Regular readers of the blog may remember that at the beginning of this year I knitted a multi-coloured hat in pure wool. I was in a dilemma about whether to felt it. Eventually I decided against it, but the hat pattern was for turned out a bit of a funny shape because I had tried to make it smaller. I only wore it once. It wasn’t good.
So whilst I was in the hat knitting mood recently, I frogged the hat and started again, following the instructions to the letter in regards to the size, and I had my first attempt at felting.
The instructions said to felt it by hand, by first rubbing it in super-hot water, then plunging it into a bowl of ice cubes. Well I started off doing this but wasn’t getting very far. The yarn started to felt, but the hat wasn’t shrinking in size – and I’d just gone to the trouble of knitting it bigger, in order that it would end up smaller – and it wasn’t happening!
After a while, Mum suggested that I put it in the washing machine, but I was worried then that it might shrink too much and I wouldn’t be able to wear it. You can’t stop our washing machine mid-cycle to check it. So Mum said try the tumble dryer.
A few minutes of tumbling sorted it. It was the correct size for my head and fabric lightly felted. We stuck it over an up-turned bowl to let it finish drying in the correct shape.
I’ve worn it a few times now and it’s great except it itches my forehead after a while!
I’m now knitting a bag which I will felt too, this time I’ll put it straight into the washing machine on the hot cycle.