Thursday, June 25, 2009

needle felt pouches, purse and cuffs..I'v been busy

I am going to a family reunion in Kansas in July and decided that I would like to bring a few items to my nieces, sister in-laws and mom . I do have three brothers and a father, but I don't make any "manly" things, so am afraid they are going to feel left out .

Although I have seen some very cool cuffs and bags in wet-felting, I don't see much in the way of needle felting these items ....maybe because they have done both and prefer the wet-felting ? For me, I just hate having my hands wet, wearing gloves or itching from the contact with wet-wool . If I ever find a way around this, I may still try the wet felting but I do like the texture and look of the needle felting .
The first two pics. are of my largest bag so far, big enough for a paper back book and several small electronics . I also put a full size divider inside to keep things more organized . I still need to add a strap and closure and perhaps do a little embellishment with needle felt flowers and beads .
Most of my bags are the size of a cell phone, blackberry, camera, with enough room for cash, credit card, lip gloss, ect . They are designed to be attached with the swivel clasp, to a purse strap or belt loops . I like easy access to items as I have a clutter in my own purse that I don't enjoy hunting through when I need to get to something fast .
Some are 100% merino with the soft, shiny goat-hair locks as accents and others I have been experimenting with 50% merino and 50% tencel . If you don't know...(I had to google this....)Tencel is a fiber from the eucalyptus tree that is as soft and shiny as silk . It's my new obsession because the fiber adds so much shine and texture to the wool and it needle felts well in these blends .
I apologize for the poor quality of photos, it does help if you click on the pictures and can see the texture a bit better . Unfortunately, even the best photos don't help convey the softness of these items . They feel nothing like commercially made felt... they are slightly spongy, soft and thick .
The biggest issue I am having with needle felting is when to stop . What is "felted enough"? I do want to make something that is durable and wears well, but the more you felt, the tighter the weave and the more you sacrifice in touch and texture . I like things soft and a bit fuzzy and have been trying to find a balance between the two needs, durability and softness .
I have enjoyed experimenting with different colors and adding some designs into the bags and cuffs . The potential seems unlimited to me .

This does give a little better idea of the "cushiony" element of the needle felting, feels a bit spongy and very soft . This also shows the divider I added to a few bags .

This is the eyeglass case I made for my mom but still need to add a closure and clip .

These are the cuffs I am working on this week . Not for the shy....I think they are probably of limited appeal but I love the way they feel . I laid down a base of black merino and then another layer of merino/tencel . I like the way the black bleeds through the color as it looks very organic to me .
Experimenting a bit with loosely braiding the fibers before I lay them on the black merino .
Added a bit of yarn clumps for texture .
I love contrasting colors .

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