Thursday, March 08, 2007

Felted Fishtrap

I would very, very much like to see Sarah / Blue Garter's Fishtrap (Tuesday, March 06, 2007), but try as I might I can't get her pictures to load. (It must be my @#$% dial-up connection. Ugh.)

Until I read Sarah's post, I didn't know that the Fishtrap January sweater was "the spark for the whole Zimmermania project." So I am thankful to it for that. I am also personally attached to the pattern because it was my second sweater ever, my first Aran sweater and my first EZ project.

But I have a sad tale to tell.

In knitting the Fishtrap, I learned much: my first twisted stitches, my first knitting in the round, the first (and only?) time I CUT knitting.

I finished at last and wore the sweater proudly--until I got lipstick on the neckband.

As a newbie knitter, I really didn't understand wool. I tossed that Fishtrap in a washing machine (on cold/delicate), and blithely let her go.

And what came out was not what went in.

It was thicker and smaller and very, very felted.

(I hope I am not the only one to have ever done this to a beloved piece of knitting.)

I couldn't bear to throw it out.

It sat in my closet for years--until the trend of closer-fitting tops and my low-carb diet made it possible for me to wear it again.

So I can and do wear it now--but only in certain conditions. This felted Fishtrap is such a WARM garment that I can only wear it when I will be spending time outside on a cool day--on a walk in the woods or in a barn. Otherwise, it sits on the shelf, a reminder that I must ALWAYS handwash. (Thank God for Eucalan!)


  • What a treasure and a lot of wonderful firsts. A felted EZ fishtrap sweater -- with lipstick no less! It still looks quite lovely. I'm sure Madame EZ would appreciate this tale!

    By Blogger Glaistig, at 11:02 PM  

  • oh no but it is pretty anyway. oh i did a lovely aran sweater once. my own design and something was wrong with the yarn so the item grew and grew. and later i spilled some tea on it. but it went to live with a friend who actually wore it and who was so little and cute that everything suited her....

    By Blogger knititch, at 12:42 AM  

  • oh dear....but oh yes, I can relate to the felting bit, and only recently too! Doh! Still what cam out of my washing machine fitted a special friend. The time taen to knit that jumper must have been immense...beautiful work!

    By Blogger picperfic, at 12:55 AM  

  • I bought a woollen jumper in a charity shop to do just that with it. It was a size enormous and I'm not, so as I really liked it, I washed it at 40% and you're right. I't SO hot!
    Anyhow yours is beautiful, regardless of how felted it is.

    By Anonymous teeweewonders, at 12:55 AM  

  • I'll confess, I've done it too. Tried to get the knitted body of a cardigan (I think it was the white one in the green mountain spinnery book) to shrink JUST A LITTLE, and I got distracted and now have a vest of sorts, but it won't fit me. I'm thinking it might look great on someone who LARPs or is into SCA.

    By Anonymous Jo, at 5:55 AM  

  • I actually did that on purpose once to an old cabled sweater I knit and never wore. It has a new life! I bet your felty Fishtrap repels water outdoors--I'd say you win!

    By Blogger Cirilia, at 6:21 AM  

  • Don't make me print my frustration at Blogger for continuing to lose the pictures - they're back up, for now! Your version is gorgeous, and looks so warm. You just need to move to Alaska and then you can wear it all the time!

    By Blogger Sarah / Blue Garter, at 7:30 AM  

  • It wasn't handknitted, but I'd found the most beautiful red sweater; I loved it and I wore it all the time. I'd machine washed it without any problems, but I thought it was an acrylic blend sweater-- and stuck it in the DRYER.

    And it came out too small for me... and too small for my 9 year old niece. Yours is still beautiful, though!

    By Blogger Life&Times, at 10:30 AM  

  • That is beautiful. What a tragedy about the felting!

    By Anonymous tiennie, at 10:33 AM  

  • Dear Femminista, Several knitters have told me that they successfully UNfelted sweaters by using undiluted fabric softener... soak the sweater in it; the fibers relax, un-stick and you can reblock to (almost) original size... worth a try...?
    If it works, please tell us all.
    Knit on, Meg

    By Anonymous baycomercio, at 12:15 PM  

  • Don't feel bad, I handspun all the yarn for my first EZ seamless sweater, gave it to my 13y/o daughter and sure enough, it wound up fitting her 4 year old sister.

    By Blogger Snarled Yarns, at 4:48 PM  

  • Thanks for all the comments!

    Glad to know I'm not the only one.

    Cirilia, I never thought of the water repellent advantage--like a sheep! Bahhh. :)

    Meg/baycomercio, I've never heard of that! I must say I'm a skeptic, but perhaps I should try.

    snarled yarns--OMG--handspun?! Ouch. I am so glad it fit one of your daughters in the end!

    I have to say that this experience did get me into felting, which I now do on purpose with some regularity for slippers and bowls....

    By Blogger Femminista, at 6:44 PM  

  • Girl, I just did the same thing about a month ago! I cried. The bad thing is that I have been knitting since I was 7. I should have known better.

    Every knitter has gone through this...trust me!!

    By Blogger BertandFelix, at 6:06 PM  

  • Ouch! Thanks so much for sharing your cautionary tale. I've accidentally felted sweaters but never hand-knit. Fingers crossed...

    By Anonymous boodely, at 6:33 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home