It’s 91 degrees today, and the weather is supposed to remain in the high 80’s until Sunday. So I took a chance and felted the bed today!
Here's the process I used:
Filled the washer with HOT water, on full depth setting. Added two pair black jeans and 1 cap of liquid detergent. When the washer was not quite done filling, I stopped the machine and added a 12 qt pot of boiling water. I allowed the 18 minute agitation cycle to run 10 times or more. A long time.
When the hot water was drained, I turned the water temp setting to COLD. When the rinse water in the washer was full, I added two bags of ice. (my washer can handle SUPER LARGE loads…so this addition of ice wouldn’t overtax it. Same goes for the 18 qt pot of boiling water. I had read that shocking the wool from HOT to ICE COLD also aids in the felting process.
Anyway, the felted fabric is very stiff and firm. Perfect! I put a garbage can upside down on the lawn, pulled a black leaf bag over it, added two beach towels over that…and tried to pull the felted bed over the shape. The bed was not large enough (for which I’m glad). So I put metal barrel container on top of the garbage can, put the beach towels over the metal barrel, and tried the felted bed again. IT WORKED! So 3 of the photos show the (damp/wet) bed pulled over the cans, and sitting out in the sun to dry.
After a day, I’ll remove the bed and turn it inside out, so that the other side is facing out. I’ll also change the beach towels with dry beach towels. This will help the bed dry thoroughly.
Tomorrow, when the bed is mostly dry, I'll lay a beach towel across the top of the rippley bottom, put a board across it, and lay weights on top of that. This will help press the ripples flat. This rippley effect was mentioned in the pattern. But even so, after the pad is made, the ripples won't show. I won't be able to leave the weights