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.
I 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.
I 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.
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.
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?