Elevate Difference

I [Heart] Felt: 33 Eye-Popping Projects for the Inspired Knitter

I’m sort of a moron when it comes to knitting. Yes, I’ve made beautiful scarves for my partners and friends, the occasional hat that I inevitably give away, and I’ve donated time making squares for charity quilts. But when it comes to anything more complex than a multi-colored potholder, I’m a dunce. I loathe books and patterns because they confuse my creative sensibilities, and my grandmother is simply too senile to remember how to help me make a mitten.

For a beginner—in knitting or felting—I [Heart] Felt is inspiring, if complex. Felting is the process of taking large knitted items and shrinking them into, well, felt items, thereby actually making them solid fabric. Some of us may have seen these goods for sale at craft fairs and boutique art stores, maybe not always even knowing how they were constructed. I first saw the effects of felting when my mother machine-dried a wool sweater when I was in middle school. Ouch.

But for understanding intentional felting, this book is terrific. The book's strengths lie in the detailed preparation instructions that put even my antsy mind at ease. “I can assemble these tools for success,” I thought as I perused the recipes. There are beautiful color photos depicting many completed projects, start to finish, and the array of items to be made is truly fun. Everything from simple hats and gloves to autumn pumpkins and tiaras seem like a cinch for a comfortable knitter. Men’s and children’s items are featured too, and unlike many men’s patterns I find in these types of guides, these aren’t hideous—they’re actually cool! Backup plans are even provided in case your items don’t turn out as expected (too small or too large), and everything is explained, down to different washer sizes’ effects on your projects.

I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this book to a novice knitter, but I would definitely encourage a seasoned craftsperson to try out a few of these tricks. This book would also make an excellent gift for anyone stuck in a creative rut or someone trying to branch out from his or her usual craft.

Written by: Brittany Shoot, March 24th 2008

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