Felted (Fulled) Machine knitting - Shibori Style

How cute are these?

Click to enlarge


Knitted with Alafoss Lopi Icelandic Lopi 100% pure new wool yarn  from a free pattern download from Ravelry.http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/fulled-lopi-tote
This is a handknitting pattern that I converted for machine knitting.


1. Knitting
The totes were knitted on a bulky knitting machine in a loose stitch.  A loose stitch is required as the looseness aids the agitation in the felting process. The bag will shrink by about a third in size during the felting, so don’t be disappointed when the bag is first assembled; it will look too large and too floppy.  But hang on in there and trust the process.

2. Bobbles
Lay out the bag and make the design by positioning children’s marbles on the bag. 
Tie each marble on the inside of the bag and tie very securely with dental floss.

3. Felting process (hand method)
Tools required  

  • Plastic bucket
  • Sink Plunger
  • Hot water
  • Small amount of washing up liquid

Put the finished knitted bag in the bucket and vigorously agitate (up and down) with the sink plunger. Make sure you sit in a comfortable position as this part of the process could take around 30 minutes

Check the item from time to time as you need to examine the stitches closely to see if the stitches are looking more blurred, which means that the yarn has started to felt. Stop when you are happy with the look of the fabric.

Rinse and drain.

  • Tools required
  • Plastic Bag
  • Cardboard box or any shape that you want your finished item to be.
Whilst wet, put the plastic bag over the cardboard box (this prevents the box from geting soggy and loosing its shape).
Fit the bag over the box and pull into shape.
Leave to dry.  It may take 2/3 or more days to completely dry.
Remove the marbles.


The felting process can only be achieved with 100% wool yarn (it doesn’t work with machine washable wool yarn, or ‘Superwash’ yarn.

Could be done in a washing machine, but with today’s front loaders with a timer lock on the door, makes it impossible to check on the how the felting is progressing.

Different and interesting results can be achieved by
  • pinching pleats with a bulldog clip
  • knitting in some places with a non-felting yarn (machine washable yarn, acrylic or fancy yarns)
  • Sew with tacking thread to form pleats
  • Use other items to form shapes (ping pong balls, coins,  small lengths of dowling) 


1 comment:

  1. I would love any advice I could get on purse felting. They seem to be horizontally much larger than they should be - I know, don't cast on as many stitches. I may sew in some pleats as suggested. What a great idea.