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Friday, October 18, 2013

Lessons from a felting failure

I don't think there is any other way to describe this except as a failure. I can learn from it, and even create from it, but this day I created a mess.

It began with my daughter's idea for a larger felted basket to hold the little egg baskets and gathered eggs. I had very little Murano wool left, but got the idea of using up a variety of left-over wool in creating a basket.

I began with the little bit of Murano and some of the Fuel left from the Lakota Hood. Combined, these made up the base. So far, so good.

I then knitted in some Bendigo Woollen Mills' Classic 12 ply wool in Java, combined with a ball of variegated Shepherd Colour4Me 100%wool to give it some link to the base and the top.

For the top of the basket I planned to use this hank of Moda Vera Sorbet I bought about 5 years ago from Spotlight. The label says 100% Australian merino wool. I bought it to make a hat for a small child have never got around to it. I was always surprised it was wool. Other similar yarn I have of a different brand is wool and acrylic. I figured it was thick and loose, so should felt up OK.

All seemed to be going to plan. It knitted up well and, I thought, would blend well when felted.

That, of course, was wrong.

The Murano base felted beautifully.

The blended wool in the middle felted not at all - in the face of being brought to the boil in a saucepan, put through the longest and hottest washing machine cycle, it came out much as it went in. It really IS machine washable!

The worst, however, was the Sorbet. It came out much as acrylic comes out - thin and shedding.

I gave it one more go in the washing machine to make sure - but the result was fit for the bin.

However, my waste-not-want-not forebears helped me through.

First, I cut off the Sorbet mess and put it in the bin.

I unravelled the middle section and set it aside to dry.

Then I cut and blanket-stitched the edges of the base and turned it into a pot-holder - really effective!

Finally, I set about making the owl teacosy I have been promising a friend, using the wool unravelled from the middle section - but that's another post!

Oh, and I should add - I ordered another ball of Murano to make a proper basket to replace the mess!

I then


margaret said...

how annoying that must have been. I tried a few years ago felting some of my late husbands pullovers but that did not work although they were wool, have since found out that if it is machine washable wool it does not felt, though this might help but I expect you all ready know that

Jillian said...

Thanks Margaret. I wasn't sure if ALL machine washable wool would not felt. I rather thought it would not felt as well. In the past I have unintentionally felted some "machine-washable" jumpers! Should have trusted the label in this case!

Monica said...

LOL. "Oh dear," I said when I read the title of your post. But I believe a blog should have some drama -- it can't be one success after another, after all!

I think there is always at risk if you combine yarns and expect they will felt in the same way, even if they are all intended for felting. Live and learn! At least you were able to salvage some of it.

I'm sure the next one will be excellent! :D

Katherine said...

How frustrating for you. You know many years ago I knitted some Bendigo machine wash and managed to ick it in the machine lol. I hate machine washing woolies. At least you have been able to salvage some of your work into a useful item. I'm afraid I would have just chucked it. It will be interesting to see if the new ball of Murano knits sideways too.