My Felted Wool Past… and Other Projects

I was looking through some old photos on my computer last night and came across some of my old felted wool projects. I think I started making these about the time I moved to Portland ten years ago.

Here’s one of my favorites.

This was made from scrap wool that had been used on other felted projects. It was made on my own pattern that I wrote up and have sent to many knitters who have seen this bag online. I never really liked using wool that would felt for a garment. It just made it too hard to take care of. But it’s wonderful when it’s felted!

I made several bag bodies on this pattern, but finished them differently. Here’s a blue striped one that I gave to a friend.

To make these bags I would hand knit a really big bag and then felt it in my washing machine. It would shrink significantly once it was felted. Here are some pictures of the bag before and after felting. My little Jack Russell Skeeter is there for scale. She’s a little 12 lb dog. (Skeeter now lives with a friend of mine in Seattle.)

This next bag was knit on the same pattern and then I needle felted the sunflower design onto the front. I was pretty happy with how this turned out. It was given to a good friend of mine.

Here’s another bag that was made on the same pattern and was also needle felted with a floral design.

Here’s one that’s a little bit of a modern take on the same bag pattern. All of these bags were finished with a batik lining, complete with a zipper pocket and a slip pocket and a snap closure.

I also made a bunch of little round coin purses that were always some of my favorites. These were hand crocheted on my own pattern, felted in the washing machine and finished with embroidery. I think these are just the sweetest little things.

I also made a bunch of these little shoulder bags with sheep needle felted on them. I think I could have sold as many of these as I could make. But I got really tired of making the same thing over and over. But they were pretty cute.

I also made a couple on this pattern, which is also one I designed, and added embroidery.

I also made a whole bunch of these little wallets in different shapes. These were all hand knit on patterns that I made up, felted in the washing machine and then needle felted with floral designs…. and more sheep!

Then I made a bunch of these little round shoulder bags with needle felted designs. These were crocheted on my own pattern and felted in the washer.

I really loved making these bags, but I lost interest in needle felting pretty quickly. Drawing doesn’t come natural to me and needle felting is basically drawing with wool. I was really happy with how these pieces turned out, but I wasn’t very driven to make more. Another reason I stopped making these is that the knitting and crocheting is just so darned hard on my hands. I love knitting but don’t do much of it these days. I only make an occasional hat or other small project. I wish I cold do more because I really love it.

Now for my other projects. I’m about 3/4 done with the batik jewel box quilt I’m working on. Only the top row in this photo needs to be assembled, then a couple horizontal seams and I’ll be done. I’m forcing myself to get that done and off the design wall before I move onto my next quilting project… and I’m itching to get onto the next one!

As a quick afternoon project today I decided to make myself a couple microwave bowl holders. I have one that I made a few years ago and I use it all the time. I really needed more.

Here’s the pattern I used for these, in case you’re interested. There are a good number of free patterns and tutorials available for these on the internet.

It was really rainy today so we didn’t get a walk at all. the dogs are not happy about that. I have another sheep herding lesson tomorrow afternoon, so I’m hoping we can get a good walk in tomorrow morning. The weather looks like it will be a little better… still raining, but not a downpour like it was today.

13 Replies to “My Felted Wool Past… and Other Projects”

  1. OMG! Your needle felting is fabulous! Can I be your new best friend? I’ve done a little bit of needle felting, but no longer – it’s too hard on my arthritic hands. You are such a multi-talented woman and you inspire me to keep on creating with fabric. Keep showing us the work of your hands!

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    1. Thanks BJ! I think my greatest asset is that I’m not afraid to try new stuff! it doesn’t always go well, but sometimes I make some pretty cool things. I’m glad that quilting is so much easier on my hands! And it has kept my interest for a long time too. There’s still a lot I haven’t done that I want to do!

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  2. Love the felted purses and the coin purses. I was on a kick to do purses a few years back, lot of work but so pretty when done. Yours are amazing. So talented. Thanks for sharing. I still have some 100% wool in there, may have to get it out and find a pattern to use it up.

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    1. I still have quite a bit of the wool yarn I used for felted pieces. I just can’t force myself to part with it. I did sell most of the colored roving I had that I used for needle felting. I kept a small collection.

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    1. Thanks! I doubt I’ll ever do any more felted pieces. But I do love them. And Skeeter… she was such a cutie! But she needed to be an only dog. She has a really fantastic life with my friend up in Washington. They are enamored with each other!

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  3. Those sheep are the cutest! I love the little coin purses too. I feel you about it being hard on your hands – I’m probably just a teeny bit younger than you and starting to get arthritis that makes hand-stitching hard. I’m jealous of your ability to draw with wool! I can do stick figures at best – there’s a reason my creative pursuits other than sewing (writing and cooking) don’t require me to do any drawing. 🙂

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