Icelandic unspun wool yarn. The yarn is used triple in this project. You can also use any other bulky feltable wool.
6 mm (US 10) dpns
A darning needle
An exact gauge is not important as the “socks” are heavily felted. But it’s recommended to knit the rather loosely to facilitate the felting. So if you know yourself to be a tight knitter you might consider to go up a needle size.
These “socks” fit chairs that are appropriately 3.5cm a side, that is 14 cm a round. That means that each cm (0.4in) on the chair leg equals one stitch cast on. So you can very easily calculate how many stitches you need for just your chairs.
The yarn is used triple in this project. That is you knit with three strands of the yarn.
Cast on 14 stitches loosely with three strands of the yarn and distribute them on dpn’s. Join, be careful to to twist. Knit 20 rounds.
*k2tog* all the next round = 8 stitches
*k2tog* all the next round = 4 stitches
Break the yarn and thread through the remaining loops. Pull it tight and secure it ends.
When you have made three more (or as many as you want), it’s time for the really interesting part: the felting.
There are two schools on this. Those who hand felt and those who machine felt. Machine felting is much faster and easier, but it requires some care as each machine felts differently. So if you haven’t felted before, it can be a good idea to start with a short programme and a low heat (40°C – 32 F) and increase if that is not enough. It’s a good idea to use a washing bag or something similar and two old towels or so to increase agitation. You want the “socks” to be really tight, so tight in fact that you have to use considerable force to put them on. That way they stay put.
They probably look like a mess when they are felted enough, but don’t worry, you can form them when wet and all creases even out when you force them on the chair leg. It’s best to form them on the chair leg and then remove them carefully to dry. Don’t be afraid to use a little violence, the felted fabric can stand a lot of pulling and tugging. Let the socks dry completely before you put them in use.
To hand felt you need a basin or a sink filled with hot water. Add a few drops of dish-washing liquid and use your hands to swish the wool around and rub it together. You need a lot of agitation so rubber gloves are a good idea. Felting by hand can take a long time so patience is the key. When done, rinse the socks well, squeeze out the water and let dry.
About the Designer
Harpa is a knitter, author, and blogger located in Iceland. Her website can be found at http://www.harpaj.net.