Felting - gone wrong.

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imaknit wrote
on May 18, 2010 4:39 AM

I made a beautiful pair of soakers for my grandson (the third pair - first two were perfect, but too small) and these looked like the right size - however, when I felted them, they are completely ruined.  The ribbing  - waistband and between the legs - has flattened out and stretched so I am left with a large rectangeular shaped piece with two holes (which were for the legs). 

What did I do wrong?  I used Patons Classic Wool which I know felts well, as that was what I made the previous two pairs with, and they were perfect (well, except for being too small).  I can't remember what I did to felt them last time, but this time I put them in a top loading washing machine - could THAT make a difference? - I wasn't at home so not my own machine which is a front loader, and used the hottest water available, putting them on for a short wash.

Maybe the cycle was too long?  Maybe using dryer only is the answer?  I want to make more, but am distresssed that after three pairs, my darling boy doesn't yet have any soakers, but his little sister now has two pairs and I have a useless piece of  - well, something!! 

Any advice, suggestions much appreciated.

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AndreaW wrote
on May 18, 2010 10:52 PM

Hi...

    First, my sympathies...soooo hard when our hard work goes to ****!!!   I haven't done a lot of felting...but enough to know it's NOT an exact science. From what you're saying...I think you're right.... it's the change in washers. But...it could be other stuff also or instead of.  Different colors (dyes) can change how a yarn behaves @ times. Even the water heater in another home may be set differently. When I've felted I watch like a hawk..it only takes a a couple minutes to go past the point of no return in felting...keep checking.

    I've never used the dryer for felting. I use the washer till I get the shape/ sz I want...then air dry. Stuff w/ balled up plastic bags if 3D shape needed.

   Last of all....don't throw out the "ruined" pr. I've seen a lot of good uses on the internet for them. People cut out shapes to make appliques for other items...knitted or not. I've seen Xmas ornaments made using cut out felted shapes as a base...then embroidery/ beads/ sewn or glued on bits/ etc. Could this be "recycled" into a bag or other item w/ a bit of creative sewing?  A pillow maybe? Or a fancy hot mat?  The edges won't ravel on a felted piece so any edging you want to add is only for decoration.

     Good Luck ..... Andrea

ps:  if it helps any...I'm still sulking over a huge bag up in my attic. It was one of my 1st tries. It's a beautiful color combo...teal w/ turquoise edges. It turned into beautifully textured fabric...but it only shrank (a lot) lengthwise. Sideways it's almost the same sz. I had even created box corners in the bottom before felting. So now I have one bag that looks the sz of 2 bags joined side by side. If I cut it into 2 bags...they will only have the box cnrs on one side each.  Hmmmm....+  there are @ least 5 - 113g skeins of ww wool in it !!!  Still thinking.....maybe someone needs a really pretty bag to carry blankets to a picnic...or a funky baby bed!!!

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ZassZ wrote
on May 24, 2010 1:35 PM

imaknit & andrea, 

Just read both of your posts - just writing to say my heart really goes out to you both - but I admire your looking at it as a "learning experience" & to say that at least you were not so discouraged that you stopped trying; but are continuing to work out the process and go on to your next project! 

I know you'll find another use for the fabric in another project and meeting the challenge can be quite fun and interesting as well.  Hmm Waste not - want not!!! 

LOVE

 And all the women who were wise of heart spun with their hands, and they kept bringing as yarn the blue thread and the wool dyed reddish purple, the coccus scarlet material and the fine linen.   Ex. 35:25 

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AndreaW wrote
on May 25, 2010 12:22 AM

Hi ZassZ...

   Thanks for your kind words!!!   I guess I sort of look @ it this way:

Knitting is a lot like life...no guarantees...but a lot of surprises along the way. May as well make the most of what you can...the alternative is NO FUN. Kind of boring/ depressing to go along thinking only about the bad stuff!!!

     Take Care .... Andrea

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imaknit wrote
on May 25, 2010 8:33 AM

Hi Andrea,

I've been travelling and away from my computer for a few days, so late getting to this.

Thanks for your advice - I now have the next pair of soakers almost done - have left the pattern at my other daughters house now, so can't finish them on my flight today, as I was hoping!  On thinking about it more, I realized I had felted the other two pairs in the dryer, and only used the washer for a blanket or two, which worked fine, but I wanted the blanket totally felted,and only wanted the the soakers partially done. 

When you use the washer to felt, how do you keep checking - how do you get your hands into the hot water?  My machine (front loading) locks too, while in use and takes a bit of time to get stopped.

I have checked my grandson, and think I can cut the soakers, restitch the side up, and hopefully, thread an elastic through the waist to make them work - time will tell. 

Your bag - would a yoga mat fit in it?  From the sounds of it it may do - of course then you need to find someone who takes yoga to use it - just a thought!

Thank you so much for your reply - it helps to know I'm not alone in my frustration.

ZassZ,

Thanks for your kind words - it IS upsetting when our work goes wrong....hopefully we can learn from our mishaps and move on, never to make that same mistake again!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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AndreaW wrote
on May 25, 2010 8:20 PM

Hi imaknit...

   My washer is a top loader...luckily!!!  Though I have talked to an appliance repairman I know + he said there are front loaders that have a cycle called "add a garment" that would make felting easier.  I will keep that in mind when the time comes to replace mine.

   But yes...I did get my hands into the hot water...ouch!!!   I also had a wooden spoon to help + a plastic pan to hold the item while I was checking it out.  I haven't done a lot of felting. I just tried it out to see some of the possibilities. I will do some again. ie: there is a free slipper patt @ Knitty I want to try. They look very comfy + warm. Could probably also apply some of that paint-on no-skid stuff.

http://knitty.com/ISSUEwinter02/PATTfuzzyfeet.html

There was also another patt I have printed off for Norwegian style felted slippers done w/ sqs in a strip that you fold/ sew into a slipper shape...then felt. It was @ "craftzine" + free when I printed it. Issue #5. However when I went now to get the link...they want you to subscribe.

    Glad to hear you think the soakers are salvagable!!!   Thanks for the yoga mat suggestion for my bag. I had thought of exercise stuff but not yoga in particular. Maybe yoga people as a group might be more interested in a felted wool bag than someone just going to the gym to work out?  I'm not trying hard to sell stuff right now...just when someone asks for something. Where I live, people more often prefer mass produced + cheaper (ie: Walmart) as  compared to unique + quality. Before I got sick...I went away to do craft shows.  I have held off on adding handles to the bag till I see what type of use it will get.

        Take Care ...... Andrea

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ZassZ wrote
on May 25, 2010 9:07 PM

Imaknit & Andrea,

Thank you both for YOUR kind words.  I have heard it said that we begin to feel the way we think.  So best to try and get those sad thoughts pushed out of the way (no time for feeling sad) and use our time to accomplish what we enjoy doing so much. 

I'm glad you got the help you needed here and know you probably enjoy this site as much as I do. 

 And all the women who were wise of heart spun with their hands, and they kept bringing as yarn the blue thread and the wool dyed reddish purple, the coccus scarlet material and the fine linen.   Ex. 35:25 

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