I will get decent shrinkage on the length, but the batts don’t shrink too much in the depth and is why I can sometimes get two neck warmers from one layout.  This vertical layout meant that I couldn’t shrink the width to the size I originally wanted it to without over felting.  I wasn’t fulling it in a traditional way, no rolling except for spot rolling.  I managed to shrink down to the length I wanted it to, but that didn’t surprise me too much for the reason mentioned above.  I was also having an issue about the bottome of the neck cowl not felting enough, so I popped it into the tumble dryer for 30 minutes, wet and soapy.  When I took it out of the dryer, the cowl was felted well all over without being overfelted – and there was no migration through my design.  I think I may try out a different layout for my felting batts if I want more shrinkage next time.  However, this current layout is very good for a long shawl or poncho.

Downloads1I used sari silk fibers and some leftover viscose fibers from my other cowl and hat.  I decorated only on one side as you really can’t see the back when wearing it and I quite liked the look of the top fibers.  I don’t know what it is as I received it as a freebie with an order from World of Wool.  I expect there is some merino in it and a bit of silk, but it is a mystery nonetheless.  There is a pattern of some sorts, but it is very subtle.

Using the same resist I made a hat.  Instead of laying out in herringbone, I laid out the had in the traditional way with 2 layers of wool and one of topcoat before decorating with the silk and viscose.  It was quite thin.

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I used a darker wool called loganberry instead of the colors I used in the felting batts as I didn’t have any more of those.  I knew that this would make a darker hat, even with the same topcoat.  However, the silk and viscose decoration do lift it up a bit.  I only decorated on the front, but in hindsight, I should have done both sides of the hat.  It still looks good though.  I needed to make this hat larger than I normally would to go with the cowl.  I was originally aiming for a S/M but ended up with a M/L (59/60cm).  Fortunately I have 4 hat forms in all the sizes.  I purchased them at Gilliangladrag online.  They are the cheapest place to purchase them in the UK.  I use the smallest (large child head, still a little bit too big) for myself or a wig form.  After shaping on the hat form, I popped the hat into the dryer for half an hour to get more crinkles and to make it fit better on the form.  After, I did the usual rinsing out the soap and re-shaped on the form making the rosettes.  I really like the rosettes and I think the shape and style will suit everyone and still give some interest to the hat instead of a plain beanie or cloche.  One of the ladies in my guild tried on my red hat and it really suited her.  She has a small head too!  I think that may be my signature.

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Here we are together.  I think my lady looks very glamorous and sophisticated!  Both the hat and cowl are super lightweight, soft, and very warm.  I am addicted to making these at the moment.  I wonder what color I should make next?