Felting was one of the things that really got me into knitting, so it will always hold a fond place in my heart. No matter how many times I successfully felt a project though, I always have a moment of doubt--a moment of, "will this really work out?" Felting is always a leap of faith for me. Take the above picture, for example. This is my "before felting." What do you have before felting? A massive, misshapen, floppy bag. Frankly, a god awful, ugly bag! No matter how many times I do this, I always have a fleeting moment of fear when I see how unattractive the project is before felting.
(this project used four skeins of Wool of the Andes: here's what was left of the fourth skein when I was finished)
But somehow, like magic, it all turns out. I think that's what I love best about felting, the feeling of magic around it. That, and how felting makes all your mistakes and imperfections disappear. (for that reason alone, I will always argue that felting is a great "beginning knitter" project: no one will see your uneven tension or dropped stitches!). Here's what my project looked like after one full "whites" cycle in the washer (no other clothes/towels, in a high efficiency, no agitator machine). The bag on the left is a finished Tapered Tote made with Cascade 220 yarn. As you can see, it was almost there, but not quite complete yet. The proportions were still off after only one wash cycle.