Tantalizing Tutorials

by | May 1, 2024 | Felting, Fibre Arts, Knitting, Weaving

In lieu of a business meeting we had “tantalizing tutorials” for our April meet up.  We learned how to “box” a bag, make a dryer ball, sew invisible seams, and make a kumihimo braid.  April was also a month for more learning in the form of formal workshops including wet felting a picture and basket making.

workshop on felted picture making


Everyone needs a bag, big bags, shopping bags, small bags, hand bags, decorative bags.  Weavers love to make bags.  They are an excellent use for left over yardage or that small section you wove at the end of the warp.  If you want to give your bag more form then “boxing” the bottom of the bag will give it a 3 dimensional shape like those brown paper grocery bags.  Sew the sides and bottom as you normally would but then working on the inside at the bottom, straighten out the bottom seam, the sides will fold under at each end creating a point.  Sew a line of stitches across the points perpendicular to the bottom seam.  Fold the points back onto the bottom seam and flip the bag right side out.

boxed bottom bag

Dryer balls are a great way to use up thrums and bits of fleece.  The core of these dryer balls is a tightly wound ball of miscellaneous wool yarns.  When the core is large enough, start to cover it with fleece.  Use a coarse felting needle to meld the fleece to the ball of thrums.  Add a top layer of coloured fleece to make designs.  Winding the core can be something to pass the time on the ferry, a mindless activity to assist with meditation, or something to do while watching TV.  This part of the process can also be outsourced to children and spouses.  The needle work needs a bit more attention to avoid puncture wounds.  If you’ve ever done needle felting you know what I mean by that.

dryer balls

thrums core of dryer ball





getting the seams right

When you are constructing a garment, how you join the pieces will have a dramatic effect on finished piece.  It can be especially tricky with knitting depending on how the stitches in the two pieces are oriented.  Think of side seams versus shoulder seams.  Jane showed us some techniques for creating a seam that is invisible on the outside of the piece.  She also gave us some tips for sewing woven cloth including how to make an invisible hem.

We tried our hand at braiding with a home made kumihimo disc cut out of cardboard Amazon boxes.  This is another use for that every growing pile of thrums.  You will need yarn that is about three times as long as the desired length of the braid.  Use your braids as draw strings, friendship bracelets, cords for tassels or closures. This is also another activity for that long ferry ride, a kids party or while waiting for an appointment.  Plus you have repurposed both the waste yarn and the cardboard box so it is positive for the environment.

kumihimo disc with thrums

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