While it is a perfect pattern as is, I decided to use wool yarn and try my hand at felting it, since, you know… it’s important to felt all the things! I absolutely LOVE the result and wanted to share my process with you, at Briana’s recommendation.
First off, gather your supplies! Make sure you have purchased the pattern from Briana’s ravelry or Etsy shop. You will notice that you need worsted weight yarn and a size G crochet hook. Because felting shrinks the work just a bit, I used a bulkier yarn and size H crochet hook. I feel like the finished size is just right after felting.
Also, your yarn MUST be 100% wool (or other fibers that are prone to felting). I actually made one clutch in a yarn with a high content of wool, but additionally nylon or something and it did not felt, like, at all!
Additionally, for felting, you will need water (both super hot and super cold), soap (any kind will work), and quite a bit of elbow grease.
Complete the Crocheted Clutch
Finish the project as written in the pattern, except for blocking before seaming. There’s no need to block your piece before completing the felting, so just carefully seam the clutch.
Felting is the process of matting fibers together to create a non-woven fabric. This is accomplished using heat, moisture, and/or extreme pressure. We will be using the method of wet-felting, which uses a combination of all three. Another type of felting, called needle felting, uses a very sharp, barbed needle to entangle the fibers. See this post for more on needle felting.
Begin Wet Felting
Start with hot, soapy water– as hot as you can stand it. Wet the entire piece.
Rub and massage the clutch, building up a good lather.
Continue rubbing and massaging, introducing a lot of friction. I like to roll the piece in a tube and then roll it very quickly between my hands.
Just keep rubbing and beating up the clutch. Occasionally, focus on the cabled design. Try to pull the cables up and felt the inside of the design.
Rinse in COLD water and check the progress. You may want to repeat all steps to help the stitches to “disappear” more completely. The longer you rub, the more times you rinse and repeat, the sturdier the fabric will become. I felted this one for about 40 minutes, rinsing and repeating probably 3 times during that time, and then another probably 25 minutes the next day.
When you are happy with the shape, size, and thickness, rinse in COLD water again, making certain you get out all the soap. Shape the clutch and allow to air dry. You can also machine dry the piece, but be careful as it may continue to shrink. If I use the machine dryer, I will usually only dry it for 30 minutes or so, leaving it still lightly damp. Then, I will allow it to air dry completely.
Add any embellishments you desire.
For this one, I added a fabric lining.
Bonus: Experiment with different shapes
For this blue one, I used the same pattern, with a few modifications. I added a few rows to make it a little longer, folded it in half instead of thirds, and added a strap.
I also sewed the corners to give it a bit of a bottom.
I believe I will also add a fabric lining as well as a zippered closure.
I may also felt this one a bit more. I really want the stitches to be even more invisible, so I’ve got some more work to do. What do you think? Do you like the felted versions? Have you made your own Aisling Clutch yet?