Thursday, March 29, 2007

Adventures in Felting

Another new year's knitting resolution can be crossed off the list. I felted something for the first time.

Despite having to carry four skeins of yarn with me, the felted needle holder was a great project for knitting at the film festival. Thanks for the suggestion, Jenn! It was easy to pull out for short periods of knitting before and between films and knit quickly. I hadn't knit in stockinette before and was really impressed with how it looked. Sewing in the numerous ends wasn't the most fun I've ever had, but slowly I'm getting better and faster at this finishing skill.

Of course, there was still the matter of felting. Kristin gave me some good advice, including finding a wash protector bag for my project. (There was a dollar store in the mall where the festival was held.) I put some old jeans in the washer along with my needle holder and hoped for the best. I knew what the water temperature was supposed to be, but once at the washer, I couldn't remember if there was a particular cycle I should use. I ran it through the knits and delicates cycle, but that didn't appear to have an appreciable effect. I checked it after one regular cycle and thought it might need a little more felting time. I washed it on a shortened regular cycle and guessed that the felting was complete.

It didn't appear to shrink much, probably because it was knit tightly on US 8s. I didn't have to do a lot of shaping either. It emerged from the washer looking how it should. Pretty neat!

If there's one thing that concerns me, it's what I do now. The pattern says, "Insert needles through the felt for storage. Felt, once made, will not unravel like knitting does, so if necessary, cut holes in the felt for larger needles." It seems wrong to poke the needles through the material. The idea of cutting the project isn't appealing either. I'm going to let it sit out and dry overnight. I'll decide how to approach this final step in the morning.

FYI, I made my first post to the Kniterati blog. It's my advice to new knitters. Perish the thought--me giving knitting advice! If I'm having a particularly lazy or uninspired day, I might repost it here, but for now, you can check it out as a Kniterati exclusive.


At 4:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Firstly, congrats on being quoted in the NYTs! I'm impressed. Do we get to see pictures of the felting. It's something I haven't tried yet - only cold water in the washer and my drier needs repairing, and I'm too lazy to do it by hand. :)

At 8:28 PM, Blogger Karen said...

Congrats on the felting. I tie my projects up in a pillow case so that the extra fibers don't clog up the hoses. This can cause a huge disaster for a washer if one is a frequent felter. I know you're in an apartment, but when I was an apartment dweller, I had my own washer and dryer. (Still have them 18+ yrs later!)

When do we get to see the finished item?

Cutting small slits won't affect the felted item. Felt won't unravel.

At 9:30 PM, Blogger the secret knitter said...

I'll get a picture up tonight or tomorrow. We'll see how it goes.

I have my own washer and dryer--freebies given to me about a year ago--and noticed some loose fibers in the bag. The pillow case is a good idea.


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