Felted bag project

[COLOR=“Purple”]Okay so I’ve done some researching on a few of my questions but I still need some answers.
I am knitting a bag that I am going to felt. It’s a pattern from Lion Brand. This is my first felting project by the way…

My first question is: Should I go to the laundromat and do this? Because I have a front loading washing machine. So this mean I won’t be able to check on it every 5 minutes. I would have to just let it run through the whole washing cycle. One of my fears is that the straps will felt together with the bag!

Second question: My I-cord’s are loosely knitted. Is this okay? I just followed the pattern and I had no idea I was even knitting an I-cord.(The pattern just said “handles”). I just watched Amy’s video right now because I had a feeling I was knitting one. But in her video it says to make sure the first stitch is tight. Is this nessesary in a felting project?

Another Question: What is the best seam to do for a felting project?? I still need to sew the seams for the sides of the bag.

I have to leave for work now :frowning: I want to stay home and knit!!! I’ll be back in 5 hours. Thanks!!![/COLOR]

well, I am not a real seasoned knitter, but I have done a few felted bags. In my opinion, you really do need to check on the bag while it is in the machine. I let one of my bags go a little too long and it came out way too small! I think the i-cord will be fine since it will be felted. The bags I have done didn’t need to be seamed. I did have to join the handle on the Lucy Bag and that was with kitchener stitch. Hope this helps a little.
Ginny

Most commercial machines can’t be opened after you’ve started the cycle. I have a top loader, do the front loaders not have a short cycle like 6 minutes? I never thought of this problem… Most machines drain and have a pause before spinning. I can also interrupt any of the cycles, move to a drain and stop the cycle. You are not supposed to let the machine wring it for you or it may distort it beyond recognition. Once the item is the desired size, remove from machine and rinse in cool/tepid water. Do not wring it but I sorta mash it down against the sinkbed to get rid of dripping water. Then take the item and roll is in a dry towel. Once you have most of the water out, stuff to keep the shape. If you have to pull it, now is the time because once it’s dry it can’t be reshaped. Don’t play with it if it needs reshaping, be forceful. The felted item is very tough and much stronger than the yarn it was knitted/crocheted from.

Seaming should be done before felting. The item will felt more on the rows(top to bottom) than on the stitches(side to side). Save all of your plastic grocery bags to use for stuffing the bag so it will dry to the proper shape. I also use foam rubber cut into the shape to help it keeps its form while drying. Check your bag before felting for any dropped stitches or holes and repair. The larger the needles used, the more felting or shrinking will occur. Always put about 1/4 cup of a mild detergent(baby shampoo is perfect) into the machine when felting. It helps condition the fibers and helps keep it soft. Besides, it will take any oils or odors out picked up while knitting or crocheting.

Another thing I’ve found when felting… You can set the washer for a low water height and hot water, let it stop… then reset the water height to medium and finish filling with warm water. This will let your item felt slower, then the lowest time setting will work. It’s going to felt no matter what because of the aggitation. With the little cooler water, it’s also alot less painful for you to reach in and check it. Make sure to throw in an old, clean pair or two of jeans and maybe a couple of old, clean tennis shoes… You’ll need more aggitation items for the higher level of water. I do all this and usually set my timer for 7-8 minutes. BUT, like Ginny tells you, the felting will sneak up on you and you need to check it. Holler if you have any other bag felting ???, hope this helps… sorry if I repeated myself…

Thanks so much for asking this question! I have a new front-loading machine, and I’m wanting to make the Fiber Trend felted clogs, but I haven’t started them yet, as I didn’t know how to felt with my washer…so even if I can’t, I hadn’t thought of the laundromat! :happydance:

~Tik

I use my front loading machine to felt and it works fine. I set it on Heavy Wash and set a timer for 8-10 minutes. After 8-10 minutes I turn off the machine and I am able to open the door. If the felting needs more time (always), I re-set the washer to the beginning of the same cycle and set a timer for 5-8 minutes and check the item again. Repeat as necessary.