Monday, March 15, 2010

Gratis Grass, Fin!

Finally, got this baby felted.You can actually see a difference in size!Also in the stitch definition. I love the look of a felted/fulled wool, don't you? Our new little friend does.

The felting/fulling saga:
I gave up trying to wait it out with normal laundry loads. In my defense, though I realize almost all felting (ahem, that should really be "fulling", but it's been so long since anyone used the correct term, not many would know what I meant) is meant to be done in hot water, or at least warm, I have also had the experience, vicariously, of having something you thought to be washable, having washed and dried it half a dozen times with no discernible change, suddenly shrink for no apparent reason. At which point someone finally reads the care label, and says, "hmm, looks like this is 100% wool, dry clean only..." I say "vicariously", because I always read care labels (seriously, I do - that's an investment, not just a piece of clothing), so this has not happened to any 100% wool garments in my care. Perhaps to one 100% linen pair of pants, disguising itself well as "fake" linen pants until the moment it was pulled from the washing machine, (I knew I should have recycled the "fake" pair the minute I brought the "real" pair home...) but never to anything made from wool. Promise. Point is, it can happen. The shrinking/felting thing, I mean, even if you don't put it in hot water. It just wasn't happening fast enough for me this time.

I tend not to wash in hot unless it's a bleach wash, which would be disaster for poor little Gratis, so I had to get inventive. First I did a load of towels, and just held our grassy friend under the hot water as it filled the washing machine (all before adding the bleach so necessary to happy towels) and gave him a little gentle rubbing now and then. That actually made a big difference just doing that. No picture for you, sorry. It was still not quite enough, though, so I paced the floor trying to come up with another idea.
Finally, I grabbed the sheets from Twin1's bed, reasoning that they could 1) do with a wash, and 2) bright blue tie-dye sheets don't want bleach. Hot water may not have been part of that care label, either, but hey, they're just sheets.

Popped dear little Gratis into a zippered case (in truth, this is a packing case I use when I travel, but it's smallish, zips all the way shut, and it's handy), and started up the washing machine. I didn't stand by to check the progress, since I had no real need to stop it before it was too small. It's a toy, so if it went too far, who would know?
Before tossing in the dryer, I checked to be sure it had gotten somewhere, put him back in his little washing case, and let the dryer run it's course. Looks just right to me. And pretty darn cute, I think. (The sheets came out fine, too - they're still bright blue, and they still fit the bed, so no harm done.) His eyes are 3 strands black floss. I back stitched a circle, roughly 1/2" diameter, and filled in with satin stitch. I could have used safety eyes, but I like how this looks, too.
I have two others to felt/full and add some personality to, including the one hiding behind Gratis - he's a little experiment in a no-seams version, not even the bottom, so he's stuffed already, lightly, and we'll see how that holds up. Could be disastrous, but I'm willing to risk it. Guess I'll wash my sheets this time.

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