Friday, 25 February 2011

Bag number Two

I have just completed bag number two which is going to be a present for my daughters Birthday. Here it is almost finished and ready to felt.  I did a contrasting deep green top and the bottom is the same colour. It's also a bit bigger than my first bag.

Sown up and felted :
This time I washed it on a 40 degrees cotton wash as it has more agitation and throws the bag around enough to felt it properly first time and it actually came out thicker than my first bag. Spin speed was set to 400.

Handles on and button and loop sown on. I haven't decided whether or not to line it with some pretty cotton purple dotty fabric which goes very well with the colour of the bag.

I needle felted the flower to go on the bag and put a brooch pin at the back so it can come off  if the bag needs washing, or perhaps be moved to another part of the bag or even left off is desired.

I am now starting on another one in lovely shades of rust, greens, and lilacs.  I intend making it larger and perhaps different handles, maybe thick felted ones which will be cheaper than the plaited ones.

 I am loving making the bags and think I will have to start selling them as I can't keep them all.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Ta Da ... The Finished Bag

Well here it is all finished and I have to say i am pleased with it and have already started another.
I may well line it later on with some cotton fabric to preserve the inside and also so I can have some pockets for my mobile and keys.  If I do decide to line it I will post a photo.
SO FROM THIS   :-------- TO .........

TO THIS :--------

I have my Orla Kiely bag at last!  our local Tesco has been made larger and is now an amazing Tesco Extra store and has just had a delivery of the fabulous bags YEAH !!!!! I love it

Monday, 14 February 2011

Knit and Felt Bag - second stage

I have completed the body of my bag and felted it in the washing machine. As I have never done this before I wasn't sure what cycle to use, I knew I had to wash it at 40 degrees and use a low spin speed (I used the 400) so I popped it in the wash with a minuscule amount of liquid soap (for colours) and off it went. I had used the wool wash but that was because Fiona (who owns the wool shop) said not a cotton one as it would get thrown around too much. However I now think that the cotton wash at 40degrees would have been better, as I had to do the same wash 3 times over to get the bag to felt as I wanted it.

I am delighted with the end result and it it now drying slowly (don't tumble dry) with baked bean cans in a plastic bag (so the labels don't get soggy and fall off) this is to keep the bottom gusset shape whilst it dries.

The felt is lovely and thick and firm, but I think I will line it with a lovely fabric so that I can make some little handy pockets. And of course I have yet to decide on my fastening and Handles.  Maybe a beautiful BIG button, they have some fab ones in the wool shop, or other possibility is a felted bobble button.  It could have plaited leather short handles (they sell those for around £6) or a long crocheted and felted strap. So decisions yet to be made for the end completion. I will post photo's when I finish it completely.

My needle felted flower is a perfect match. I just pinned it on to see how it looks so that might not be the place it ends up in.   I am so happy with this method of felting and I know I'll be making more bags in the other fabulous colours the shop sell.  Because I didn't have a pattern I wrote down everything I did as I went along to keep for next time.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

I have the Felting bug ! knit and Felt first attempt

I am well and truly addicted to this Felting lark. So far Ive tried wet felting and love it, then in the last week or so I'Ve dabbled with needle felting.  Now I'm trying knit and felt.  So far I am half way through the knitting of a bag, when it's finished and sewn up I then have to machine wash it at 40  degrees and it will come out smaller and felted !!!  WELL that's the plan anyway, so here is the plan so far. Wish me luck.

First I bought this very yummy pure wool, especially for felting. The colours in stock are so lovely I wanted them all.  I am knitting it with size 6 needles and using garter stitch.  When it's felted the stitches wont show so it's not really worth doing a fancy pattern. Speaking of patterns !! I did my usual thing of being impatient to get going. I have no pattern and don't even know how many stitches I have on the needle ( must count them tomorrow) I just thought that taking away the 3rd shrinkage it look enough. Oh I am such a risk taker ha ha. I may not be laughing if  it doesn't all go to plan !! and it will be an expensive mistake it all goes pear shaped as the wool is £4.20 a ball.

Above is the latest larger needle felted flower I made. I hadn't seen or bought the wool before I made it, so it's amazing that it's a perfect shade for the intended bag.

I will post a photo of the finished bag when it's finished.
So fingers crossed.

Sunday, 6 February 2011

More needle felted Flowers

I never thought I would like needle felting, it never appealed to me when I started wet felting which I love doing.  There is nothing like starting out with raw wool and wet felting it into a piece of felt that you have made yourself.  BUT now I have tried needle felting, I love it. It's quick, not at all messy (no soap or water involved) and I like that you can make it stand out or 3D it .

I have made a few more little flowers and a heart. They still aren't as good as I would like them to be, but for my first attempt I am pleased with them and now have to sew them onto some of my hand made felt. Or make them into little brooches.

The only drawback is the sharpness of the felting needle, it's quite a dangerous hobby. I have stabbed my finger a few times now and no matter how careful I've been it's still happened.  I may have to get some of those rubber thimbles from a stationers.  I only wish that the felting process didn't result in the felt being a bit fluffy. It doesn't felt as smooth as wet felting, but like I said it's quick and less messy.

These photo's were taken in the evening, so the light isn't very good.

Friday, 4 February 2011

Orla Kiely and Needle felting

I have this passion for everything Orla Keily. I first came across her designs many years ago at the Kilkenny Design centre in Southern Ireland and again in the Design centre in Dublin. I loved her designs then and now they are (she even has shops)  everywhere even on the Tesco charity bag (sore subject as I didn't manage to get one !) anyway I now have four of her lovely bone china mugs and have to buy 2 more.  I also discovered her perfume and bought myself a small bottle. I love it and received a present of a boxed set with the perfume and a cosmetic bag and a small fabric bag that holds the perfume, which is to fiddly to use for that purpose so I'm using it to store my crochet hooks as it's a perfect size. Here's some photo's of the mugs and the perfume set.


I have been wet felting (self taught) for a little while now, but was curious to try needle felting after looking at some websites and I was fascinated on how the 3D technique worked. So today I bought some felting needles and went to 'Superdrug' and bought a couple of  bath sponges which were expensive from the craft shop and these cheap ones did the job. I made my first little 3D flowers. It was relatively easy but the needles are so sharp and the lady in the shop did warn me that it hurts when you stab your fingers, but I just thought Well ! I'm not going to be so stupid as to do that !!!  well I was !! and it hurt, so lesson learnt.
Here is my first attempt they aren't perfect but I am pleased with them and I can't wait to do some more.