Saturday, 22 February 2014

February Fibre of the Month PROJECT

Grey Karakul Bag 
I actually made 2 bags.  The second of which is the main one for the data comparison, but I'm placing pictures further down the post as the design may be a little surprising!  If you are reading with a little one on you knee, please scroll down and preview it away from tiny eyes first.  

Bag #1
Whale Watchers
Messenger style
Mother and baby whales on the front..
..with a watcher inside the flap
..and two more on the back.
I'm sure you can tell I made this one not long after my last fibre of the month project :)  Again inspired by petroglyphs at Lake Ozette.  This one is a 3 layer bag.. fully lined, with a zippy pocket and strong, sewn handle all from the lovely woven Navajo fabric :)  Luuurve that fabric.  I can't give shrinkage details for this one.. I lost track of which rectangular resist I used!

Bag #2 
The Rude Man of Cerne

The Rude Man of Cerne / Cerne Abbas Giant
This magnificent fellow is carved into the chalk bedrock of a hillside in Dorset, UK.  He is 180 foot tall. There is uncertainty about how old he is.. the link above will tell you more about the facts and folklore.

My lovely husband suggested the design for this bag :)  And much as I admire the glyph it was Gary's suggestion for the reverse of the bag that really made me want to make it.

I made a tote using the same resist as for the Shetland tote.. for an easier comparison.

Laying out internal, integral pockets
1st two layers of Karakul
I used 4 layers of Karakul on each side
Plus a final 5th layer of forest green Icelandic batt
The Giant was drawn in merino fibre
Only the basic shape and features were added at this early stage..
I was worried finer details may of become lost during felting

My favourite feature of this bag is the cheeky flip side.. 

The Rude Man showing his modest side :)

I did find that I needed to lightly tack the 'drawing' in place with my felting needle.. merino doesn't seem to want to incorporate into karakul without distorting and becoming slightly wavy.  I didn't mind this with the Watchers bag.. maybe because of its' watery theme, but wanted clean lines with this one.

Half way through felting I needle felted on his more salient features
Cutting the handle holes using tailors chalk
During the final stage of felting I gave the bag a darned good thumping!

When throwing seamless felt 'vessels' it always surprises me how airtight they are at this stage ... filling up like a balloon every time you throw them down on the opening.
I only used 4 layers of Karakul for this tote..  the main reason being I only had enough fibre for this.  But when I thought about it and looked at the sample I decided this was actually plenty! Karakul does make a very strong felt.  So after adding the Icelandic green this became a 5 layer bag.
Finished.. front of Rude Man bag
the modest side :)
Reinforced handle area with felted wool tweed fabric
Gary made another good suggestion just when I thought I'd finished :)  He looked inside and said it would be nice if the edges of the internal pockets were edged with the tweed fabric..  next time he looked they were! It does make it easier to spot where the pockets are.. :)  You can just see them at the top of this photo.

For comparison to sampling data

Weight of the finished bag is 400g
Finished size = 52cm x 38cm
Resist size was 71cm x 48cm
Shrinkage approx 26% x 21%

I'm not surprised that the shrinkage is a little uneven.. I used an uneven number of layers, as well as throwing another fibre into the mix.


Heather Woollove said...

Hahaha...spectacular, Deborah!! The 'backside' is definitely 'cheeky' ( me some puns!)...and I love it that I'm a bit shocked by the front! :)
P.S. I want to meet the person who buys it! :) XOXOXX

Jacqui Galloway said...

Love the 'rude man' bag. The back of the bag really made me smile. Love the lining too!

FeltersJourney said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Terriea Kwong said...

Both bags are chic. The flap of the upper one is unique and the man of the tote is impressive. I always admire your perfect layout of outlines. They turn out so nice and your info is very useful for our ref. thanks for sharing.

FeltersJourney said...

Thanks girls :)

Lyn said...

The cheeky chappie is splendid!

FeltersJourney said...

:) Thanks Lyn x