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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Salvaging a Disaster - or TWO!!!!

The trials and tribulations of a felt artist!  Too many disaster recently, so I'm trying to rectify the errors but also to experiment even more to create something good from disasters.

First Disaster:  I bought some wool yarn at one of my favorite thrift shops in town, Bargain Box of Wilmington.  It was marked 100% wool, but it did NOT mention "Superwash."  For those unfamiliar with that term, it means washable wool.  It WILL NOT shrink or felt.  Two nights knitting it to make a bag; two cycles through the washing machine and absolutely nothing!  Not one iota of shrinkage.  Not willing to throw it away (just yet), and liking to repurpose materials, and focusing on hand/wet felting now, I decided to experiment with it.

No photos to show the subsequent process!  :(

I covered the bag with ALL the scraps of BFL roving that have been hanging around for years, deciding to call it "The Scrap Bag!"  No easy task, because truly the pieces were smallish and rather shaped like pencil roving, so it took forever to cover it.  Two layers on each side with a resist inserted inside the bag.  I had hoped the roving would merge THROUGH the knitting, connect to the layers underneath, and create a grid-like patterning throughout.  NOT SO MUCH!!!

I started on Sunday, felted it yesterday, and by this morning, I came to the astounding conclusion that this will not work!  So…..this morning I pulled out the knitted bag (it was attached but not securely), and I've been working on fulling it every since.

 Once I pulled out the knitting, I actually had a bag that I thought could be worked.  It has some holes and a few strange configurations, but it looks like it can be a reversible bag once I finish with the fulling process, decide on and add embellishments, repair (somehow!) the holes (maybe freeform crochet and needle felting!), and make a strap.

I am determined to make this work.  And next time, I will follow the specific directions and videos provided by Fiona Duthie in her current Felted Bag workshop.  I'm getting inspired to try again after seeing some of the bags created by fellow workshop participants.  I'll get to this AFTER the Beth Marx workshop in mid-October.

BTW, I threw the knitted white "bag" in the trash this morning!
FINAL photos coming later, after I figure out how to finish it and add a strap!
Stay Tuned!

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