Friday, 18 April 2014

Sewing Pouch made with Felted Crocheted Granny Squares

Since the New Year, I have bought no fleece, though I have been given one.  The wool store cupboard has been emptying out quite nicely, especially since I used another load of the matted Zwartbles for hanging basket liners last weekend. This admirable stash busting self discipline has not stopped me booking up a couple of raw fleeces in advance of shearing, but that doesn't count.

I expect to need the storage space after Wonderwool next weekend.  Self indulgent shopping plans drive this worthy spring clear out.  Under the spare bed, I rediscovered a basket of small remnants of plant dyed skeins of Texere Wool and a little pile of crocheted Granny Squares. Mmmm, I think they were the result of a previous resolution to make use of existing stocks, only that was in New Year 2013.

The colours are less favoured outcomes from my early plant dye experiments.  The green came from a nettle dye bath, picked too late in the summer.  It gave a miserable piss yellow and got overdyed with woad, most was used for a big mesh bag.  The purple shades were the result of tiny dye baths with handfuls of St John's Wort petals and the yellows and beiges were left overs from comfrey and lemon balm trials.  I think the ginger was from onion skins.

Rather than make an oblong bag, I crocheted the squares together as diamond shapes and folded them in half across the middle. An awkward and puckered result went into a 95 degree centigrade machine wash cycle with some towels.  

The crochet did not shrink as much as a knitted piece I once made with the same wool, the crochet spaces were still too open for a secure bag and the dye colours shifted markedly.  All worth knowing, though not what I hoped for.  

During a previous project, I learned that washing powder is a powerful alkali dye modifier.The nettle yellow must have washed out or paled, leaving the woad stronger and the yarn a bluer green.  The other yellows and beiges got much brighter and the St John's Wort changed from purple pink to khaki.  Stuffed with rags while wet, the bag shape did improve.

This silk dupion was dyed with apple leaves and was part of a trial for a big project which will definitely need a sewing machine. I inherited an old Bernina when my Mum upgraded, but am far from adept. Just filling and fitting the bobbin took an hour to get right. It would have been much easier to hand sew a lining.

The final felted pouch is strong and the right shape and size for keeping notions together - scissors and tape measures and pins. 
I name it Piece Keeper.

The rest of the wool can stay under the bed.  Stash always comes in handy - eventually.

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