Archive for the ‘Felting’ Category

* felt desk tray

Posted on April 23rd, 2006 by maitreya. Filed under Cross Stitch/Embroidery, Felting.

Whew, all done. Here’s the drawer organizer, though I think it’s pretty enough that you could keep it on your desk. Thanks Lisa and Ali for the suggestion of replacing the rubber bands with pins. I attempted tacks and pushpins before going with the T-pins, which are my favorite at lab and which also turn out to look the best embroidered. I also tried a staple remover, which my sister suggested. It actually didn’t turn out too bad, but it seemed a little superfluous without also doing a stapler, which is a little too 3D for this sketchy style I think. Another try with a ruler turned out really bad. The background fabric is another thrift store pillowcase that I fused to the back of the embroidery.



* finished felt sewing box

Posted on April 22nd, 2006 by maitreya. Filed under Cross Stitch/Embroidery, Felting.

Here’s the first one all put together. I started out thinking of it as just a desk organizer, but now I’m thinking it’s almost a modern take on the sewing box. The fabric in the background is a thrift store pillowcase that I fused to the backs of the embroidered pieces to keep the thread ends safe. For the rest of the directions, you’ll just have to wait for the book! Now on to the second one, which really is a desk organizer.



* felt organizer prototype

Posted on January 31st, 2006 by maitreya. Filed under Felting.

My craft desk drawer is a disaster area. I made this out of the thick felt I was looking for in a previous post. Anna from twelve22 came to the rescue with this felt she found for me. And here’s the big news: Anna is also the editor of a craft book project in the works! This is going to be my submission. Well, a better version anyway. This was mainly to test the structural properties of a box made of felt. It’s holding up well enough that I’m going to go ahead with the embellished version.


And another big announcement: tomorrow’s the launch for Whip Up, a new collaborative crafty blog. I’m as excited as anybody else since I can’t read the other contributers’ draft posts. I’m contributing a weekly-ish “Best Post Ever” where I find my favorite post on my favorite sites, plus I’ll throw in some other stuff here and there. I’m still reeling from being asked to be part of both of these projects since I don’t consider myself in the same league as most of the other contributers. Exciting!


* felted knit purse

Posted on August 10th, 2005 by maitreya. Filed under Felting.

I cast on for the purse on the cover of Fabulous Felted Hand-Knits. I’d been looking for the right yarn for a while now, but everything I found at a reasonable price wasn’t good for felting, or wasn’t in colors I like. I finally settled on Patons Classic Wool, which kindly says on the label that it’ll felt, and which comes in lots of good colors. I’ve got a sort of 70s color scheme going, with paprika, old gold, chestnut brown, and, maybe, leaf green. I’m still undecided on the green, so I’m leaving it for last. I might sub a gray instead.

If I ever make it that far. The pattern is simply knitting up 4 skeins of yarn one after the other into a big striped rectangle. Then you felt the sheet, cut out the purse pieces, and sew it together. This sounds all good and easy, but I’ve been working on it for a few nights now, and I’m only about 3 inches in. Out of 60 inches final! I’d better like this bag once I finish it.


* needle felted decoration

Posted on May 10th, 2005 by maitreya. Filed under Felting.

I needle-felted some of my dyed roving onto my felted change purse. I’m still getting the hang of the needle felting, so a simple shape seemed best. I stuffed the purse full of polyfill so it wouldn’t felt shut. There’s another dot on the other side.



* kool aid dyed roving

Posted on May 9th, 2005 by maitreya. Filed under Felting.

Experiments with Kool Aid tonight. These are little tufts of roving dyed in the microwave. All I did was mix up a packet of kool aid in 2 parts water and 1 part vinegar (one set of instructions said 3:1 and the other said 1:1, so I split the difference). You can see the bizarro white Lemon Ice koolaid that I accidently bought.


I soaked the roving in hot water for about 30 minutes, then gently squeezed out the water and laid it on some saran wrap. I dribbled on enough kool aid to saturate the tuft and wrapped it up in the saran wrap. Then I squished it around a bit just to make sure, and put it in a Pyrex dish. Popped the whole batch in the microwave for about 30 seconds, and, like magic, they suddenly absorbed all the dye leaving the liquid clear or milky. Rinsed in warm water, and here they are set out to dry. They look (and smell) like candy. I can’t wait to try something with them. Plus, this was a color test run for some bigger projects (a bag and a scarf).


Top row, left to right: grape, cherry, orange, wild watermelon kiwi, raspberry reaction

Bottom row: pink lemonade, lemonade, mango, pina-pineapple, arctic green apple


* felt coin purse

Posted on April 23rd, 2005 by maitreya. Filed under Felting.

I ordered a pound of roving off eBay last week. I have a tendency to agonize over my craft-buying, so I must’ve looked at over a dozen web sites and eBay stores before I settled on Ronnie’s Handspun Gifts and More soft wool blend. It’s a little cheaper than all out merino top, but it’s still really soft and felts well, and I want to try dyeing it. I got a pound for $11.50 plus shipping = $17.25. I’ve been playing with it with the help of my 2 good felting books: Handmade Felt Book (in Japanese) and Simply Felt. I like the design in the Japanese one better, but this is one case where I found the diagrams insufficient. Simply Felt has good directions, and now all the Japanese diagrams make more sense.

