Wednesday, September 27, 2006


Warning: felting novice

I made my first felted box this weekend, and I love it, even though it didn't felt very well. This was the project that made me get the book, since I like the idea of making things other than sweaters. I especially liked the text accompanying the box pattern, where she says sometimes she just rearranges the boxes on the shelf, feeling pleased with herself. That is so me.

Anyway, I used the recommended yarn and needles, and I washed it twice in hot water (front-loading machine) and it isn't really felted much. You can't see from the picture, but the felting is irregular, with patches that are felted and patches that show the stitches very well. Do I just need to wash it more times? I really like this size box, since it fits CDs so well, but I want to figure out how to uniformly felt things before making a bunch more.

When I've had that issue, one more go through the wash seems to even it out. I must say that I really like the "texture" and since it serves the purpose of CD holder so well, I'd tend to leave it alone.
Front loading washers do not aggitate as well as top loaders in general. JMHO
I agree with MJ...Get thee to a laundry mat or use a friend's washer and you will be much happier. I use my felting as an excuse to visit my mom...
I have a front loader and have felted with success. I load up the washer with some towels, old jeans and a few tennis balls. It still takes 2 tries but it does work. Good luck!
When I tried felting my buttonhole bag at the laudromat, it barely felted. I wanted a really stiff bag so I visited good ol' mom, who has a brand new front loader. Having read all the warnings about frontloaders here, I was apprehensive so I set it on a super long heavy-duty hot wash - this sucker went for an hour! When I pulled the bag out, I cracked up because, while it looked exactly how I wanted it to look (no visible rows, all felted up) it was also half the size I was expecting! No biggie, I just use it as an individual project bag and it's so dang cute!

So to answer your question: just keep washing it until it's the feltiness you want (unless you like the size it is now - if that's the case, forget it).
I also have a front loader. I have two reccomendations: make sure you have jeans and or towels to fill up the washer plus add some tennis bali I use 6. Also you may have problems with your water acidity. Try adding some baking soda. It can take up to 4 or more times to felt in my frony loader. Good Luck! Don;t give up.
Don't forget the jeans or something like it. You need them to help agitate.
It looks great in the picture! And the perfect size for CD's. I'm inspired to try one.
I felted a bag out of Cascade 220 and it came out much like yours looks, although it is evenly felted and you say yours is not.
Did you use size 15 needles, like it says in the errata, or did you use size 10 like it says in the first printing of the book? If you used smaller needles the stitches may have been too tight to felt enough to lose stitch definition. As for front-loading versus top-loading machines: I felted my first three boxes in my moms top loader and ran them through 2 cycles and then did three more in my front loader in 2 cycles and they're the same. I think my water gets hotter than my mom's, and I think front loaders have longer wash cycles, so those could be factors too.
I discovered by accident how well my front loader actually felts when I washed a felted lunch bag of mine with a pair of sandals. Oh baby! I can barely fit my lunch into the bag now.
Thanks for all your comments, I guess felting is a little more trial and error than I was expecting. I did use the larger needles, and added other stuff to the wash cycle, but I didn't use "rough" stuff like jeans or tennis balls, so I might try that. I have the larger size boxes all knitted and ready to felt, maybe I will experiment more on those.
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