Thursday, July 3, 2008

felting old jumpers

I love felting!

I know that the 'correct' term to use in this instance is fulling... but let's face it, everyone calls it felting, and I will only confuse us all if I start calling it something different.

Just to clarify though... true felting is a process which uses raw wool. That raw wool is treated with moisture, heat and friction... causing it to 'matt' together as one piece

In the process of fulling, you are working with wool that has already been spun and woven/knit/crocheted. Again you treat it with moisture, heat and friction... causing it to 'matt' together, so much so that the original stitches can no longer be identified.

Have you ever destroyed a hand knit garment, by running it through the washing machine? Of course not... but maybe your Significant Other did... or one of the kids. The garment would have shrunk, and stiffened, and no longer been wearable, right? That's because it had been 'felted'. It was treated with moisture, heat and friction. The fibres matted together and the original stitches could no longer be identified!

When I first started reclaiming yarn... I made a point of looking for fibres that were 100% wool so that I could use them for felted projects. So I would take the wool jumper, unravel it, skein it, wash it, dry it, ball it, knit it, and then felt it. Too much work, hey! Then it dawned on me that it would be much more time effective to felt the jumper as is, then sew it into a bag.

These are my first attempts at jumper to bag conversions...


after ~ laura

and this one...


after ~ megan

Today I am going to sort through my 'frog pond' and select some jumpers for felting. I'll take some before and after shots so that I can provide a photo tutorial for anyone who is interested.


Rima said...

Totally totally cool. This makes me want to run to my neighbhourhood thrift store NOW (and it is 11pm in the night).

Annie said...

I love the brown and green sweater! Now if only I had a double of that for my own felting/fulling pleasure.

And thanks for explaining the difference, I assumed felting and fulling were the same thing. Now I know even if I continue to use felting for both of them!

kenda said...

Those purses are adorable. I'm definatly intrested in a turorial. I've never felted before and this sounds like the perfect way to get my feet wet (no long before work that i'm afraid to mess up)

whatsonox said...

Those bags are great. As is your explanation of felting. Good Luck with the frog pond.

donna said...

wow i love those bags! i wanna have a go :)

Anitra Cameron said...

Oh dear. Those are so cool, I can feel myself succumbing to the craft, even as I type.

AAAAGH!!! It's got me!

And it's your fault, because nobody else had that effect, lol!

laughing purple goldfish said...

you must all give it a go... it's fun, easy, and you can't go wrong!

although, be warned... it is a little addictive... you will find yourself checking out the jumper on the woman in front of you at the supermarket, and thinking... oooohhhhhhh.... that would make a nice bag!

Cristina (a.k.a. "Stramenda") said...

Ooooh I'm addicted to your blog . . . heeeeelp meeeeee !

Can you post a tutorial on how to sew a bag? Sounds stupid I know, but really, I don't know how to sew one.

Have you posted a tute on how to felt yet? I must look at your blog list :0-)

laughing purple goldfish said...

yes... next time I make a bag, I will take progress photos and post them along with some basic instructions

have a look at the side bar on the right of the page... there is a section there titled LEARN HOW TO... you'll find all my photo tutorials linked there... just click on the one you want to go to

Queenie said...

thanks for the info on felting. i love your blog! btw, what is frogging? i am new to working with fabrics, just began quilting, and i never heard of 'frogging.'

you make very beautiful items. my daughter has a sweater i bought her in Scotland, gorgeous creamy wool, and it was accidentally washed and dried. now it would fit a DOLL! i was sick about it when it happened.

maybe someday i will learn how to knit and reclaim that woll.

laughing purple goldfish said...

queenie - frogging is a term used by knitters and crocheters to describe unraveling their work... because you rip it, rip it... and a frog says ribbit ribbit! very silly, I know... but that's what we call it :)

as for that felted jumper... you won't be able to reclaim the yarn from it... because the fibres will have matted together making it impossible... but you will be able to cut the jumper and use the pieces as you would a thick felt

Pauline said...

Hi Goldfish,
Bah, humbug, to you! I had more than enough crafts and projects going, but when I saw the jumper-turned-bag, I had to have a go. The washing machine is just mangling $5 worth of op-shop jumpers right now. I'll tell you how I get on.
The fact that I haven't sewn anything in, ooo, thirty years, might slow me down, but not much.
I found you on Blogs of Note - congratulations on that! I think we're neighbours (well, same part of the world, anyway).

laughing purple goldfish said...

pauline - hello there neighbour!!! glad to have inspired you to try something new... fingers crossed for a wonderful outcome :)