I am very happy to report that the felting of my Noro Kureyon Coat was a complete success.
To review, here it is before felting:
And here it is after felting:
Here it is on Gwendolyn:
I put it in the washer with two large towels (to provide friction) and set it for a hot wash/cold rinse cycle. I selected the 8-minute wash cycle, the shortest cycle, just to be cautious. After it was done, it was barely felted. I sent it through another wash, this time with a 15-minute wash cycle. This time when it came out it was perfect!
I took it out and carefully laid it flat on the floor and straightened it out so everything was even. Using t-pins I pinned the front bands down in place. And I left it to dry.
The coat now fits me beautifully.
I measured a square post-felting and calculate that it shrank 17 — 18% during the felting process.
I am particularly pleased with the neckband. I picked up and knit stitches for the neckband after joining the back to the fronts. For the first half of the band I decreased stitches at each side front and at each side seam every other row so the band would not stand straight up from the body. I also worked a buttonhole in the neckband. I’ll be able to button my coat up all the way to my chin.
The buttons I ordered for it arrived today, so I can sew those on.
As I mentioned before, I’m not writing up a pattern for this because there are too many variables involved for the sizing. What I did:
1. I knit a mitered square. I used a needle size that would result in a slightly loose fabric because I knew I’d be felting this.
2. I measured the resulting square, and figured out how many squares across the back I wanted to get the width I wanted. (If I were a rational being, I would have used this square as a sample, felted it at this point and measured it after felting and used those measurements to figure out the final measurements of the coat. But I never claimed to be rational.) I figured out how many rows of squares I needed to make the coat as long as I wanted. My coat back was 6 squares across by 8 rows, or 48 squares.
3. For the two front pieces, I knit 3 squares across (half the width of the back) by 8 rows, but on the top row of each piece, I knit one triangle instead of a square at the beginning of one row/end of one row. This created the curve for the neck in the front.
4. For each sleeve I started with three squares across at the bottom and did three rows of squares. On the second row I worked a triangle at each end to widen the sleeve and worked five squares on the top row.
5. I picked up and knit a band at the bottom edge of each sleeve.
6. I picked up and knit a band on each front — button band and buttonhole band. I worked 7 buttonholes in the buttonhole band — one in each square. I did not extend the band up into the 8th row of squares because the 8th row had the triangle that makes the curve of the neck.
7. I attached the front to the back at the shoulders. I picked up stitches and knit the shoulders together. The shoulders are 2 squares wide.
8. I picked up stitches around the neck to make the neck band. I picked up along the top of the front band, the triangle on the front piece, across the middle 2 squares of the back, and then down the triangle of the other side front, and across the top of the front band. I knit the neckband, decreasing stitches on every right side row at the front edge of the triangle and at the shoulder halfway up the band, and then knit straight for the rest of the band. I worked a buttonhole in the front band at the edge above the buttonhole band.
9.I sewed up the side and sleeve seams. I did this by carefully backstitching. I did all the sewing using the yarn I used to knit: Noro Kureyon. I had to be very careful because it is a single play loosely spun yarn — not the best for sewing. But because the piece is felted, it is important to use the same yarn so it will shrink the same way. Otherwise it might end up with rippled or lumpy seams. I cut short pieces of yarn to use for sewing so each piece had minimal manipulation.
10. I picked up and knit stitches all the way around the bottom hem of the coat, worked a few rows and then bound off.
11. I felted the coat.
And that, in a nutshell, is how I made the coat.
Lucy is tired just thinking about it.