Hand Felted Sleeve…

Recently at the library, I saw an inspiring book of sewing projects called Urban Scandinavian Sewing by Kirstyn Cogan. As a practiced creative, inspiration and ideas are a constant flow; and as a tactile, visual person, browsing through books at the library is a perfect place to find new direction. (Of course I can spend unseemly amounts of time browsing on the internet as well.) Kirstyn’s book shares the how-to for a colorful felt mug cozy that I was inspired to replicate using handmade wet felted sheets of natural alpaca wool. I liked the design using two colors of felt and the positive/negative heart cutout wrapping the mug. But I had to return the book before I ever got around to trying. By the time I was ready to make the cozy, the book had three holds on it at the library.

Oh well, I thought. I will just have to figure out the construction based on memory. The design was a challenge; my handmade felt was thick and therefore did not extend around the mug’s circumference like my paper mockup. But I continued with what I had rather than scrapping and starting over; needle felting extensions to the heart and the brown base. Large stitches in wool yarn accentuate these added pieces. Kirtstyn’s design used a nice button closure with a second button as an accent.  Since my heavy stitching is such a strong accent, I chose to use snaps to maintain a more minimal design, and to prevent the heart from distorting over time with working the button.

The handmade alpaca wool felt has a nice warmth, weight and softness that add to the pleasure of sipping a cup of tea or coffee. This would make a great gift for the holidays. If you are so inspired, try your own version of a modern felt mug cozy, or go find a copy of Kirstyn’s book.

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