Thank you so much for your lovely comments about my felted notions bag! I loved reading about your felting experiences and had a good giggle at some of them, especially the one huge slipper and one tiny one! It seems that the art of machine felting relies on a bit of good luck when we’re just beginning. As many of you wanted to see the process, I’ve made another little notions bag just for my circular needles, I need another notions bag, I really do, as the blue one was originally for my circulars but then I put my tape measure and needle gauge thingy in it too, so now I need one specifically for cables and tips because I get really annoyed at long cables boinging out at me when I open the pouch and getting everything in a mess. Much better for them to be contained in their own little felted pouch. I’ve photographed the entire process for your enjoyment and I hope that it will stop some of you making the same mistakes I did! This is by no means a foolproof tutorial on how to machine felt a pouch, but I hope you enjoy and have fun trying it out for yourself.
So, to begin, find yourself some feltable wool! It seemed from feedback on my last post that some felts and some doesn’t. I find that corriedale felts beautifully and merino should too. After my rainbow disaster, I’m sticking to corriedale as I know it felts well and felts nice and hard so cable needles and things don’t poke through it rendering it useless. I crocheted my pouch because I wanted it very thick, using a 4mm hook and semi-worsted wool. To make one the same size as mine, ch60, dc into second ch from hook and make 1dc into each stitch until the end. Fasten off and turn, join next colour, ch3 and make 1dc into each stitch including the very end where the last row began with 3ch. Repeat until you have a piece wide enough for your liking. Remember, it will shrink a bit.
My finished piece measured 41 x 24 cms. Weave in the ends (!) and single crochet or sew the ends together to make a pouch.
Now, get some jeans (I use KB’s he he) and put them in the washing machine on hot wash with some washing detergent. As I use eco-friendly washing powder, it doesn’t make many suds, so I add a little bit of dishwashing liquid too as the key to successful felting is heat, agitation and bubbles apparently! I put mine on low and keep turning it off before the first agitation finishes and do that about four times rather than emptying it out and re-filling.
Word of warning. Check you have not left any tissues in your jeans pocket before you start the felting process. (let’s not go there!)
I found that after the first round of agitation it had grown and stretched a bit, but keep going because it will start to felt in the second round. When it has felted to your liking, remember we are hard felting here to make a very dense, thick fabric, take it out and rinse it under the cold tap. My Mum said at this point, do not spin it in the machine to remove excess water as it will crease and the creases will be forever! I learned not to dry it on a drying rack as it leaves lines, so now I stand it up in the sun during the day and lay it flat on top of my hot water cylinder at night. It will take a few days to completely dry.
And like magic we have a lovely little felted bag! You now need a zip, I used for both of my bags a 20cm zip….
Now, I am hardly qualified to teach someone to sew a zip into a bag as this is the second zip I have ever put anywhere, the first being into my other notions bag! For those of you who are experienced in the art of zip insertion, you may have a giggle at my attempt to sew it in tidily as I am aware it looks like a clumsy six year old did it, but if I can put a zip in, you can too!
My hint is that you sew it in loosely first to make sure it fits, then go around a second time and make it nice and firm.
A pouch most definitely worthy of my beloved knitpro needles.
I nearly died when I discovered purple acrylic knitting needles… You can buy them here
Knitting needle love!
So there you have it, a felted bag for your little special knitting and crochet goodies. Mine are all packed with things into my travel knitting and crochet kit and ready to take me through my travels completely prepared!
How cute do they look together! I’ve ravelled this project HERE. Thank you again for all the love you send my way, I am truly blessed XXXXX
Lots of love from Alice and Raymond XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX