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 Shrinking width while retaining length

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Ceil Posted - 06/10/2011 : 2:28:21 PM
I knitted a Moebius bag from Cat Bordhi's Second Treasury and did NOT felt it (made with Brown Sheep Serendipity Tweek). The strap runs width-wise to the knitting, and it has stretched out so that the pouch is way below my hip. So I'm thinking of felting the bag in the washer.

But that could prove to be a dilemma. I knitted a swatch and washed it. Width-wise, it shrank 6 1/2%, but the length shrank 50%! This means the bag portion is going to lose a lot of depth unless I put something inside to help it hold its length. (As it is, the strap is going to get a lot thinner, too.)

Any ideas on how to shrink the strap (mainly) without shrinking the bag a lot? I've thought of stuffing the bag with plastic bags and then sewing the bag shut with nylon cord so the yarn won't fuse to it. All ideas appreciated! Thanks!

(Ravelry: ceilr)
Time is never a factor when joy is involved.
4   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
Ceil Posted - 06/12/2011 : 7:58:08 PM
Folding out a chunk came to mind shortly after I posted. I don't want the strap to get thinner as well, which it WILL do. I may throw a couple cans inside to stretch it all I can. A small pocket for coins would be really nice!

Thanks for the answers!

(Ravelry: ceilr)
Time is never a factor when joy is involved.
Consuelo Posted - 06/11/2011 : 05:10:08 AM
I'm with Marilyn - hand felt it. If you have an old wash board or even a roasting rack with bumps on it, take the strap, wet and soapy, and rub it against the board/rack in the direction that you want it to shrink. You'll work up a sweat but I know you have a lot of energy. You may like it with just the handle felted.

Also, as Marilyn said, how about just folding out a chunck of it to make it the size you want. You may want to come up with some creative way to make it look intentional and decorative. The more I think about it, the more I like this idea. I think the outcome is more predictable and controlable.

"Perfect" is the enemy of good!
mertle Posted - 06/11/2011 : 02:05:20 AM
Ceil, I don't think plastic bags or other ideas will keep the bag part from felting more than you want it to if you do it in the washer. My suggestion is to do this felting by by hand. Start with the strap which you know you want to shrink. Then you'll have an better idea of whether or not you want to tighten up the bag a bit.

Every bag I ever made shrunk much more from top to bottom than from side to side. It's a rule of thumb that must be taken into consideration.

One more strap tip: when drying my bags, I weighted them with items that helped shape them - usually canned goods of various sizes & shapes with lots of plastic bags to help with shaping. (I even used a bag of cat food once!) Then I hung them on a tall round cookie tin straddled between the backs of two chairs. Stretching the straps while they dried helped prevent stretching later. (Just don't hang them on something small like a hook or nail, or you'll have a crease. A doorknob would be the smallest thing I would use.)

Have you thought about shortening the strap by stitching a tuck into each end nearest the bag?

My Bags
Milinda Posted - 06/10/2011 : 3:20:57 PM
I do my felting by hand in a five-gallon plastic bucket using a toilet plunger reserved just for felting. I can control what I want to shrink the most and keep the parts out of the hot water and agitation this way that I don't want felted as much. Also, this method allows me to check as I go, no surprises.


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