I Felt Badly
I experimented with felting this weekend, with poor results.
Last summer I knitted this thing, with size 0 needles, for an infant who couldn't even even stay awake when presented with proof the stupendous efforts I exerted on his behalf. But this weekend I couldn't seem to get the right boiled-up-and-itchy texture for my - gasp! Swatch. Yes, I did a swatch. I did 50 swatches.
I consulted the experts. This chick at Knitty.com seemed to have good results with Lambs Pride. I used some cheapo Plymouth 100% wool because I couldn't bear throwing $7.75 into the washing machine. She has a point: the Lambs Pride has the right amount of coarseness and lamb sweat (or lanolin, if you're a lady) to get a real felt going.
This girl, Betz White, seems to felt up everything just the way I wish I could. (She is also the sister-in-law of someone in my knitting group, so does that make us related?).
My problem could be cheap yarn or water that isn't hot and cold enough. You would think it would be easy to mess up knitting, but it's not. It takes swatching.
I used the swatch to make a pair of brown mittens for a kid who has cold hands.