May 28, 2005


First, thank you, everyone, for the congratulations and good wishes. We’re very excited, and I’m sure you’ll hear more as we get closer to actually moving. And I will, of course, keep blogging from Sackville — so every detail will be recorded, don’t worry!

But for now, it’s back to my May Stashbusters project, which may not get quite finished within the month… but no matter. As long as it works out in the end.

So, this afternoon I started with this sorry-looking heap:


The white border is not permanent — it’s the temporary edging in cotton, designed to keep the edges from flaring and provide holes to be used for picking up stitches post-felting, to make the actual button bands and armbands. The temporary edging is therefore much shorter than the pre-felted vest, leading to the bunching and general deformity evident in this picture. This is a moment that requires alot of faith.

With this in hand, I ventured downstairs to face our lovely new front-loading washine machine. Now, I know that this machine will felt — I felted the swatch in it, after all. However, the controllability of the process is the problem. The machine basically won’t let me open the door once a cycle has started — and it gets very tetchy if I try to skip parts of the cycle (like the spinning). It sometimes refuses to allow the door to be opened even when the cycle is over, if it’s been interfered with along the way. A wiser woman than I am would not even try felting a project like this without more control over the conditions. I, however, pondered briefly and then went for it anyway.

After one “delicate” hot/cold cycle the vest was only barely felted. After a second “delicate” cycle, it was definitely felted, but significantly too large. At this point, in my usual impatient way, I threw caution to the winds and threw the vest in for a “short” regular cycle. And this was the result:


Amazingly enough, it’s pretty much perfect! It needed a little stretching lengthwise, but the width is just about right. I’m flabbergasted, frankly. This entire time, even when I was doing painstaking calculations and following clever instructions faithfully, I was secretly convinced that it was all going to go terribly terribly wrong. But look at it! It’s a vest!

For good measure, here’s a close-up of the texture and the cotton edging:


It may be a bit of a pain pulling out the cotton and picking up stitches in the resulting holes, but after the miracle of the felting, I’ll trust the reference book I was using ( Felted Knits by Beverly Galeskas) on anything.

There is still a fair amount of work to be done — button bands and armhole edgings need to be picked up and knit, pockets must be cut and inserted (probably fabric pockets), and buttons need to be put on. But so far, so good! I didn’t waste all those hours of black stocking stitch, after all!

Time to find something colourful to work on for a while…

Posted by Aven at May 28, 2005 06:22 PM



Posted by: laura at May 28, 2005 06:50 PM

You are a goddess.

I bow to your vest felting prowess.

I am jealous.

Posted by: Steph at May 28, 2005 11:02 PM

Wow!!! Looks terrific!

Posted by: Kathleen at May 29, 2005 08:34 AM

It looks fantastic. What color is replacing the white cotton??? I have not yet ventured to the felting of actual clothing! But your vest is awesome. I can totally see doing one!

Posted by: Morgan at May 29, 2005 09:17 AM

Oh. My. Gosh. I cannot believe how GREAT that looks. That is the neatest knitted item I have ever seen. You are the knitting QUEEN girl!

Posted by: Dani at May 29, 2005 09:22 AM

It looks really good.

I think I like it with the white edging; it looks very natty.

Posted by: Lydia at May 29, 2005 11:33 AM

I like it! It’s cute! Even the white edgeing, actually. I might make one myself :)

Posted by: Karlie at May 29, 2005 11:40 AM

It looks so neat. I’ll have to make my hat soon (but since it’s a winter hat and I have a gazillion summer projects it’ll have to wait).
So what’s the difference between felted and fulled? is it just a different term for the same thing?

Posted by: Maria at May 29, 2005 09:24 PM

Wow - that’s gorgeous. Isn’t felting scary? I always cross my fingers during the felting process. I’m so glad your sweater turned out so beautifully. Great job.

Posted by: Jennifer at May 30, 2005 06:09 AM

That’s really a surprise.
Everything working out like that? Surprising.

Posted by: stephanie at May 30, 2005 08:01 AM

Oh wow. That’s amazing. I can’t believe you just whipped it into the washer and closed the door. You’re brave.

Posted by: Stephanie VW at May 30, 2005 09:16 AM

Every time I felt something, I am amazed by the magic of it…
Your vest looks great! Can’t wait to see the finished project!

Posted by: Dianna at May 30, 2005 09:31 AM

Absolutely f*%&ing brilliant! What an awesome knit…and lucky man!

Now go find some fushcia yarn and knit away!

Posted by: Anita at May 30, 2005 05:27 PM

Very very cool. I’ve seen this project before and figured - no way! But yours looks perfect. Can’t wait to see it with the edging on.

Posted by: Cassie at May 30, 2005 07:40 PM

Very becoming, I love how the white just makes it pop!

Posted by: Rebekah at May 31, 2005 03:20 PM

Wow! Gorgeous! Great Job!

Posted by: Shelly at June 2, 2005 12:27 PM