Wet Felted Vessel With Hearts

IMG_5582I learn something new every time I make a vessel.  I had some leftover fabric I made for applique.  The fabric didn’t have any stitching on it, so I had high hopes that the applique would adhere to the wool better than on the last vessel I made.   I am trying to use up some of my wool that I originally purchased for needle felting.  This pink is great for noses and tails, but I am not needle felting at this time, so I decided it would make a great contrast for the bright pink applique.  The wool is Corriedale and is a bit too itchy for making hats (though some people do), but is great for making vessels.  I don’t measure out my wool when making vessels.  I had about 100g of this pink and I still have a little bit left over.  I don’t know what was going on in my brain when I was laying out the wool, but I used only 3 layers when I normally use at least 4.  This created some thin spots that I wasn’t aware of.

Downloads2Here is the completed bowl.  When I make a bowl, I tend to cut the hole in one side of the resist.  It is also possible to cut the hole at the top of the resist.  As I stated above, I wasn’t thinking clearly when working out the design and should have put the little hearts slightly below and in-between the big ones on the same side, or I should have decorated it with a view to cutting the hole at the top.  I was trying to avoid putting the applique on the seam.  This created some large blank spaces on the vessel.  Luckily I had some mother of pearl discs from a necklace and bracelet I deconstructed and some beads to fill in the gaps.  Although thread won’t felt, I used some for decoration and I laid down very thin wisps of Merino in the same color as the pink to hold the threads down. The wisps are so thin you can barely see them, if at all.  The applique felted very well, although there were a few areas that didn’t stick down too well and that seemed to be where there was a fair amount of silk fiber that was embellished onto the prefelt.  I just needle felted them down into the bowl and they are now felted in nicely.  I also used some of the Corriedale to needle felt over some of the threads where I stitched on the large pink beads.  Seeing that annoyed me when I looked in the bowl, so I covered them up.  As you can see, the bowl looks lovely on its own and with some fairy lights inside.

On another note, I sold a couple of my Xmas mice and my Long eared bunny on FB Marketplace of all places.  The lady doesn’t live far away and will be coming back for a couple of rabbits and my bumble bees next week.  I’ve reduced the price for the bunnies and bees considerably, but I do need to make space for more wool!  There is a sale on this month! 🙂

Playing With a New Toy

IMG_5561Meet the embellisher.  It may look like a sewing machine, but instead of using thread, there are 5 needle punching needles instead.  I had been wanting one for ages when I bought a book about embellishing felt.  There are a few to choose from, but the reason I chose this one is because I can change the needles individually when they break.  I already broke two when making this project I am going to tell you about.  There is not much info about this type of machine on the internet or in books even though they have been around for quite some time.  Not only can you make felt with it, you can make paintings, embellish clothes, and use fabric in your work.

I made some prefelt with the machine the other day and I am going to use it in a project soon.  However, I had this dish sitting around that I wasn’t happy with.


It is pretty hideous.  This was an experiment that went bad.  The dish is 100% Merino batt that is felted quite thickly with leaf skeletons.  Surprisingly, the leaf skeletons felted really well to the wool and I had a difficult time getting them off the top side of the plate.  I  covered up the leaves with leftover wool.  As with paint, I don’t throw anything out.  I had some wool leftover when I was felting soap as some of it didn’t felt well.  I used that to cover the bowl and leaves and embellished it with the machine.  The dish was quite thick and really well felted already, but the machine felted even more and thinned it out to a really firm piece.  Once the wool was nicely embellished onto the piece, I then added bits of wool and string.  String won’t felt in the wet felting process which is why you need thin strands of wool to hold it down, but the embellishing machine will punch it down into the wool.  The great thing about embellishing wool is that some of it will punch through to the other side which can give a nice effect.  Sometimes it is nicer than the right side of the piece as it is more subtle.  So this is what we have now.

Downloads2-001I cut into the wool on all 4 sides to bring them together to make a basket.  The cuts are overlapped.  They were too thick to use the embellishing machine.  I broke a needle trying!  So I used a needle punching tool I use for needle felting.  It also has 5 needles.  It helped to stabilise the sides before I embroidered with a blanket stitch to keep it all together.  To make the shape, I re-wet the piece in very warm water and shaped it over a plastic storage container.  It is quite sturdy now.  I would normally bling it up with some beads, but I’ve given it to the hubs to put his watch in on the bedside table. 🙂

Wet Felted Iris Vessel

Downloads2-001I have been making my vessels two at a time in order to save a little bit of time.  Otherwise I would be at it all day!  I originally wanted to make a blue iris, but I didn’t have any blue prefelt, nor the time to make any.  So, I Googled yellow irises and sure enough, there are yellow irises.  I drew and cut out 3 basic shapes on the prefelt as my decoration.  Yellow and purple are opposites on the color wheel and I knew that would make the yellow really pop.  I have some lovely lavender Merino batt that I used as a base and used the prefelt as decoration with some Corriedale as the stem.  I hadn’t used prefelt in wet felting before and I was happy with the result and how it felted.  I shall probably use it more often.

Once the vessel was completely dry, I needle felted some extra wool on the flower for definition and decoration and then wet felted it again.  I knocked out the wrinkles to make it really smooth.   I wasn’t going for a realistic flower.  I just wanted people to know what it was.  Looking at it now, I might add some more wool to the flower to give it more definition near the stem, otherwise I am really happy with how it turned out! 🙂

Here it is now with a bit more contrast needle felted to the flower.

Downloads2-001It’s subtle, but it does make a difference.