One very welcome spin off from my recent adventures in freestyle knitting has been discovering some of the amazing natural and man made yarns now available online or in specialist shops. I felted myself a little clutch bag (purse for our American friends!) on Thursday afternoon and decided to add various yarns from my Blade scarf into the surface layer as an experiment to see how they would felt. The most amazing revelation was the huge success of some Tilli Tomas beaded silk! This is a very beautiful but expensive yarn and I had a small bit of discarded knitting with some cut threads which I really didn’t know if it would be possible to incorporate successfully into my felt. I laid out the bag around a resist as normal, decorated the surface with the scrap of beaded silk knitting, some artificial sari ribbon and some swirls of a Rowan wool/silk yarn and a silk/cotton combination. Some of the beaded silk I covered with the finest wisps of fibre and other areas I left uncovered. I needn’t have worried, the beaded silk felted beautifully and actually needed no covering wisps at all.
Clockwise from left - sari ribbon, silk-wool, silk-cotton and beaded silk
I love the way the knitting has become distorted and the little seed beads gleam and glisten as they catch the light! The sari ribbon also became incorporated really easily and it was actually the silk/wool and silk/cotton combinations that needed a little extra care while rubbing before they felted fully into the wool. I love the effect of all the different yarns in the finished bag and know that it will get lots of use over the coming months, green is after all the colour that I am most often to be seen wearing!
Check out Ecosia today, a really cool green friendly search engine as blogged about by Cathy on her art and ecology notebook! Why not join me and run a search for yourselves to see how many new feltmaking websites and blogs we can find? I love the idea of saving a little piece of rainforest every time a new search is instigated!
Thanks for all your responses to date regarding etamine, I am dying to get started with a project as soon as my golfing duties are over this evening.
This is just a quick post to clarify details of the hollow punches that I use to cut out my thick felt beads. The punches are often sold for use with leather and a good place to check out if you are looking to buy one is eBay, here is the link for our neck of the woods. I bought my set at a motor factors but Carmen got hers in Spain and they were much more expensive than mine but they do punch much better!
Green punched necklace
The edges seem to be very sharp and definitely cut out a nice crisp circle, the thick felt can be difficult to cut through and you need to have a piece of hardwood as a backing to lay the felt on as you work. Carmen’s set also has punches with a wider diameter than mine, if you do order a set try and go for one with sizes up to 30mm. When making the felt pad to punch for beads I like to lay out several different colours of wool and it is a good idea to have either a white or a yellow layer somewhere to provide a bit of contrast. I’m not sure why this image of a necklace I made before Christmas has been inserted so small but if you want to have a proper look at it check out my necklace set at Flickr. This green necklace is an example of a thinner pad punched in small beads and strung with sreen seed beads for contrast.