OK, it was emailed to me that it is possible to contain floats in a fair isle design by needle felting them. Of course, thinking about it, you'd have to needle felt from the front so that the fuzziness of felting would land on the inside (where the floats are). I tried it on a hat that I once made for Goosie Porter (my cement goose). I just did a little area, after all I just wanted to know if it would work. The hat has about 5 white stitches and then a red stitch, 5 more white and a red so each white square is bordered with red. Actually the floats on this design aren't all that bad anyway but it was all I had unless I wanted to get out the machine and make something (not a good idea when I'm in the middle of packing. The hat was made out of 100% acrylic. Here's the front, the felting was done on the left side. This is the front AFTER I did the needle felting. Click on it to see the close up.
Here's the back and you can definitely see the area I needle felted (you can also see where it is in relation to the seam so you can really compare the 2. The question arose on the MKEmbroidery group, what happens after you wash the felted piece? Well--I'm washing it now and I'll post a picture when its dry. I'll also try pulling the fuzzies back to the front, it was mentioned on the group that you can "un-felt" by pulling the fuzzies back out the way they went in (pulling from the front). So we'll see.