Thursday, May 7, 2009

Felted Necessities Bag

Necessities bag 1 One of these days one of these damn migraines is going to finally kill me and then I won't have to worry about them any more. In case you've been wondering where I've been.
Are you a boy? Then I should warn you it is all girl all the time today, and you might just want to move along.
So, as a girl I tent to carry certain products around in with me since I never know when I or a friend will be caught unawares.
I keep them in the front zippered pocket of my purse, which is also the pocket I keep my keys in.
So they get beaten to hell, the little pink wrappers come off, and everything come flying out at inopportune times when I pull my cell phone ear piece out.
I've been thinking for a while that I should make myself a little pouch to keep them contained (heaven forbid I just buy something and get it over with. After all I can make something so buying something wouldn't be sensible!).
On Monday I finally snapped and sat down to work on it. I finished up on Tuesday night.
If I'd been following a pattern, I probably could have finished the crocheting in one sitting, because I wouldn't have been fussing with stitch count and such.
If Hubby noticed, or was concerned about, the little stack of feminine products I had on the coffee table to check the size, he didn't say anything.

Crochet, you say?
NB MasherI used Cascade 220 which was left over from the bouquet of Pick Up Sticks Felted Flowers I made my mom, um, two years ago.
The orange was the center of the daffodils and the purple was from the iris.
Why, yes, that is the orange yarn I used to make the Harf prototype. I am beyond needed the prototype at this point.
You can't really see it, but in addition to the purple button, I used the purple to whip stitch the sides closed. Apparently I should have been a little more flamboyant.
Although I've heard that crochet stitches are harder to felt, I went with it anyway because I crochet faster than I knit.
I felted it because I want to embroider a little design on the back and I thought the felted fabric would be more stable.
The design would be probably be done by now if I hadn't spent last night laying in bed wishing for death.
Oh well, at least I'll get another blog post out of it.
Fortunately, this project was small and quick enough that it didn't bother my writs too much.
Although the felting made my hands hurt a bit.

Felting by Hand
Since the bag is so small (about 5 x 6 inches pre-felting) and it was alone, I wasn't going to waste all the water and energy involved in felting it in the washing machine.
(I also won't be making that mistake again! I'll stick with either big felting projects, or multiple felting projects in the future so the machine can do all the work.)
I used just boiling water from the tea kettle, but didn't use any soap.
Basically I forgot the soap. But I don't felt much, so I'm not clear on what the soap contributes to the process. Still, I manged without it.
I started the process using our old fashioned potato masher and just bashed the heck out of the thing.

NB spoonsI didn't seem to be making much progress, so I got out two wooden spoons and started squishing it up, rubbing it, and raking it along the potato masher. I also added more hot water.
I was starting to see some progress. But I couldn't tell you if that is because the spoons were more effective or because I had just reached the tipping point where felting was occurring.
I can tell you gripping the spoon handles made my hands cramp.
At some point, Hubby passed through, saw all the implements of destruction out, and the water splashing everywhere and casually asked, "What are you doing out here?"
"Felting my little bag," I responded, as though it was the most normal thing in the world.
And he said, "Oh." Because it was all explained.
He also pointed out, which I hadn't noticed since I was so focused on destruction, that the dogs were swarming around behind me as though I had food.
So I looked down, and there they were—expectant.
So, as you would expect, I held the wet, stinky little bag down to them. They gleefully snuffled it all over and I think one of them might have licked it.
They do love yarn almost as much as I do.

Getting the Gloves On
Since my hands were cramping, and it didn't seem felted enough, I pulled out these blue vinyl dish washing gloves we own. They are pretty thick and protect my hands from hot water pretty well.
I dumped the water I had, added fresh, and started rubbing and twisting the thing by hand.
NB feltedThis was good because I was able to really focus on certain areas.
I was concerned that it wasn't going to felt evenly when I was using the masher and the spoons. Doing it by hand allowed me to target spots that seemed to be behind.
In the end, it seemed to work out fine.
I did notice the final product seems a little trapezoid shaped. I think this is because I started focusing on where the flap folds in an attempt to make sure the fabric is firm and stable.
Also, the bottom is really double thick so that might have kept it from felting as much as the top.
Oh well, it still does the trick.
Now I just have to sew on the button and do the embroidery.


  1. What an adorable bag! I would ask what you are going to embroider on it, but I already know!! Being behind on blog-reading sometimes pays off!! :)

  2. Hey Annie, I'd be happy to sew a lining into your little bad wolf bag... I tried to find you some yarn in Vietnam, but there was no yarn, lots of silk, but no silk yarn..2 and 1/2 yards of beautiful silk cost around 153,000 Dong - which is about $9.00 US dollars...