Geometric designs. Part 2. Squares and rectangles.

Felted cowl neck sweater "The magic of simple forms".


Since the beginning of the last century, the rapid development of technology and scientific progress caused many creative people (artists and poets, sculptors and architects) began to seek inspiration in new expressive forms that differed from classical. There were various trends in art: expressionism, abstractionism include suprematism, neo-plasticism and others.


Geometry is the basis of everything. Strict lines allow the abstract idea to be described in the clear mathematical language.


In this class, we will start to study the following figures - squares and rectangles, and patterns based on them. Our new idea is a sleeveless cowl neck top sweater, decorated with an abstract composition of rectangles, squares and straight lines based on the famous painting by Pete Mondrian.


As in the previous experiment, the pattern consists of two parts: the base and the collar. According to the wool shrinkage for size S, there will be two rectangles measuring 70 x 90 and 45 x 40 cm, located relative to each other as shown in the diagram.

The armhole starts from the upper corner of the main rectangle and represents a segment of about 25 cm; bending allowances are not provided in this section of the template.


For the convenience of the wool layout, the right angles connecting both rectangles must be rounded off (this moment is shown in the diagram with a dashed line).

We’ll need viscose fibers and extrafine Australian merino wool sliver which approximate consumption will be shown at the end of the tutorial.

First, we’ll prepare a prefelt, that will be needed later for decoration. Mark a rectangle measuring 80x40 cm. Lay out colored squares and rectangles with thin wool strands in two layers: horizontal and vertical. Moisten with warm soapy water and rub it through the mesh until the fibers connect to each other, forming a thin cloth that can be picked up.

Cut the dark rectangle into long strips about 1 cm wide; then intensively rub them on a ribbed surface. These thin long strands will be used in the composition as the straight lines. Mondrian used red, blue and yellow colors as the main ones, which cannot be obtained by mixing other shades. We planned a slightly more subdued composition, because wool fibers of different colors in any case, mixing together when felting.

Put the prefelt aside and proceed to the wool layout. Those who closely followed our previous lessons will not discover something new in this part of the tutorial. We will use diagonal wool layout, because according to our idea, the sweater should be slightly denser than our previous triangle model.


Viscose fibers are laid out as thin air clouds. The sliver can be divided manually or using simple carded brush. We require not more than 30 grams of viscose: approximately 15 grams on each side of the template. Viscose gives the additional density, bright gloss on the underside and will look great on the collar spread on the shoulders.

We spray the clouds so that they do not scatter in different directions. Lay out a thin strengthening layer along the open edges and the armhole. The front part of the armhole should be rubbed more intensively.

Spread the wool with thin rows. Each next row is perpendicular to the previous one and overlaps it at 2/3. Bending allowances are 2-3 cm longer at the sides. We used the saffron wool shade as a basis.

Wet with warm soapy water and gently rub through a mesh, until the fibers mix together. Allowances are left untouched. Remove the mesh and, with gentle circular motions, make smooth the edges at the bottom, top and the armhole. Carefully look at the template: cover the clear openings with thin wool strands crosswise.

Turn over the template, spread viscose fibers, bend the allowances and continue the wool layout.

Moisten the wool and rub through the mesh. Fold the allowances to the back. So, our canvas is ready for drawing. This time our composition will resemble a "sandwich". Layers are superimposed prefelt details.

Abstract artists did not limit the space of the composition with rigid frames; but to slightly highlight the picture, we lay out the square of light prefelt with sides of 45 cm.

We mark space with straight lines, nevertheless without closing it, but leaving it open.

Cut and lay out the central elements of the composition: squares and rectangles.

Wet and rub through the mesh until all the parts reliably adhere to the substrate. It is possible to use a sander.

Start the intensive felting process; rub the garment until it becomes tight in the template. Pay close attention to the side parts – they should not have any ripples.

Take off the template and continue felting by rubbing on a ribbed surface, tossing up and rolling in different directions. Rinse out in warm water then continue adding fresh soap. No need to hurry – check the size from time to time.

Carefully lay the folds on the collar. Felt remembers the shape after drying. For the straight lines not deformed during the shrinkage, they can be slightly pinched by a dry felting needle.

As a result, we got a straight silhouette sweater with a beautifully laid contrast collar and a bright abstract composition, which undoubtedly attract the attention.

More photos in our FLICKR album.

In the previous series: Geometric Designs. Part 1.

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