Hey, I don't know if this is the correct place to put this, but someone can let me know if it's not the correct spot! :)
I decided recently to return to knitting -- something I hadn't done in some years "for lack of time". Or, at least that's what I told myself. I think that I just did not have presence of mind to resume for whatever reason.
Anyway, I bought some heather New Zealand worsted wool off of eBay for $31 for 9.5 lbs! There is a ton of it there, and it has a natural linen color or a bit darker, perhaps. Only trouble, it was not the quality advertised. It's made from the scratchier and less 'downy' part of the wool. Tog? Can't remember, but it's probably the top wool and not the softer downy wool closer to the skin.
I talked to a friend, and she mentioned using it nonetheless -- to make knitted rugs for the house, etc. So, I am! I plan to felt it by putting it in the washer in hot water and agitating it. I did a sample and it's super-soft and beautiful --- and more durable and lush than the rugs in the store, and it's beautiful, rich wool to boot! Plus, I have a ton more yarn to make many other things. I thought of making a felted purse from it also!
I have previously planned to make a particular felted purse and wanted to share the picture and process here:
You knit the purse with circular knitting needles larger than you want it and then you felt it! It becomes very sturdy and really beautiful!
There are many other designs you can think up as well! This is just one site that shows many creative designs, but there are many, many patterns out there (or create your own!)
To me, knitting is very relaxing when I want to wind down at the end of the day. For some reason, hand work relaxes me - it must work on part of the brain that helps to re-route thought patterns or cares or concerns? I don't know - but it's great. Plus, you don't have to feel guilty about sitting down as you are being productive!
I like this site that a friend recommended - for yarn cuz the prices are decent and it's free shipping over $45 or so (can't remember the exact amount.)
I eventually hope to raise Icelandic sheep, and spin my own yarn from them. I have a friend who sent me some roving from hers and it smells so wonderful! I think that we have to be thinking about being resourceful with the fiber around us, since there may come a time when we don't have money (or ?? anything to barter with) to purchase clothing from a store.
Here's another one!
And here's a site with some complete kits to make various purses:
And many FREE patterns for making them!
You can't use wool that is labeled "superwash" or is essentially pre-washed. It has to be able to shrink and mat up when agitated in the water. There are a bunch of other felting ideas just using roving of various colors and then felting sheets of fabric. Felt is very strong and is quite lovely for a variety of items. Remember, all the hats that are made from felt! It's an art that's been around a long time!