Wednesday 13 August 2014

Fair Isle Felting Experiments!

I'm currently teaching myself Fair Isle knitting using Wendy Ramsdale British wool with an aim of creating a Fair Isle jewellery collection for the Winter. I'm trying out lots of different techniques at the moment to find out how the yarn behaves and here are some felting experiments I've been trying out, combing Fair Isle with other processes and then felting the samples in the washing machine. Here are some before and after photos!

For this piece I hand knitted a Fair Isle sample and then felted it in the washing machine at 60 degrees to see how the patterns came out when felted. I had tried washing it at 40 degrees but it only partly felted. It's made a lovely thick felt which would be great for making brooches and I'm pleased that you can still see the patterns- further experimentation required!

For this sample I knitted a plain piece in Ramsdale yarn and embroidered Fair Isle influenced patterns onto it using the same wool. Again I felted the piece in the washing machine at 60 degrees. I like the effect both before and after felting, especially as you can still see some of the embroidered detail, although I'd like the felt to be a little less fuzzy looking

I then knitted a piece combing Fair Isle and cable patterns, again putting it into the washing machine to felt at 60 degrees. Unfortunately the detail of the cables has been lost through the felting process, but it's all part of experimenting

 Take a look at more Fair Isle patterns I've knitted with Ramsdale here and read about how I tried Fair Isle in fabric! Now I'm off to experiment with combining cable, Fair Isle and embroidery in other ways, so I'll keep you posted!


  1. Interesting experiments, I suppose it's not surprising that a texture would be lost in felting. Good luck with further experiments.

  2. Did you continue? Wondering if you found a ratio when you felted your samples - was it reduced by a consistent amount? What happened if you washed it longer (twice) in the 60 degrees?