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Well, in my last post (nearly a year ago!!!) I promised that I would update again soon….oops!
I’m in the midst of uni life (exams and other stressful stuff) at the moment but thought I would at least post a pic for now πŸ™‚

I’m not making any promises this time, I’ve learned my lesson! Rest assured though, my love of felting has not dwindled in the slightest. Been to wonderwool and picked up a massive stash of goodies with which i will be experimenting as soon as time allows.
Anyway, time for the piccy – this was made last summer:

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Hello!

I’ve made a nice little camera case. It’s been a few months in the making simply because, unlike wet felt, knitting doesn’t need to be finished in one go.

Needle felt close up

This design is echoed on the other side - as seen above

Another close up

This came about because my mum gave me her odd ball stash. I loved this wool (all I know is that is 100% wool) and the naturally dyed colours so decided to initially make a bag for a little girl. I didn’t follow a pattern (or bother with a tension square – I know I’m lazy πŸ˜‰ )Β  and didn’t cast on enough stitches so had to turn it into this camera case! It was a very good excuse for me to practice needle felting onto knitting as it isn’t something I’ve tried but have wanted to for ages. Next time I will be wet felting into knitting as I’m really excited to see what effects I’ll be able to achieve!

I used more natural fibres to needle felt into the knitting. I’m not sure what breed it is but it is naturally dyed roving. I would not use tops for this type of needlefelting because I reckon the extra ‘stabbing’ required would cause the knitting to pucker too much. Using roving minimises the amount of poking needed.

I still need to add a closure, and perhaps a lining (not sure yet). The closure will probably be a crocheted cord and a big button.

Good night all, sleep tight πŸ™‚

I haven’t posted for a while, but I have done some playing.

I did a couple of experimental pieces – one using silk cocoons and using wensleydale differently and one where I trapped small squares of fabric, yarn, beads and feathers (the feathers didn’t work at all!). But they are for a different post really as I haven’t photographed them yet.
So on to the point…

Flower necklace

Close Up

Necklace Without Flower

Flower Brooch

The first rope I made was too small to fit over my head if I made it continuous, so I left it as a single length. Then I made a continuous rope that was big enough. It looked a bit plain and I wanted to make use of my earlier mistake so I felted it onto the second rope. The effect this gave was lovely I think – 1/3 of it is 1 stranded and 2/3 is 2 stranded. It’s something I might not have thought of if I hadn’t made the error. Felt, how I love you!

Then I made some individual layers for my flower. I think the wool was corriedale. I got them to pre-felt stage but they looked a bit boring so I added some whisps of white merino to about half of them. Towards the end of the process I started trying to give them a bit of shape. I also made a merino ball to use in the center to tie in with the colour of the necklace.
Then I needle felted the layers together. I worked at this for quite a long time to ensure it was strong and to give the petals a bit more shape. I also needle felted in the ball to the centre.
Next came sewing on a pin to the back. I eventually got this right after first sewing the wrong side of the pin down, d’oh!

The result: Flower necklace with detachable corsage. I love it πŸ™‚

Well,Β  it’s been a while – non felt related things have got in the way of doing this unfortunately! I have had a chance to send off my slipper tutorial for the working with felt site, and I’ve also knitted a cafetiere cosy and have started making a knitted girls bag. More of these to follow later.
To get to the point though, here is my wet felted slipper tutorial.

1. Equipment and materials

– Piece of paper big enough to put one foot on + 30%

– Pen

– Scissors

– Bubble wrap/bamboo blind (it is possible to do this with just the bubble wrap as I do – the blind will speed up the process).

– Close-weave netting big enough to cover both slippers

– Soap

– Warm/hot water with a small amount of dish or hand soap added and something to sprinkle it with (spray bottle or milk bottle with holes punched into the lid)

– Resist material. I use thick ‘builders’ plastic but I’ve heard is it possible to use bubble wrap.

– 200g(ish) of wool tops or your choice. (Please note that Merino is not ideal as it will not create a durable enough fabric)

– Blu-tack, pins or cellotape

– Towel

– Leather, Suede, carpet remnants or other non-slip material. Alternatively slipper soles available from specialist suppliers (search Google!).

