Tuesday, 2 November 2010


Knitwits Yarns knitwitspenzance.co.uk

Felting seems to have been growing in popularity of late and, with several new felting wools around, we thought we'd better get in on the act and have a go at some samples. First up is Rico Poems - very like Noro (aran weight) but not the Noro price (not quite the intricate Noro colours either if one is being brutally honest but jolly nice just the same). First of all we (when I say "we" here I'm obviously using the royal "we" and, in most cases, "we" means that I thought of the plan and Tracey did the knitting) knitted up a Poems scarf - moss stitch, 2 balls - lovely:

Then "we" knitted up the bag for felting. Actually in this case I did do quite a lot of the work as Tracey knitted up the pieces and then I crochet-joined them and then she sewed on the handles and bunged them in her washing machine and then I finished it off with a felted button loop and pretty button - talk about a joint project! In any event - it turned out fantastically well and exactly to the size quoted on the Rico pattern (which was pretty blinking spectacular):

Here they are together - knitted and felted:

I never cease to be amazed at what an fantastic fibre the humble sheep kindly produces for us every year.

So, after that cheering success we decided to have a go at the Rico Filz & Fun which is a wool designed specifically for felting. The knitted piece looks like this:

Despite the moss stitch edging it's still rolling a bit at the top and our highly trained photographer (FB) didn't pin in out - sorry. With gay abandon Tracey bunged it into her washing machine again and it came out like this:

Other side:

Hmmmm - so - if we're being absolutely honest - not quite what we were expecting. Very thick and stiff and not brilliantly colourful. Overfelting? Possibly. Try again:

Ah ha - slightly more what were expecting - felted but not overfelted - with the different colours showing but, frankly, no sign of the fairisle from the knitted original. So - what's the difference I hear you cry. Well people, I felted the pink one in the tumble drier thanks to brilliant customer's suggestion. It took longer than it should have done as I didn't know what on earth I was doing. It went a bit like this:

1. Bung knitting in tumble drier, put on for 5 minutes (or approx 2 rounds of 4ply shooting stocking);
2. Remove knitting and observe that absolutely nothing whatsoever has happened;
3. Replace knitting for 4 rounds of shooting stocking;
4. Remove - observe that still nothing has happened, consider that brilliant customer may, in fact, be having a laugh;
5. Engage brain. Wet knitting and replace along with a towel for added friction;
6. Knit 4 rounds of shooting stocking;
Repeat 5 & 6 again for about 16 more rounds of shooting stocking et voila - felted piece. Brilliant! The brilliance of this method is that you can keep checking as the felting proceeds which you can't do with a washing machine unless you have a top loader. The 3 squares together look like this:

If anyone was wandering past my house on Sunday afternoon and wondered why I was sitting on the floor in front of my tumble drier knitting a shooting stocking - now you know!

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