8.12.15

Felted Knitting: The Critter Gang Pillows

Felted Pillow Gang by Minaz Jantz

Winter time is my knitting time! 
I like the feel of wool slithering around my fingers and love using my old aluminium knitting needles that make the clinking sound for every stitch. Its also the season to make family members gifts. 




Mom Crochets Gifted Blanket
Mom Crochets 
a Gifted Blanket
We are a family who where raised with crafting, cooking and making gifts from scratch. Its one family tradition that we all love to share with each other and we appreciate the time, skill and talent that goes into each gift. This year I thought to make some felted knit pillows with attitude! I wanted each one to be individually different for each of my family members. The back side of each pillow is left unadorned for the purpose of laying ones head to rest upon.


Pussy Galore, Skat, Bark pillows by Minaz Jantz



Hand Knit & Felted Slippers by Minaz Jantz
My first felting project was making felted knit slippers for each of my family members a few years ago. We enjoy wearing them and they are the best thing for cozy feet!



I LOVE pillows of every different kind and have pillows all over my house! What a great way to say I am thinking of you then to make personal pillows for my family. I thought to felt pillows for their durability and the softness while wanting to add embroidery for embellishment to give this gift a folk-e homemade appearance.


ZIGGY LOVES PILLOWS!
ZIGGY LOVES PILLOWS!

The HOMEMADE look is no longer screaming just for grannies & hippies but is back in fashion for everyone and even for Ziggy who LOVES pillows. 

I wanted these series of pillows to be smaller and able to fit right into any chair, couch or bed like a pet waiting for you to come for a snuggle.


I had no pattern to go from nor any idea of what its going to look like till I finished each pillow. To felt knitted wool means to shrink it with hot water and each brand of wool and the temperature of water used will shrink/felt a different final size. 



My first felted pillow was 'Pussy Galore' and made it up as I went along with hopes it would remain large enough to be a pillow for a head size.


FRONT Felted Knit Pillow: Pussy Galore by Minaz Jantz


BACK Felted Knit Pillow: Pussy Galore by Minaz Jantz


I will share some of my methods of knitting critter madness with you.



  BASIC INSTRUCTIONS  
  for FELTED PILLOWS    
* 4.5 mm needles, 3.5 oz 100% wool (has to be 100% wool to felt)
* Stitch Holder
Stitch Holders
Stitch Holders


* Cast on 72 stitches.
* knit each row or knit one row purl the next. It makes slight surface change when felted but not that noticeable so I like knit every row cause its easy.
* Knit till the work measures 15 inches then decide what you want for ears and knit what ever kind of ears you want. Total finished size approx. 18 inches before felting.
* Sew in all loose ends BEFORE felting.
* Can either sew all sides together except the bottom side BEFORE felting and hide the stitches OR felt both sides separately then stitch with Blanket Stitch to attach them together after they are felted to show stitches.

  EARS for Pussy Galore:   
* Knit the body to 15 inches then take and knit the first 30 stitches on your needle, drop the next 12 stitches and knit last 30 stitches.
* Put one set of 30 stitch ears on stitch holders to pick up later to knit.
* To get the angle of the ears, I dropped one stitch for every other row till it came to just one stitch then tied off with a knot.

  Before FELTING measurements:  
* 18 inches from tip of ear to bottom
* 15 inches to the top of head
* 14 inches wide
'Pussy Galore' before felting process by Minaz Jantz
Two sides of Pussy Galore before felting. Sew in all the ends before the hot water bath and save all the detailing of embroidery etc. after felting.
  AFTER FELTING measurements:  
* 14 inches from tip of ear to bottom
* 12 inches to the top of head
* 12 inches wide

Before & after felting process of knitted pillows
Ziggy watches EVERYTHING I do. He sits close by and shows how large the pillows are BEFORE felting and AFTER felting. 
Each pillow was made the same except the ears.

Hand-stitching details for Pussy Galore

After each pillow was felted, I started to add the unique details with embroidery and buttons. Thanks to all those wonderful people who post YOUTUBE videos on 'HOW to DO' as I learned easily with their help to do various stitches and applied them to each pillow.


Hand-stitching details for SKAT


Below are some examples of the stitches I used to embellish the Felted Critter Gang and the links to the YOUTUBE videos to see how.



FRONT Felted Pillow Skat by Minaz Jantz



BACK Felted Pillow Skat by Minaz Jantz



  Blanket stitch both sides.
Blanket stitch both sides.
I hot water wash after all the ends have been worked in and trimmed.  Both sides are kept apart for the wash and felt first before doing any kind of decorative stitch work. I used the Blanket Stitch for both sides and then attached both sides together using the basic hand stitch, looping through the blanket stitch. Leave the bottom end open to stuff then finish with basic hand stitching. 

 HOW to do a blanket stitch here...


Blanket stitch and slip stitch for finished edge.
Blanket stitch for both sides then loop with slip stitch and lightly pull together by going
through the blanket stitch edges 

to join both sides
 and make for a finished edge.


'Bark' Felted Knit Pillow with split stitch detail
BARK was created with the Split Stitch.
HOW to do the Split Stitch



'Skat' Felted knit pillow detail cable chain stitch
New stitch for me to learn 
was the cable chain stitch and 
wanted it to look like a necklace 
for the felted pillow 'Skat'. 
The blue edge is the Blanket Stitch.

HOW to do the Cable Chain Stitch.

'Skat' Felted knit pillow detail Hungarian braided chain stitch
I wanted a a stitch that was thicker
 to make the mouth for 'Skat'. 
I also found in my old button stash 
some white little buttons 
that turned out to be perfect for the teeth. 

How to do the Hungarian Braided Chain stitch.
 Felted knit pillow detail
I used scraps of wool and looped
 them around on the felted surface for Pussy Galore and then took blue button thread and did a running stitch through the wool scraps.

FRONT Felted Pillow BARK by Minaz Jantz


BACK Felted Pillow BARK by Minaz Jantz

'Bark' Felted Knit Pillow eyes and ears
'Bark' has shaped ears that where knitted in the light gold color then crocheted with the dark brown wool 
attaching the two sides together before felting.


For the ear fluffs, I later took scraps of yarn and knotted them into the tops of the ears AFTER felting. Found some old buttons PERFECT for the eyes and attached scraps of yarn sewing them under the buttons for bushy eyebrows.
'Bark' Felted Knit Pillow eyes, ears and crochet nose
'Bark' got a crochet nose that 
is stuffed with scraps of yarn
then hand sewn to the felted fabric.
 I used the chain stitch for the mouth.


HOW to do the chain stitch.


Detail stitching for BARK

'Pussy Galore' Felted knit pillow of face detail
'Pussy Galore' has an STAR nose 
which is hand sewn with button thread. 
The whiskers where chain stitched 
with silver button thread. 
I found in my button stash 
these swirl buttons and 
sewed them on with Gold Metallic thread.

'Skat', Felted knit pillow by Minaz Jantz
Felted Knit Pillow from the Critter Gang...'Skat'
'Bark', Felted knit pillow by Minaz Jantz
Felted Knit Pillow from the Critter Gang... 'Bark'
'Pussy Galore', Felted knit pillow by Minaz Jantz
Felted Knit Pillow from the Critter Gang...'Pussy Galore & Ziggy!'
I had fun making the Felted Critter Gang pillows and can easily say, NO, I will not take orders! Its a lot of work to make these up and will remain one of a kind!

Felt to share!...Minaz Jantz

 

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

I love my Pussy Galore pillow. she sits in her perfect chair and has shared space the dogs and cats. She is a conversation piece for sure.

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