Adventures in felting

I don’t have a lot of experience with felting (or, to be more correct in this case, fulling). In fact, I can only think of one felted object I made before I decided to jump in and make both a felted sheep and a felted bag. Not the easiest task when you only have access to a coin-operated washing machine (so no control over the cycles, like agitation), so it took a little determination to go ahead and do it. I also forgot to take “before” pictures of the unfelted items. Anyway, I used Noro Kureyon and Lamb’s Pride for the sheep, which turned out pretty well:

That’s a bit more stitch definition than I’d like to see, though, so I think it’ll get another run through the washing machine. I do like the face and the curling-forward ears:

The bag was a bit more work. The pattern is for a messenger bag, whereas I wanted a smallish purse I could use as an alternative to my more sedate black leather purse. I went for a half-size bag, which involved some calculations when it came to the slip-stitch mosaic flap. Rather than sizing down yarn and needles to preserve the entirety of the mosaic pattern, I just decreased the number of all the stitches by half. In the end I think this was the best course of action, since a smaller version of the pattern might have become blurred and unrecognisable during the felting process. One trip through the washer yielded this (yes, I’ll be spending a lot of time picking lint off this thing):

The problem with slip-stitch patterns, as great as they are because you only work one colour at a time, is that they tend to pull in. This becomes especially apparent when felting, as you can see in the image above. I’ve straightened out the edges while they dry but really I’m not too concerned with it–I kind of like the wavy edge. The bigger nuisance is how the strap came out:

The strap felted very well where it attaches to the body of the bag, and almost not at all further out. I’m not sure yet whether I’ll cut the felted sections out and reattach the wider, unfelted portion, or cut the whole thing off and put it through the washer again sans bag. I’ll probably do the latter, and just throw the strap in the washer again with the sheep. Hopefully the results will be a bit more uniform this time.

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One Response to Adventures in felting

  1. Andrea Grant says:

    Oh, they’re both adorable!! I am making my own first felted bag this week after successfully felting a catbed in my apartment building’s mysterious, coin operated washer!! I hope my bag turns out as cute as yours!

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