I'm afraid to felt!

I’ve been lurking for over a month on these boards. I check the message a couple of times a day. I have to say I love it!

Anyway, I had some Icelandic Lopi left over from a shrug I made, and I decided to make the felted hat from the patterns on this site. I’ve got the hat done, but now I’m afraid to take the next step and actually felt it! :oo:

Any tips and/or hints?

Michelle Breton

Doing a search in the forum with the term “felting” will give you lots of hints. Google has a lot as well. Basically you just put the item to be felted into a lingerie bag or pillowcase and toss in in the washer with hot water, a tiny bit of detergent and a pair of jeans or two and then check it every 5 min or so till it’s felted as much as you want. Then you can let either let the washer finish up (reset to the drain and rinse part) or rinse it yourself and let it dry. Some people put things in the dryer, too.

If you haven’t felted the yarn before it’s a good idea to felt a swatch to see how quickly it felts. You can adjust your checking time based on that.

Felting is easy, and it seems like magic!

Some tips:

  1. Put the hat in a closable cloth bag or a pillowcase with a zipper or a plain pillowcase that you tie shut. This keeps the little bits of fluff that come off during the process from clogging your washing machine filter.

  2. Use a top-loading washer, the hottest water and the lowest amount of water you can.

  3. Throw in a pair of jeans or some other fairly heavy and hearty object to add to the agitation.

  4. Use a mild soap made for wool.

  5. Let it agitate for a while, then begin checking it. Pull it out of the machine and its bag, look at it and evaluate it for size and stitch definition. Put it back in and agitate if it needs it; if it seems “done,” take it out and rinse it, get as much water as you can out of it (see number 8 below), shape it (maybe stuff it with newspapers to hold its shape), and let it air dry.

  6. You might need more than one cycle of agitation. Just keep checking it at appropriate intervals.

  7. Don’t let it go through the spin cycle. If your washing machine is like mine, you can prevent that by leaving the lid open.

  8. Don’t twist it to remove excess water. Roll it in a towel and press it and squeeze it or even step on it, but twisting isn’t so good for knitted things, even after felting.

Don’t be afraid of it – it’s easier than knitting! If you knitted the hat, you’ve done all the hard work!

You could always do a small swatch first if you have some of the same yarn used for the hat. Or you could make some paper cranes first. Check out this link:

or this one:

Just measure pre felt and post felt, and how much time it took and you’ll know how long to do the hat. GOod luck!

I did it! :cheering: :cheering:

I decided to knit up a swatch and felt that first. Then I put the real McCoy in! It came out pretty good…I think! At first I was a little concerned that perhaps it would still be too big, but I’ve been pinching and prodding and squishing it in and I THINK it’ll be OK…stay tuned!