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Topic: How much does it usually shrink in felting  (Read 9677 times)
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« on: November 06, 2005 02:45:24 PM »

Is there any way to determine how much a piece will shrink when felting? I've worked with PMC before and usually that stuff end up at about half the size of the pre-baked piece.

I want to make a cover for my boyfriend's Nintendo DS for christmas, and judging by the wear and tear it usually gets, I figure a felted one would hold up best. Also that way I don't have to worry about the intertarsia coming undone in places  Tongue  I know what I want to do, but I don't want to make it one size and then have it shrink too far in the felting process.
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« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2005 07:27:50 AM »

If you want to know exactly how your yarn will felt, knit a swatch and felt it.  Write down how many stitches you cast on, how many rows you knit, and measure the length and width of your swatch.  Then toss it in the washer and felt it until it's good and firm, dry it, then remeasure. 

Say for example, you cast on 20 stitches and knit 20 rows and your swatch measures 4" long by 4" wide.  After felting it might measure 3" long by 3 1/2" wide.  This tells you that for every 4" you knit in length, your finished item will shrink 1", so you will have to knit your original piece an extra inch long for every 4" you want the finished item to be.  So if you want your felted item to be 12" long, you must knit it 15" long to account for 3" of shrinkage.  Same goes for the width (which, in this case, you would add 1/2" for every 4" in width).

Once you know how much shrinkage to allow for, you can adjust your pattern accordingly.  Good luck!

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« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2005 08:06:18 AM »

all i can say is swatch it. btw i've used knitpicks wool of the andes for many many MANY felted projects and it rocks. it felts really well, even doubled.

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« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2005 01:04:52 PM »

Every yarn is SO different, it's hard to say ahead of time with out swatching! 

I made the Booga Bag with Noro Kureyon http://www.blacksheepbags.com/booga_bag.html and it came out really well after 3 trips through the wash and some hand felting in the sink.

Then I tried the Sophie bag http://www.magknits.com/warm04/patterns/sophie.htm
with Cascade Quattro, and after one trip through the wash - well, it's a lot smaller than I meant it to be.  I should have taken it out half-way through!  It looks amazing though, and it was a lot of fun!

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« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2005 02:39:05 PM »

If you want to get really technical about it, you should make a swatch incorporating each color you're going to use, and mark off a square of x stitches/x rows (the more the better, but 15 or 20 is usually pretty accurate) with contrasting cotton thread.  Do it in two places - once in the center and once on an edge, since the center of an item always felts 10 or 20% more than the edges.  Measure the squares after felting to figure out your felted gauge.

Every yarn felts differently, and colors within the same yarn line can felt differently, too (bright whites and pale colors usually won't felt terribly well; something to do with the bleaching process).

Man, that sounded so dry and technical Sad  Is it supposed to be a very close-fitting kind of thing?

There will also be cocktail sauce.  -- Smoove B

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« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2005 03:02:10 PM »

The Knitpicks stuff sounds awesome, but I don't think any of the LYS's carry it, alas.

Swatching sounds like the best plan. I'll try it with all the colors to see how they felt, as I know whate's gonna be part of the design and it never felts well.

I'm really not sure on the tight fitting, so I'm going to make ti as tight as possible. My boyfriend carries his DS around in his pocket or backpack most of the time, so I'll see what he wants I suppose. I don't want it particularly loose, but too tight would make it a pain to the DS in and out.
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