Crochet Tutorial: Felted Mug Rug
Crochet is one of my very favorite things! Felting is another fun activity and today I'm combining both in a simple tutorial for a fabulous gift - a felted mug rug. Technically the proper term to describe this particular felted project would be fulling. Felting occurs with mechanical agitation on the microscopic scales found along the individual fibers of wool. Usually felting refers to the disorganized, raw wool fibers, whereas fulling refers to the agitation and "felting" of wool fabric. This project involves crocheted wool fabric, hence it is technically fulled rather than felted. But no matter. Here's how to do it.
Materials: Worsted weight (size 4) 100% pure wool yarn in two colors (I used Paton's Classic Wool - Worsted) and a size "H" crochet hook. As a general rule you can expect the project to shrink by about 25%, but different wool varies in it's ability to felt. If gauge or size matters, you'll need to prepare a sample to measure shrinkage. Don't worry about it for this pattern!
Round 1: With color A, make a magic circle and ch 3 (counts as 1 DC now and throughout). Make 11 more DC in circle. Join with a slip stitch in top of beginning chain 3. (12 DC)
Round 2: Chain 3, put 1 DC in stitch at bottom of chain. Put 2 DC in each stitch around circle. Join as before with slip stitch in top of beginning chain 3. (24 DC)
Round 3: Chain 3, put 2 DC in next stitch. Make 1 DC in next stitch. Repeat 10 more times. Put 2 DC in last stitch. Join as before. (36 DC) Change to color B, if desired.
Round 4: Chain 3. Put 1 DC in next stitch. Put 2 DC in next stitch. * Put 1 DC in each of next 2 stitches then 2 DC in next stitch. Repeat from * 10 more times. Join as before. (48 DC) Change to color A, if desired.
Round 5: Chain 3. Put 1 DC in each of next 2 stitches. Put 2 DC in next stitch. * Put 1 DC in each of next 3 stitches, then 2 DC in next stitch. Repeat from * 11 more times. Join as before with a slip stitch in top of chain 3.
Round 6: Chain 3. Put 1 DC in each of next 3 stitches. DC in next stitch. Chain 4, then slip stitch in back of the fourth chain from the hook. Picot made. DC in the same stitch. * Put 1 DC in each of next 4 stitches. DC in next stitch. Make a picot then DC in same stitch. Repeat from * around 10 times more. (72 DC) (12 Picots) Join with a slip stitch in top of chain 3. Fasten off. Weave in all the ends.
The mug rug will measure about 18 centimeters (7 inches) when the crochet is finished. You can expect the fabric to shrink approximately 25%.
Instructions for felting: Choose a batch of laundry that can be washed in HOT water and rinsed in cold. Your bed sheets are the best choice because they are smooth and won't leave lint on the felted wool. Don't choose terry cloth towels! Fill the washing machine with hot water and the regular amount of detergent. Start a cycle with regular agitation that lasts about 12 to 15 minutes long. Throw the mug rug in with the sheets and just let it wash along with the sheets. Check the felting process between the wash and the rinse to see if the mug rug has felted satisfactorily. It will look a little distorted, but not to worry. When felt is damp it can be manipulated, stretched and formed into a nice shape. If the felting is finished, put it back in with the sheets and let it rinse and spin. Remove the mug rug when the cycle is complete and re-adjust the shape into a nice circle. You can use pins to pull the picots into points and to help hold the shape. Let it air dry. After the mug rug is dry, you may wish to trim some of the straggly wool with small scissors, but be careful not to cut into the fabric.
There are a number of unknown factors that sometimes affect the way the wool will felt. This project was reduced by 4 centimeters (1.5 inches) or 21%. That is a some less than 25%