It’s been a wonderfully busy week, and I’m delighted to say that one of my activities works perfectly with this week’s challenge. I was invited to a friend’s house in the country to do some felting. I should say that up until this time, my idea of “felting” was to buy inexpensive wool sweaters at thrift shops, wash them in hot water several times and dry them in the dryer. The sweaters would shrink and thicken as the fibers in them “felted” together. This was not what was planned for our felting day.
As a novice, I started out putting layers of wool roving in a square. The rovings are laid in layers like shingles to cover the size needed, and then laid out across the first layer. I was working on a piece of paper as a guide for size.
Here I think everything is wet and partially felted.
To felt the fibers, they are encased in bubble wrap. The bubble wrap is then wrapped around a foam pool noodle and rolled with some pressure applied. Periodically you must stop and re-wrap in a different direction so that the fibers felt evenly. This is what is looks like when it is partially felted. Note the lacy consistency. This is because I was trying to make a thin piece of felt – something delicate looking – so my initial layers of roving were quite thin. I rolled a bit more.You continue to work the piece in the bubble wrap until it reaches the desired amount of felting. That means the wool fibers have latched on to each other and a certain amount of shrinking has taken place. I wanted this little sample to remain lacy, so when it went from a 12″ square to about an 8″ square, I quit rolling it. The next step was to rinse out the soap and lay my work of art down to dry. Here it is, first just on the counter, and then held up to the window so that you can see the fibers.
Here’s my second attempt – a 3 dimensional container. I missed taking photos of the first steps, but here are a couple of photos of my project. I won’t try to explain what I did because I’m not sure I’d describe it correctly. I spent a day with friends, learned a new technique and a bit about felting. I won’t pretend to have learned much – I was just doing as I was told. Our gracious hostess provided supplies, a wealth of knowledge and a delicious lunch. It was an excellent day!