It didn't shrink!

Hi everybody, I am new, and do I need help.
I knit a tote using Highland 100% wool yarn. Before felting it measured 17" in height and was suppose to end up after felting at 10" in height. I washed it 4 times in hot water, cool rinse and I even dried it in the dryer. It came out at 15" in height.
Where did I go wrong. :pout:
Any suggestions are welcome.
Thank you.
Marilynn

PS Your forum looks great.

What was the yarn? Could it be that it was 100% wool, but that it was superwash? A yarn can be wool, but still not be feltable if it has been treated to make it superwash (ie. machine washable).

It was Galoway Highland and it was a feltable wool. It felted, but did not shrink like I was told it would.
Hmmmm
Marilynn

Sometimes it takes a lot of trips through the washer to felt. Did you throw in some jeans with the bag to give it some extra agitation? Did you have it in a zippered bag or pillowcase? All of these help with felting. I usually don’t let it spin and rinse–just keep in in the hot water chugging along.

Sounds like the wool is fine, so it’s the felting process that is the issue. What was your washer set to and did you put anything else in with the bag? Agitation while in the hot water is critical to getting felting to happen. You want a low water level and extra heavy stuff (I usually do a small load and put in 2-3 bath towels or pairs of jeans as agitation aids) for the best felting. Putting the item to be felted in a zippered pillowcase also helps with agitation as well as traps lint and reduced the chance that your washer drain will get clogged. Also, as Ingrid mentioned, you don’t have to let the washer cycle through. I will set my machine for the longest agitation time, then check on the item being felted before that time is up and reset the machine back to the beginning if it isn’t felted/small enough yet. I only let it rinse and spin after it is completely done. (Be careful not to spin so long/hard that it puts creases in the felt - these can be impossible to get out.)

The good news for your bag is that if you continue to agitate it in hot water it should continue to felt and shrink further.

Good Luck!

When felting something make sure the water is set on low, very hot and toss in a pair of jeans. Check regularly to make sure it’s felting the way you want. When it’s done then rinse and block it.

Don’t forget to add some dish detergent while washing…I forgot this last time I felted a hat and was very fustrated until someone reminded to add the Dawn. The scrubbing bubbles really work !!

Thanks to everyone for the tips.
It is 4:30 am here, and I can’t sleep, so I am going to throw the tote in the washer, in a pillow case, hot water, lowest level water, dish soap, and some tennis shoes and towles. (cold rinse, gentle when done)
I want it to shrink. I never thought I would want something to shrink so bad before in my life. :shrug:
I will let you know what happens.
Marilynn

Is it possible you knit it a bit tightly? Knitting looser seems to be recommended so the stitches have more room to felt. But more cycles should help.
Sarah

I just completed the last wash cylce, for 30 minutes with the tennis shoes, The tote shrunk another inch, it is now 14 inches.

I am a new knitter, so I am sure my stitches are tighter than an experienced knitter.

So, I guess I will try the wash cycle one more time, I don’t know if it will ever get down to 10 inches.
This is diffinetly a learning cruve for me.
:wall:
Marilynn

I used 100% wool hand dyed from E-bay and I couldn’t get my clogs to felt small enough either.The yarn was thin so used two strands together but other then that Nothing different .My other clogs felted fine.I washed these clogs almost all day :wall: and they just wouldn’t get small enough.I look like I have on clown shoes.I was wondering if it had anything to do with the wools that aren’t from a yarn company :shrug: One pair I made out of Lopi,& another out of WOA,and they turned out perfect.

don’t let it complete the cycle, keep restarting the wash cycle before it gets to the rinse, and keep doing this, for hours if you have to, unless it becomes apparent that you are getting no more shrink out of your wool.

Thought I would let you know, I finished my tote, ended up 13" high. I appliqued some wool flowers on the front, it looks real nice.
I will post a pic later, if I can figure that out.
Thanks for all the tips and encouragement.

Marilynn