Thanksgiving decorations

Today’s post is about a project that failed miserably. Gotta just love it when that happens. Thanksgiving in the US is coming up at the end of November and I decided to try making a cornucopia decoration. I’m kinda lazy when it comes to crafting so I decided to try and modify a technique for wet-felting a large carrot that I’ve been told about. Basically you put a bunch of wool in a nylon, tie string around it in strategic places to get the right shape and create the lines you get on a carrot, and stick it in the washing machine. I figured I could do the same but put something in the big end to make a little divot and then add some detail with needle felting to make it look more like a cornucopia. Here’s that process in pictures.

My materials. The yarn is stuff that doesn’t felt, I figured that would be important for taking things apart later.

I tied off one end of the shape so I would have a small, pointy end. Then I started stuffing from there. It was a lot more difficult to stuff than I expected, I guess I don’t have much experience with nylons so it didn’t occur to me how slippery and clingy they can be. Yes, both slippery and clingy at the same time, gotta love contradictions.

I decided this was a good size and amount of wool. That decision was pretty much arbitrary, but I did remember that it will shrink some when felted, so it’s good to make it a bit larger than you want it to end up as.

I decided the best way to make the opening in the wide end was by putting a bowl in it and letting things felt around that. I went with a plastic bowl, even though I had some ceramic ones I liked the shape and size of better, because I didn’t want the bowl breaking in the washer. Then I distributed the wool around the bowl and tied the nylon tight around it to keep things in place.

I tied a few strings along the length of the cornucopia hoping to keep things in place better and to add a bit of dimension to the finished piece that I could work with later to give it a woven look.

Then I tossed the piece into the washer, which is when things  went wrong. I think putting the bowl in there was the main problem, although the washer also may have been too rough for the nylon. Basically I think the bowl rubbed through the nylon around it and the whole thing fell apart. It might have worked if I had to whole bowl covered, and didn’t leave the edge of the bowl right against the nylon where it could rub. But I didn’t think of that at the beginning.

This is what I got out of the washer. It was very disappointing, and I dont think Ill be trying this particular technique again very soon.

I was just going to throw the whole mess away but I realized that the wool had felted into some interesting little shapes that are quite nicely felted, so I’ve decided to keep those. I have no idea what Ill do with them, but I may as well save them, they might inspire me later. If not I can always use them as pincushions or something. Or just throw them away later too.

I haven’t given up on making a cornucopia though! I’ve decided I’m going to try knitting and felting one. It should be pretty simple to knit, the first hat I ever tried to make was very triangular, so I know I can make the shape! And I have patterns for lots of different fruits and vegetables to knit, including a banana that has a zipper in the peel so you can actually peel it! Bananas aren’t exactly your traditional cornucopia food, but I like them and it’s cool, so it’s going in. I might try this wet felting technique again later when I have more patience and time for it, and once I’m not quite to peeved at the way it fell apart, but probably not this year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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