Friday, December 16, 2011

Felted Flower

Yesterday, on a whim, I decided to make felt for the first time.  I had only a vague idea of how to do this based on some other blogs I had read.  And except for the wool, water, and soap, I didn't have any of the "supplies" that supposedly make the process easier.  Bubble wrap is somehow involved, but I substituted a strange crinkly cellophane from my wrapping paper stash.  Then there was the plastic trash sack spread out on the counter top.  And a bakers rack to lift the felt out of the water and dry it on.  As it turned out, most of the felting ended up happening in the sink, since it was a small batch....only one bat's worth of wool.

In the spirit of Red Green's "any tool can be the right tool" I forged ahead, trusting hot water and agitation to do most of the work.  And it did, though I could have "agitated" it all a bit longer, I think.  In the end I had an uneven sheet of loose felt about the size of a regular sheet of paper.  Hurray!

Because it was so thin and loose, the felt dried quickly.  So I grabbed the scissors and started cutting up flower petals.  Some needle felting and pale yarn accents was all it took to create this 7 inch diameter flower. 

My first attempt at a three-dimensional felted object isn't quite what I hoped it would be.  The gray lamb's wool wasn't blended well on the carder so it sort of resembles dryer lint.  And I had to bolster the wet-felting process a tad here and there with needle-felting.  But all in all, it was easy, quick, and fun....and it does actually resemble a flower.  :)

As I always tell folks that are curious about working with wool:  "Just go for it!"  Wool is incredibly forgiving.  The most inexperienced spinner can still make chunky-fun yarn that knits up wonderfully.  And needle-felting seems to be able to fix what a novice's wet-felting process lacks. 
I can't wait to try more projects with the lambs wool I harvested this fall!