Yes, it’s true. I have had my first ever non-reparable, throw-it-in-the-trash, forget-you-ever-made-it disaster. Here’s what happened: I was trying to make a felted messenger bag. I had a pattern, I had the right yarn in a color I really liked, and I had the self-control to stick to the pattern, which is not an easy thing for me. I have made a small felted mp3 player cozy before, so I knew how to felt something. I started knitting. I knit. And knit. And knit some more. When I had used up all my yarn and finished the pre-felted piece, it resembled a chair cover. My sisters thought I was crazy and didn’t believe me when I said it was going to shrink down to the size of a purse. But I was so happy to be finished knitting, and I took this “Before” picture:I took my finished piece and threw it into the washing machine with some towels for agitation. I set it on the right cycle and let it go. I checked on it after ten minutes, all was well. I checked on it after fifteen minutes and it looked fine and had started felting nicely. I checked on it after thirty minutes and……the horrible disaster revealed itself. (Note: The above picture has been censored due to its graphic nature. The following description may be unsuitable for beginning knitters.)
I pulled it out to find that it had stuck to itself in odd places, puckered and crumbled, shrunk in some places, stayed stretched in others. It had felted, but…I can’t even describe how awful it was. I decided to let it dry and see if there was some way I could repair it; maybe cut it or sew parts together. Nope. Nada. No way.
I followed the directions perfectly. I had checked on the piece while felting. The only thing I can figure is that it’s the washing machine’s fault. Our machine is one of those fancy High Efficiency machines that doesn’t have a center-agitation bar like the traditional washing machine. I didn’t think it would make a difference, but I had living proof that it does make a difference. Of course, the directions didn’t say anything about the type of washing machine to use.
The only thing left to do was to throw it away. I had thought about taking a picture of it, but why keep a reminder of my failure? Why torture myself? The best thing to do was to let go. Get rid of the evidence. Purge myself of my guilt, my shame, my disaster.
This is the first thing that I have ever failed at. Sure, I’ve made mistakes before, but those can be fixed, or even frogged. But this, this was beyond the controls of the needle. Once something is felted, there is no going back. So I have learned from my $12 mistake (that’s how much the yarn cost; it was on sale. I’m upset about loosing the yarn because it was wool) and decided that if I ever felt again, I will do it by hand.