In preparation for a weekend felting workshop, I wrote some instructions. Felting is such a fun thing, that I think any knitter should give it a try. And even if you don't knit, there are a ton of projects you can do by felting old thrift store sweaters.
Here is my favorite felted Hat Pattern in three versions. So not matter how you like to knit, you'll find one that works for you!
Materials: A) 200 yards each of Bulky weight wool, and B) fine weight mohair. Size #13, double pointed needles, and a 24inch circular #13 needle. (or you can use straight needles for the knitted flat version.) Numbers in parenthesis is for larger size hat.
Crown/Top down version
With dpn and a strand of each A&B, cast on 12sts, four on each of three needles. Join into a circle, being careful not to twist stitches.
Rnd 1, and all odd rounds, Knit.
Rnd 2, *K1, K into the front and back of each stitch* repeat – 18 sts
Rnd 4, *K2, K into the front and back of each stitch* -- 24 sts
Rnd 6, *K3, K into the front and back of each stitch* -- 30 sts
Repeat rounds 1 and 2, adding an additional stitch between increases. On each needle, you will be increasing in the middle, and on the end of each dpn. Continue until there are 9(10) stitches between each Kf&b. – 66(72) sts. Switch to circular needle whenever there become too many stitches to knit comfortably with dpn’s.
Purl three rounds.
Knit for 4 ½ (5) inches.
Next round, *K3, Kf&b,* ending K2(0)
Knit 5 rounds.
Bind off Loosely, preferably using a larger size knitting needle.
Weave in ends, and using the Cast on thread, sew up the hole in the top of hat.
Brim Up Version
Cast on 96 stitches onto Circular needle. Join sts, being careful not to twist.
K 4 Rnds.
Next row, *K2, K2tog* across round. (72sts)
Work even to 5inches from cast on edge.
Purl three rounds.
Rnd 1: Knit one round (repeat on all odd rows of crown).
Rnd 2: *K10, K2tog* (66 sts)
Rnd 4: *K9, K2tog* (60 sts)
Rnd 6: *K8, K2tog* (54 sts)
Rnd 8: *K7, K2tog* (48 sts)
Continue in this manner until you have *K1, K2tog.* (12 sts) Knit one more round. Break yarn, leaving a 12 inch tail. Thread yarn on a tapestry needle, and bring through remaining stitches. Tighten and weave in ends.
Yet another version (for those who like to knit flat)
CO 98 stitches.
Begin stockinette st, knitting right side rows, and purling wrong side rows.
Work 4 rows (knit one row, purl one row, twice)
Dec. Row: K1 *K2, K2tog* across row, end K1
Purl next row.
Continue in St st. until 5inches from CO.
Knit one row, purl three rows.
R1: K1*K10, K2tog* end K1
R2: and all even rows, Purl.
R3: K1*K9, K2tog,* K1.
R5: K1 *K8, K2tog,* K1.
Continue until you work K1 *K1, K2tog,* K1. (14 sts)
Purl one row. Break yarn, and thread on tapestry needle. Bring through remaining sts, and tighten. From the bottom up, seam the hat being careful not to pucker. Weave in ends.
To felt hat, place it into a garment bag, or pillowcase tied with a rubber band. Put into washer set to hot wash/cold rinse and lowest water level(smallest load size.) Add items such as tennis balls to increase agitation and just a drop of detergent. Wash, checking frequently on the progress of the hat. (Sorry, you have to try it on wet to see if has shrunk enough to fit!) With some washers, you will want to stop the washing process and check several times within one cycle, others will take several cycles to complete felting. It is not an exact science, and all yarns and washers are a little different. But I promise, once you’ve done it a couple of times, you will learn the quarks of your machine!
Block hat. Pull and shape it to fit your head while still damp, and I like to uncurl edges of brim if they shrivel up. Smooth out hat with your hands, and stuff with tissue paper to dry.