Friday, August 29, 2008

Signs of Fall..Felted Totes

Look what blew my way today...the first sign of fall. Leaf pic was taken on my Tangerine Felted Wool Tote. I have recently uploaded all my projects onto and under the name NeenerKnits and am "meeting" alot of knitting buddies there, and learning alot about new patterns. There are like a zillion people on the site and more waiting to get on! It's amazing! If you click on the Flickr bar on the right side of my blog on one of the pictures, it will take you to my Flickr photostream. If you click on the Ravelry Button, it will take you to the home page of the Ravelry site. It is easy to join. You just have to request an invitation and wait a few days for it to be processed. It is a huge knitting and crocheting community.
Here's another shot of the tote. Maybe I can post some pics of my previous projects while I am working on my sweater. Back to work, so not as much time to knit these days... This tote was made with a pattern that I modified a bit, changing the handles to one instead of two. It was knit double-stranded (holding two yarns at once) with the tangerine color and the Noro wool throughout. I didn't felt it completely because I wanted the size to remain more on the medium side.

FELTING: What is it? Basically, it is taking wool and with heat and agitation, the fibers cling together to form a smooth surface so the stitching is no longer or almost no longer visible. The wool tote was placed into a pillow case and put it in the washer with hot water and agitated for several minutes, then I kept checking it and repeating the process until it was the size I wanted. You must watch it and be careful when you are spinning the excess water out that it doesn't spin too long or get creases set into it. Some books say not to spin it at all. I did a little.Then it is set on a plastic "mold" aka: tupperware and/or hung to dry. Shown placing the purse in the washer:

My very first felted purse with stripes of Lamb's Pride wool and novelty yarn. Made with a pattern I got at knitting group that required learning to "pick up stitches" and making an I-Cord. I ended up selling this at a fair. Here is the purse as it is drying on top of a tupperware to shape the bottom as it dries. For a larger tote, you may need to use a larger box or item to dry it on. It takes several days to dry. Here are several other totes:
The large green one is a great knitting bag! It gets lots of compliments wherever I take it! It has a stablizing piece of cardboard in the bottom to keep the shape and help it hold things better. It's made from a kiwi colored wool, double-stranded with Noro Kureyon wool.

This one is a "Bubble" tote and had decreasing to make the bubble shape. It is softer and used a silky Noro wool along with another blue wool. My Mom also made this identical tote and we worked on them together one year at the ocean. Handles are more delicate. Not too much weight goes in this one. So there you have it! Your first lesson in felting!


Erin said...

I need to learn how to make an i cord. Maybe you could do a tutorial??? ;-) Since you're an expert now!

Jeannine said...

Ha, it has been so long since I did these, I'd have to read instructions again! But it was easy I remember. I'm sure my Knitting for Dummies book has the instructions. I know I did them on circulars, but you can use straight needles. I think you just slide your stitches to the end and knit again so the working yarn pulls it into a tube kind of by itself!