While gauge is of no concern for this project, the shrinkage caused by felting is. So we cannot escape the subsequent math to achieve the desired result. My rule of thumb is: felting shrinks projects by approximately 30% (in my washer, anyway). Therefore, we must add 30% to the un-felted or before stage of the project. For instance, my dog Barley (a yellow Lab) has a 20” neck. But I want some slack on the collar so I can pull it through the D-ring after felting, plus it’s going to shrink about 30%.
So: 20” + 4” (for slack) = 24”. Now: 24” x 30% (felting shrinkage) = 7.2”. Therefore: 24” + 7” = 31” to knit prior to felting. Finished size after felting: 1 ½” wide x appro24-26” long (depending on your washer & dryer).
- Worsted weight wool
- US Size 9 Bamboo Needles
- Tapestry Needle, Tape measure
- D-rings (I used 1 ½” D-rings since the felted width on this collar is also 1 ½”)
- Sew-on rhinestones or other embellishments
(vintage buttons; letter beads to spell your dog’s name; metal studs, etc.)
- Measure the circumference of your dog’s neck w/ a tape measure.
- Cast on 12 stitches.
- Work in garter stitch (knit every row) for 31” for a large dog (like Barley).
- Bind off loosely and weave in ends.
- Wash in a mesh laundry bag in hot water w/ a pair of jeans. Sit vigil by the washer, peeking every now and then. It’s not an exact science.
- Toss in the dryer when you’re satisfied then lay flat and reshape between towels w/ a heavy book on top (like a Harry Potter).
- Sew D-ring to one end (by curling the edge around the ‘spine’ of the ‘D’). I always use embroidery thread for sewing felted things (it’s strongest).
- Sew embellishments in places that will not interfere with the collar looping through the D-ring.
Parade your pooch around town. You’ve got bragging rights!