Experiment with your knitting with a fun felting technique
Have you ever accidentally thrown one of your favorite wool sweaters into the washing machine only to pull it out and realize that it has shrunk so much that it’s now completely unwearable? Well that my friend is a process called felting. I'm Vickie Howell from DIY’s Knitty Gritty, and I'm going to tell you how to do that process on purpose using your hands. All you need to do is start knitting up a project for a pattern using an animal fiber. Manmade fibers will not work for this process. What happens is the stitches meld together and from a really cool sturdy fabric like the one in this princess hat. Alright, let's get started. You can see my before swatch, it’s knitted up, stitches start out. Looking absolutely normal. After the felting process, they're melded together. They shrink up and you got a really strong durable fabric. What we do is we start out with a bowl of warm to hot water, be careful in your hands. And a little bit of soap. They make special soap for this process, but you can also just use shampoo, that will work fine too. You’re going to take your piece, put it in the bowl. This is really best for smaller projects, if you're working on something large like a bag or a sweater, I really find that the machine works better. And what you want to do is you want to start really rubbing it and squeezing it. Don’t be delicate with it, because it’s this process of rubbing together that causes the agitation and that’s when the fibers meld together. So you're going to just keep working it as much as you can, keeping it in the water whenever possible and rubbing it as much as you can. Now you’ll slowly see that felt start to from, but it may take a little while to achieve the look that you want. Once you're happy with it, you're going to pull it out of the soap bath and put it in a clear clean cool water bath. This will take all the excess soap out of it and also stop the felting process. Once that's finish, you're going to take it out and lay it out on a tower, block it or shape it the way that you want it to be. And then let it dry. It may take a little bit longer than a normal mitted project to dry because you got this really thick durable fabric. That’s all it takes to make you and your project feltastic.