Ready to Full (if you knit you’ll understand!)

ready to fullI have been working on a “fulled” project. In this case it is knitted items that are then partially felted through the process of hot water, cold water and agitation. The process shrinks the item and makes it quite dense and compressed.

I have discovered that there seems to be no science or guarantee with fulling, quite honestly it is one big science experiment that will drive you insane if you let it. For example, I have now tested 4 different yarns plus about 6 different needle sizes, a couple of different wash/agitation methods and tested dyeing before fulling and after. This has been a project of testing for almost a year. This has produced numerous failed test swatches, that are now known as “Barbie blankets”. Yes indeed the Barbie doll house has been furnished nicely with my rejects (but our daughters are thrilled!).

I think I have finally figured what works best. Strangely the knit is so big and sloppy in the beginning, yet this is the combination that shrinks down the tightest and most compact. The best wash/agitation method turned out to be the washing machine which is awfully convenient as our household with five children means the washing machine is ALWAYS running.

The funny thing about this whole process of figuring out fulling is the fourth combination I ever did was the one that gave the best results. Somehow I was convinced it could be better so I kept knitting and fulling more and more versions and only seeing disappointment. I guess there is something to be said for the saying “quit while you are ahead”.

5 thoughts on “Ready to Full (if you knit you’ll understand!)

  1. I once “fulled” a wool hat and mitts by accident and laughed at your comment about the Barbie house! They came out incredibly small! I never knew people tried to do this on purpose. You have probably guessed that I don’t knit. But, I admire those of you that do!

  2. well done for persistence Deb, I’ve found when I’ve done it that yarn is the biggest problem, this is one occasion when you can use the word wool and mean it, trouble is to prevent the sort of accidents Linda Cote and your husband had many wool yarns now are treated not to shrink/felt, most frustrating, if you had stopped at the forth or fifth sample you would be forever wondering if it could be better, now you know, it can’t be, Frances

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