Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Felting Fun

Good Morning Everyone,

I am late to the joys of felting/fulling, but I have just had the most fun making the little bag shown in the photo.  About 5 years ago, I tried felting with disastrous results. I used the wrong yarn, and my machine just would not felt it properly.  I ended up  literally throwing the item in the garbage.  Later on, I tried a felted hat, with a different yarn, and it turned out okay, but I had a lot of trouble getting it to felt etc, so I gave up.  I decided felting was not for me.

On my recent trip to CA and the TNNA show, I took a class in making cut felted flowers, from Nicky Epstein.  Nicky had us knit  10 X 10 inch squares and  felt them.  I asked my local yarn shop owner, Marie Stewart, from Yarn Box Pawling, NY what she recommended for felting, and she said that her customers told her that Patons Classic Wool was great for felting.  So I bought some in green and pink, and made two knitted pieces.  Threw them in the washing machine, and they  felted instantly.   I brought these pieces of knitted, felted fabric to class, then, under Nicky's direction, cut the petals and leaves and assembled the flowers.  The class was fun, we made 2 flowers in the 2 hour class, and I was thrilled.

When I got home, I bought some black in the same yarn, hoping to try a bag.  I put it aside because I had other things to do, then I started playing with my jacket, so the black just sat.  Two days ago, when I finished the jacket, I started knitting with the black.  I just knit till I used up the whole ball.  I made a strap, with the left over green.  Sewed the whole thing together and threw it in the machine in a lingerie bag, threw in a pair of jeans for friction, and my little black bag was perfect.  I added the flowers that I made in the class.  What fun!!!!  This could easily become very addictive :-). 

For the bag, I used # 6 needle, cast on 56 stitches, garter st for 4 rows, increased on the next row to 60 stitches, and continued in stockinette stitch till 20 inches from the beginning, decreased to 56 stitches on the next row, then garter st for 4 rows, then bound off.  This used the whole ball of yarn except for a few yards left for sewing.  I folded it in half, sewed the sides, added the strap, all before throwing it in the machine. 

The bag did shrink much more than I thought it would lengthwise.  Before felting it measured 15 inches wide, by 21 inches long.  It now measures 12 inches wide, by 11 inches (folded in half, makes the bag 5 1/2 inches X 12 inches).  The strap shrunk from 30 inches to 20 inches.  I read somewhere that felting in the machine did shrink more one way than the other, but I thought this was a lot.  I am as far from being an expert at this, as you can get, but I will have to do a few more experiments.   I think that I will try a crocheted one next. 

Have a great day


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