Project 1: Fear and Felting

January 5, 2011

If you’ve been reading along then you know that this week I’m felting sweaters and making pillows out of them. The goal is to felt the first sweater I ever knitted so I have a keepsake of it that doesn’t need to live in a dark closet.

Earlier in the week I bought a few wool sweaters to try felting for the first time. A friend told me that felting can ruin your washing machine, so I put each sweater in its own pillowcase and secured the end with both a knot and a rubber band. Then I hesitated. Even though I had no sentimental connection with these thrift store sweaters I was afraid to put them in the washing machine. What if I ruined them? What if my knots didn’t hold and I ruined my washing machine? Why am I doing this crazy blog project, anyway? In the end I tossed them in and turned it on. 40 minutes later I opened the washer door to find that one of the pillowcases had split open and left balls of felted fuzz everywhere. Time will tell if the machine is ruined.

However! Despite this one (hopefully) minor setback the sweaters turned out great. The blended lambswool tank was least changed and the huge Gap sweater shrunk the most. All four of them look like matted versions of themselves.

And then… I sewed! For the first time in a decade, probably. My big sewing weakness is the cutting. I cannot for the life of me figure out how people cut precision lines in sewing or in anything else, for that matter. I also realized after I started disassembling the red sweater that it was cut for a woman and had very few straight lines. Still, I did it! I cobbled together my first pillow cover and it has already passed the husband test.

Is it time to try my goal sweater now?


One comment

  1. The easiest way to get straight lines while cutting fabric is to use a rolling cutter. That’s what I do when I want to be precise because like you, I have real trouble cutting precision lines with scissors.

    BTW, there’s a really good rolling cutter in the sewing room at TSRDU. But, I also picked up a fairly inexpensive one recently at Joann’s Fabrics, so whatever you can find is probably still better than scissors.

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