Lifestyle Book Reviews

Book Review: Fabulous Felted Hand-Knits: Wonderful Wearables & Home Accents by Jane Davis

By Sandy Amazeen Mar 31, 2006, 7:22 GMT

Book Review: Fabulous Felted Hand-Knits: Wonderful Wearables & Home Accents by Jane Davis

Felting has taken the knitting world by storm, and with these 30 fabulous projects, knitters will effortlessly add this stylish new technique to their repertoire. All the basics are covered and fully photographed, including which yarns to use, how to create swatch samples, and how to knit evenly. Easy-to-follow instructions, illustrations, and photos accompany each item, and encourage beginners to test out new skills and experiment on their own. Start ...more

If you have ever accidentally shrunk a sweater in the washing machine then know it or not, you were felting. Now learn how easy it is to create an assortment of lively and durable items using hand knit fabrics felted in your washing machine. Designer Jane Davis takes you through the process from selecting the appropriate yarns, swatching, needle sizes, basting and forming to the actual washing process, drying and the care of your completed projects. A list of abbreviations and knitting terms is located at the back of the book but assumes the reader knows how to knit. 

Beginning with a very easy pincushion to learn the basics, then moving on to progressively more challenging designs like a cut and sew vest, this book invites the knitter to look at their work in a different way. Many of the projects like the “Ocean Waves” scarf incorporate nonfelting yarns like eyelash, chenille and ribbon to add textural interest. Many projects like the multicolored mittens take advantage to the differences between felted and unfelted fabric as you pick up stitches for the cuffs after felting. The unfelted ribbing provides elasticity while the felted hands provide extra warmth for an unbeatable combination.

At least one detailed photograph of each project along with measurements before and after felting, yarn requirements, suggested needle size and stitch gauge allow the knitter an accurate overview of the piece before getting started. Row by row knitting directions, color charts and simple assembly techniques assure results provided you monitor the felting process and remove the knitted piece when it has reached the desired size.

In addition to the usual hats, scarves and mittens, Davis includes a simple yet timeless clutch purse embellished with a row of beadwork, a colorful yarn bowl and an assortment of tote bags that may be individualized with embroidery, buttons or pins. The sweater jacket provides an empty slate that all but begs for some extra colorwork. This collection provides a nice introduction to an ancient art which knitters can build upon to design their own fabulous felted creations.

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