Thursday, June 23, 2005

Yeah, Felt This....

Sorry, no picture this morning because your OddBall is disorganized and apparently can't count to "2" without assistance or a calculator or a any event, today is the Second Day and once again, we are column-less....let the bull***t roll.

Felting...what gives with the ever loving felting? For the record, I've had it with that technique. I did up two items -- one was some hand dyed yardage that is eventually going to be a needle case. The other is a purse. Both are Briggs & Little Regal 100% wool heavy worsted weight. Both were knit on the same knitting machine with the same tension. Both were washed together in the same washing machine, in fact in the same cycles.

And the results, you ask?

The yardage felted. The purse didn't. The yardage, for the most part, looks good in that felt-y kind of way. The stitch definition has disappeared and it is decidedly smaller. The purse still has all kinds of stretch, the stitches aren't matted and well, it's bigger because the bugger hasn't bloodly shrunk.

I give up.

Liz and I were talking because that's what we do every bloody night of life and she said she recently read somewherethat lighter coloured yarns felt less sucessfully than darker coloured yarns. Does this bear out with other people's experiences? My true felting disasters to date have given me every reason to believe there just might be something to this conspiracy theory.

So there, you fibre junkie persons out there, and I know you're listening -- What do you think? Does the colour of the yarn have an effect on the final results in felting? If so, any ideas why? Send your comments, theories, experiences, criticisms, observations, witticisms, mad ramblings and torrents of senseless bloggery to the comments section.

I may have to gear up and go scientific on this one.

Talk at you'se all laters; thanks for reading.


At 11:13 a.m., June 23, 2005, Anonymous Karin said...

Sorry, I have only had 'good' results with felting. But I've only done it twice. First I did a purse. Made with gifted stash that was a bunch of wool in a bag without labels. I think it was Lopi. Only part of the handle didn't felt well, and I think it was some sort of superwash wool. Anyway, the purse/bag was my constant over the winter and I had rave reviews. Most of the colours are dark - black, dark brown, burgundy, medium brown - although there is a bit of peachy pink in there too. Felting seemed consistent although I really should have done another cycle - some of the stitch definition is still there. But it was my first time felting.... call it virgin anxiety and impatience, all mixed into one.

My next project was slippers for The Man and I made them out of Lana by Bernat - specifically made for felting. I used dark brown and light brown - almost tan, really, so that blows the dark/light colours felting differently theory. But Lana is made specifically for felting. Plus, I actually did a swatch, counted and measured, then felted through a couple of cycles and remeasured. I did the whole scientific thing and based my slipper stitches/measurements on this method plus felted in the same manner and they came out as expected.

At 1:44 p.m., June 23, 2005, Blogger Dudleyspinner's Tie Dye Rovings said...

Kate, the book I have, Felted Knits, Beverly Galeskas says:
"First, consider the color. While there is no way to say for sure which colors of a particular yarn will felt and to what degree, my experience provides some general guidelines.

Bleached white will not felt. This is most likey due to the damage done by the bleach to the scales of the fiber cuticle. Avoid any yarn that looks bright white.
Light, clear colors may also be resistant to felting. (bleaching)
Heather shades, those with natural undyed fibers spun in ususally result in a very nice fabric, but they often felt more slowly than solid dyed colors. It's always a good idea to run a careful test before you use a heathered yarn for different areas of the same item."

My best experience is with unspun roving which was dyed by me, the hats felted really well. They were knit with size 11 needles, then put in a bag in the washer. Use a small amount of soap. Too much soap will slow the process. Hot water, to wash for a bit, then take out and plunge into cold, put back in the washer. Keep doing that until it is the right size. The commercial yarns I used were embroidery yarns, crocheted. Didn't work well. Crochet does not felt well. The size got all whacked.

The finer the wool, the faster it will felt.
Some types of wool don't want to felt at all, suffolk, not good,
merino, felts well, ramboillet, felts well. Finn, felts really well.

At 4:19 p.m., June 23, 2005, Blogger Liz said...

i say we dman the torpedoes and crack off an order to louet for some merino, and felt the bejesus out of that

At 6:37 p.m., June 23, 2005, Blogger Kate, the Odd Ball Knitter said...

I say Screw the Felting, period and I'll get back to knitting things that fit and are the size I want them to be.

At 10:35 p.m., June 23, 2005, Blogger Liz said...


At 11:45 a.m., June 24, 2005, Blogger Liz said...

well allright then i will be the felter, have fun with the current project ;)

At 9:46 p.m., July 05, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Im just reading this and I have to say.. I love felting!!!
Try Wool Pak Yarns from NZ.. 100% wool great colors and felt fantastic.. i have a purse pictured on my blog showing the felted image.. where as wool pak natural and white colors felt.. there are other brands that dont.. such as Patons White (does not felt!).. so good luck.. dont give up ..felting can be very addictive.


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