Help felting Lamb's Pride Worsted?

I did some research and I did read that this one takes longer, but I’ve frankly lost count of how many runs through the wash I’m up to. I’ve also tried doing the cold rinse, using a bit of regular detergent, adding baking soda, soaking for 15 (and then 20) minutes in the hot water before agitating, etc. I haven’t felted in a while and only the second time with this machine (new top loader purchased in 01/2011) and the first time worked beautifully. What’s odd is ONE section of the items are felted perfectly gorgeous, but the part that’s more important to felt for sizing has barely, if at all.

Anyone have any other tips or at least had similar experience so I don’t freak out? LOL. Thanks in advance!

ETA: Oh, I do have one specific question. I know to add jeans/towels, etc. to the wash and use the smallest load size possible for the best agitation, but is there like a recommended amount of additional things? I keep adding items hoping it will help.

I’ve never used that yarn, but a generally you use the hottest water you can, low level, jeans (or towels) and agitation. If these don’t work are you positive it’s not the super wash wool?

I’m 100% positive it was their regular Lamb’s Pride Worsted which is supposedly excellent for felting. Knitter’s Review did a series on felting and said it took 26 minutes (I’m probably closer to 26 wash cycles lol,) which was longer than most other wools, but that it felted just fine and maybe a bit thicker than other felts, but nothing else about it really. I even tried submerging in a bowl of ice and then back in the hot as I read that somewhere (I’d heard the temperature shock sometimes helps before reading that.)

I think I’m going to give it one more shot in a full wash and if it doesn’t work, just going to have to run out tomorrow and find some wool, I’m afraid. :confused: I just don’t have much of a selection locally, hopefully I can find something!

Thanks a bunch!

This is bizarre! I can’t imagine why it’s not working then!

Yeah, I think I officially give up. The last round (that I said I was giving up after,) I thought I started to see some felting action finally, so I did it one more go before bed and again just now and I’m just still not happy with the result and am off to try to find last-minute birthday wool in a few minutes. :stuck_out_tongue: I think I might write them to see if they have any thoughts, although it will be too late probably. At this point, if the recipient knew how much water has gone into attempting to felt them, she would be pretty unhappy with me (and I can’t say I’d blame her) so I really just need to call it.


Try throwing it in the dryer on hot.

Check to see what temperature your water heater is set on. It may not be hot enough to do a good job. Or try a washer at the laundry mat. They usually are much hotter than mine at home. Also, as stated above, throw them in one of their dryers. They get quite hot.

My water is very, very hot… guessing maybe 140-150 degrees. I’ll have to check it when I felt these slippers I’m working on. I just use a meat thermometer.

Another thing you could do is to hand wash this in hot water in the sink. I just bought this device for hand washing, the Breathing Mobile Washer. It’s the stupidest looking thing. It looks like a plunger with baffles on the end. I thought I was throwing my money away. But when I got it, it does everything the company claims it does. You put clothes in a gallon and a half of water, agitate it for two or three minutes, rinse it in clear water and briefly plunge it again, wring it out and hang it out to dry.

Darned if this thing doesn’t work! It got my son’s grungy pizza delivery shirt that was black and just about ready to walk away spotless. It cleaned the embroidered work logo patch and even got out some of the set in stains left from those expensive HE front loader machines at the laundromat. He texted me to thank me, amazed that it got out the pocket stains from his ink pens. I have a white work shirt for my food industry job that I’m supposed to keep spotless. It had ground in dirt and food stains left from the machine that I couldn’t get out, and I’ve tried all the detergents and spot removers. My shirts were impeccable after just one use of this invention.

This stupid little device cleans my clothes better than those fancy machines, saves me time, and money. I imagine something like this would be great for felting as well, since you’d have better control over the whole process.

How awesome is that little contraption! I want one just to have one! :stuck_out_tongue: And also it would be great for things I wear a lot like PJ bottoms that don’t fill up a load and maybe even for superwash hand knit socks!

And it’s funny since you mention it for felting, I recall on an episode of Knitty Gritty, Michael del Vecchio was demonstrating a felted bag pattern from his book and recommended a large rubbermaid container and a plunger for small items and/or people that don’t have a washer. I’m sure it would be fantastic for felting most things, but I’m afraid this particular item (I am deliberately not saying because it’s for a gift and you never know where the recipient might be lurking (fellow knitter)) really requires a full-on very sturdy and fairly consistent felting for multiple reasons and I remember years back there were several KH’ers who tried non-washer felting options that weren’t successful. It might work, though, who knows!

My water is pretty darn hot, hot enough that I feel scalded when I was digging in the washer for them, although I will say that I am fairly sensitive to hot water as a general rule. I even would let the washer fill for a few seconds until the water got full-on hot, drain the cool water out, and re-start with the full-on hot. I did try the dryer thing, although I was trying to avoid it (I’ve read that it can sometimes cause irreversible creases and such in felted items,) and I actually think I did get it down to size (maybe even too small now lol) but even so, it’s still not felted properly and there’s a particular aspect of such that will make it undesirable for the recipient (again, cryptic on purpose, I apologize. If you remind me next week I’ll explain LOL)

I did contact Brown Sheep just to see if they had anything to offer, but nothing yet. I’m really sort of sad about it, not only because of the gift pinch it’s put me in (I was able to get some wool at JoAnn’s thankfully) it was my first time using the yarn and I LOVED it and absolutely adore the color range and price, so I hoped I’d found a new staple felting yarn (and maybe non-felted too where I wouldn’t mind a single, I find it quite soft, although some might not :cry:)

Thanks, everyone!

