Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Felting success!

I have had my fingers in so many knitting projects this week, I nearly forgot to report on our felting party from Friday night. Although knuknitter had to miss the event in favor of rehearsal for her next play, Mom and I were joined by a cheering section of spouse-o Bill, my brother, Mel and Grant. We ate my favorte fall dinner of mushroom barley soup and salad and started felting after dinner. Why so late? Well, I hadn't finished the I-cord borders of my mosaic tote and the 7 x 4 = 28 ends to weave in at the top of the bag. Sigh. Poor planning on my part.

This photo essay shows our progress from knitting to blocking.

The week before: Mom, knuknitter and me, knitting away (thanks for the snap, Adam!)

Where we started


Felting in progress


This part was kind of tough. I'm going to have to find the manual for the washing machine before I do this again, becuase it was really hard to keep the water HOT. This Kenmore machine has that odd Calypso rocker plate at the bottom, and runs with very very low water level and not much agitation. "That's OK," I thought, "at least it will be washing in nice hot water." But several times when I put my hands in to check status, the water wasn't hot at all. I even poured some boiling water straight in. Still didn't stay very hot.

Finished & drying


(See the soup pot? thank heavens we were done with dinner!) Despte the water issues, I think my bag came out quite nicely. I thought the diamond panels would square up a bit more in the felting and I'm not totally thrilled with their lumpiness, but I like the bag anyway.

Things to adjust for next time:
  • Buy a $3 pair of sneakers to kick the felting around in the machine
  • Find the washing machine manual and figure out how to keep the water hot
  • Make sure all edges of color areas look good before felting. The mosaic sections could have been picked up a bit closer to the "live stitch" for tighter diamonds.
But we declared victory anyway and we like our felty bags. We'll just have to keep at it to learn to be felt-masters!


Blogger Wiz Knitter said...

Well, you can always come over and use our very old-fashioned nice hot washing machine instead of your nifty modern water-conserving one. I wonder how Christina does it?

November 08, 2005 4:32 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Congrats on finishing and felting your mosaic tote. It looks like it came out great. I find felting is always a bit of a mystery. You never know (at least I don't) exactly how the project will come out. I've felted the same pattern a couple of times with different pieces and every one comes out unique.

~ Christina

November 08, 2005 4:33 PM  
Blogger Bogie said...

What a great tote! I really like how it turned out.

Felting, Mushroom Barley soup, and good company. What a great evening.

November 08, 2005 5:05 PM  
Anonymous sequinK said...

Congrats on your successful felting adventure! Your projects turned out great. I have had the best felting luck when adding hot water from the tea kettle, some flip flops, a pair of old jeans and just a little soap. But like Christina mentioned, you never **really** know how anything's going to turn out -- it's all part of the fun!

November 08, 2005 5:16 PM  
Anonymous jeni said...

What a success! I love the way the tote came out. Hope you mom loves her bag too. I adore the colors she chose.

November 09, 2005 9:17 AM  
Blogger Abigail said...

Your tote looks great! When will you be at SnB again so I can see it in person? :)

November 11, 2005 2:37 PM  

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