Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Skill + 1 UP : Felting + Entrelac - 2KCBWDAY2

"Look back over your last year of projects and compare where you are in terms of skill and knowledge of your craft to this time last year."

I did look back at my projects from year 2010 and wondered what I learnt new last year. I did try my 'hand' at  hand-felting. So, I am going to talk about that.. Living in the temperate South India means you do not have proper access to pure wool as there is no need for it here. I've been admiring the various felted bags and such on Ravelry wishing I can try felting someday. So, when I saw pure wool on a trip to my regular craft shop, I was thrilled that I could try felting at last. Then began the hunt for a nice pattern to try hand-felting.. and, I finally zeroed in on the felted entrelac clutch pattern. Oh! It was going to be my first time knitting entrelac too.  Here is the bag before I felted it..

I did not use my washing machine to felt as it doesn't have a hot water cycle and didn't want to take any risk in my first felting project.  Hand-felting took a long time mainly because I wasn't alternately dunking the FO in hot and cold water to speed up the process. I know this now as I tried it in my next felting project and it worked like a charm. I did put up a tutorial on hand felting on my blog here and on Ravelry here. Here is the entrelac clutch after felting..

So, I was in a great felting spree and wanted to make something else. Around the same time, I was visiting a dear friend of mine and thought it will be a great idea to make her and her mom felted clutches.. and, the button-hole bag from Mason-Dixon knitting caught my eye.  I had the same  yarn in mustard yellow and thought the yellow will look good with the sap green.. so, I made two bags in coordinating colors.. Here are the bags before felting..

I had great plans for this bag.. to line it and add a zipper too , as I was gifting them. I like my bags to have secure closures... Felting this was easy as I was already 'experienced' in felting. ;-) Here are the bags after felting..

Adding the lining was an easy job but, the zipper installation was a bit tough. I searched high and low for a tutorial online that will give a step-by-step instructions for zipper installation for this style of bags.. but,NO! there weren't any.. So, I decided to wing it myself and wrote a small tutorial for that here and on Ravelry. Here are the bags after lining and zipper installation.

I was happy with the work on the insides of the bag. But, the outside looked extremely plain to me.. So, I decided to embellish the bags with buttons.. and, boy! it was my lucky day. I had the buttons in the right colors and went to town embellishing the bag. I think the buttons give a nice touch.. a subtle and classy look without going over the top.. totally my style! ;-) Here are the bags after embellishing.

My friend and her mom loved the bags. This is the project with most hearts on my Ravelry notebook till date. :-) I did not try felting after this episode. I may try it again..or maybe not. But, I know that I have conquered felting. :-)


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