Friday, August 24, 2007

Felting

After I bought my knifty knitter, I went searching online for ideas on what could be done with it. It was then that I came across the idea of felting.

Basically you take a woollen item (it needs to be wool and apparently not all wools work either) and wash it in hot water and it not only shrinks but the fibres all kind of matt together to give a felted appearance. Well it sounded kind of interesting to me so I decided I'd like to give it a try with some bags I was making on one of my knifty knitter looms.

Here are a couple of pictures of the finished product before the felting process.

I knitted them on the red knifty knitter loom (which is the second smallest round loom in my set), using all but 8 of the pegs. I used 2 strands of 8-ply wool together - 1 pink and 1 lavender in colour. Then just used a basic e-wrap stitch back and forth until I had approximately double the length I wanted. Then I started to decrease gradually to make a shaped piece for the flap section of the handbag.

So far I have made 3 of these and because I'm not following a specific pattern, each one of them is different. I like the idea of no two being exactly the same. :-)

For the handle I wrapped in a figure 8 movement around 2 pegs (again using the 2 different coloured strands held together as if 1). I made that up as I went along and it made quite a neat tube. Everything was then sewn together and trimmed etc before the felting process

Being the kind of person who doesn't like to follow recipes and instructions too specifically, I also made up my own variation for the felting process. LOL. You never know what I'm going to end up with when I experiment.

I soaked the bag in boiling water for around 20-30 minutes and then threw them in with my regular light load wash. I usually wash the light load on a 60C cycle so it's warm but not hot hot. The heat is supposed to somehow open up the fibres so that they'll be more susceptible to matting (I think).

Here's what they look like once the felting process is complete:


I don't know how easy it is for you to see the difference. None of my projects have come out 100% felted yet. Probably due to my lack of scientific approach to the process. LOL. But I don't mind really as it kind of adds to the character of the bag - continuing on with my "no 2 bags look the same" theme. :-)

Here is another shot of the felted bag. I'm really happy with the way the 2 colours have melded together.

The other great benefit I've noticed with the felting is that it helps cover any little mistakes! :-) All the stitching becomes a part of the overall piece as well. So it's perfect for someone like me who's just starting out and wants to make something that looks "nice".

My plan for 2 of the bags are as Christmas gifts for my nieces. We don't see them very often as they live in another state. I'm hoping when they see them it'll remind them of us and that even though we're a long way away, we love and cherish them dearly. At the moment I'm working on some little embellishments to finish them off. When I'm done, I'll post some more pics for you to see how they've turned out. :-)

Then I need to do some shopping for some small items to put inside. I've already purchased an Avon Little Blossom lip gloss for each of them. I'm not sure what else I might put inside. If you have any suggestions, feel free to add them to the comments section. :-)

If anyone is interested in taking up loom knitting, I noticed that the current spotlight catalogue has a set of 4 looms for just under $10 (on sale). That's quite a bit cheaper than what I paid for mine although they are a cheaper brand - I'm sure they'd still work just as well though.

I have a few other ideas I want to try out using the felting process - I'll keep you posted as I go! :-)

4 comments:

Rhonda Gay said...

Now thats interesting. I hope you show us some of the other things you do

Snoskred said...

I love the lip gloss idea - I have so many of them around the place, I'm planning on taking a photo when I manage to get them all in one place at one time.

Fantastic blog - I really enjoyed the goals and dreams post down the page. Adding you to my new blogs I'm reading list ;)

Thanks for leaving a comment, I may never have found you otherwise!

Snoskred
http://www.snoskred.org/

Lisa said...

Those bags look so cute! What about some hair accessories or some bath products, moisturising creams...perhaps you could find some "green" ones...

lightening said...

Snoskred - thanks for dropping by. I'm glad you enjoyed reading my blog. :-)

Rhonda Gay - I'm sure I will! :-)

Lisa - thanks for the ideas.