13 January 2009

1 Across : Felted disaster (2, 3, 9, 3)

Answer : My new crossword bag.

I'm trying to design an easy-to-knit crossword patterned bag - knit in the round, no seams, no lining. Things started off so well ...

I tried to take into account the amount the bag would shrink vertically, so made it longish. The end is knitted in as one piece. Handles were (pay attention to this point) knitted with a different black yarn, as I'd run out of the other one. Just using scraps from my stash.

A good bashing through my (now defunct) washing machine later, and I had a mashed up, useless lump of wool. The black yarn in the handle was obviously machine washable, as it didn't felt at all!

The rest of the bag went all weird - the black sections pulled tightly, making the white sections bunch up. Maybe the white wool felted less than the black? I think felting stranded patterns needs a level of expertise I don't have!

Ah well. I'll try for a better version on this design, but without the felting.

In happier knitting news, I'm making a simple lace bamboo 'scarf' for Aunty Rona (Uncle Paul's wife). She needs a knitting care package ... I'm about halfway done already.

FIL is out of hospital today - I suspect we're seeing the start of the downhill slide ... he still has a catheter in, and needs a nurse and other support at home every day, and may need surgery (benign prostate problems). There are still specialists to be seen, appointments to be made, endless phone calls from him complaining, awful visits, and so on. I doubt the demands are going to abate any time soon. He turns 86 on Saturday.

Editing goes well, thankfully. Only about a third of the puzzles need some tweaking or changes. Not too bad! The end is in sight!


  1. ooooh noooo =(
    Now that you mention it I think I have read before that maybe white doesn't felt super well on account of the treatments it has under gone to have its natural colour stripped?
    Continued good luck with your editing!!

  2. Bleached white doesn't felt well. How do you feel about a black and ecru crossword bag?

    So sorry about your FIL. Old age is not kind.

  3. I too have had my trials with felting--at this point I will only felt yarns of the same type and brand, if I have more than one color, so that the felting is proportionate (hopefully!!). Also sorry to hear about your FIL. Having a MIL with challenges right now, I am humbled by how long her body was perfect fine and dandy. Everything has gotten hard for her now. Keep knitting!

  4. Oh shame about the bag - it looked really cool! I've read about white not felting very well either. Like Roxie said, maybe you need to use a very pale colour instead of white (pale pink maybe?) But yes, the stranding could be an issue too...although you'd think it'd still felt ok.

  5. Interesting to see if after you had described it to me. What a loss.

    Hard(er) times ahead with FIL I think. Hang in there.

  6. Yes, some whites and other pale colours felt less well because of bleaching. But sometimes you just need to work them a bit longer. I'd have to see this in person, but possibly some hand felting work, plus aggressive stretching and blocking, could sort it out? I guess it's not the nice simple process you wanted for a marketable design, though. Bummer.

  7. You clever possum! Hope FIL feels better soon. j

  8. Ah, felting. It's not for the faint of heart.... I, too, have a too-cylindrical two-color bag I had a go with a couple of years ago. I chopped it up and ended up using the felted bits... Yours looks like it could be a wine caddy though... ;)

    Congrats on finishing the book - what a relief!

  9. "only a third of the puzzles need to be edited"? That's wonderful, I think. It still sounds like alot of work. I'm glad you're getting some time off. Sorry to hear about your fil. I have an aunt who is going down hill quickly but often finds a plateau for a while. I try to enjoy them while I can.


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