All knitters have questions about the best way to do things, why different things happen while they are knitting, how to fix knitting mistakes and more. Here is this weeks question. Just recently I’ve had many questions about Felting so I hope this will answer everyones questions with regards to this subject.
Answer: Felting is a fun, easy technique with great results!
Felting a knitted piece makes it SHRINK. Therefore, the piece you knit will be much bigger than your felted piece will actually turn out to be. How much it shrinks depends since there are so many factors that go into it –
how hot your water is,
how much it is agitated,
the amount and kind of soap you use,
The colour of yarn (darker colours felt quicker than lighter colours), and so on.
You can felt your piece a little or a lot. If you felt it just a little (maybe by taking it out of your machine after half a cycle), you will still have stitch definition. If you felt it more, you won’t.
Just about any knitted object can be felted, from flat pieces like coasters and afghan squares to bags, belts, hats, home accessories such as scatter cushions and more. But felting can be a little mysterious and intimidating to those who have never done it before.
The Seps to follow are:
1.Wash in hot water with soap, soap actually speeds up the felting process and felting can often be improved by adding baking soda or washing soda to the water also washing felted things with other laundry can speed up the process because agitation is another important element for the felting. Take the knitted piece and place it in a mesh wash bag. You can also use a zippered pillow case, and some people prefer to just put the piece itself in the washer. I personally like to use a bag because when the piece felts, the process does leave some residual remnants of yarn in the washing machine. The bag helps keep them contained and easily cleaned up.
There are two schools of thought about agitation – some like to just use the wash cycle agitation, but some people like to add elements to help the agitation. (i.e. tennis balls, an old pair of jeans, tennis shoes, etc.) I have tried both methods, and in most cases, I choose not to use any additional materials, but rather just used the heavy wash cycle on my washing machine.
The settings on your washing machine should be the following:
Water level – the lowest setting
Water Temperature: Hot
This process could take up to 20-25 minutes to complete. Check frequently and keep turning back the wash cycle on your washing machine to continue felting.
2.Rinse in cool water this “locks” the fibers in place. Be careful not to let the piece spin too long, or it will get permanent creases set into it. The spin cycle is mainly to help get most of the liquid out of the piece.
3.Air dry ,If you are making a piece that needs to be to a particular shape ( a rectangle piece for a bag), it is likely be lopsided when it comes out of the washer. BEFORE you let it dry adjust it to the right shape (remember: once felted, there’s no changing it back) or pin it into shape on a blocking board or terry cloth towel and let it dry there.
Be sure to follow any specific felting instructions for the piece you are making, and check your piece a few times during your felting process to make sure you are getting the desired results.
Since felting “fuses” the fibers together, you can cut it!, if your piece is truly felted, it won’t unravel. That means you can cut into the bottom to make a cute fringe, you can cut strips of felted fabric and plait them there’s no end of things you can do!
Mixing yarns is really fun with felting. Try mixing fun fur and Wool, wait till you see the results! because the fun fur won’t felt you get wicked furry effects! You can try lots of other yarn comdnations to see what looks coolest – remember, only the wool will felt, so you can create great textural differences with mixing.
There’s no limit to this craft, so play around and let your imagination go wild!
If you have a knitting question for Knitting Galore, please email it to : firstname.lastname@example.org or Please post it as a comment here. All questions will be answered, and many are selected and answered each wednesday here on the Blog.