"Furbelow" -- cool word, huh? For those wondering what it means, "furbelow" is both a noun and a verb. The Oxford Dictionary defines "furbelows" as "showy ornaments or trimmings", and to "furbelow" something means to "adorn [it] with trimmings".
Inspired by an article I read on felting in the Learning Center on LionBrand.com titled Tips and Techniques: Fabulous Felt, I decided to try some "furbelow" experiments with my felting and was quite surprised and happy with the results. Basically, what I tried was adding some novelty yarn, that I knew would not felt, to a couple of bags that I crocheted from wool yarn and intended to felt. I wanted to see what would happen when the felting and non-felting fibers went through the felting process together.
First, I tried adding Lion Brand "Fun Fur" to the edge of a bag before felting it. I simply crocheted a row of single crochet/chain/single crochet around the top edge. When I felted it, the "Fun Fur" made a fluffy edge, embedded in the dense felted wool of the bag's body. Unfortunately, I don't have a photo to share. :( I took the bag to Art Is In Market as part of my inventory and I forgot to photograph it first. I was going to take a picture the next time I went in to work, but it sold right away -- which is fantastic, but it also meant that I didn't get the chance to take a photo at the store, either. You'll have to take my word for it. It looked very cool and I plan to try it again (and take a photo!).
The second "furbelow" experiment I tried with a felted bag was a bit more daring. This time, I used Paton's Classic Wool Worsted to crochet the purse, but I added stripes of Trendsetter "Iris", a novelty polyamide/acrylic eyelash yarn, as I went. The wool portion of the bag was crocheted entirely in single crochets. The stripes were done as a row of alternating slip stitch/chain stitch. Finally, along the flap edge, I used the wool and novelty yarn together (as a double strand) to crochet fringe. The fringe pattern was simple: Slip stitch in the flap edge, 9 chain stitches, then a slip stitch in the second chain from the hook and each chain back to the flap edge, slip stitch in the next stitch on the edge; repeating this pattern to the end of the flap. As I went along with the fringe, I added a chain loop with the wool yarn only, to allow for a loop and button close on the purse.
Here are photos of how the bag looked before I felted it:
And here are the photos after felting. I added a removable chain strap and a metal button.
I call it my "Wild Child" bag! I think its pretty fun.