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Any felting gurus out there? Or felting surgeons, or maybe even a felting undertaker?

I made this vest for my mom last year, out of Beverly Galeska's wonderful book Felted Knits.

It's just the kind of thing she likes for cold weather; something warm that leaves her arms and hands unencumbered to fly about, taking care of her own business and everyone else's. Unfortunately, it's about four inches too small in circumference.

The item is knit all in one piece, with a short-row collar and edgings knitted on with superwash wool after felting.

Does anyone know how I can add some width to this thing? I'm thinking that there's no reason why a soak in warm water and some judicious pulling and stretching would hurt it, but I know you guys know better than I do. The felt is very thick and sturdy - do I have to worry about tearing it or pulling it apart?

The fir cone is reminding me of that old vaudeville act, the one where a performer would carry a potted tree across the stage behind his oblivious partner. It would be a little larger and more mature each time, until he was eventually lugging an enormous piece of greenery across the stage, dripping oranges and leaves.

Yeah, think of it exactly like that.


I don't think you'd have to worry about the vest pulling apart, but I also don't know if you'd get 4 inches of stretch out of it--although it's always worth trying. But my first thought was that you could just cut right up the sides and add in side panels in the red edging yarn--could be cute, if your mom is down with a slightly more sporty vest.

I heard from Joyce Williams (author of Latvian Dreams) that it's possible to unfelt something by boiling it in a mixture of half water and half vinegar. I haven't tried it but it might be worth a shot.
And your progress on Fir Cone is nothing short of wondrous.

Your Fir Cone shawl is so beautiful. Your blog is so inspirational to me, I love visiting here.

I an a felting disaster, so I'm not help. Although I think the suggestion of cuting and adding a panel make sense.

So, so pretty, that satan shawl.

What about two 2" panels of the superwash running down the sides (underarm to waste)? It would go along with the front of the vest, add a bit of detailing, and give you the 4 inches you need. It might also offer a bit for flex in the fit for easier movement.

I have absolutely no useful advice regarding the enlargement of felted garments, but if you find something that works, I'd love to know about it. I had an unfortunate accident with the dryer and a favorite wool sweater (fortunately not a handknit) several years ago, and though I tried to stretch it out, it's never really been wearable since. I blame it on my trial-and-error laundry methods, which continue to wreak havoc with my wardrobe.

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