Crocheting with Pencil Roving

I’ve been spending about half my crafting time with needle felting lately and discovered that some of the fiber I purchased from Brown Sheep looked like pencil roving. I’ve crocheted with pencil roving before, and thought this might be a good way to create some felted fabric that could become part of one of my felting projects.

The last time I felted crocheted pencil roving I made this little bowl. After felting it I embellished it with some novelty yarn around the opening and added beads.

It was crocheted in the round with single crochet.   For this experiment I wanted to make a flat piece of felt.

I used one of my favorite crochet stitches, the Half Double Crochet (hdc), with my largest Clover Amour hook (size P/Q 15mm). I’ve found the hdc to be one of the best stitches in crochet to felt. I decided to work it in continuous rounds to allow for the fabric to contract evenly as it is felted.

I like the way the hdc looks from the back as well. In the continuous rounds the back bar on the hdc stitch creates a pleasing spiral. The size hook I was using worked well with the size of roving that I had found in the bag of fiber. But I had to create a bit more “pencil roving” to finish the fourth round as I was crocheting. My finished circle was just a little under 10″ in diameter.

This is the ball of wool top pencil roving that I was working with for the bowl. I used about half this ball to make the bowl. That gives you an idea of how quickly you can use up your pencil roving.

Crocheting with roving is an interesting process, there is no twist to the strand so the act of crocheting actually creates the twist. If  you are wanting to crochet with pencil roving and not felt it, I recommend that you use the smallest hook you can comfortably crochet your fiber with.

Working with a smaller hook when crocheting roving means that your finished fabric will be more durable. If I didn’t felt the circle I had made it would not have stayed nice for very long. I loved the squish factor of the finished fabric, but the twist I had created would not have stood up to normal use.

I do have a dream of making some really cushy house slippers crocheted from pencil roving. Just need to acquire enough yardage of roving to experiment with. I think with wearing, the roving would felt a bit, so I might need to make the soles double or even triple thickness. I may need to make the first pair of slippers for one of my great nieces or nephews, they have much smaller feet than anyone else in my life currently.

I’ll share a bit later with you about my experiments with felting my crocheted pencil roving circle. Things got a little bit messy and a whole lot of crazy.