~ This E-book Tutorial (12 pages) is available as PDF downloads from this blog & on Ravelry, Etsy & Zibbet ~
Reclaim that old woollen jumper & turn it into a stylish handbag
It’s easy to become excited about this up-cycled, eco-friendly project & even easier to make. The tutorial takes you through the basics of washing machine felting, laying out pattern or template & embellishments – the step-by-step instructions are given in written form with clear photos & diagrams with some alternatives included
* Old woollen jumper
* Top-load washing machine
* Pure soap
* Template – 26 cm (10”) embroidery hoop or strong cardboard
Suggested yarn – I used Panda Myth 8 ply for flower but any suitable felting yarn of choice can be used
for Greenery I used Katia Madison & 28 gauge jewellery wire
Fascinator bases should be available from most good craft suppliers
Curly Felted Dahlia
* make 18 ch
Row 1: ss in 2nd ch from hook, dc (US sc) in next ch, htr (US hdc) in next ch, tr (US dc) in next 4 ch, dtr (US tr) in next 5 ch, tr (US dc) in next 2 ch, htr (US hdc) in next ch, dc (US sc) in next ch, ss in last ch, repeat from * 11 times more, finish off leaving a long tail – 12 petals – wind petals into flower shape & sew securely in place
Variation: make more or less foundation ch (for more/less number of petals), work higher or shorter posted stitches along foundation ch (for thicker/thinner petals)
Flower centre: [change colour here if desired] – into an adjustable base ring work 3 ch & 15 tr (US dc) then finish off leaving a long tail threaded onto a darning needle, pull adjustable base ring tail tight to close centre, with darning needle sew & gather together along top edge, pull tight & sew to centre of petals
Variation: work more or less / higher or shorter posted stitches into adjustable base ring
Greenery: cut lengths of wire slightly longer than desired size, starting approx 3cm from end, work approx 15 dc (US sc) over wire, bend to form a loop then continue working dc (US sc) over both the wire end & along wire to approx 3cm from end , use this wire end to secure.
Variation: work a combination of higher/shorter stitches along wire
Felting Method: I prefer the hand-felting method below, however if you want to machine-felt, place flowers in a laundry bag & check often on felting progress
1. Have your flower ready
2. Fill sink/basin with about a litre of the hottest water you can tolerate and work soap into a lather
3. Place your flower into the hot soapy water and rigorously rub and squeeze it in both hands – keep topping up with hot water and soap. Depending on the wool used, this step requires quite a bit of time and effort before it begins to felt. From time to time run it under cold water, then repeat the squeezing and rubbing and continuous dipping it in the hot soapy water. The more times you repeat this procedure the thicker the felt will become.
4. When you’re satisfied your flower has felted, rinse it well, soap residue dulls the lustre of the wool and weakens the fibres over time.
5. Roll flower in a towel, squeeze out excess water, roll up each petal & secure with rust-proof pins & allow to air dry naturally on a drying rack
Assembly:I covered the Fascinator base with a hand-felted patch & the flower, greenery & beads were then attached to the felt-covered base – by all means copy what I’ve done but don’t be afraid to experiment – this pattern is meant as a guide only – enjoy…
This pattern has not been fully tested – so let me know if there are any typo’s or other such nasties…
* Also please note: I’m very happy for you to use this pattern for fun, personal challenge, gifts & fundraisers – but not so happy if you re-print it for others or sell it for profit – you know the drill -copyright & all that!! Thanks….