Curious about felting

I did a search and read some of the threads about felting and it looks really neat! I’d like to give it a try sometime, but have a few questions.

Normally most wools itch me…what happens when the wool is felted? Does it change the feel of it as far as itchiness? Are some wools better as far as this characteristic?

that is a good question. I have a friend I offered to make an oregon tote for and she said wool makes her itchy all over and I wonder if a felted purse would be itchy for her also. Hmm I hope someone knows. I love wool it doesnt bother me a bit. I can wear a wool sweater comando and wouldnt phase me a bit so I am not one to test this theory on.

Wool doesn’t bother me, either, but the felted clogs I made were a lot softer after felting than before. I used Cascade 220. I don’t know about other felted yarns. Most felted things aren’t worn next to the skin–lots of bags and such, so it may not be a big issue.

How much smaller do knitted items become? Would a long strap become shorter and less wide?

Does it matter how big the needles were when you were knitting? Does a smaller knit = a better felt? Is there such a thing?

Also, do you use soap when felting, or just water?

I don’t know if there is a formula for felting. It really depends on the wool and needle size.

As far as size, bigger is better. Every felted pattern I’ve seen calls for very loose fabric. I don’t think tighter felts as well.

Wool has little hairs on it that make the wool stitck to itself and therefore become smaller and more dense. Agitation and hot water make this process happen in a controlled way. Superwash wool and some bleached wool lose these little hairs and don’t felt.

A tiny bit of soap is added–not much at all. Items are washed in a washer with hot water and other things, like jeans, to provide agitation. Usually the knitted item is in a net bag or pillowcase to keep it contained and keep some of the lint in.

Everything I read says to use Wool Mix… do you suggest Wool Mix, Ingrid? I forgot to pick it up at the craft store today, darn it!

I have a jar of wool wash that I use a tiny, tiny bit of when I block my sweaters. I don’t know if its necessary, but it makes sense.

Thanks. I’ll have to experiment a bit I guess to see what works for me. :wink:

shame on me , when i did my oregon tote i use teeny bit of tide, i didnt have woolwashing liquid. it came ot very felted and very fast. I used lambs pride and I love that stuff, but dying to try WOTA

I use, like 1 TEASPOON of regular laundry detergent…I use that Hippie Treehugger Seventh Generation stuff…they come out fine.

Lambs Pride felts up THICKER than WOTA. I saw a pair an an LYS by my mother’s house & they were CUSHY!! I THOUGHT the WOTA ones were cushy before, but OOOOOH!

Do ya do it on teh rinse cycle?

I tried felting for the first time today. After an hour and a half of continual rinse and agitate cycles, the knitted bag pieces were still that, knitted bag pieces. I put them in with hot water and just a wee bit of soap. And I had heavy pants in their to help increase agitation. :thinking:

But…after a very long 90 minutes, I gave up. So now I have a sewed up bag that looks really raggedy and a strap that looks worn. They didn’t felt all the way, but they look worn and old. :doh: :doh:

Are you certain that you used 100% wool, and not a superwash wool or wool blend with acrylic??

Um, what is superwash wool? ???

I used Red Heart Super Saver, since I’ve got a huge stash. I’d thrown away the labels, but from what I read, it didn’t say super wash.

I’m sorry daydreamer, :crying: but Red Heart Yarns are acrylic and won’t felt.

For good wool to felt with, try Knitpicks Wool of the Andes. :thumbsup:

There’s a link to that site through the forum, and if you order through here it helps Amy out.

Felting won’t work if the yarn isn’t wool (or other animal fiber). :frowning:


Oh, and superwash wool is wool that’s been treated to make it machine washable. It’s great for socks! It also won’t felt - but it also can be machine washed without turning into the [size=6]incredible [/size][size=2]shrinking [/size][size=1]yarn[/size]


Ugh. That’s a bummer. :crying: Any ideas on how to turn the worn-out looking bag pieces and strap into something else that actually loooks nice?

Are you still able to unravel it and just knit something else???

I’ll try.