First Pair! Plus Felting By Hand

Posted on | December 14, 2009 | 5 Comments

I started working on my slippers on Friday night. In about a half an hour, I had two souls. Today I turned out 4 sides and two tabs in about an hour and a half. Now they needed to be felted, but I don’t have a washing machine, I would have to wait til I returned to NJ next weekend.  What do you do when you are impatient to see the final product?  Sigh.


I had heard about hand felting before, so I figured it couldn’t be that much work, right? So I filled the sink with hot water, added some soap, and started swishing those puppies around. Nothing much was happening though and I thought I had made a horrible mistake. Then I spotted it out of the corner of my eye.  Of course! The cookie cooling rack!

I grabbed the rack and started scrubbing the slippers using it like an old time wash board and it really did the trick! Here’s how I did it:

First I filled the sink with really, really, really hot water (about 4″- 5″ deep) and added a drop or two of dish soap to break up the natural oils in the yarn.

Then I put on rubber gloves and just started scrubbing away like I was using a washing board.  Here is how I had the rack positioned.


Every once in awhile I took them out and checked the progress and for major holes.  If there were holes, I just sewed them up with a little extra yarn.

Then I drained the water and rinsed the slippers in very cold water to shock the fiber a little more.  Then back to the hot water and more scrubbing.

The whole process probably took me about 20-30 minutes or so.  That may seem like more work than it’s worth, but running up and down basement stairs to check on the progress or sitting in a scary basement waiting made it worth it for me!  And look, I have nicely felted slippers!


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  • Julie

    wow, they are turning out great!!

  • Schnicklefritz

    They look great! And as a New Yorker with no washing machine of my own and only front-loaders at the laund-ro-mat, I am usually turned off by felting. Now? Color me inspired.

  • Jenn

    Wow! Thanks so much for that! I have been waiting to try those slippers until I could figure out how to felt them. This gives me new hope!

  • Maryse

    Wow! The result is quite impressive. They are so cute… Definitely worth the manual work! Have a good time in NJ!

  • Hopelessshade

    Thanks so much for the well-explained method; I was wary of felting some small things I had knit, but it did turn out perfectly, just as you said!