-Your Feet! (If you are making these for someone else either borrow their feet, draw a template based on their feet and stop felting when you can fit the size of their foot, cut out onto some cardboard, into each slipper comforably, or buy some polystyrene shoe lasts (again, search Google).

2. Method

– First you will need to make the template. To do this, first trace around your feet onto the paper. Once you have done this, increase the size by 30% – 40%.Β  I did this by eye but you could measure the length and width and do the maths if desired. Now cut this shape out. I always suggest erring on the larger side as it is usually possible to felt more (i.e. shrink more) but not to stretch the felt.

– Next you will need to cut the resist material. To do this, attach your paper to your resist material using pins, cellotape or blu-tack (blu-tack is my preferred method). Now cut out the shape. Attach the paper to another piece of your resist material and then cut around it to create a template for your second slipper.

– Now lay your towel down on your workspace. Next lay your bamboo blind (if using) and then the bubble wrap, bubble side up, on top of this.

– Next, lay both templates onto the bubble wrap.

– Now it is time to start laying down your fibre. Prepare the templates by squirting some warm water onto them – this will help the fibres to ‘stick’ to the template and prevent them moving around too much. Now, start pulling off wispy fibres from your wool tops and start laying them across the templates horizontally. Be careful not to place the templates too close to each other as you don’t want the fibres from each to merge. Add about an inch of fibres all the way around the resists.

– Place another layer of fibres vertically over the resists, again adding about an inch around the edges of the resists.

– Place your netting over the resists and liberally squirt your soapy water over the top. You want all the fibres to be fully wetted but without pools of water. If you have used too much use a J-cloth or another towel to absorb some excess water.

– Start rubbing your bar of soap all over the resist and over the extra fibres around the edges. In my opinion, the more soap the better.

– Now use your hands to rub the fibres whilst the netting is still on. Continue doing this until you can pinch the fibres without lifting them away from each other. Keep lifting away the netting to check this and also to ensure that the fibres aren’t felting themselves to the netting.

– When you are happy that the fibres are ‘stuck’ together sufficiently, remove the netting and carefully turn both templates over (everything is still very fragile at the moment and being too rough may cause holes to appear!).

– Fold the fibres from the sides of the template over. Be careful at this stage ensuring that they follow the shape of the resist but that the resist itself does not pucker at all.

– Now lay a horizontal, and then vertical layer of fibres over the template. Include a 1 inch overlap at the edges again. Wet, soap and rub as before. This time ensure that you rub the edges of the slippers too.

– Turn the template over and continue this process on each side until you have added enough layers. I used about 8 layers and would suggest no less than this. When laying your last layer there is no need to overlap at the edges.

– At this stage you can add any embellishment you wish. I used some silk tops and some Wensleydale fibres in complimentary colours. Wet, soap and rub these as before until you cannot lift them away from the rest of the slippers.

– Now you can start rolling both templates. Roll them up in the bubble wrap and blind (if using). I like to wrap the towel around this roll as it prevents it from slipping or unrolling. You could tie the bundle about a third in from each end instead if desired.

– Roll (don’t be shy with the pressure used!) 50 times. (If you are new to resist felting I would suggest checking the shrinkage more regularly than directed here.) Unroll the bundle, move the templates 90 degrees, and roll the bundle back up. Roll again 50 times.

– Continue rolling in each direction until your templates are about 5% bigger than your feet. They should feel reasonably well felted at this point.

– At this point, the resist should be buckling quite substantially inside the felt. Cut open the felt – Choose which side you want to be the top of the slippers (the side you put your feet into) and then make a SMALL cut about a third in, cutting vertically. It is tempting to cut towards the heel end of the felt however you need to allow for some of the material to cover your heel. Slowly increase the size of your cut until it is big enough to place your feet in. You may need to widen the cut but the final shape can be finalised later. Do this to both slippers.

– Now rinse the slippers in some hot water to remove some of the soap.

– Place the slippers onto your feet and continue felting by rubbing all over with bunched up bubble wrap, adding more hot soapy water/rubbing more soap on if necessary. Continue rubbing until the slippers fit your feet perfectly and don’t feel loose – this probably won’t take very long. Adjust the slits to neaten or make them comfortable to wear if necessary. Ensure that you rub the slits themselves with soapy water and bubble wrap and ensure the inside of the slippers are fully felted. At this stage the slippers should be relatively firm and keep their shape.

