IMG_6283

Tutorial – Felted Wine Bottle Drip Collar

January 4, 2017 , In: Beadwork, Fiber, Mixed Media, Tutorials
0

Have you ever been drinking a lovely bottle of red wine and even though it is so wonderful and the cheese and crackers are the perfect pairing for that particular wine, you get slightly annoyed by the drips making their way down the bottle to your wood table, causing just a slight ripple in your otherwise perfect evening? So maybe this happens to me more than it should. I have used various techniques to prevent the drip, but nothing particularly wonderful. 

Bear with me here, things are about to go off on a tangent, but I will eventually get back to the point….I don’t think I’ve mentioned here before that my son started at Newcastle University, England back in September. I accompanied him to school to make sure we got all his documents in order, registered appropriately, and got him settled into his dorm. And because I was in England unsupervised, I booked a flight down to the opposite end of the country to visit Lesley for a few days. Caroline took a train in from her part of the country and we had a really fun girls’ weekend in a gorgeous part of the country. We walked the beach at Bournemouth and dreamt of using one of the beach huts for a studio space, picked up rocks on another part of the beach that was rocky, and stopped to have tea and cakes at a restaurant located on the beach. 

beach huts southern england

Beach huts along coast in Bournemouth

We spent the next day at Corfe Castle and its village, walked along another beach and had more treats at a beachside restaurant. In the evenings, after we had eaten a full English dinner at an amazing restaurant, we’d head back to Lesley’s place and drink a bottle or two of wine. At one point Lesley had created a wine drip collar out of a paper towel (I believe) and I thought it was brilliant. She told me how someone…I think her dad(?) would do that. I was amazed. 

Me in the stockades at Corfe Castle. All three of us took turns getting our picture taken here and this post could have easily turned into a “what I did on my amazing vacation” post.

Of course we also “talked shop” about Art Elements and politics-both British and American. It was a wonderful few days and I can hardly wait to go back. I’m pretty sure my son will need an escort every year he returns in the fall….right?

Anyway, fast forward a month or so. Every year for the last three or four years, the team has had a Secret Santa exchange. The most important and exciting component of the SS exchange is the handmade portion. The talents of our team just in creating gifts for each other would be enough eye candy to last a while. This year I got to be Santa to Caroline. I did a LOT of brainstorming before actually making a plan. I wanted to do a wine theme and I remembered the wine bottle drip paper towel. Surely someone makes something like that, right? So I googled and googled. And went to etsy and pinterest. When I realized all available options to purchase were kind of lame, I remembered I can knit (hello!) so I went to Ravelry to look for a pattern. Nothing. Then I thought to myself…”how hard can it be???”

And that’s when I came up with the plan to knit, then felt (fulling is actually the correct term, but I don’t like that word because it sounds gross.) something to fit around the neck of a wine bottle a similar color to red wine. But why stop there? I also added needle felting (which I had never done before) representative of the ocean, a rock I picked up from our beach walk to do a peyote bezel, plus extra beads for sparkly interest.  

The wine bottle drip collar I made for Caroline using a stone picked up at one of the beaches we walked along.

When I finished it, I thought this would make a great tutorial for the blog! Of course I didn’t take a single photo of the process. So I created another one, which will be gifted to my mom when it’s finished. 

Supplies needed:  

  • worsted weight or bulky yarn that will felt
  • size 13 US (9mm) needles
  • stitch marker
  • scissors
  • yarn needle 
supplies for knitting wine bottle drip collar

Supplies for knitting your own wine bottle drip collar

Abbreviations:

  • co = cast on
  • k = knit
  • kfb= knit forward and back (instructional video)
  • k2tog= knit 2 stitches together
  • RS = Right Side
  • WS = Wrong Side

Pattern Instructions:

Row 1: co 1 stitch

Row 2: k 1

RS-Row 3: kfb

WS-Row 4: k

Row 5: kfb, k remaining stitches in row

**attach a removable stitch marker on this side to cue when to do an increase**

Row 6: k

Repeat rows 5 and 6 until you have 8 or 9 stitches on your needle

knitting wine bottle drip collar

See placement of stitch marker to remind myself to increase, or decrease later in the pattern, when it’s facing me

Knit next 10 rows in plain garter stitch, last row knitted should be a WS row.

