Friday, June 27, 2008

On Unexpected Results.

I’m confused, confounded, discombobulated and in a state of high wonderment.

As I said yesterday I was going to felt my rat parts. I finished the pieces, tucked in the ends that needed tucking and readied everything for felting. I got out the dish pans. Hot water, hot to the touch, with mild soap, okay baby shampoo, in one pan and cold clear water in the other. And in they all went. Legs, ears, body, tail and even some extra yarn to sew it all together when it all dried.

I’m scrunching, swishing and rubbing each piece in turn. And they are stretching out and getting larger. Okay I say, maybe that is just part of the process? I keep on squeezing and scrubbing. Twenty minutes later they are now half way back to the size that they started at.

I add more hot water. Boiling in fact to bring the temp up. My hands are a nice ruby red from the heat. I rub. I scrub. And now something seems to be happening. The fibers on the outside are getting a bit matted and they are a bit smaller. I squeeze them out and plunge them into the cold water. They stiffen a bit and I check them out.

I grab the ruler and darned if they are not just a wee bit bigger then when I started. They just aren’t curled but laying flat. Fuzzier on the outside but not a bit smaller or tighter.

I head back to the label on the yarn. I read ‘Lion Brand Yarn,’ ‘Fishermen’s Wool,’ “Perfect For Felting” knitting and crocheting. 100% Pure virgin wool containing natural oils. I dump the water and start over. Maybe I didn’t have enough soap.

I gave up around the third try because it was getting late. They are not a bit smaller then when I started. I got a dry towel and set to wring them out to dry. I lay them out on another dry towel all nice and neat. They are sitting still wet the same size as they were when I left them.

HELP! What did I do wrong? What am I missing? I followed the instructions I read on every web sight I looked at before starting. And there were a quite a few. They agreed that there should be about 30% shrinkage for stockinet stitch. They even had pictures. Why are mine the same size I started with? Will they get smaller as they dry? And if so then why in the instructions did it say stop felting and set in cold water when they get to the right size? I’m asking for Help from anyone that knows anything about this. HELP! Help Please Help!

By the way. I had the same trouble when I accidentally got a wool sock in with a hot load of washing and I tried to felt the other to match. They are still different sizes.

Thanks in advance. Lady Euphoria


Karen said...

That's just weird. I've never tried Lion Brand yarn, but I've had pretty good results with Brown Sheep with the wool/mohair blend.

Try this...Knit a decent-sized swatch, and felt/full that, the exact same way as the rat. See what happens.

Karen said...

You could try felting it in the machine - preferably with an old towel or pair of jeans - and see if that works better. That's just weird...