Trying something new

Whenever I go on holiday I try to buy some sort of craft-related items. Sometimes I buy them specifically for use at my craft group but at other times I buy them for me. One of the things that I like to buy for me is wool for felting. When I say ‘wool for felting’ I use it to encompass wool tops, rovings, unspun yarn and spun yarn so I think that probably gives you a bit of a clue as to my stash. I think my partner would be horrified if he knew the size of my felting wool stash! The thing is, I haven’t even done a huge amount of felting although it is one of those crafts that I would like to do more of. To give you an idea of my felting wool buying habit, it’s rather like when your mother used to say “your eyes were bigger than your belly” when you couldn’t finish your dinner. Well, in my case, my eyes are bigger than my creative imagination!

Apart from buying some merino tops for a workshop that my friend and I went to, my felting wool stash building began in Kirkwall in the Orkney Isles a couple of years ago. I went to a craft fair and wanted to buy something to remind me of our visit so I bought some rovings from the sheep that feed on seaweed, thinking that I could felt something as a reminder. When we arrived in Iceland on that same trip we were wandering around Reykavik and I found a shop that sold felting wool – so, of course, I had to buy some! Then, on my own, I found another shop and had to buy some there. [I also bought quite a few crafty items on that holiday, as well!] The same thing happened in Tallinn, on another holiday, and my stash grew!

Finally, a couple of weeks ago, I used some of the unspun yarn that I had bought in Iceland and Estonia and knitted a bag for felting. The pattern I used was from the book Pursenality Plus by Eva Wiechmann. The pattern uses one main colour with contrasting trims but I wanted a multicolour effect so I used four different coloured balls of unspun yarn, knitting two strands together. I mixed and matched the colours randomly and included short strands of one of the other colours whenever I had the urge. This is how the bag ended up when I had finished knitting:

The bag measured 26″ x 16″ at
this stage

Then came the felting part…

I had only used the washing machine for felting once before and it was not successful – mind you, I didn’t have a clue what I was doing and didn’t even try to find out! [Will I ever learn?] So it was with some trepidation that I set the washing machine. When I checked the bag after its short wash cycle it had not felted so I put it in again but, of course, I cut corners – I didn’t sew up the pillowcase again – so the bag escaped and ended up tangled with the jeans I had also put in. Not only that, but when I took it out I found it had begun to felt together! Oh, no!

I tugged at it, pulled it, cussed at it and eventually managed to prise it apart. Then I stuffed it to give it shape and definition [followed the rules this time!!!] and left it for about seven and a half years to dry – OK, perhaps it wasn’t quite that long, but it seemed like it. Well, it’s finally dry and, although I haven’t lined it yet, I’m putting it on here because my friend in Somerset is desperate to see how it has turned out. And, here it is…

It now measures about 18″ x 13″

I must say, I’m rather pleased with it.

I would love to hear about your felting experiences. Have you tried felting? How did it turn out? Which methods of felting have you tried? Why not tell me all about it?


6 thoughts on “Trying something new

  1. Love it Dina, the colours are really nice, what are you going to line it with? Haven't tried felting apart from a jumper that I put on too hot a wash!!

    Jenny xx


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