Felting (just curious)

Just wondering if there's one stitch that felts up better than another. Also, I would love any and all tips on felting that anyone can give me...I've only felted one item, and I've felted several swatches, but everything always seems so resistant to being felted in my washing machine. It takes forever, and the shrinkage is minimal, which is fine except in the case of the one item I felted (a belt) that I knitted per the pattern's instructions (using the swatch to gague how longit should be), only it barely shrunk, so I ended up with a 60+" belt...


MMario's picture

*-grin* I have no problem getting stuff to felt. - and that's in a front loader! I've felted with stocking stitch and with garter, also with 1x1 rib and 2x2 rib. With all of them I found about a 33% shrinkage

MMario - ambiguity is cultivated, it doesn't happen in a vacuum!

MMario - I'm not divorced from reality - we're having a trial separation

kylewilliam's picture

I'd say that garter stitch felts pretty darn good and it's quick... felting takes agitation, warm (or hot) water, and wool... (duh!) - if the fabric you knit is too tight, then the felting process takes longer and doesn't work quite as well - If you work up swatches like you suggest, you'll see that the stitch definition pretty much disappears... and I think of it a little as an art - you have to kind of watch it -

if you don't like felting in the washer, try felting in the kitchen sink - do some searching online and you'll find lots of good tutorials :)

good luck!




martyknits1's picture

You need to use really hot water to get things to felt quickly. I actually heat some water on the stove and add it to the hot water in the machine until it is steaming hot, but not so hot you can't put you hands in it to check you pogress. Then as the water cools due to the agitation of the machine, I add more hot water from the stove to keep it at the right temperature. Hope that helps.


Two great books to check out are Knit One Felt Two by Kathleen Taylor and Felted Knits by Beverly Galeskas. Both have good basic information on the felting process with good tips. Any stitch will felt. Use a good quality 100% wool yarn - no superwash. Water temperature change and agitation help the felting process. Use the hot/cold setting and throw in some jeans for agitation (never use towels). If something won't felt in the machine, you can finish it by hand. Use soapy water and go back and forth from very hot to very cold water and just keep agitating it. It's fun to watch it happen. Have fun!


RCC's picture

Although I'm new to felting, it has been very successful and easy. A few rows of garter stitches seem to put a better "edge" on items, such as the tops of bags or bowls. Pure wool of good quality is all that I have used---i.e. Cascade, Galway, Lopi, even some handspun-- so will stay with it to experience continued success! Putting the item in a zippered pillow cover confines all the lint to the inside.


markpaul32's picture

The best yarn for felting I have found to be Cascade 220. I have experimented with several other 100% wool yarns and do not like the way they felt. They just end up looking "nappy" and "hairy" and start to pill up over time. I felted a purple tote bag that I made for my mother and it just ended up looking like the perfect tote for Mr. Snuffelupagus (Sesame Street)

Cascade 220 felts very smoothly. I like to use a number 8 needle and wash it in hot water and detergent about 3 times. It shrinks up significantly in rows but almost nothing in width. I make these "felted skull hat" beenies this way. They turn out great with Cascade 220.

islander's picture


y always knitt wuth lopi woll from iceland.
nice and soft.
most sweaters.
greetings from holland

Again, bows to Mario:

Garter gives the most dense felting - especially if you inflate the recipe by using a needle size 2-3 times >below


~Mike in Tampa ( who suggests that you 'UP' your water heater thermostat to "FRY" so that you get really hot water in your tub.)
Yahoo Id: stickywarp2001

Imagination is Everything.
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