One skein Rowan Creative Focus Worsted, in brown. Any good wool felting yarn will do. Several yards of black wool for the mouth. Knit loosely, basically using the recipe set out by Diane Scott in her free Sorting Hat pattern available on Ravelry. I did not double the yarn, as her pattern calls for. And I used size ten needles, not sixes. Add a few extra welts (tucks) where you want them. The knitted hat will be tall and the brim will be the size of a large dinner plate. It will be too big even for a pumpkin-sized adult.
Turn the hot water tank up as high as it will go and wait about 20 minutes for the water to heat.
Set the water level in the top-loading washing machine for the smallest sized load. Add an old towel or two and about 1/2 cup of liquid Ivory Snow. A soap usually works better than a detergent.
Let the hat agitate. Don’t let the spin cycle start. Stop the machine every few minutes and use a wooden spoon to pull out the hat and check its felting status. When it’s shrunk to the size you want–and boy did this hat shrink–pull the hat out and rinse it well under cold water.
Taking another old towel, pat the hat to extract as much water as possible. Shape the brow, the mouth, the brim, and the hat ridges and top.
Put the stationary rack into the dryer. Set the hat on the rack. Turn the dryer on the hottest setting. Check every 20 minutes or so and, if necessary, reshape the hat.
Remove the hat, while still a bit damp, reshape as necessary, and set the hat out to finish drying.
This is how the hat felted. The aim here was to adapt Scott’s pattern so it would fit an infant.
I am quite pleased with the result.
Oh, about the washing machine. It’s been a long time since I felted something. I forgot that I used to put the item inside a pillow case to felt. Considering how much yarn fuzz I had to pick out of the water before I could let the water drain from the machine, the pillow case would have been a good idea.
And now for the best part: