Sunday, April 20, 2014

Never Felt Better

It's been a little while but I'm finally starting to knit and play with fiber again. The weather has been perfect to sit outside overlooking the Vista and spend some knitting time outdoors.

It's also been on my list to make a few hand-crafted gifts. I decided "Felted Flower Bowl" by Meg Myers would make perfect gifts. I chose one of my oldest stashed yarns, Jojoland Rhythm, for my project. Each skein has such amazing color shifts -- pink to orange to green to blue; I've used it before with very pretty results. And since it's 100% wool it's perfect for felting projects*. 

But first I had to knit up several bowls.

In the past I've felted in my washing machine but this time I decided I would try felting by hand. This required a trip to the hardware store for a new, unused, "fiber tool".

A bucket, a splash of dish soap, hot tap water, and "fiber tool".

Agitate, agitate, agitate. Then agitate some more.

It took about forty-five minutes and two hot water refills before I was happy with the degree of felting.

Last night I blocked (shaped) on overturned soup bowls.

This morning I'm very pleased with the results.

Yes, it was a lot of work, especially the bucket & plunger part. I think next time I'll put my pre-felted knitting in a pillow case, tie the end securely (so the fiber/lint doesn't escape), and throw it in the washing machine.

Oh, and I may gift the "fiber tool" to The Man. I'm sure it will come in handy one day.

*Wet felting is one of several methods which can produce felt from wool and other animal fibers. Fleece from fiber animals are covered in tiny scales, similar to the scales found on a strand of human hair. Wetting and soaping the fleece causes the scales to open, while agitating them causes them to latch onto each other, creating felt. Superwashed wool has been processed (scales removed or smoothed down) so it can be machine-washed. Plant fiber (cotton), silk, or synthetic fiber will not felt or mat together.

Happy Easter Everyone.