Begin decreases on RS row.

RS: k2tog

WS: k

Repeat the last two rows until there is 1 stitch left. Break yarn, pull end through the loop. Weave ends in one or two stitches and leave long. We will trim them after the fabric is felted. Don’t forget to remove the stitch marker.

knitting wine bottle drip collar

Finished knitted piece, Don’t forget to remove the stitch marker!

Felting the wine bottle collar

Supplies:

  • Wool friendly detergent. I prefer Soak
  • sink (I use my laundry room sink)
  • HOT water
  • rubber gloves if the water is too hot for your skin
  • Hand Towel
soak for woven garments

Soak detergent is what I use for all my knitted garments.

Instructions for felting (fulling) knitted fabrics:

  • Get water temperature as hot as you can stand it, fill sink a couple inches and add a couple drops of detergent.
  • Place knitted piece in the hot water. 
  • Create manual agitation using your hands to rub the fabric against itself. 
  • Be sure to flip it over, rub all areas together. Flip, rub, flip, rub
  • The water will cool, as it does, continue to add more HOT water.
knitted wine bottle drip collar in hot bath

Wine bottle drip collar at the beginning of a very hot bath.

At first the fabric weave will seem to loosen up and grow. DO NOT GET DISCOURAGED! Continue the manual agitation and hot water. Pretty soon it should start to tighten up and shrink down. This is what it looked like when I decided it was felted enough. It took about 15 minutes to get to this stage. 

*Quick note-it is possible to do this in the washing machine. However, for a piece this small it seems like overkill to me. However, if you prefer to do it that way, here are some good instructions.)

wine bottle drip collar after fulling or felting

What the knitted fabric will look like when it’s felted enough.

 

  • When your piece is felted to your liking, give it a rinse in cold water.
  • Get the hand towel, and lay it out so it’s folded in half lengthwise. 
  • Place the wine bottle collar on the towel 
  • Roll the collar into the towel as shown below
  • With bare or socks only feet, step on the roll to squeeze as much water out of collar as possible.
rolled up towel for drying knitted felted filled wine bottle drip collar

Use a hand towel to roll wine bottle drip collar to squeeze out excess water so it will dry more quickly.

  • Unroll towel. If you did this correctly, the collar will feel nearly dry.
  • At this point, you want to shape the collar. Pull in different directions, stretch it, etc until you like the shape. 
  • hang to dry overnight. 
drying on the refrigerator

The refrigerator doubles as a drying rack. The clip on the bottom adds a little bit of weight so the piece doesn’t curl up.

I have to hang mine from a magnet clip on the fridge where the cat can’t reach it because I know from previous experience that she would steal it. I thought I was going to have to make a second one for Caroline when I couldn’t find it after laying it out to dry. 

As you can see in the photo below, compared to the knitted and unfelted piece sitting on the same book earlier in the tutorial, it has shrunk significantly. 

comparison post felting fulling

Notice the size difference between pre and post felting while sitting on my bullet journal.

So now comes the fun part…embellishing. You can do anything you want. If you want to leave it plain, by all means, leave it plain. However, I decided to needle felt on mine because I’ve never done it before, so why not? 

So in the example I made for this tutorial, I plan to add this stone cabochon (no idea what kind of stone that is). My maternal grandfather did lapidary for a hobby, and this is one of the cabs he cut and polished. My mom only kept a small selection of his work after he died, and she gave me several of them. So I’m going to give this back to her. 

Keeping the color of the stone in mind, I selected wool roving I purchased at Michael’s craft store in 3 browns ranging from light tan to dark brown. 

selecting wool roving for wine bottle drip collar

Selecting wool roving that coordinates with my plan to use this cabochon.

