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kitchenwitch Posted - 05/18/2007 : 08:11:44 AM
I am just starting to make felted bags, and want to incorporate designs on the bags (a rendition of Starry Night is one idea that I have) and I am wondering if needle felting can be done on a partially-felted bag? I don't want to intarsia knit, so this is my idea of "cheating". When needle felting on my bags: 1) would the needle felted part look like an actual part of the bag; 2) what is a good technique to needle felt on my bags; and 3)should I felt the bags all the way after I have needle felted them to make the whole thing mesh together?

Any advice would be helpful. Thanks!
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Dottie Mae Posted - 05/26/2007 : 6:43:44 PM
You Michiganders might like the sales booths at the Michigan Fiber Festival (3rd weekend in August at the Allegan Fairgrounds). There are so many vendors you will go nuts. You can find any roving you want. There are also needle felting classes.
I have needle felted many a design on felted bags. When I knit a bag I felt it completely in my washer and dry it completely. The bag becomes my canvas for wreckless creativity. I absolutely love your Starry Night idea. Why didn't I think of that? I needle felt wool yarn onto my bags with no further felting of any kind needed. I also make crochet "donuts" and put mirrors inside of them. I sew around the mirrors with matching yarn to trap them in position, and then I needle felt the edges to make the designs lay right.
It also works to try out your design on a smaller object such as a change purse or eyeglass case.
yarnlover Posted - 05/21/2007 : 05:38:42 AM
Where in Michigan are you? I'm in the Detroit Metro area - and may be interested in some alpaca roving, if the shop is not too far away from me.
kitchenwitch Posted - 05/21/2007 : 05:11:00 AM
Thanks for the info! I found a great shop near me that has Alpaca roving from local Alpacas. They also have all the Lamb's Pride I could ever want! The only other places to get yarn around mid-Michigan are big chain craft stores so I was happy to find this store just down to road from me.
eepster Posted - 05/18/2007 : 10:05:39 PM
You can definitly do it with needle felting. To get it very incorperated looking I'd first felt the bag once then add the needle felted design then felt the bag again. Obviously if you did this you would need to plan for doudle felting when you knit it.

I'd practice on a smaller project first like an eyeglass case.

yarnlover Posted - 05/18/2007 : 4:55:30 PM
Here's my thoughts on your questions:

1. Yes, the needle felted part will be incorporated in the bag. When you needle-felt you will be pushing the fibers into the wool of the bag while you are working them into your design.

2. To needle-felt, put a block of foam in the bag, under the area you are embellishing. You can get foam at stores like JoAnn's in the area where they sell pillow inserts and foam for chair cushions.

Depending on your design, you can either lightly draw it on the bag and use the outlines, or if you feel daring, wing it. Use the felting needle to push the fiber into the bag fabric. I think it is easier to use smaller pieces of wool for needling. It's surprising how far a small bit of wool goes.

3. Felt your bag to completion. If you don't think the needle-felting is firmly attached, needle it more. You can also wet the bag and rub the area where you needled to further shrink that wool.

Have fun!

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