Sunday, October 28, 2007

Felting Sunday

I've had this need to finish something other than socks this week. So I decided a little felting was in order. I had to set up a felting area where a bit of water spilled on the floor wouldn't matter. I have the perfect space in my dining area. I covered the floor, which is wood laminate, with a plastic drop cloth. An inexpensive solution that can just be rolled and thrown away when I am finished. I set up my handy dandy multi-purpose folding table. Cut a length of ridged shelf covering a bit longer than the table. Heated a stock pot of water. Found the bucket of homemade soap gel I use for felting; donned my denim apron and set to work.

Rovings used for felt scarf I started with this--about 4 oz. of roving. One hank was merino and the other was merino/tencel. The colorways were similar and had been stewing in my fiber stash for a long time. I know that both of these came from Deep Color and had been dyed by Jen.

First layer for felt scarf I proceeded to lay out lengths of roving shingle style for the first layer. This took all of about 15 minutes. Each bit of fiber is about a staple length. Next I laid out a second layer of shingles running cross-wise to the first layer. For the third layer, I laid out fiber more or less going in the same direction of the first layer. More or less, meaning I was much more random in placing the fiber so that there would be some "movement" in the finished felt.

Felt scarf in process The first stage of felting looks like this. I wetted the fiber sandwich I just created, lay a net bag over it, drizzled a bit of soap gel over it, and patted it. I kept on patting until I couldn't see any air pockets. I moved my net bag over to the next section and patted. Once I was sure that the fiber was wet all the way through, I started moving my hand in a circular motion to start the agitation process. I kept the net bag over the felt while doing this. I turned the piece over after I was pretty sure it was holding together. If you look closely at the photo, you can see the ridge marks from the plastic I used underneath. I continued rubbing the felt, making sure to work the edges so that they weren't all feathery. I kept doing this until I thought it looked done and could stand up to a bit of rough treatment like being rolled up and rolled around with pressure. I did this until the felt was "hard" enough. I rinsed it out under running hot water until all of the soap was out. Then give it the cold water shock treatment. I wrung it out, twisting hard.

Finished Felt scarf About an hour and a half later, I had this. I'll be able to wear it tomorrow if it is dry. I then cleared up my work table and started another scarf. The second scarf was made out of a merino/tencel roving hand painted by Jen at Deep Color--again, fiber from the stash. Pictures to come.

Flame Wave socks for Emily Since last week, I finished the Flame Wave Socks. These are for my daughter's friend Emily. I thought I wouldn't have enough yarn to finish the toes so I used a multi-colored I bought especially for these.

Madder & alkanet handpainted sock yarn After seeing Kristine's Pomatomus socks, I dyed this Henry's Attic Kona superwash sock yarn with alkanet and madder. While waiting for this to dry, I started Cookie A's Thelonious socks using the Fleece Artist Basic Merino Sock I bought at Knitty City in New York.

Oh, oh I spun some the Lorna's Laces superwash roving in Red Rover. No wonder I feel I can't get anything finished. I don't have the attention span to focus on just one thing.

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