Today's post will teach you to make a hand-crafted felted coaster! It would make a great gift for a friend or coworker, and only takes a small amount of time to make. I'm an impatient crafter, so these sorts of quick projects are perfect for me!
Start off with some wool yarn. I love Fisherman's Wool by Lion Brand because it's relatively inexpensive, soft, and felts up nicely! I am using a size H hook, and a double strand of Fisherman's Wool. (Pull one strand from the middle, and one from the edge of the skein.)
Step 1: Make what I call a half-done-baby-hat... (this is how my first coaster began - I started working on a baby hat and wanted to undo it, only to find out that my yarn had snagged, and I had this random circular piece of half-done-baby-hat ... it became a coaster for my coffee mug, and is still sitting on my desk at this moment!) Here's a pattern for you:
Make a magic loop (if you know how) or chain 3. Join. Now you'll work 6 sc into the loop you just made. Try to incorporate the tail of your original slipknot so you don't have to weave it in later.
There's a "pattern" to this pattern from here out. 2 sc in the first sc, then 2 sc in each of the remaining 5 sc around. (You've now done 12 stitches.) Join. Row 2: sc 2 in the first sc, sc, sc in next sc, sc, and so on, all the way around. You've now done 18 stitches. Row 3: sc 2 in the first sc, then sc in each of the next two stitches. Sc 2 in the next sc, then sc in each of the next two stitches, and so on. When you get to the end, you've done 24 stitches. Join. I do this for seven rows. The last row, the pattern will be 2 sc in the first sc, then one sc in each of the next 6 stitches. Repeat. Join and weave in the ends. Here's a photo of what this should look like.
Now that you've got this nice half-done-baby-hat, you can start to choose your roving colors for felting. If you've never done this before, you'll need some supplies:
- Wool Roving (A word about this: I tried the clover brand, and it is VERY soft, and takes longer to felt. I also happen to have a decent supply of very nice wool from my friend's farm, and she can hook you up with some beautiful stuff! Check out Fancy Fibers Farm - Mary is the queen of all things fiber! And we could talk about dying your fiber, etc., but that should be a separate post!)
- A piece of foam, or a felting foam block
- a felting tool
- extra needles for your felting tool because they break easily!
- felting applique molds if you want to use them (I didn't)
Here's my setup:
Start by pulling a few fibers off of your batt, and lay them over the crochet coaster. It really doesn't matter how you put them on here, because you're going to essentially poke the heck out of them with some barbed needles. So just slap 'em on there.
Now, just keep adding fiber and poking it with your felting tool until you like the way it looks. I like mine to have some texture.
(In the photo above, I added some gold colored fiber from my friend's shop, because I didn't like the way the clover fiber was looking. And because I'm impatient. Remember?)
When you're happy with the way it looks, it's time to pick
out a design to put over the top. I wanted to make a cardinal. This
coaster is for a coworker of mine, and she loves them :)
I know you can't tell that that red blob will be a cardinal, but I can!
Using the same stab-it-to-death technique as before, but being slightly less rambunctious, begin to form your design.
I usually go around the edges and then start working on the middle.
I eventually added a bit more fiber and added some silk for detail.
Then, I went around the edges with some red, and folded it over onto the back to finish the edges nicely. I also added a bit of a gold color for a beak. Here it is on my mat.
And here's the finished product in better (read: natural) light, more accurately reflecting the colors.
I think she'll like it!