Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Felting with Beads's been a long time. I'm obviously just not cut out to be much of a blogger! Seems like it always gets put on the bottom of the "to-do" list!
Anyway, thought I'd share the results of an experiment my neighbor did last week. She asked me whether I'd advise her on a beaded felting project. She wondered whether she should sew the beads on with needle and thread after the felting or if I thought she should knit the beads in as she knit the bag. Not having ever added beads to a knitted-felted project before, I told her I imagined that the felting process could obscure the bead if it was small and therefore she might want to sew them on afterwards, but also suggested that the only way to know was to sample.
So a couple of days later, she brought by her sample for show and tell and it was quite interesting. The beads she knit in as she went were not obscurred, but nestled in nicely to the fabric yet still very visible, whereas the beads that were sewn on after the fact sat atop the fabric in an unpleasing and unstable way. Quite the opposite of what I had expected!
Tho', I suppose the results might have been as I anticipated had the beads been smaller. Since she used quite large beads, knitting them in before felting worked just fine. I don't know if you can tell from the photo much, but the beads on the left were worked in as she knit the bag and the beads on the right (those that have more surface protuberance and if you could see it up close, are literally hanging on by a visible thread, which is not visually appealing) were sewn on after the fact.
Just a good reminder how a little time spent sampling can make all the difference!