Thursday, March 16, 2006

Tote Around - Ready to Felt

Finally, the bag is off the needles and ready for the washing machine! I cast on for this bag right after Christmas vacation and got almost completely finished with it in a week. All I had left to do was the strap. But it just sat around and stayed untouched. Basically because I knew it had to be redone. It was way to wide and wasn't nearly tall enough to survive the felting process and be of any use in the end. So here it is in all it's glory just waiting for the hot water torture treatment I have planned.

I'll get around to felting the bag this weekend. It usually takes me forever to get Noro Kureyon to felt. I like the result to be a solid fabric that has almost no trace of the actual stitches. It takes forever, usually most of a day. I probably run it through at least half a dozen cycles. But I really like the end results and the colors/striping effect of Noro - so I'll keep using it. I also don't mind the knots and the little extra bits that are often floating in a skein. Heck, I knot the ends together when I start a new skein. I know that goes against good knitting practices but I wouldn't do it unless I was felting the thing. It's never been a problem and you cannot see the knot in the finished product.

When I felt something, I usually put in a small squirt of Ivory dishwashing liquid in the washer. And no, I've never had the washer burp bubbles all over the laundry room. You don't need much - a little dab will do ya just fine. The knitted item goes in a mesh laundry bag that has a zipper. I sometimes throw in some old towels, jeans, or sometimes even a tennis ball or two. I choose the hottest setting my machine will allow and then start the cycle. I also let the complete cycle run - yes even the spin cycle. The spin cycle is supposed to terribly deform the object and pull it all out of shape. But it is the blocking that creates the shape of the final piece. Yes, this is another rule I break, but I can't see any damage the spinning does and the drying time is cut down. Besides, I'm not much for rules. And yes, I do know what I am doing is technically fulling, but I don't get all bent about terminology either. I just repeat the washing cycles until the thing is felted and the stitch definition is all gone or it is as small as I can possibly stand without having to give it to my nieces for their dolls.

I did read a tip on Knitty that Murphy's Oil Soap is a good thing to use. I might give that a try. The piney scent may be better than the wet sheepy smell the process usually produces. Although the smell is not present when the object is dry. I've also seen that some people throw their projects in the dryer between cycles. It makes me a little nervous though to completely change my process now. This is my second attempt using this pattern and I wasn't pleased at all with the first results. So for that reason, I had to do another and I have to get this one right. I want a bag that I will use. I'll be really disappointed if I have to throw this one out too. Well, stay tuned. Hopefully by Sunday I'll be able to post the final results.

7 comments:

Elizabeth said...

Lovely colors on that bag! I hope this one turns out more to your liking than the other one.

Marie said...

I haven't tried felting or fulling yet so I can't wait to see how this turns out for you. I'd like to try one of those felted kitty beds.

aurora said...

Oooh, yes - that bag is gorgeous! Great colour choices! (And cute kitties below!)

veritas said...

that bag is just wonderful! the colours look so incredible! makes me want to knit a bag....

fishy-blankie KAL! and the sharing yarn idea is fantastic! we should make it happen. :)

veritas said...

i'm nice and easy to dig up on knitty - 'veritas' .. easy or boring. :)

Zonda said...

I love the colors on it! Can't wait to see the finished product!

Jacquie said...

Hi,

Thanks for telling me how to do this. It looks different to the blogs I had a problem with - maybe it wasn't Blogger afterall, or maybe there are different settings.

The colours in your bag are gorgeous. can't wait to see the finished article!