Warning: it is not likely the awful puns will cease any time soon. I seriously almost called this post "Hooked on a Felting."
To refresh your memory, Reader: the Tiny Tote at right was born out of a swatch of Kool Aid-dyed yarn and I-cord. Call it Ishmael, if you'd like. I decided to try felting it, both because of the larger felted tote bag project I've got going and because I needed to do my laundry anyway.
I tossed the bag in with a load of T-shirts and underwear and hoped that it wouldn't dye my clothes pink. It came out of the wash as it did in the picture at left, and I encourage you to click on the picture to get the larger version if you'd like a sense of how the felting works. Wikipedia tells me that it has something to do with scales on the wool and the zzzzzzzzzzzzzz
In any case, the washer, as you can see, felted TT (TM) a little bit, but not overmuch. Small things, I gather, are supposed to be more difficult to felt than larger projects. I probably should have put it in a pillowcase and with less other stuff (you do need something to agitate the wool, like a pair of jeans or a towel), but it costs $1.50 to do a load of laundry here and I've got bills to pay, if you know what I mean.
But I wanted the bag to be more awesome, so I worked at the material in a basin of hot water in the kitchen sink, and that seems to have done the trick. It felted excellently, as you can see, I hope, at right, and didn't take more than maybe 20 minutes to do. I can't imagine doing the felting by hand on a project much larger than a mitten, say. In the interests of full disclosure, I will note that the water became slightly pink, and not because I was working my poor fingers to the bone. The color of the tote didn't appear to fade, but it's certainly not entirely colorfast. In ordinary usage, I don't think the color would rub off, though.
And the surprise (trendy, bourgeois) usage: a little iPod bag. There are some obvious flaws to this, the biggest being that one's headphones obviously can't fit in the bag unless one uses earbuds. In the picture, my Phyllida stands in for Ellen's Buddy; here's to hoping for a long, happy, copyright-violating future for everyone.