– When the slippers fit perfectly, rinse in the hottest water you can stand, gently squeeze out water and then rinse in cold water, squeezing out excess water again. Repeat the rinsing process 2-3 times to ensure all the soap is removed. This will also ‘finalise’ the felting process.

– Put the slippers back onto your feet to reshape, and then carefully remove your feet. You can now insert bunched up plastic bags into the slippers so they keep their shape whilst drying. Alternatively put them in a safe place away from idle hands! Place in a nice warm spot. I left mine in front of the radiator.

– When the slippers have dried fully you can add the non-slip soles (essential when you will be walking on wooden/lino flooring and also to prevent the sole from wearing out). You can cut your non-slip fabric slightly smaller than the sole of your slippers or just add 2 circles on each slipper – one larger to be placed near the toes and one smaller for the heel area. Sew your non-slip fabric onto the base of your slippers.

– You can also use blanket stitch around the opening of the slippers if desired using yarn or embroidery thread. You can needle felt any decoration onto the slipper or sew beads or sequins on if you wish.

– Put your lovely new slippers on and enjoy the warm snuggliness!

Note: If you want boot shaped slippers, you will need a large piece of paper on which to draw your template. Draw around both feet + 30% leaving a wide gap between both feet. Draw a line to connect both heels and another line about half way towards the toes to connect both feet. You want these connecting lines to be at least 60% longer AND at least 30% wider than you want the boots to be. I found that the ankles shrunk much more width ways. As you will be making the slippers in 1 piece and then cutting apart you can shorten the booties if necessary but you can’t increase the size!

Now attach the paper to your resist material and cut out the shape IN ONE PIECE.

Completed Slippers

If anything is unclear please feel free to send a message or comment and I’ll do my best to explain πŸ™‚

Happy felting!

If you’re looking for the tutorial for these slippers (or these: https://fortheloveoffelt.wordpress.com/2010/02/14/more-wet-felted-slippers/) you can find it here: Slipper tutorial.

Back to the original post…

A while ago I posted that I’d made some wet felted slippers, well now I’ve taken the photos for you to see. I have also been asked by Sara of the Working with Felt community to provide a slipper tutorial for the next felting challenge on the site, and to judge the entries, which is something that I’m very excited about!

As you can see, I have added some extra fibres on the final layer to embellish. As said in the original post (which you can click on above), I used Wensleydale and silk tops for this and the ‘inner’ is merino whereas the ‘outers’ are finn.

Here are some photos and a picture of the first attempt (these were the 2nd) which as you can see were wearable but not a patch on the new ones πŸ™‚

Felted Slippers

Felted Slippers

Felted Slippers from above

Felted Slippers from above

Felted Slippers again

Felted Slippers again

Success and failure

Success and the learning curve

3 Felted slippers

3 Felted slippers

My first attempt (the orange one) failed for 2 main reasons:

1. The template I made, though following a tutorial, was far too small. This meant that I couldn’t felt the slippers well enough as they would have become too small for me in the process.

2. I didn’t use enough felt. I think they only had 4 layers whereas the second pair have 8 (and they are thicker).

I also used purely merino…as a result they started pilling hugely.

Heed that advice if you are going to try your own for the first time πŸ™‚

Next time I make slippers (probably for my Mum, although my boyfriend keeps asking for some too!) I will make boot style ones. This will be easy to do as you basically just extend a line between the feet parts of the template and felt them as one piece.

Once the tutorial is no longer in its draft format and is on the felting community I will also upload it here, so keep your eyes peeled.

PLEASE NOTE THERE IS NOW A TUTORIAL FOR FELT SLIPPERS HERE: https://fortheloveoffelt.wordpress.com/2010/01/20/wet-felted-slipper-tutorial/

I’ve spent all night (and my back) on my latest project – new slippers for me πŸ™‚

They are made using dark purple merino tops and red and purple carded Finn. There are 7 or 8 layers. To be honest I lost count amid all the rubbing and rolling and laying.

I added a little purple silk top and orange/red Wensleydale to the final layer to add a bit of interest…watch this space for photos.

