Time was running out, it was nearly Christmas, and I was running out of energy and of course we all know that’s when mistakes get made. Too much pressure, too little time and a few short cuts!
I dyed some corriedale and English 56s wool in a range of colours from blue to green through teal and turquoise.
I have a resist which I had already used to make a couple of large tote bags. I laid out the wool graduating from deep blue up through to turquoise, laid on some pieces of old sari silk and got going with the electric sander. Being in a bit of a hurry I didn’t take any photos of the process.
I then opted to finish off the fulling process in the washing machine, but didn’t check the temperature setting. Yikes, when will I learn! When it emerged it had shrunk more than 50% and felt really stiff! I was upset and almost threw it away. However, I stuffed it with towels and left it to dry.
Here it is on the original resist so you can see just how much it really did shrink! All that wool, compressed into a tiny, dense shape. Fortunately some of the silk still shows up well and the looping pattern around the top, but the turquoise/green silk is completely lost as are the silk fibre and curly lock embellishments.
I was thinking it could possibly be used as a plant pot cover or a rather luxurious bin!
Then in the New Year I bought myself a new camera, a rather nice Panasonic Lumix with a long reach zoom lens. Whilst browsing on eBay for a suitable bag to protect it, I suddenly recalled my disaster bag/bin thing. Being so firmly felted it would offer great protection for my camera against knocks and rain.
I purchased a long leather cross-body strap from Bag-Clasps.co.uk which was a lot easier to stitch on than I had imagined, given the thickness of the felt. I added two magnetic fasteners and popped my camera in, along with its spare battery and cable in the inside pocket. Perfect.
I have since had quite a few nice compliments on my bag, so I’m really glad I didn’t throw it away or cut it up. Although it’s not the large tote bag of my imagination, it has beauty and functionality, the two most important factors in my approach to felting.