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For all knitters

Hints and tips for machine knitters
For machine knitters

Hints and tips for hand knitters
For hand knitters

Test your yarn for 'felting'

Have you ever thrown one of your best woollen sweaters into the washing machine by mistake?

The result is a considerably smaller, matted 'thing' that can never be worn again but, essentially, washing machine action is the method used for felting knitting.

Felted knitting forms a solid, very firm fabric that's ideal for making bags, hats, wallets, waistcoats or even slippers. It can also be pounded and moulded over solid shapes to create three-dimensional effects.

Here's the method for testing your yarn

Not all yarns will 'felt' successfully - natural fibres (wool, alpaca,mohair etc) are best.

Check the washing instructions of your yarn carefully. Yarns that are 'machine washable' are not suitable for felting.

Use this simple test to identify 'feltable' yarns:

  1. Cut a short length of yarn from your ball or cone. Try 50 cms (18 inches) to start with.

  2. Gather the yarn into a clump and roll it round between the palms of your hands to form a loose ball.

  3. Add a small amount of any liquid hand wash soap to the ball and some warm water.

  4. Roll and knead the ball of yarn between your palms, rinsing off any surplus soap as you go along.

  5. Keep on rolling and kneading until the ball begins to stick together - approximately 5 or 10 minutes.

  6. If the fibres in the yarn don't want to stick together after this time, then it's probably not a suitable yarn to use for felting.

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