My newest published project is a Purrfect Kitties Go Round in Tapestry Crochet in Afghans for All Reasons and All Seasons, by Jean Leinhauser and Rita Weiss. This project starts at the middle and spirals around to the edge, so the cats were designed up-side-down so that they would appear right-side-up on the finished afghan.
Purrfect Kitties Go Round in Tapestry Crochet
I was inspired to write the following while I was tapestry crocheting this piece:
Round the moon they go
twelve in a row
then two by two
black as night
into the light.
Detail of Purrfect Kitties Go Round
After I sent the afghan to Jean, I emailed her, “I just realized that my cat motif afghan for your book might felt nicely since it is tapestry crocheted with Lion Wool. I’m not sure what will happen because I have never felted a large flat circular piece. In fact, it might turn into a shallow bowl since the stitches usually shrink more horizontally than vertically. If you would like to see what happens before your book goes to press, to possibly include a photo if it felts OK, then please send the afghan back to me right after your photo shoot. I can then send it back to you if it turns out for another picture.”
Her response was, “Good heavens! You would risk ruining that spectacular piece? Yikes! We will certainly return it to you, and if you want to felt it, that’s up to you. It won’t matter for the book as we would not be giving felting instructions anyway. If it turned into a bowl it would make a nice kitty bed!”
The lumpy, oval shaped felted afghan after steam ironing it several times.
I washed the afghan three times, but it just wouldn’t felt evenly! My repeated steam ironing would not shape or flatten it. So I brought it to the local dry cleaners, who were able to flatten it a little more with their large press, but it is still not flat – definitely not worth the $26 pressing charge!
The afghan after being industrially pressed at the dry cleaners.
Am I sorry that I felted it? Well, I learned that a large circular afghan will probably not felt flat, but I needed to sacrifice a big piece to learn this lesson. A smaller afghan would probably felt fine – especially if the yarn is not doubled on the single crochet border. In fact, I think a smaller piece with a bolder motif would make a nice coaster, placemat, bathroom rug, or pet pad. I dare you to beat me to it!