Thursday, April 07, 2011

Things I know about felting.. and some that I forget!

I've mentioned a couple of times that this year I'm working my way through Elizabeth Zimmermann's Almanac and knitting up one of her patterns for each month of the year. I'm doing this with a group of ladies from my LYS in Geelong, Twisted Threads.

There has been a bit of cheating and self selection involved. Truth be told; out of the three months of the year so far we've only stuck to the Almanac for one. Well, the group only started in February, but I did complete a January project by myself, which also wasn't part of the Almanac agenda. I'm sure EZ wouldn't mind!

But you know, I am actually going to re-visit January and March and whip something up from those months; just not a full size 40" chest jumper, no matter how much Andy would love me forever and be so totally grateful.

so for March our group divulged in a bit of double knitting and as well as tackling the January hat swatch, which I must say looks awesome!

I tackled some double knitting, the double knitted pot holder.

I chose to knit mine using some leftover Cascade 109 Bulky on 9mm needles with the reasoning that if it's going to be a pot holder, I'd probably prefer a felted fabric.

I've done a wee bit of felting over the time, but I really don't know what I'm doing. My approach is pretty much chuck it in the washing machine and hope for the best. And generally that has served me well, all has turned out pretty much as planned. Felting, however, is one of those crafts where I always have a moment of clarity, generally at the end of the felting process, when I think, "ahhh, that's right, that's what I'm meant to do."

So here are my personal felting reminders:

1. You can felt in a front loader, despite what some people will tell you. And yes, even the super dooper water efficient ones will felt.
If you're lucky enough to have one of those front loaders that can be paused and open the door half way through a cycle os you can check on how your felting is going, even better. I used to do that, now I just throw it in and hope for the best. I like the cavalier approach.

2. Best to always eliminate the rinse cycle. Those built in wrinkles aren't the best look.

3. The quick 30 minute cycle isn't long enough.

4. Be brave and hit 60 degrees!

5. It's jeans that I need to throw in the machine with my felting, not towels.
Unless of course, you DO want bits of fluff all over your felted item.

6. When you're knitting up your felted object, stick to either garter or stocking stitch.
Different sized stitches which stretch in different directions means they're going to felt differently.
No, that hint of a ruffle on the edge of my pot holder wasn't deliberate.

7. Don't let your husband see you put woollens in the washing machine.
He might get the idea that you can wash woollens in there, which you can if you know what you're doing. But really what man does know what he's doing with a washing machine? I have teeny tiny felted woollies and lots of grey underwear that tells me that.

8. Felting is a bit like scrambling an egg, once it's done; you can't undo it. It ain't ever going to go back to the way it was.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


  1. Oh where were you last week when I was all obsessed with how I was going to felt some baby slippers I had just cast off? Great lessons though. Thanks.

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  3. Fairly partial to a cavalier approach myself – which is lucky given the front loader in the laundry (which stops for no man - or less than cavalier felting lady)...


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