Friday, February 01, 2008

Need to know: A felting question

Remember the big black MIL sweater? Well, the yarn is not holding its shape so I've taken it back and thought I'd try felting it a bit. What's the collective wisdom of this blog on the advisability of trying that? Any helpful hints on how to judge whether it's "felted enough"?

Another question: once I've taken it out of the washer, blocked it and let it dry, can I put it back in the washer and do it again or is that a bad idea?

I can't bear to have all that work go to waste so I really want to make this sweater work.

The yarn is Cascade Eco + which I believe is suitable for felting but feel free to tell me if I'm wrong.

Thanks for your help! I really, really appreciate it!

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Blogger monica said...

I have two sweaters started in that yarn I am disappointed to hear that it doesn't hold its shape well. I have the first nearly finished but the second is still in the early stages. I may scrap that one. I hate to spend all that time on a sweater to have it stretch out of shapr.

It is good for felting, and I have heard it felts slowly, which may be a plus for a garment. If you have some extra, I would knit a big swatch, measure it and then felt it, let it dry and then measure again and go from there.

5:40 PM  
Blogger Nancy Herkness said...

Monica, you are so smart! The swatch idea is excellent. I'm going to do that because I have extra yarn. Thanks for the suggestion!

The Cascade Eco + may be fine for a smaller sweater. The garment I knitted is huge and I think sags under its own weight a bit.

6:19 PM  
Blogger kshotz said...

I believe it would be fine to try felting a second (or third!) time even after you've taken it out and blocked it. The swatch is a GREAT idea!

7:11 PM  
Blogger Nephele said...

Yes, you can definitely go back for more felting after the first pass. Felting is funny stuff though. When you do that swatch take careful measurement of it pre-felting. It will shrink more one direction than the other and you may not be able to do much about that at the blocking stage so the swatch test is a must.

One of my favorite tips is to take plain cotton and, with running stitch, embroidery a square on to the swatch - typically 4 inches square. That will give you a quick visual check on what happened to the swatch. You can also count the pre-felt stitches and row in that square which you can use to estimate post-felting gauge.

1:57 PM  
Blogger Nancy Herkness said...

These are all terrific suggestions! I'm taking notes and thanking my lucky stars for this blog. Thank you so much for all your help!

7:03 PM  
Blogger LauraP said...

I really want to know how this turns out -- it's always reassuring to learn new ways to salvage projects that don't work out as expected

8:12 PM  

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