Thursday, October 13, 2011

Bathtub fun

I really wish that I could say that this post is as entertaining as the title suggests.

Oh well, you're here now! So now you get to listen to my Thursday night adventure: Felting.

Basically, while working on my christmas presents for people (these two colours specifically made beautiful presents for my sister and her roommate), I realized I had two tiny balls of leftover yarn that were destined to roll around the bottom of my yarn countainers until I got mad at them and used them to stuff cat toys.

My mother noticed this as well. She told me I should try making some felted cufts with the leftovers.

Well.. Why the hell not?

Except I've never felted before. What stitch do you use? How much shrinkage is normal and expected? How can felting even be economical when I live in an apartment with pay-per-use laundry, and my mother has a front load washer?

I discovered the solution in my bathtub. Specifcally, at the bottom of a bucket, with a plunger and those little balls you throw in the dryer to fluff up your towels.

I filled the bucket up about half full with water as hot as the tap could give me, chucked in my knitting and the dryer balls, and went at it like a butter churner on speed. Whenever the water went lukewarm, I threw my littles sqaures into cold water to shock the fibers, refilled my bucket with hot water and a squirt of shampoo, and went at it again. I called my sister to help pass the time, and ended up losing about 40 minutes. I probably didn't need to do it that long.

And I have felt! I notice that the stockinette stitched sample shrunk MUCH more then the garter stitch sample, but only lengthwise. Widthwise, they seem to have acted much the same.

You can't see light through them, and I'm hoping that I'll be able to cut them with scissors and not have them fall apart on me.

All together though, this went pretty well, and I really won't mind doing it again with my other samples. My downstairs neighbour might get upset though, going at it with the plunger sounded like I had a stairmaster going full speed in the bathtub, even with the towel underneath cushioning the blows.

The next step is going to be embellishment. I'm thinking silk ribbons, silver.. maybe some decorative stitching? I'll sleep on it.


Annie Hughes said...


Unknown said...

Love the felting and can't wait to see the finished, embellished cuff. I would love to see chunky yarn woven through it with some of the beautiful Stones and Findings.

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