The original goal was to make a scarf like one in the Japanese book, but now that it’s warm out, I think I’ll wait on that one. Instead, I tried a little change purse. My purse frames from Lacis also came in the mail last week (only $6 each!). My favorite little purse when I was little was one of these, and I’ve been seeing them a lot, again in the Japanese books and sites. A lot of the zakka sites have them, sometimes called “gamaguchi.”

Here’s a cool one from Feltwork Zebra:


And more felted ones from Praha:


And these awesome crochet ones (via Tuula, which is in Swedish so I can’t tell who made them. It’s possible they’re from undersolen, but I’m not sure):


I made mine by felting around a plastic form (cut from a freezer bag), then cut open, trim to fit, and sew to the frame. I didn’t bother to embellish it any because I think this will be my practice one. I didn’t get very even coverage with the roving tufts, but I only noticed after I’d already felted a bit. The patch of roving I tried to apply didn’t blend in perfectly, and didn’t even patch the gap completely. Oh well, it’s good to know I can do it at least. The book recommends using some screen or sheer curtain fabric to keep all the roving in place at the very beginning, which I didn’t have, so that’s probably my problem. Must get some.



* needle felted flower tutorial

Posted on April 18th, 2005 by maitreya. Filed under Felting, Projects with Instructions.

I made another needle felted flower, and took some pictures along the way. (Here’s my first one.) I tried to keep the scale the same in each of them so you can see the shrinkage. The grid in the background is 1 inch squares. The pictures were taken every commercial break for ~45 minutes, just to give you an inpression of the time scale involved.

Wad of roving. I got this at a neat toystore that had a bunch of Waldorf/Montessori-type toys.


Pull the roving apart into little wisps and wad it up into a flattened oval. Put it on a pillow or a piece of foam and have at it with the needle. Push the barbed part of the tip all the way through the fiber and into the pillow. It’s the barbs that do the work. It’ll start to felt onto the pillow if you jab too much, so flip it over every few jabs. If the edges seem irregular, just push them into shape and jab a few times to secure.


The oval should start to reduce in size and start to hold together. Keep jabbing all over, flipping, and jabbing more, paying attention to the edges, until it starts to feel like felt. I find this step the hardest because it doesn’t seem like it’s working at first.


Now you can start forming the petals. Jab into the edge of the disk in a line where you want the petal divisions to be. It should only take ~10 jabs to get an indentation. If it takes much more than that, go back to jabbing all over and make the felt a little denser. For now, just make a little indentation for each one.


Finish the petals by jabbing all around the petals and further felting the indentations. I also jabbed in a line along the top to further define them. The felt should really be firming up now. You should feel some resistance when you put the needle through.


Once you’re happy with the flower, you can embellish it however you want. I used some felt beads I got in my Sampler from Lili la Malice. She was kind enough to post a tutorial, too, if you’d like to make some yourself. Just place the beads on the flower and jab until they’re secure.


It all makes a lot more sense when you have the needle and roving in hand, I promise.


* Needle felted flower

Posted on March 25th, 2005 by maitreya. Filed under Felting.

I’ve been seeing felted flowers everywhere lately, so I finally decided to try one in needle felting. My first try with needle felting didn’t go so well, so it took seeing other people’s great results to get my confidence up. As you can see, it worked. The color looked sunnier as roving, but it’s still OK. I’ve got some blue and purple for the next shot. I’m going to try to make it thinner next time, too.

Directions: Wad up a fist-sized tuft of roving. Try to hold a part of it kind of together while you jab it with the felting needle. I put a throw pillow on my lap to jab into. Every few jabs, pick it up and move it or flip it over. You want to evenly distribute your jabs over the whole piece. After a few minutes of jabbing all over, it should start to come together. Try to shape it into a disk. Once it holds together more or less, wrap another tuft of roving around it. Jab jab jab until it all holds together. You should have a disk that’s still squishy. To shape the petals, jab along a line into the side of the disk, where the division between 2 petals should be. The shaping went really fast for me. Go around, shaping each petal. Once the basic shape is made, you can clean it up by further felting everything until it’s firm.

Pictures would be better to describe this. Maybe next one I make I’ll document the process.



* Red Heart Mohcora felts

Posted on January 4th, 2005 by maitreya. Filed under Felting.

My sister got me a giant box of thrifted yarn for Christmas. Ooooh. One of the yarns is Red Heart Mohcora, which is rather old by the looks of the label. It’s 72% mohair, 13% wool, and 15% nylon, in a nice dark gray. Since it’s way too scratchy to make anything wearable, I decided to try felting it. The label advertises “washable colors,” so I didn’t have high hopes at first. The instructions for washing on the inside of the label were really for handwashing, though, with all sorts of cautions about using cool water and avoiding agitation. And sure enough, it felts great. A 5.5 inch square in garter stitch on 8 needles (cast on 20) shrunk to a 4 inch square after about 20 minutes of effort on my part. Since I’m fresh out of quarters, I did it the old fashioned way alternating hot and cold water with plenty of soap and agitation. One new thing I tried and liked was using a bamboo sushi mat to help agitate. I rolled the piece up in the mat and rolled the bundle back and forth, dunking it in the soapy water occasionally. It worked like a charm. It did stretch it a fair bit, though, but rotating the felt frequently seemed to prevent serious mis-shaping. Now, what to make from it? Hmmm.




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craftlog is under a Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial license. That means that you are all welcome to take and repost my photos, replicate my projects, remix my ideas, whatever you want as long as you give attribution (a link is fine) and it's noncommercial. Thanks!