Saturday, August 18, 2012

DIY Felted Elbow Patches


Quite some time ago, I came across a tutorial (somewhere out there!) for felted elbow patches made with needle felting. And I could've kicked myself--how did I not think of this before?! Well I had my mom (an avid knitter and wool spinner) send me some roving and supplies so I could take a shot at it. What a fun and easy project--just pop in a movie and go! 
Want to try it too? Here's how!

--- Felted Elbow Patches ---

You need:
  • Wool Roving (find it at your local knitting store, or check out Amazon)
  • Felting Needle(s) (again, you can find at your local knitting store or Amazon)
  • Foam Block
  • Cookie Cutter or Stencil (whatever shape you like and will fit on the sleeve)
  • Sweater or Cardigan

Put the garment on and, using a pencil, mark the center point of your elbow. 
Cut the foam block down to fit in the sleeve, and then place the stencil over the center mark. The foam is important so you don't felt through to the other side, and so you don't stab yourself as well. Take a section of roving and fill the stencil. I recommend starting with less rather than more--you can always fill in any bare spots later on.
Holding the stencil in place, and starting along the outside edge of the roving, begin felting with the needle. Basically what you're doing is "stabbing" the roving repeatedly, keeping the needle straight up and down. Be careful--these little needles are quite sharp! 

Once you've gotten the roving in place (roving will be loosely attached), you can remove the stencil and continue working. See how fluffy the patch is still? Keep going! The goal is to get the roving flatter and tighter until it becomes...well...felt. 

Keep working away! This is why its nice to sit with a movie while you're felting. Continue to shape the edges to keep them crisp, and if there are any bare spots, just take a little bit of roving and felt it in.
Once the roving is nice and tight, remove the foam block (the patch may stick a bit to the foam, but don't worry, it peels off and it won't damage the patch). 
Repeat on the other sleeve.
Once you're finished, you can spray the patches with water and then iron them to flatten them a little more if you choose.

--- Can you tell I'm so ready for fall? --- 

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