Anna was a disaster. I have no idea what I was thinking when I started her (4 years ago?). I see why she was banished to the back of the closet, she should have been sent to a place much further away.
I know she did not look that bad on the blocking board but when I picked her up and basted her together, (what are you crazy, did you think I would spend hours fretting over the best way to seam her without first checking to see if she was worth the effort?) she was big and blowzy and all over the place. Those puffy places with thick yarn really puffed out. Nothng stayed in place it just kind of rolled over itself. Do you remember that movie, The Blob , well, that's kind of what the sweater looked like. I felt like a polar bear, or a fox with its winter coat on, and if you've ever seen a fox without its coat you would know exactly what I mean.
The only good thing about Anna was that she was so bulky she made my somewhat hefty arms look waif-like.
So I threw her in the washer with HOT water. Twice. I let her dry flat, I didn't further the felting process by using the dryer. The result still looks like knitting, but it is flatter and I am really happy with the results:
The felting made the bobbled portions of the yarn lay flat and drew them in to show off the lacy portions created by the thinner strands of binding yarn.
Now this Anna is too small for me to ever dream of wearing. The first Anna was too big, she grew substantially in the wash and I could not push all those fluffy areas flat and small again. I am not sure how that happened as I knitted the small and used significantly LESS yarn than the pattern called for. The new Anna is about 30 inches and has no give whatsoever.
Still, I love the fabric I created and envision her being used in a jacket or something. I have passed her on to the sewing pile where she will eventually be transformed.