Felting question

We recently bought a new washing machine, and it’s a high efficiency machine, so it doesn’t have an agitator. It also does not fill up with water the way a regular machine does. It senses how much water is needed for the amount of clothing and just uses what it has to.

Has anybody tried felting in this kind of machine, and if so, has anybody had any success? It’s something I never even thought about when it was purchased, and it’s too late now to return it. I wouldn’t even know how to go about trying since I can’t even fill it up with water. Any advice would be appreciated. :think:

I am recovering right now from a felting mishap (top load, though) but I have indeed felted successfully in a front load HE washer, hot wash, cold rinse. One thing I remember, though, is that this particular model had a high water setting on it, which the manual actually said was for people who felt they needed to SEE the water to feel like their clothes were getting washed, but it did raise the water line significantly, not sure if yours has that, you might want to check the manual for a setting.

Another thing you can try, since items usually felt better with agitation, is to try to “trick” the machine by throwing a few pairs of old jeans/towels in, which will get you more water and also provide some friction.

It would also depend on your yarn, there are some yarns that will actually felt just from moving around the back seat of my car with the Florida heat and humidity (Malabrigo,) so if you’re working with something like that, you should have pretty good success. The big downfall for me was that it was incredibly difficult to monitor progress without wasting a ton of water having to drain each time. Oh and one more thing I learned, use a TEENY amount of soap for felting in an HE, the knitted item will retain it for subsequent washes.

Your best bet might be to make a small swatch and throw it in the wash so you can have a better idea before felting your actual item.

Thanks for the advice. I do have a top load machine, but I’ll check my settings and manual and see what I can come up with. I’d hate to think I couldn’t do anymore felting.

Have you tried felting in your new machine? I haven’t purchased one yet but I am leaning toward the old agitator model because of the felting issue. Please let me know…I need to purchase a machine…soon.

I’m not sure if you mean me, but mine was a new machine, top loader, and the second pair I made felted BEAUTIFULLY, I think it was the yarn in this case.

The trouble I had washing in a front load HE washer was the water level since they’re designed to use a very small amount of water. The particular model I used had an extra water setting, which they said was actually designed for people who felt like their clothes weren’t washed if they didn’t see water and soap sloshing around, and that is what I used. The other problem, though, is in order to stop and check the progress, you have to interrupt the cycle, drain, and wait for the door to unlock before you can check it, so if you’re doing something where the end size matters, it can get tedious, but it also worked really well for me.

Thanks for responding…I am going to try and research too…if you have any more advice I would appreciate it…Difficult decision.