For my birthday, one of things that I wanted was Wonder Washer! I do a lot of felting and for the most part my projects are small. It was putting a lot of wear and tear on my big washing machine, so when the ladies at Ravelry started to rave about the Wonder Washer, I had to have one!
Here are to objects to be felted:
Along with the objects are tennis balls and lint bags that I normally used when I felted in my big machine. So each piece of wool got put into a lint bag and into the WW they all went!
A lot of the ladies said they put this machine on the kitchen counter. I was totally not thinking that was a good idea so on the floor it went.
So the best felting results come from HOT water, lots of agitation and a small amount of soft soap. So that is what I “fed” Mr. WW.
Put the lid on and set the timer for 9 minutes. It went by fast and I checked the progress. Hmmm, not liking what I am seeing. No change. The water was starting to cool down so I drained out the water in Mr. WW (and that is a VERY easy thing to do, so I was not put out by that at all!). Refilled the tub with super hot water, a dab more of soap and THREE tennis balls. I also did not feel that there was enough agitation so I DECREASED the amount of the water. I set the timer for another 15 minutes. When that was done I saw a better amount of progress on the felting process, but still, by now my big washer would have had this stuff felted right down. Again I felt like the water was getting cooler, so I dumped the water and refilled with more HOT water and no more soap, there were plenty of suds in there. Kept the water level even lower, just hardly covering the items. They were all tangled up in the bags into a ball so several times I had to stop and untangle them. I think that the tangled mass definately added to the problem of not felting as quickly as they should have.
Another 15 minutes and I deemed them as done as they were going to get. (Besides, I was now late for an appointment which I thought I had plenty of time to get to because I thought the felting process would not take as long.)
So here they are all done and drying. A felted item to me is like clay and the job of felting is not done until you have molded the “clay”. That is why I inflated a balloon in the basket and shaped the other items. Ignore the brown thing on the left…..it did not turn out at all like I wanted – and it had nothing to do with the WW. I have since thrown it away! Ha!
And today this is the basket all dried and ready to fill with an arrangement of dried flowers.
Here a few things I have learned and discovered about my WW.
1. It requires a lot less water and three tennis balls 2. I believe that I put too many items in and need to just limit it to two or three things AND items can be put into the WW without lint bags. The whole purpose of the lint bags is to prevent fibers from clogging your washer machine and twisting around your agitator causing severe and costly damage. The set up in the WW is so different there are no parts that can get damaged by fibers. When you are done with the water in the WW you can walk it outside and dump it – the birds will love the fibers for their nests! 3. The moebius basket I knit was knit with too large needles and only one strand of wool – it should have been two. 4. I am a little concerned because on the finished pieces I saw spots where it had felted completely and other spots where the stitches were still visable. I think that also has to do with the lint bags and the over crowding.
So, I will rate the Wonder Washer as about 85% right now because I believe if I do things differently from all levels this little machine will perform perfectly! I will keep you updated as I continue to learn and work with this machine. I don’t regret getting it at all. I have to knit up some more felted items before I can use it again. I am currently working on a huge cat bed, and when I am finished knitting that I will have to put that in my big machine.