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-   -   Has Anybody Tried Felting?? (http://www.pets.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=74822)

pattymac January 18th, 2011 11:07 AM

Has Anybody Tried Felting??
 
I've done a little bit with my sister before we moved west and would love to try doing more.

One day my sister brought over a wool scarf she knit to felt. We had a top-loading washer and hers is a front loader, not so good for felting. Really, really neat. She's also done some wet felting which is really pretty and seems pretty easy.

BenMax January 18th, 2011 11:07 AM

What is that Pattymac?:shrug:

pattymac January 18th, 2011 12:39 PM

Basically it's kinda like the felt you buy in craft stores except way way nicer. That's caca stuff.

What you do, is you take something knit or crocheted out of wool, make it a bit bigger and throw it in the washer with hot water and a bit of detergent. It will felt and get very nice and soft. Because it shrinks, you need to make it larger than usual. Then you put it in the dryer. I've been tempted to try that with mittens as I find when they're just knit, they're not very wam but felting them would make them more wind resistant and warmer.

Longblades January 18th, 2011 01:21 PM

I do it with thrift store sweaters and make mittens out of them. You can use a top loader or a front, it doesn't matter. What matters is that you use pure wool (though I've had success with sweaters up to 80% wool) wash in hottest hot, WITH detergent, rinse in coldest cold and dry on hottest hot. I have had to do a few three times. Part of the felting comes from the agitation of the machine.

WARNING - I've made lots and lots of mittens and this plays havoc with your sewing machine. It will fill up with lint.

Here's a link to the website I used for my mitten pattern:
[url]http://www.earthheartdesigns.com/Pages/Patterns/All%20Patterns/sewn_mittens.htm[/url]

I've manged to get 5 or 6 pairs of mittens out of a man's size large sweater by adjusting the pattern to make men's, ladies and several smaller children's sizes. The hardest part is deliberately throwing some of those beautiful sweaters in the wash.

BenMax January 18th, 2011 01:22 PM

This is pretty cool!:thumbs up

quincymycat January 18th, 2011 01:22 PM

[QUOTE=pattymac;977849]I've done a little bit with my sister before we moved west and would love to try doing more.

One day my sister brought over a wool scarf she knit to felt. We had a top-loading washer and hers is a front loader, not so good for felting. Really, really neat. She's also done some wet felting which is really pretty and seems pretty easy.[/QUOTE]

This made me :D ! I have done "felting", but the one time was NOT BY CHOICE!!! I had knit a hat, mitt and scarf set for a friend from 100% wool, and had tried to wash in in cold water to prevent shrinking...but the agitation still shrunk the heck out of them!!!
I didnt even have a little one to give them too after the damage.
It was only AFTER that I had heard that doing that was called felting! :laughing:

Longblades January 18th, 2011 01:34 PM

[QUOTE=BenMax;977891]This is pretty cool!:thumbs up[/QUOTE]No, they're quite warm actually. Sorry, couldn't resist. :)

pattymac January 19th, 2011 12:02 AM

I'll have to try that with the sweaters. I'm going to Saskatoon tomorrow may have to stop at Value Village.

Melinda January 19th, 2011 05:03 AM

my daughter gets extra large mens knitted sweaters at value village and shrinks them to her size ( she's teeny tiny) she then does her patterns, but she uses a special felting needle and does it by hand, not on a machine

shirley1011 January 19th, 2011 07:35 AM

Wow! and to think of all the shrunk sweaters I threw out! Now you tell me lol

Longblades January 19th, 2011 09:23 AM

If folks want to try what I do here are some more tips.

Goodwill on their 50% off days, usually Friday, are great for buying the sweaters. Men's large give you the most to work with of course but some small ladies and even children give you lovely, lovely soft lambswool in fabulous vibrant or pastel colours. The men's colours tend to be more drab. So much for peacocks. :)

Some directions tell you to cut the sweater apart at the seams in order to give the pieces a better wash and chance to shrink evenly. But I don't. I find I often use the sweater seam as a mitten seam.

Turn the sweaters inside out when you wash. Too much agitation will blur some of the more subtle patterns.

Watch for sweaters that have identical patterns at the cuff and the body. You will have more matching opportunities that way. Not all sweaters have identical patterns on cuff and body.

Felting removes a good deal of stretch from the sweaters. I find that even though I use a body or sleeve cuff as the cuff part of my mitten it will not hold onto the wrist. I sew a small elastic around the wrist. Be sure to use one with a soft feel. Attach while mitt is still flat, before final seam.

Since I match my patterns I hand baste all my seams before stitching on the machine with a stretch stitch. Much more time consuming but I like exact matches.

I find the thumb on my pattern is too narrow for all but the most lightweight wool. I make it wider.

Hope this does not detract from the fun. The mittens are great to give as gifts, use for fund raisers or to donate to homeless shelters.


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