Well I’ve just joined this community, which I’ve unfortunately not had much of a chance to look at yet (damn night shifts getting in my way πŸ™‚ ). I am very excited about it though, I’ve been looking for a felt making community and have only just stumbled across this now that I am more active in looking at peoples blogs and work. It has already got me some feedback on my fish, which is very encouraging because as a newbie to felt making I really appreciate all the feedback and advice I can get πŸ™‚

I should also mention that the merino used in theΒ  Tea Cosy and the purple side of my last bag were bought at fibrefest from Sara (of Sara’s Texture Crafts!).

She had a beautiful selection, it took me ages to choose the colours! I also got a batt which I used to make a felted soap (I still have some left) which I intend to post soon. It looks like this:

Sarahs Texture Crafts Blackberry Bush stripe Batt.

Sarah's Texture Crafts' Blackberry Bush stripe Batt.

Hope you’re all feeling good! Bye for now x

The day after I made the reversible wet felted bag I made a mobile phone case.

It was made using the same Corriedale tops as the handles in the bag. It was a beautiful blend of colours so has achieved a really nice effect. I felted it around a form but wanted it to be a bit ‘wobbly’ so made the bottom of the template curved.

Although I don’t believe it was necessary I felted the flap using the resist too. I only wanted it to be half the thickness of the rest of the case (in order that it would be flexible enough) so only laid half the amount of fibre.

Outside of phone case

Outside of phone case.

Phone with its case

Phone with its case - sturdy enough to prop the phone up with!

After the felt had dried I attached some pink and purple glass beads in a kind of star/flower pattern. I then added sequins with pink seed beads between the pink beads. It still needed something so I added a final sequin in the centre with a purple seed bead to hold it in place.

I then attached the popper. I didn’t go all the way through the felt. This was actually because the felt was so thick and rigid that I couldn’t turn it inside out to go all the way through. I’m glad that I did it this way and will continue to do so. My poppers always wear out way before whatever they’re holding together so I used a lot of stitches to secure them.

All in all, I like it and I think my phone does too!

I now have the promised photos of my latest felted items. The light quality isn’t great but I lost my patience and just couldn’t wait for some good weather!
Firstly, the bag! (See https://fortheloveoffelt.wordpress.com/2009/09/15/reversible-wet-felted-bag/).

Here are the handles from the Reversible Wet Felted Bag, before I’d corrected the badly felted twist.

Bag Handles

Bag handles before stitching

Here is the second part that didn’t turn out as expected, the 3 unsuccessful dots. Read the original post to find out why this happened.

Faint dots in top right of image.

Faint dots in top right of image.

Now for the more successful parts…

Dotty side of bag

Dotty side of bag

Purple side of bag

Purple side of bag

Dots as 'lining'

Dots as 'lining'

Purple side used as 'lining'

Purple side used as 'lining'

I wore it for the first time on Saturday with the dots on the outside. I was concerned that I should have put the knots of the handles on the outside so as to stay out of the way. It was fine though, and I had way more in the bag than in these pictures!

Well, I’ve finally got round to finishing and photographing my latest project. I am pretty happy with it but would appreciate any comments/feedback as I am still learning.

Felted Tea Cosy

Felted Tea Cosy

It was made with merino tops using the wet felting technique and is 3 layers thick – the first ‘inside’ layer is white. For the flower I just wanted to see what the felt would do so layered 5 whispy petals and added a little lighter and darker purple to add interest.

Tea Cosy

A bit blurry

The handle is needle felted and has a flower detail on the top. The shape of the Cosy was inspired by a picture of gilliangladrag’s felted tea cosy kits from her website – the rest comes from my imagination.

Back of Tea Cosy

Back of Tea Cosy

I’ve learned from this project that I should check the placement of the wool more whilst rubbing but I think it can just about pass off as shabby chic (or something)! This is going to be a gift for my Mum who is the ultimate tea lover, I hope she likes it.

I was going to take some photos of the detail (handle and flower) and a decent one with the tea pot in frame but my kitten decided that she should be getting some attention and plonked herself in easy reach of the tasty wool after digging up the plant soil didn’t make me stop taking photos. What a silly lovely cat she is!

I should be in the photo!

I should be in the photo!

That’s all! Bye for now x