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OK ladies, i knitted up a swatch in some Patons 100% wool. i actually knitted it a bit big, on bigger needles, so my pre-felted gauge was 4 sts to the inch. i marked off an inch and 4 inches to be safe. Then i hand felted it at the sink. Yahoo! That was fun.

BUT now it is bigger..??? my one inch segment is now 1.25", and my 4 inch segment is4.25".

It did get shorter by a half inch.

So does this mean that i dont adjust my pattern much at all widthwise, but i need to make it longer??? I thought it should have shrunk widthwise too!

(remember i am taking a hat pattern that is not meant to be felted, and i want to turn it into a felting project.)


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Replies to This Discussion

Jenny, It should shrink. You may have to rewash - be sure to rub very hard and very rough. Plus are you using very hot water? Cannot imagine why it did not felt.--S
i did use rather hot water, and i agitated the bejesus out of that thing, with my scrub brush and all.
- i figured i had stretched it, kwim? it LOOKS felted, but didnt shrink widthwise.

i saw in a KP tutorial that it should have NO stretch to it, but mine does. so i took my swatch and put it back in the tub and agitated it even more,

it is back to just 1 inch, but no less!!! maybe my water was not hot enough???? the tutorial said "hot but not so that it is ucomfortable for your hands... and i have oven mitt hands, so i can take it hot.

it DID get felt-y, just didnt shrink...????

thanks for any help susan!
The only successful felting I have done is in the machine using hot water and agitation. You might try the stove top method, where the water is actually almost boiling. Agitate with a spoon or potatoe masher. That might work. All of the stretch should be out of it, or it is not felted. I wish I could do more! --S
thanks, this iS helpful!! it still had SOME stretch, so i must not be doing it enough. i'll try stove top, since i am on a well and cant waste a washload of water for a 4" swattch, lmbo.
You need to get the water just almost boiling - so the steam is coming off the pot, but no bubbling. And when you felt you actual knitted item, you use water enough for a "small" load - that will assist in the agitation - also throw in a pair of jeans or a large bath towel - that will also help. --S
Jenny, there should be no stretch at all to the finished product. I've used Patons before and it is very dense after felting. I can only tell you that when I've hand felted it has take me at least 30 minutes before it even begins to shrink. And that is 30 minutes of really hard agitation. I use a 5 gallon paint bucket and a plunger and the hottest water possible. It takes me a long time to felt by either machine or hand. I really wish my machine that did such a great job hadn't bit the dust.

Oh, did you add a mild detergent to it? It needs a mild detergent to help open the outer shell of the wool fibers.
Thank you so much cheryl!!! this is really helpful!!!!
yes i did add detergent. i will try hotter water and more agitation....

what do you think of this... i love the look and feel of the fulled/felted fabric, but i dont ncessarily care if it is shrunken down and NOT stretchy - how about if i just agitate it to get the texture, but i dont care about the size - does this make sense?? For this particular project, it is a seasonal item so i dont care if it lasts more than a month or so, LMBO. then it goes into the memory box, kwim?
That is perfectly acceptable! I have a couple of chair backs that I made. They are like slip covers. My boys slouch in the chairs and stretch them out some so I need to throw them back into a hot water bath!
Jenny, don't forget that felted items shrink more in length than they do in width. Usually you can figure the length to shrink by 1/3. Unfortunately I do not know how much to figure width wise. But I'd follow Susan and Cheryl's advice about trying to felt it some more. Do you have a washboard? (I know, it's old school - but I used mine all the time to get my kids clothes really clean). A few months back I went to a guild meeting where they taught hand felting. She used a washboard. Maybe that would help you out. Good luck!
THANKS!! i didnt felt it after all, since DH .liked it in his size , LOL.

i could see the swatch was shrinking more in length than in width... i will keep that in mind.

i am vry old school, lol (just made up a batch of homemade laundry soap today 0 SOI WOULD LOVE TO HAVE A WWASHBOARD. MY dh ACTUALLY SUGGESTED THAT NOW THAT I THINK ABOUT IT!! THANKS FOR TYHE TIP!!!

oops. sorry about the caps and errors, baby here in my lap, lol. gotta go!! thanx again!


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