A lot of utility companies have recommended to their customers in the last several years that said customers reduce the thermostats on their water heaters to 120 deg F to save energy.

If yours is at 120 deg F–which is hot enough to feel very hot–and isn’t doing the job, and Jan in CA’s is at 140-150 deg F and is felting well, then we may be narrowing down to the minimum temp required for this method of felting. And it def. sounds like NO energy has been saved, least of all your own!

I haven’t tried felting anything yet, but my water heater is not lowered in temp and, after this, it may not ever be…


Just for the record…my water is that hot, but I usually wash in cold water unless I’m felting or need to sanitize something. :thumbsup:

Brown Sheep is nice yarn. However, I’ve heard from this forum that some just aren’t as good for felting. I thought someone mentioned that Cascade is one that felts well. It’s probably nothing you’ve done. I like to knit small swatches to test the felting properties. If it doesn’t work out, they make great little dishwashing scrubbies.

As for the Breathing Mobile Washer, did you see how they dry the clothes? They use a “solar powered dryer” (clothesline) lol

Yeah, I’m totally not sure on the temperature. I can tell you that I can’t get into a hot tub set at 103 degrees, so I’d say it’s somewhere between 110 and 9000 degrees LOL. (Comparing it to a hot tub, if I had to guess, I’d say you’re correct about the 120.) I can say that I felted in this washer once before (it’s newish) and it was a mish-mosh of varying brand scraps knit into a lovely oven mitt and it felted perfectly. I guess the true test will be in a few days (hopefully tomorrow!) when I felt #2!

Cascade defintely felts well, in my experience. Have had nothing but good experiences with that and Malabrigo Worsted, Plymouth Galway, Berroco Ultra Alpaca (one of my very favorites for felting because it gets a beautiful hairy fuzz to it, I know some people don’t like that in felting,) Knit Picks Wool of the Andes, Manos del Uruguay… I’m sure more, but that’s all I can think of. :stuck_out_tongue: Really, the only time I’ve ever had a felting problem before this was with some Barlett Yarn that I got on clearance from an online store going out of business. I noticed when I got it that it had a very pungeant and persistent smell about it (not unpleasant, but not pleasant either,) so I don’t think it was the fault of me or the yarn, maybe how it was stored/treated prior to my purchase, but still lovely yarn (I have a project OTN with the same batch, just not felting this time.)

Lol @ “solar powered dryer,” that’s awesome! :teehee:

Just an update, as promised. They were Fiber Trends AC-33 clogs, which I’ve made about a dozen pairs of and never had this problem with. Once a knitter friend of mine felted them for me and “accidentally” felted a size 11 down to her size 8 teehee (aside from the Bartlett thing.) Other than that, nothing but perfect and beautiful clogs. And it was because they were the clogs that the proper felting was so important, not just for fit, but so there weren’t huge garter ridges sticking up and out of the inner and outer soles (which there very much still were, the only thing that felted really well was the cuff and the upper part, which was mixed with Malabrigo.) I was able to locate wool from a not-terribly-distant Joann’s (was surprised to find the half decent selection actually) and completed the second pair on the afternoon of her birthday and attempted to felt and it went beautifully. I ran out of time as we had plans that evening so I didn’t get them felted down to her actual size, but they began to felt well before the 1st cycle was up and half into the 2nd cycle, they were near perfect with no ridges, so now I can say without a doubt that it isn’t the washer. (Being she’s a knitter as well, I actually don’t think half-felted was a bad idea, now they can fit her perfectly when she completes felting, just not my preference for gifts LOL)

I did contact Brown Sheep, but have not yet heard back, so I went ahead and sent an inquiry to the online store I got it from (not a complaint, just to ask for future reference really because I thoroughly enjoyed working with the yarn and was hoping it would be a new felting staple) and will share if I get any pertinent info regarding the yarn specifically.

Thanks again, everyone!!!

I would like to find out what your pattern is for the clogs. Are you willing to share? Is this something you just wear around the house or could you walk around with these outside? I’m thinking maybe if you would sew a thin leather sole to it, like moccasins?

It’s the good old Fiber Trends AC-33 (New version) and they do have instructions for adding soles and the ones that didn’t come out right, I happened to use the join method that’s used for joining soles. However, I think the ridges on the inside might be more uncomfortable, or did you mean to sew them in both?


I’m working on my first pair of clogs right now, but I have the old pattern. Seems to be working fine for me though. I’m using Ella Rae Classic and Manos de Uruguay Maxima. :thumbsup:

I’m glad it worked out for you in the end. That’s weird that the Brown Sheep didn’t felt. I wonder if it was a mis-marked superwash or something. :shrug:

I still prefer the old version on the teal paper definitely! I hope you’re enjoying it!

I have one question about your attempted clogs; what color were they? I’ve heard, but never verified by experience that very light colors don’t felt as well, especially white. I recently knit up one Fiber Trends slipper, not a clog in a light yellow (because I have it, not because I thought it was the best color for slippers) of some real old wool I got at a second hand store. I wonder if it will felt well?