Sunday, January 31, 2010

Felting and Give Away Reminder

I've never felted anything before.  Intentionally, that is.  I've had my share of laundry accidents with an errant socks or two.  Not pleasant memories.  And after taking so long to knit something, it's a little hard to throw it into a washing machine full of hot water.  In fact, every fiber of my being screamed, "No! Not HOT water!"

The two balls of Noro Kuryeon arrived last week and Saturday I finished the handles for the French Market Bag.  A couple of people on Ravelry had mentioned that they would have liked the handles a bit longer, so I added a couple of inches to mine.  According to the websites on felting that I consulted, knitted items tend to shrink more lengthwise so I thought two more inches ought to be just about right.

As you can see in the picture below, what I ended up with was a large, rather shapeless bag.  What the pattern calls for is a large square, knitted from the center out.  At the point where you have 200 stitches on your needles you quit increasing, and that next part is the sides of your bag.  I continued to knit up the sides two inches past what the pattern called for in order to increase the depth of the bag.

Before:
 

Then I filled up the washer with hot water, took a deep breath and threw it in.  I wasn't quite sure what to expect.  After five minutes agitating in the water, it seemed as if it were getting BIGGER rather than smaller.  I kept checking it every few minutes, and after 15 minutes I could see the stitch definition disappearing and that it was getting smaller and firmer. Those websites were absolutely correct; there was dramatic shrinking in the length, not so much in the width. 

I spun out the excess water, then stuffed it with plastic bags to shape it and set it on the heating vent to dry (a suggestion from my LYS).

And after:
 

I love it.  It's thick and soft.  The yarn has a lovely hazy look to it, like autumn colors seen through a mist.  Did I mention that I love it?  It's just the right size for a take along knitting project, with plenty of room for a pattern book and a notebook.  

Pattern info:
4 skeins of Noro Kuryeon color #185 for the body
approx. 3/4 of an additional skein for the handles
I used the original pattern for the body, but added 2 inches of depth and 2 inches for the handles

__________________________

As I mentioned in my last post, I'm trying to chase away the mid-winter blues by celebrating my 200th post with a surprise package give away.  Anyone who comments this week gets their name in the pot.  I'll draw a name tomorrow, so stay tuned!



10 comments:

Ali Honey said...

Lovely colours in your bag. Like you I would have extreme difficulty with the HOT water....it goes against everything I know about looking after wool!

Pokey said...

Looks good, love how the colors blended to a soft, heathery look.

Miriam said...

I have never intentionally done any felting either, but I love the hazy, misty colours in your bag.


Congratulations on over 200 posts!

Happy Cottage Quilter said...

Great bag! Looks so very soft.

EVA SB said...

Wow that's gorgeous. Congratulations on a very successful first felting.

Kitten With a Whiplash said...

The bag really turned out nicely. I like the color combination a lot.

Kathie said...

the bag looks great, I love the size of it.
always scary to felt things but your right , they know what they are talking about, it gets stronger and shrinks!
Kathie

Nancy, Near Philadelphia said...

As a non-knitter, non-felter, I am awed by your bag! Congratulations!

I'd like to enter your drawing, too.

Country Log Cabin Quilter said...

Congratulations on your 200th post! Please add me to the drawing.

Leigh said...

I taught myself to knit a few years ago, but as my quilting has gotten progressively better, I have not yet moved past knitting in a straight line. This bag looks great! Wish I had the motivation to try and tackle a more complicated knitting project!