It seems every project I attempt, introduces me to something new. This time it was felting. Essentially, you knit up a very large piece, with a loose gauge using wool.
Then, you stick it in the washing machine using a hot water setting and low water level and wait. The product that comes out is shrunken and formed into a thick fabric where the fibers are all interlocked. I actually had to add some boiling water to the tub, because our machine doesn't get much more than warm. I also found it useful to throw old jeans into the mix to help with friction.
Finally, you have to let your project dry. For this project, it took nearly a week for the slippers to dry, before I could finish them off with a pearly button and some beading elastic.
These cute ballerina slippers are on their way to my mom for her birthday.
For a good article on felting with advice for how to fix your washing machine if it gets clogged from a lot of felting projects, click here.
The only downfall of felting is the amount of yarn you have to use, making a project like this rather expensive by comparison. But, the item is probably cheaper than a similar item purchased in a store. Oh, and then there's the issue with clogging your washing machine, but that can be avoided by felting inside a pillow cover.
Pastaza yarn on size 10 circular needles purchased at The Yarn Mart in Little Rock
Felt Ballerina Slippers Pattern by Bev Galeskas
For more specifics, you can go to my ravelry.com notebook.