Supplies used:

  • wool roving
  • Clover mat for needle felting
  • Clover pen style needle felting tool
  • Clover needle felting claw/mat cleaner

*This is literally my second needle felting project EVER. I bought all my supplies at local craft shops and cannot recommend specific tools with any knowledge or authority. 

needle felting supplies

Tools for needle felting

Instructions for needle felting onto wine bottle drip collar:

  • pull wisps of wool roving from the roll. You do not need much at all!
  • pull wisps of another color from the roll.
  • technical term here: smoosh them together and try to make them look a little blended, making sure they are a bit longer than the collar length. You can add wisps end to end if they are too short.
wool roving

Pulling wisps of wool roving from the bundle.

  • lay the wool on the collar in a pleasing flowy organic fashion. I like to twist them a bit to give more depth of color.
  • Place the collar with wool roving side up onto the center of the mat, using the needle tool and pushing straight down, tack the roving to the collar every inch or area where you want it to bend to get a general idea of where you want it to go. 

tacking wool roving in place

Tacking the roving in place before felting it to the piece.

wool roving tacked in place

This is what it looks like when the roving has just been tacked in place and not felted yet

  • once you are happy with the placement, start stabbing that roving into the collar, using the claw to hold it in place (so you don’t stab yourself) or shift pieces around to a better location. 

needle felting wine bottle drip collar

Needle felting the wool roving to the wine bottle drip collar.

stages of needle felting

Stages of needle felting: Left: first strip of roving felted onto the piece. Middle: tacked-on dark brown roving. Right: dark brown roving felted onto the piece.

Below is my final composition. Remember, you can needle felt any kind of design you want onto it. Want to do dots or some other graphic? A ladybug? Go for it! 

final needle felting completed on wine bottle drip collar

Final composition of the needle felting. I added additional lighter browns after the dark brown to soften it a bit.

Once you’ve finished needle felting, you have to make the collar fit to a wine bottle. How you attach the flaps is going to depend on what type of embellishments you’re going to use. There are no limits! You can use an art button, beads, charms, sequins, seed beads, ribbons, etc. Or nothing. It’s up to you! 

Because I am going to glue the cabochon onto the collar then bead a bezel around it, I just used fireline to tack the flaps closed in the manner I wanted them because the cab will cover it anyway. Then when I bezel, I will go through both layers to make sure it’s extra sturdy. 

fitting the wine bottle drip collar

Wine bottle drip collar fitted to wine bottle and sewn closed with quick and dirty running stitch, which will be covered by further embellishment.

Hopefully this tutorial made sense and you give it a try. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask! And if you try this, PLEASE show us how it came out. 

 

Jennifer Cameron

Combining fire and glass since 2005, Jen Cameron discovered jewelry making after realizing a small child could disappear in the growing collection of beads sitting around the house. Jen is the adoring mother of two, jackpot winner in the husband category, and zookeeper of several pets. Jen is also the instigator for bringing together this team of innovative, talented, passionate and dynamic women to write for Art Jewelry Elements.
    • Diana Adams
    • January 4, 2017
    Reply

    Great idea and tutorial, Jennifer. Great, too, that your son is continuing his education in England. I do hope he enjoys it.

    • lesleyhw
    • January 4, 2017
    Reply

    Oh that brings back a great weekend and my dad would be chuffed to think he’d inspired you to make this Jen – love it!

  1. Reply

    Brilliant post Jen, I haven’t tried knitted felting, that’s going on the list to try 🙂 Love my collar, and I love that it brings back memories of a brilliant weekend. We need to do it again next term!

    • Lola
    • January 4, 2017
    Reply

    Thank you for sharing your lovely England adventure! Necessity was the mother of a lovely invention and a beautiful design!

  2. Reply

    What a fun time you ladies had! This felted wine collar is so creative! I just love the look of it and it gives me another reason/excuse to bead something other than jewelry. Thanks for the tutorial.

Leave a Reply