Minor Felting Mishaps

January 24, 2017

I felted a couple of shoes again. This time with less success.

I used another yarn. and though all yarn is different, I cannot blame the yarn. I simply made a couple of mistakes and experienced a couple of mishaps.

My story might help you though, so here it is.

If you are new to felting, read this article: How to Felt Wool before you read the current blog post. I don't want to ruin your first impression on felting :)

Mishap 1 - Before 'n After

Kiddo tried the shoes, before they were washed. He loved them. I think, he loved, they were a little bit too big and that they were sloppy and the yarn was very, very soft. Then I felted the shoes into tight shoes, the yarn feeling more rigid and stiff. He didn't want to wear them at first, when he saw the result. (Later he forgave me and tried them on.)

Mishap 2 - Mixed Yarn

I made the rib of a different yarn. I wanted it to stay as it was, but it didn't. IT SHRANK!
The yarn was supposed to be acrylic. A variegated orange-yellow-white color my son really wanted. I just lost the yarn label a looong time ago. It wasn't supposed to shrink. I'm still not sure if it got 'infected' with loose wool threads or it was partly wool or what happened... I had to pull it hard to stretch the rib, when I took the shoes out of the washing machine. Unfortunately, it will not stretch much, so kiddo will quickly grow out of the shoes now.

Mishap 3 - Sewing Loose Yarn Ends

When I crocheted shoe number two I might have sewed in some ends in a stupid way. I sewed it in along the top edge of the shoe. Where the rib begins and the actual shoe stops. That might have been a mistake. It seems as one of the shoes are extra tight here, so it is more difficult to put on and off. Maybe the loose end pulls everything tight together, more than the stitches would have by them selves.

Mishap 4 - No Soap?

I tried to wash the shoes without soap at all. This is what is recommended by experts. I accidentally looked into the washing machine after a short while and saw a lot of soap in there. Of course! I've recently washed a full machine and it tends to leave some soap in the tubes - or whatever. I should have run an empty or half-empty machine first to clean it.

Mishap 5 and 6 - Washed 'n Forgotten

I washed the shoes at 40 °C (104 °F) right away. Why not? It worked fine in my first attempt. With different yarn of course. I guess all yarn really IS different. Because this yarn wanted to shrink a lot more than the first yarn I tried. I should have started with a program using 30 °C (86 °F).

And yes. I forgot the shoes in the washing machine. I'm not sure for how long. Might have been a couple of hours. They were still wet, but had cooled down and were very hard to pull into shape. I probably should have hand washed them right away in lukewarm water, to see if that made them more flexible. I didn't. I wanted them to dry, so I could see what they were 'really' like.

Mishap 7 - A Curled Up Sheet?

I washed the shoes together with a sheet. I think, one of the shoes got caught by the sheet, which then curled up. At least there were a significant difference on the two shoes when they came out of the washing machine. One was still a little bit sloppy and a bit bigger than the other. Next time I'll wash my work with things they can't easily get caught by. I put the sloppy shoe on a warm radiator while still wet. It helped. Plus, I worked hard to stretch the other shoe, so now they look similar. Almost.

The Shoes Work

Despite from all this, the shoes work. They are far from perfect, but they are usable and warm. At least they didn't come out as a big lump of yarn. I have heard that could happen. Now I need to add some liquid latex to the bottom of the shoes, so kiddo doesn't break a leg on the slippery kitchen floor.

I still wonder though, if I missed any of the possible minor felting mishaps ??

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