Felting is pretty popular, you can make really warm, sturdy garments, jewelry, art, all sorts of things with it. Most patterns and instructions for felting tell you to use a washing machine.
I don't have a washing machine & my friendly neighborhood laundromat is four blocks away. I‘ve felted once before and was happy with the results, twice if you count that time I washed my fingerless gloves.
They shrunk so small I couldn’t fit them past my fingers and had to donate them.
Most Blogs I have found that talk about hand felting describe it as absolute torture with crappy results. So I decided to show you all what I did last night...
I started by crocheting a swatch, made with animal fiber, if the yarn is at least 80% of that, it will felt. This swatch (which is just a square) is 25 stitches(sts) across and worked in single crochet (sc) for 30 rows.
You need 3 things to felt: hot water, agitation/friction and cold water.
Some folks say to use soap, some don't. I used a bit of dish detergent, you can also use some of your own shampoo.
Hot water is essential in the felting process, you dunk your piece in cold water shocking the fibers and making the scales constrict causing the felting. The agitation helps with this too.