Picture of How to felt a knitted piece
In this Instructable, I will show you how to take a knitted piece (with 100% wool yarn) and turn it into a funky felted bag. For any of you that love knitting, and have never felted before, you will see how easy this process it. It can add a whole new dimension to your knitted projects. Enjoy!
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Step 1: Beginning knitted piece

Picture of Beginning knitted piece
To start, I knitted up a simple piece with 100% wool yarn. To felt things, you need to have 100% wool yarn, or it will not felt. To check this, look at the yarn wrapper. Most will say if they are for felting or not. You can't use Superwash wool yarn. This has been processed and will not felt.

For the handles on this bag, I used a garter stitch, and the main center part of the bag was done in a stockinette stitch.

One thing to remember with felting is that anything you felt will shrink, so you want to take that into consideration before knitting anything. The amount of shrinkage depends on how long you felt the piece.

Step 2: Add seams to the side of the bag

Picture of Add seams to the side of the bag
I folded the piece in half and sewed a seam on either side to create a bag with more 100% wool yarn.

Probably a dumb question but your beautiful example is knitted, does the piece have to be knitted or would crocheted work (if the stitches were tightly worked).

you can also put it in very hot water and let it sit,so you don't have to start a wash
Have you made this work? I believe the fibers do need agitation for the little hooks to stick together and felting to happen.
Sorry,late. i havent been on fo a wile. It took me a couple of times, but it made a very nice coaster out of a "practice" peice. Also once the water gets cool, take it out. Try for as hot of water as you can
I'm pretty sure it will felt faster with agitation, though.
susanrm3 years ago
Be aware that front-loading washers may not be able to felt items at all, or it may take ages.

Thought you might like to see these. Before and after felting. Four years later, after almost constant cold-weather wear, the recipient (who does have very large feet) says they are still in perfect shape.
acutuly you only need at least 50% wool to felt
msdrpepper4 years ago
The shrinkage can also vary depending on how loopy and big the stitches were to begin with... or how it was dried...

I have a funny/sad story about my earliest experience with an "unintended felting", which I will proceed to share with you. Years and years ago, my grandmother knitted a beautiful cowlneck sweater out of a woolen Royal Blue yard - it was very pretty, and the stitching was kind of loopy. It was a fuzzy yarn to start with, almost like angora (might have even had some angora or similar woven in with the yarn. I don't really know when she made it - I'm guessing late 50's or early 60's before I was born? My mom never wore it very much because of the need to hand wash and then block to dry, plus because of the larger stitching, she pretty much had to wear a blouse underneath of it to keep everything decent, as well as to block the wind.

One day she wore it and had it out in her "to be washed later" pile (with hose, bras, that sort of thing)... but my younger sister, not really aware of why exactly it had to be hand washed, decided to be impatiently helpful and washed the sweater in the same laundry load as a bunch of other hot water washable items. Then she proceeded to run it through the dryer...On the hot setting! (these were late 1960's? vintage dryers, none of this computer sensor stuff...).

Well, my mom is kind of large for her shorter height, but when the sweater came out of the dryer, it had shrunk so small that our two year old brother could wear it perfectly.

My mom wasn't very happy, and it's amazing she let my sister live long enough to give my mom grandchildren, but she did. And I have no idea what became of the Royal Blue Felted Toddler Sweater - it was still beautiful, even in miniature!!
Gottwinkies4 years ago
Thanks fpr the basics on felting! I wanted to try it without having to follow a pattern, but I didn't know how much bigger to make things, Didn't realize size was a function of how long you washed it! Great instructable for do-it yourselfers lol
may-may5 years ago
great project!...would you mind sharing the pattern for the bag? thanx
Oh wow! That's how they do that? I thought you used some kind of tool lol Cute bag!
They do use felting needles.
R4Man186 years ago
you have really petite hands but im a guy so who knows. nifty instructable
MikeEC2166 years ago
In marching band we used to shave our felt berets to remove the fuzzies from them. Just an idea if you're worried about cutting the bag. Just get your old razor and literally shave the bag gently.