completed Circle rug

September 2, 2008 § 2 Comments

circle rug

Just in time for the chilly weather that has started to roll in and make the floors cold, I finally finished the circle rug I started way back when. More pictures at Flickr. Before the circles were felted they looked like baby berets, especially when my little nephew put them on his baby head. Turns out that half done knitting projects make good toys for little ones to throw around and put back into a basket.

Pattern: Table Runner pattern from Felt Forward by Maggie Pace

Yarn: Cascade 220/colors: New Lavender, Granny Smith, Maiz, Vandyke Brown, Doeskin Heather, Gris, Sky) and Knit Picks-Wool of the Andes in Carrot

I made more circles than the table runner pattern so the rug would fit nicely in the space between my side of the bed and the window. I have thought of the fact that felted yarn on hardwood floors= slips, trips and falls (or STF as they call them at my workplace- very serious and very dangerous they tell me). My plan was to sew some of that rubbery stuff that one puts under a rug so one doesn’t fall. But so far it’s not as slippery as I thought. I also haven’t decided what side I like better.

front and back of circle rug

Since I hand felted all of the circles, even the ones that I put through the machine, they each have an individual look and some are felted more than others. The dark blue ones have almost no stitch definition and are velvety soft. The orange, that I thought was Cascade 220 too and turned out to be a different yarn, didn’t felt as well and looks more ragged. So what I am trying to say is that the back looks smoother but I also like the way the front looks and I don’t really want to decide what side I like better yet. I think I will see if I hurt myself and experience a STF before I sew on the backing. That’s the lazy way. A good pair of felted slippers will complete my mission against cold feet this winter.

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front load felting

August 1, 2008 § 2 Comments

In the past I have heard that felting in a front load washer doesn’t work but I felt like I had to try it for myself. I really wanted it to work since I have been wanting to finish the circle rug but not feeling motivated to hand felt after the first two (tiring) times. And it was really hot for a while so I was not in the mood to be intimate with a tub of hot water. On a side note, when our old washer/dryer kicked the bucket and we were looking at replacing it I was hesitant to get a front loader (because I like felting hand knits) but the rebates and promise of high energy efficency won me over. So this is the result of my first try.
frontload felting

The circle on the right was hand felted and the circle on the left went through the frontloader twice with a canvas market bag (and two other circles of the same color). I’m not really sure what happened to it. Some of it felted fully and parts of it (where it puckered) didn’t seem to get agitated. I hand felted the three green circles and they seem to have flattened out but there are some wrinkles in between where the puckers were.

I realized that I am probably not the only one that wants to make this work, and of course other people have tried it in lots of different ways.

Wool Crafting gives step by step instructions- only I can’t control the size of my load on my washer like they recommend, my washer automatically detects the size and fills the water accordingly.

eHow gives different instructions- and they recommend stopping or pausing the cycle every 5 minutes like you would normally do. Of course this requires the washer to drop the water level which could take some time and seems to me like it would waste a lot of water if it keeps re-filling after each stop.

This site uses the pre-wash cycle to be able to stop and check the object without draining the water- not sure if I have a cycle like that.

I think I am going to do some of my own experimenting with the different ideas. I’ll try to remember to report back with what works for my washer, I feel determined to make this work.

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