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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am making a garter stripe bag (pattern found on Ravelry)http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/garter-stripe-square-bag
and I am looking for feedback from other knitters who may have felted this item or something similar. I used Patons Classic Wool.
I have a front loading washer (high efficiency). It cannot be opened mid cycle to check on how things are coming along. I read one review where it took one person 5 tries in the washer (no indication of type of machine) and another person got it on the first try. Has anyone done their felting by hand? I am willing to tackle both ways or just about any other good suggestion, although I don't think my reputation in the neighbourhood will be enhanced by a cauldron boiling in the backyard.
I'm looking forward to learning the felting process for hats and slippers too. Is there a good way to determine the percentage of shrinkage for various fibers?
 

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To answer your first questions: I, too, have a front loading washer, but it has a pause feature so that I can open the washer at any time during the cycle. That said, it does seem to take much longer to felt things in a front loader, at least the one I have (a Samsung). I have also felted a small item by hand - Knit Picks oven mitt - but I needed rubber gloves using very hot water (from the kettle) and found it to be slow, hard work. The hard part may have been partly due to the arthritis in my hands.

As far as percentage of shrinkage, I think you would probably just have to knit a small piece for testing; measure width and length before felting, and then measure again after it's been felted, and do the math. Whatever you decide, enjoy and good luck. Felted items are really pretty neat!

Hey, a cauldron in the backyard may entertain the neighbors for a day or two - I'd say go for it, LOL.
 

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I put my bowl in the small load cycle on hot and it just washed it. Then I got wise and filled it first with the hot water and put in 2 dryer balls ( tennis balls would work too) then put the bowl in and let her rip. This time it worked. My first felted item
 

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http://www.woolcrafting.com/felting-in-a-front-load-washing-machine.html

http://knitting.about.com/od/felting/qt/felting-frontload.htm

http://www.ehow.com/how_2147811_felt-knitting-front-load-washer.html

Most front loaders have a pause feature on them. I have an LG, and mine does. Does it take longer in a front loader than a regular washer, I have no clue since I've never used a regular washer to felt anything.

You do need to add something to the washer besides just the item you're planning on felting though. I find a pair of jeans works best since you don't have to worry about lint that might be transferred from towels, or if you have dryer balls or tennis balls they will also work.

The only way you'll know for sure how much it's going to felt is by making a swatch, and giving it a go. It's not so much the hot water as it is the agitation of the washer that is doing the felting. If the bag is of any substantial size if doing it by hand you just might be doing it still this time next year....
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I should be ready to felt later today or tomorrow (darn....got lots of errands cutting into my knitting time today. I'll post pics and my overview of the process soon. Many thanks for the advice and suggestions.
BTW: i was wondering if a potato masher could be used to felt smaller items by hand in a sink or dish pan.
 

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I will add that less expensive yarns seem to felt smaller than more expensive yarns. I usually use cascade 220 or Brown Sheep Lambs Pride bulky. I made felted purses with two different Lion Brand yarns and the purses felted a lot smaller than I expected.
 
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