Thursday, November 6, 2008

Felt and crochet - new obsessions

It doesn't take long for a new interest to become an obsession. I was asked to demonstrate some embellishing on my new felting machine for a Dollies meeting this month, so I started to make some samples and have become more and more interested in needle felting, wet felting and "fulling". Here's a definition I found from a website
Fulling is the process of fluffing up an already woven or knitted piece of woollen cloth. It's to be distinguished from felting, which takes raw fleece and puts it through the same process without having any initial structure. Felting usually yields a fabric that's a lot stiffer than fulling, since it needs more felting to be able to hang together at all.
It's hard to believe that this little red handbag was crocheted with a 6mm hook and was very big before I washed it with a pair of jeans in my washing machine. I loved the sample as soon as I saw it in Brisbane My mum bought me the pattern and wool as she saw how much I wanted to make it. You might wonder why that bit of tree is beside the bag in the photo. Jim, my husband, will soon be making me a beautiful timber button from that piece of wood for the bag closure.
My daughter, Naomi also has a new obsession. She has just learnt to crochet and has done really well, even learning to crochet an edge just by looking at another blanket. Here she is with a baby blanket she has made for her new nephew in England.
Others who have caught the crochet bug are the women in Mando village, Eastern Highlands Province, Papua New Guinea. When I was there as a volunteer last month, the women were not only quick learners, but were excited to learn a new skill, hopefully to supplement their meagre incomes as subsistence farmers. Here is Susan, with a cap she crocheted... doesn't she look happy with herelf ?

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