It turns out that felting (while absolutely counter-intuitive to anyone who knits or spends ages trying not to felt woolen items while washing them) is very satisfying. I made these little slippers using the Debbie Bliss pattern ‘felted slippers’.
I almost threw away the first one in disgust as, before felting, it was possibly the ugliest thing I have ever made. Truely. Look at it.
I was so unconvinced that felting would save this from its own hideousness that I stopped at one and felted it on its own, thinking that I would still be throwing it out and therefore wouldn’t bother completing the pair.
It came out of the washing machine (as per pattern instructions) looking exactly the same, just wet. I decided to put my frustration to good use and set about hand felting it in very hot water. Half an hour later I had a minor miracle. The little shoe had shrunk and become dense and almost cute. I gave it a rest in the hot water cupboard and made the second one while waiting for the first to dry.
Here they are together, where you can really see what a difference felting has made.
The fabric is now firm and will, I’m sure, make small feet very warm. These were made as a test pair to see if I could work the whole felting thing out well enough to make a small pair of these for a friend’s August baby. This friend is very classy and I don’t want to gift her something that will be totally outside of her usual taste. But with the right yarn I think I will be able to make it work.
I just hope I have something in my stash!