Sunday, January 7, 2007

Who would have thought?

This unprepossessing little piece of knitting was my final effort in a long felting saga.

The story began in Virginia, where I read a magazine article about turning old wool sweaters into purses. What an exciting idea! So over the holidays I made a trip to a local thrift store and found a lovely green, 100% wool sweater, took it home, and tossed it in the washer, with plenty of soap and the water set to hot. Twenty minutes or so later, and the cycle was over. Imagine my surprise on lifting from the machine, not a nicely shrunken piece of felt, but a lovely green sweater whose only change was to be, perhaps, a bit cleaner.

Another attempt was made, adding a larger quantity of soap and extra items to increase the agitation, and the sweater still did not felt. Ok, I thought, this must be a case of the wool having some sort of felt-resistant coating. Not unheard of in commercial wool. So I took a piece of knitting, done by my mother, and threw that in. Still no luck. I tried a handknit, homespun wool sweater. Again no felt. That's when the above pictured knitting took place. Not exactly sure what my logic was, but I needed another choice and it just seemed right. This also did not felt. I was thouroughly confused. Isn't it the second most common laundry disaster, after turning the whites pink, to felt the woolens? And all I was left with was a pile of wet wool. So I tossed everything into the dryer. And here the story takes a turn for the better: an hour later, everything except my original green thrifted sweater was nicely felted. The only piece I ended up using was my little knitted rectangle, which became a sweet little bag for a friend's Christmas gift, with the addition of a canvas handle and a needle-felted decoration.

I still want to try this sweater-to-bag plan, but I'm just not sure when I'll find the time. Turns out felting is a tougher process than I had realized!

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home