Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Marianna's Felting Project

Have you ever ruined a wool sweater by putting it through the laundry? Felting is doing that on purpose--knitting something with wool, then soaking and agitating it in hot water until it shrinks and thickens.

Last year I made an entrelac (diamond patterned) felted potholder. Now Marianna has joined the club. Remember that yarn she bought without a plan? With a little help (she made almost every stitch) Marianna knit a potholder which we felted just in time for Mimi and Granddad's Confirmation visit.

Before: And after: Isn't the transformation amazing? Here's the change in texture, from open and distinctto thick, merging color.Notes:
  • Marianna used #11 needles and garter stitch (only knit, no purl). Each row has 24 stitches. I would cast on more next time and try to get closer to a square shape.
  • Her wool selection is Lamb's Pride bulky (85% wool/15% mohair) in Prairie Goldenrod. I haven't measured the leftovers yet, but if there's not enough for another potholder (and there may be), she can use the rest for coasters, an eraser, or something we haven't imagined yet.
  • After binding off but before cutting the yarn, I made the corner loop by crocheting a chain and sewing the end of it back onto the potholder.
  • There are lots of resources online and at the library explaining how to felt. We soaked Marianna's project in hot water with just a touch of dishwashing liquid, then agitated it with a heavy towel until it was the right size. We weren't supposed to use a towel because it releases a lot of fuzz of its own, but it was the best light-colored choice available. The characteristics of this yarn plus the towel made for much trimming--a haircut, if you will.
Here is the original fuzziness (see above for the final look):
UPDATED TO ADD: To felt most easily, you'll need a washing machine that fills with water and that can be interrupted many times during agitation. This means most front loaders (especially water savers) won't work. Find a friend with an older model!

1 comment:

Mom/Mimi said...

I absolutely love my pot holder and I especially appreciate all the work and dedication that went into each stitch. Thank you so much Marianna.
Lots of love,
Mimi