15 February 2007

How Not To: Felt

Here's the first of probably many entries in the series of "How Not To" do something. Hopefully, someone can learn from my mistakes and avoid some of the "fun" I've had.

So, how not to felt. Felting is when you wash a wool garment and the fibers meld together. It can produce a really cool look for knitted or crocheted items. I had thought about trying it for awhile, and had read some articles on it. It seemed simple enough.

When I decided to remake my Aran-style wool pullover into a bag (see previous post), I thought about how it would look felted. Unfortunately, I thought about this AFTER I had cut the sweater in to. My "brilliant" plan was to try felting the sleeves to see if I liked the look of the wool. If I did, then I'd do the part I was using for the purse.

Let me remind you that this sweater was machine made, not hand knitted. Which means that it is made up of many small pieces of yarn, not one continuous one as in hand knitting. So I throw the piece in the washer with some towels and go do other stuff. Return when load has finished to find-----a mess!!!! Bits of yarn were all through the washer, and what didn't come apart, was wadded up. No, I didn't take a picture. Fortunately, the trash can was nearby, and it was chucked in there.

If I had any sense (which is doubtful, sometimes), I could have tried sewing around the cut edge to better hold it together. Or, put it in a pillowcase, again to help keep it together. But no, I just threw it in.

Oh well. Lesson learned.

Here's some web sites to check out to learn how you should felt a wool sweater. Obviously, I need to read them CAREFULLY!!

http://www.hgtv.com/hgtv/cr_accessories_purses/article/0,1789,HGTV_3227_4224963,00.html
http://www.getcrafty.com/viewtopic.php?p=18316
http://www.thestar.com/article/154414

If anyone has any other sites or instructions for felting wool sweaters, please pass them along. I need all the help I can get. I also need to find another wool sweater to try it on (and in Memphis, wool if not easily found!)

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