#1 Apprentice is usually a crocheter, although she has dabbled in knitting. This would be a chance for her to practice reading patterns, and to become more comfortable with knitting, before I think about encouraging her to look at period knitting. #2 Apprentice is already interested in period knitting, but is a beginner knitter herself. She is unsure of her own skills, but is willing to try most anything. This was a great opportunity for her to hone her skills. For me, well I've done very little felting and this would be a quick project to get a bit more experience.
Here are our slippers, ready to be felted. They are quite big and floppy.
Into the washing machine they went. #2 Apprentice's slippers (Paton's) began to shrink very quickly. #1 Apprentice's slippers took a little longer. My slippers took 2 complete washing cycles before I decided they were done. After a while, a piece cannot shrink further because the fibers are as close together as they can get. I think that my slippers reached this point. Here they are:
In the end #1 Apprentice and #2 Apprentice each had slippers that fit them well. While my slippers fit the circumference of my foot perfectly, they were too long. The good news is, they fit my husband's foot!
What did I learn? The choice of yarn makes a difference in the result. It might be the number of plies, or it might be the fiber content (mine has a touch of mohair along with the wool, and they probably were all made with different breeds). The next time I want to try a felting project (I've been thinking of trying felted mittens) I will make a test swatch first, to have a better gauge of the final results.