6.24.2010

Scrappy Felted Big Bag

In a continuing effort to tackle the stash bins. I gathered all of my yarn up that is left over from other projects. I am surprised to find that I am able to separate the colors into, yellows (quite a lot of yellow and gold), greens and blues, black and grey and reds. I have an idea to make a scrappy sweater, after searching for patterns and looking at my yarn I decide against that and decide to search for bag patterns. I had the Big Bag pattern by Maia Discoe, in my Ravelry queue. I think this would be a great stash busting bag if I can get the colors to work. Her bag has such a nice stripe pattern of various widths.

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After playing around awhile I decide that the blues and greens and yellows are my best color combination. The pattern is knitted with two strands of yarn, and I decide to carry one yellow strand along the entire bag. Hoping this will tie the colors together. While keeping the pattern stripes with the blues and greens.

Amount of scrap yarn: I had approx 38 oz of yarn, mostly worsted weight to work with, and I had some left over of every color, (1 oz or less of all  of the yarns, except the blue, and I had 3 oz of the yellow left. (some of the yellow looks beige in the photo)

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It is turning out OK, at first I’m afraid that it will be fugly and almost frog it. But I hope that the felting will “blend” the colors, or worst case scenario I can over dye the whole thing.

Yay, I like how it turns out!

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Knitted on size US 10.5 needles. This was quick to knit. Size is 18 inches high x 17.5 wide, after felting it shrinks to 16 x 14, a nice size, it is soft and reminds me of a carpet bag. I actually quite like the colors now that it is all done. I’m entertaining the idea of another bag. I’m using it for a knitting bag. It is a good size, I can fit my pouch with my knitting accessories in it, pattern and yarn, and I still have left over space. The handle is proving to be quite sturdy.

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NOTES ON FELTING:

I now have a front loader now, and wondered if I could felt in it, or was I going to have to find a top loader somewhere? After reading about felting some, I decided my choices were,

1- go to the Laundromat

2 - Felt it by hand, after reading about this online, I decided against this method, if you are interested in felting by hand there is an excellent article about it using a plumbers plunger on Knitty, (Felting the Old Way) or

3- go ahead and put it in the front loader, I read about this online and the general agreement is that you will need to run it through several cycles. Now when I felt with my old *sigh* top loader it only took about 15-20 min. A total cycle time in my front loader is about 40 min. I was afraid I was going to end up with a change purse! But I decided to live dangerously and go for it. A front loader doesn’t agitate, it tumbles.

I actually had to put this bag through two cycles and then throw it in the dryer to get it to felt as much as it did. It felted in proportion, and I was quite pleased with it. Below are my tips and links to articles that I used as info. Thanks to all of you that gave me advice! I got my best info from message boards on several sites, (links included at the bottom). I had great luck with this method, but if you have felted before you know it is a fickle process. It is best to swatch, measure and felt .

Front Loader felting:

1. Front loaders use very little water. Place your item to felt in a bucket with some very hot water, and let it thoroughly soak (about 20 min).

2. Place your item to be felted in a pillow slip and tie it shut, it is advisable to add several pairs of jeans in with it, I actually just did a regular load of laundry.

3. Add a little extra water into your front loader, your front loader uses very little water, I just poured what it was soaking in into the washer.

4. Add soap as you normally would, set it on hot wash, and cold rinse.

5.  Don't use a lingerie bag, the fibers can felt into the mesh of the bag.

6. Some people take it out after draining but before the spin, it may put creases into your item. I can pick this option on my machine.

7. I ran it through two complete cycles and then threw it into the dryer to felt it further. I didn’t experience creases, I think it may be due to the fact that I ran it with an entire load of laundry.

8. If you feel you must check it, consider running just a rinse and drain several times. (my washer has that option, I don’t know if they all do)

From Woolcrafting, How to felt in a front loader

Knitter’s Review boards had a wealth of front loader felting info!

Sarah E. White on About.com article on felting

Here is a discussion on Knitting Daily about felting in your front loader

Another discussion in CrochetMe about front loader felting

Happy felting!!336567106_m

7 comments:

  1. The colors came out great! It looks really cool

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  2. I love the colors! It's a success!!!

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  3. The bag came out great, and thanks for all the front-loader tips. I, too, have changed over to a front-loader and I have not tried felting since then. I was thinking that I would do the laundromat thing, or perhaps have my neighbor felt it for me because she still has a top loader

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  4. Felted before, but now I have a front loader -thanks for the handy tips.
    Bytheway, I like trying to dye yarn (probably cotton since I'm allergic to wool) -do you have a post about it, or can you refer me to someone who writes about it? Thanks!

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  5. Forgot to say that I really like how your bag came out!

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  6. Vicki,
    I saw this over on your Ravelry page and just loved it. I'm putting this on my "to do" list.

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  7. Oooh. Looks like a sunset :)

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