Friday, August 03, 2007

I Felted!

Mim came over today to show me how to make felt. The plan was that I'd make a felted bag for the guild bag project but with only two weeks left, I realized that I cannot have one completed, even if wet felting is quicker than knitting. I decided instead to sew one from some felted weaving that I did a while ago. I think it'll be pretty cool and that freed me up to enjoy the felting today. Mim was working on a couple of samples she'll use next week for her nuno felting demonstration at the guild meeting, which is right here at my house! I cannot believe how much wool goes into wet felting and it really was fun. I made a multicolored square, then cut into a square spiral, then felted it onto some moorit Bond fleece. The practical side of me demands to know what it's for, and the artsy side of me says - whoa, that's cool.

This is the sum total of equipment required: a towel, bubble wrap, a piece of window screen and a length of PVC pipe. Whispy, whispy, whispy, Mim kept saying to me as we made our squares. I layered whisps of wool one direction until I had a square, then another layer going the opposite direction, and repeated. I did this on the bubble wrap, then we laid the screen on top, saturated the wool with soapy water, rolled it up on the PVC, and rocked it back and forth. I removed the screen as soon as the wool began to hold together. After that I would unroll it, rotate the square a quarter turn and repeat. I was really surprised how quickly it because a cloth and solid the union of the fibers was.

Mim showed me the multicolored silk gauze that she dyed in the crockpot, but that process is a whole post in itself. But this led to my dyeing 3 ounces of silk black in my old Rival crockpot while we were felting. I used 100 grams of 2% stock solution of Procion black to one ounce of silk and it exhausted completely. I'll ply it with some colored silk I have been spinning.

And I'm happy to say that I finished plying the last of the weft this morning and hope to finish up the weaving tomorrow morning. Tomorrow afternoon is taken with my DIL's surprise birthday party, for which I made potato and macaroni salads today. No wonder I'm tired tonight!


margene said...

What a fun thing to do!

Valerie said...

sounds like fun...both the felting "party", and the coming guild meeting at your house!

Gotta love those old 30 year old Rival has been delegated to fiber only status.

Tina T-P said...

I made a felt hat in a class a couple of years ago - it was REALLY fun - I think felting could become addictive - yours is very pretty - can't wait to see what you make with it. T.

Marie said...

That looks so neat! I like your design. Can't wait to see the finished project!

Leigh said...

Sharon, it's lovely! I've done very little felting and so am always interested . Even if you don't know yet what you'll do with it, it's too pretty to store away somewhere. I'm sure you'll come up with something.

Looking forward to seeing that weaving!