Browsed by
Tag: bag

Hairy Alpaca Bag

Hairy Alpaca Bag

I thought I’d use my weird Hairy Alpaca bag for practising stitching. I’ve used some of the stitches from the first few weeks of TAST. First, I used Photoshop to work out the pattern I wanted to follow on the flap. I used a 6 point star and copied and pasted it, overlaying it to get the shapes I wanted. I scanned the bag so I could get the sizing right, then I printed the pattern out. I thought it’d be really fiddly, but I just held the pattern in place as I stitched around for the outline. I then filled in the shapes with very close blanket/buttonhole stitch and straight stitches for the tiny blocks.

For the front part, I used rows of chain stitch to make a border, then filled that it with herringbone stitch. Just for something extra, I added little straight stitches where the herringbones crossed.

It’s not very easy to sew on, it really does feel like hair! And the bag is so small, it’s easier to keep one hand inside and sew two handed 🙂 I’m not sure what I’ll add next, I might see what other stitches come up on TAST before deciding.

Hairy Alpaca and a Merino Vessel

Hairy Alpaca and a Merino Vessel

I love alpaca, so a few years ago when my mum was buying me fibres for Christmas, I asked for Alpaca tops. I’d only used raw alpaca before and hoped the tops would be more convenient. They couldn’t have been further from raw alpaca if they’d tried. I’m sure all alpaca tops aren’t like this, but it seems I got some made from guard hair or something! They were thick and wiry and kind of stiff. I hoped they’d be different after felting, so I made a sample square. It was the weirdest felt I’d ever made, hairy and although felted, didn’t really feel felted, and strangely, still quite soft. So, I put those bags at the bottom of a sack and forgot about them.

I recently did a ‘stock check’ to see what I needed to order more of and rediscovered the alpaca tops. I left them out hoping I’d get time to try them again. Last week I did. I decided to make a small bag with a flap. I thought that if it turned out strange I could always use it for sewing on. It turned out exactly as I’d remembered! Hairy, stiff, not feeling like it was felted, but oddly soft. I used a rusty colour for the inside layers and aptly, a grassy green colour for the top ones. I’ve already started to add the stitches, so I’ll post about that soon 🙂

I had more success with my merino vessel. I thought I’d try making a vessel starting with a flat resist. I thought it’d be less fiddly and messy than felting over a ball, but I didn’t think so. I think if I do it again I’ll use something a bit thicker than bubblewrap for the resist. It came out alright though, but it’s a bit thin because I only used a couple of layers of merino.

I’d be interested to know if anyone else has had similar problems with commercial alpaca tops or if you’ve actually had some nice ones.

%d bloggers like this: