Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A Bit of Felting and Upcycling

Don't tell KitchenAid, but I used my stand mixer today to do a bit of felting. (Felting? Fulling? I'll knuckle under to common usage, and go with felting.)

If I hadn't been busy with other projects, I could have done the job by hand at the kitchen sink (which might have been quicker than using the mixer), but I wanted to see if the mixer would work, and it did - after a fashion.

Here is a small stockinette square, the last of a leftover scrap of yarn...

...and here is the bowl with hot soapy water, and the mixer paddle all ready to go...

It stirred, and stirred, and stirred...

...and 10 minutes later I had a stockinette square that was felted in the center only. Time to throw something else in the mix.

A scrap of cotton fabric was added. More stirring (some of it with the dough hook, then back to the paddle).

Finally, after 20-25 minutes, I had this:

Felted! (Fulled?)

It was still a tad stretchy, so I ran it under some hot water and rubbed it between my hands for a minute, which tightened things up nicely.

And what, you may ask, was the point of this exercise? (To waste electricity and satisfy idle curiosity?)

Enter my darning needles, flimsily stored in their original packaging. (At least one needle falls off every time I get them out.)

Messy and insecure

It's high time the needles had a new home - a fuzzy pink home (with a nifty little handle made from Planet Penny's Cotton Club yarn).

You could even call it a mobile home, because it rolls...

...rolls up, that is, and fits perfectly into this nifty little cardboard tube (which was the outer packaging for my Burt's Bees tinted lip balm and which I couldn't bear to throw away, being sure it would come in handy somehow).

Very handy indeed.

All neat and tidy

Now I just need to decorate it. What do you think? Crochet or pretty paper? (Or leave it the way it is?)

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  1. Paper, printed with Sue's So-Clever Up-cycling ;D You are a marvel m'dear x

  2. What a wonderful idea! I agree with Annie...you should cover it with paper. Have a lovely day, Sue. :)

  3. Another use for the Kitchen-Aid; I love it! My needles keep falling out too and this is a very clever idea.

  4. Too cute, deserves a really snazzy home.

  5. This floats all my boats!! :) I love when a useful thing comes from things one already has on hand!! It was perfect all rolled up but then, you slipped it in the tube!! I just about swooned!!! :D

    And I wouldn't have judged you had the mixer been all about discovery!! Curiosity sating is a fine hobby!! :)

  6. Don't you just love when you can come up with a great use for something most people would toss without a second thought??? I live for moments like this!

    I think you should do some of your fancy embroidery on it. With one of those needles!!!

  7. How do you come up with this stuff? You are way too clever and should be hired by the government. My vote for the outside of the tube is to find a scrap of lovely fabric and glue it around. You could embroider the fabric first, as Snowcatcher suggested. The lady who taught the Goatmother to needle felt, by the way, uses a belt sander to do flat felting. :) You just never know what will work.

  8. Great idea. My needles are always getting lost.
    A bit of embroidery would be fab on the tube.

  9. Do these clever ideas pop up in the middle of thenight when you are being an owl? Very clever indeed. I think to warrant puttin your mixer on for doing this you should probably multi task it....maybe a batch of meringues at the same time?

    I vote for some nice fabric around the holder.

  10. what a fantastic idea! and another great use of your kitchenaid! :)


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