Friday, June 27, 2008

Waste not, want not...Fulling and felting

I hate wasteing anything...I save every scrap of fabric, even the tiniest bit to add to stuffings. I also save every tiny bit of my wool yarn scraps. I keep a small bag in with my knitting and crochet supplies, and whenever I need to trim ends, I stick them in the bag. After a year of knitting and crocheting, I have quite a bit. A few nights ago, I sat down and started going through the odds and ends (while watching a late night movie). I took the longer pieces and spliced them together, and took the shorter pieces and seperated them into fibers in a little bowl. Once I had all of the pieces either spliced or seperated, I set the bowl of fibers aside and set to work on a little freeform crochet. I wanted to make a little bag, but since I really had no idea how much yarn I had, played it all by feel. I crocheted the bag about 4 inches in diameter and about 7 inches high in SC, added a final row in 2DC, CH1(skip 1)2DC around the top for a drawstring, added a chained loop at the back, and sc'd around the loop for added stability. I secured it really well, bound off, wove ends. In the morning I tossed it in the washer and dryer with a load of clothes to full. The final dimensions are 3 inches in diameter by 4 inches tall.I had to reopen the drawstring holes a little bit with a knitting needle in order to weave through the braided drawstrings, and I stretched the back loop out a bit with a larger knitting needle so it would more easily fit on a belt or Mei Tei strap. I can't wait to use it!

With the fibers...I dumped the whole lot into a large rectangular plastic storage container, made sure that the fibers were spread out to roughly the same thickness, added a dribble of baby shampoo and some hot water, adding more water bit by bit as need, I basically patted the fibers together, flipping the "fabric" and patting until they really began to felt together, I added a bit more hot water to heat the fibers up a bit, squeezed out some of the excess water, then placed the "fabric" on a bamboo mat on a towel, and rolled and pressed, rolled and pressed, adding more hot water to heat it back up every now and then. After about 15 min of this process I had a very unique and durable piece of felt. I wanted to do something a litle different with it, so I set it aside. While playing on Ravelry, I was inspired by a collection of crocheted mushrooms...Playing off of that inspiration, I cut, stitched, and stuffed...even added a few button 'spots'. I had some little trimmings left, which I felted into a small ball...the perfect baby mushroom ;) Zero waste on this project, lol. I took a flat river rock, painted it with a couple of different shades of green, then hot glued my pincushion mushroom, and the baby mushroom ball to the top...isn't it cute?? It was put into immediate use, lol...there are always stray pins and sewing needles floating around, lol.
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