Felting is a cool concept. Knit something oversized in 100% wool, dump it into the washing machine for a short time, and the moisture, heat, and agitation will shrink it. Voila! The yarn tightens into felt. The tricky part, I am now learning, is controlling the shrinkage so the item is the size you want it.
For my first attempt, I knit a huge bag which I planned to use for books and notebooks. I then put it into the washing machine. I checked in 10 minutes—still too large. I put it back in, then wandered over to my computer.
Oops. When I checked again, the bag had shrunk to something that barely holds one book, let alone several.
So I knit another bag, this time thinking that the size specified in the pattern was wrong. So I added 50% more stitches to the width, thinking that this would help the bag felt down to the size I wanted.
Turns out that yarn seems to felt more along its length, not its width. The result? This boat of a bag:
Idiot! Our new dog could get lost in this bag.
So. Here’s the question for my fiber friends out there:
—Do I dump the bag back into the washing machine and shrink it more?
—Do I cut the bag in half and make two bags?
—Do I start over? (Not sure I have the emotional energy for that.)
—Or do I realize I lack the felting gene, and instead buy a bag someone else has felted!?
This last one is looking more appealing every day.