Friday, 11 February 2011

Hand Felting Project

A process I enjoy doing with my work is hand felting.

The yarn must have natural fibres to felt as synthetic/man made fibres and super wash wools will not felt, check label and test a swatch first if unsure.
My method is to hand knit an item and then hand felt it; the thrill is I never quite know how the piece of work will turn out, controlling the felting process is what I aim to do, but working with the natural elements of fibre, water and heat I just have to go with the flow, let things happen and hopefully shape and control my work into the finished desired effect.

Hand felting adds a new dimension to my designs and it's fun to do too!

My little bag is hand knitted in a mohair yarn, when felted gives a luxury feel while producing a fluffy but firm fabric.

To Hand Felt
I prepare hot and cold bowls of water. Pour a few inches of hot (but not boiling) water into a sink and add a teaspoon of wool wash. Have a bowl of cold water at hand.

Place the knitted bag in the hot soapy water and begin kneading and rubbing.

I constantly change the direction of my work to insure even felting. Suddenly I will feel the wool starting to felt. This is the fun bit!

By plunging the knitted bag into the bowl of cold water and then returning it to the hot soapy water I can control the felting process. I continue kneading, rubbing and transferring the bag from hot to cold water until I'm happy with my very own “created felted fabric”.

Paying attention to moulding the bag into shape as I go.

Then I rinse it well in clear cool water, press dry in a folded towel and lay flat allowing the bag to dry before adding the finishing details such as buttons or beads.

Hope I have inspired you to have a go and create and discover a new unique fabric from your knitting.

My Hand knitted and Hand felted designed items are available from my online shops and craft outlets

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