Felting: Crochet vs. Knit

by Kathryn on February 3, 2012 · 4 comments

in How to Crochet

felting crochet Felting: Crochet vs. Knit

I haven’t done any felting myself but I know that it’s popular with both knitters and crocheters. Now I’ll note here that you don’t have to know how to knit or crochet in order to be able to felt. Wet felting and needle felting are both done with fibers that haven’t been worked together. However, creating structural crochet pieces, like handbags, is easier if you knit or crochet the item first and then felt it.

Felt Frenzy

I’ve learned a lot about this lately from reading the book Felt Frenzy Felting: Crochet vs. Knit by Shannon Okey and Heather Brack. This book discusses all different types of felting. However, it doesn’t talk much about crochet because Okey is a knitter. There are patterns in the book for knitters who want to felt but none for crocheters. The book does, however, explain a bit about the difference between knit felting and crochet felting and that information could definitely help out a crocheter who is interested in felting. It also provides some interesting information for people who can both knit and crochet. Incidentally, the crochet information for the book comes from Kim Werker and Julie Holetz.

Felting: Knit vs Crochet

Some of the key differences between crochet and knitting for felters include:

  • Direction of Shrinkage. When you felt an item, you shrink it. Knits tend to shrink more vertically. In contrast, crochet will shrink more horizontally when felted.
  • Retaining Stitch Definition. Knitted items usually don’t retain much stitch definition when felted. In contrast, a crocheted item will often retain its stitch definition even after it’s been felted.
  • Texture. JEM Library says that felted crochet tends to be thicker and firmer in feeling than knitted crochet is although Felt Frenzy doesn’t mention this distinction.

Combining Knit and Crochet for Felting

Okey makes several suggestions for felters who can both knit and crochet. For example, she points out that you could put a crochet border around a knit cap before felting. The crochet part is going to shrink more horizontally and get a little bit tighter which can create a nice fit for the hat. Smart!

I find that I am sometimes really drawn to felted items but for the most part I am not attracted to them. I seem to have a strong reaction either way. Do you like felted items?

pinit fg en rect gray 28 Felting: Crochet vs. Knit

I'm studying how crochet helps people. Please help by taking this survey. Learn more from the press release.

4 comments
laurindar3
laurindar3

I'm working on felting crocheted crowns for my daughter's birthday party this weekend. It's my first felting project, and I'm learning a lot. Good to know it's normal to see the stitch definition, although I've found it really depends on the yarn, so I'm trying a couple in every type of gold 100% wool yarn I could find. I only have a front loading washer & have heard that top loaders felt better, so am heading to my sister's tonight to see if it makes any difference in the stitch definition, etc.... Will let ya know. :)

CrochetBlogger
CrochetBlogger moderator

@laurindar3 Definitely come back and let me know if you have a better experience with the top loading washer because that's what I've heard as well. That's what I have here in my apartment building but of course the machines here are coin operated so I haven't really done any felting because I don't want to spend the coins plus I don't want to take the chance that I'll mess up a communal machine. :) Felting doesn't typically cause any harm to machines, of course, but sometimes you have to take better care to clean them out when you felt and since we all share a washer in this building I'm hesitant.

laurindar3
laurindar3

@CrochetBlogger My favorite so far, which felted the best & can't really see the stitches was Patons, but couldn't find more in gold. LYSs stopped carrying it because JoAnne's does, but JoAnne's doesn't carry gold. So trying Lamb's Pride & Cascade ECO+... I don't think there'd be any problem with using communal washers, give it a try! :)

Previous post:

Next post: