Felting adventures

Having had a lesson in felting from Thelma, I offered to help Megan from meggipeg get started with her felting for the One Year One Outfit challenge. Megan had practiced felting her dog’s fur, and I had copious notes from my lesson, so it was a case of combining our mutual inexperience and having a go.

We started with Megan’s skirt and she blogged it here with detailed instructions on the process. The skirt finished up slightly small so we had another session so that she could felt a bit more and I could get started. I have been a reluctant starter in the felting stakes but I’m not sure why. Having Megan there really helped get me motivated.

We started in the garden but it was too windy and a bit showery so we had to migrate to the garage. We wrestled the table tennis up and covered it in plastic, and then got going.

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I carefully measured guessed the size of my skirt, and we started laying out the wool tops. I seemed to be really slow and it was only afterwards that I remembered not to have my hands too close together as I was pulling the wool apart – duh.

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We managed to finish laying out both our skirts at the same time, although Megan helped me finish mine; I’m pretending it’s because I had more to do, but really it was because I was slow.

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I really like Megan’s ombre skirt and wish that I’d thought of doing this. I had to be content with a boring old mixture of colours, but Thelma had suggested a dark border round the skirt, so I did this and I think it gives the fabric a real lift – thanks Thel!

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I managed to overdo the water on my skirt – truly, we were awash! Look at my hand go – it looks impressive, but my elbow grease is somewhat lacking because of an accident with my right arm, so it’s not terribly effective.

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Never mind, our skirts started coming together and we enlisted Archie’s help with the photographs.

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We were still a bit bemused with the microwaving and throwing of the felted pieces, and it was only afterwards that I discovered that this step is called “fulling”, which is fairly self-explanatory.

All that swirling and rolling makes you realize how good it is to felt with a friend. It really does speed up the process, but then I was at my patternmaking class and Sarah told me that electric car polishers make the job really easy. Whaaat? Why didn’t I know this? Would I electrocute myself, given my propensity for flinging buckets of water at my felt?

I began to plot how I could justify buying a car polisher, and casually mentioned it to Mark, who told me that we had one! Yes! We got it off a shelf and blew the dust off the box and I packed it and all my felting accoutrements into the car for a camping trip. I deemed this to be the perfect activity for camping, and so it was :).

I did do some internet research and it seems that using electrical appliances for felting is not an unusual thing to do. There are YouTube videos of people busily felting with electric sanders and car polishers, so I felt moderately confident.

I wanted to make a pocket for my skirt, so thought this to be the perfect opportunity to give it a go. I did a little time-lapse video, so you can see how easy this is. I was very careful with the water and used tiny amounts, dried my hands excessively and was generally paranoid. The video isn’t very good because I didn’t have a tripod and the camera was too low, but you get the idea, although be warned – it’s very quick.

I finished up making two pockets, as I wasn’t sure about the first one. Now I’m not sure about the second one either, but one of them will do. I am going to now do a bit of dry felting with them (in a vain attempt to be “arty”) and choose the one to go on my skirt.

Next step in the felting journey is to reduce the top of my skirt so that it fits a bit more snugly round my waist. I will do this by felting it a bit more, gradually tapering off the felting when I get to roughly my hip level. I shall then felt the pocket to the skirt, make and sew on a couple of large buttons and then I’m done with the whole One Year One Outfit challenge. Stay tuned…

Whilst camping, our little friend Jarrah the kangaroo came visiting. First he warmed himself in front of the fire

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and then explored our camping area. I think his ears give him a quizzical look.

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I also spent some time stalking a New Holland Honeyeater and finally caught him drinking nectar from a gorgeous pink bottlebrush.

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Fadanista

18 thoughts on “Felting adventures

  1. I just wish I could go felt with you! This project sounds so much fun. Question: can you felt dog’s fur with success? What kind of dog does it take? Mine is a cocker spaniel. When I shave him, I get a full plastic bag of hair, not long, but very dense and curly. Do you think I could do some felting with that?

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    1. Hi Helene, I have tried felting fur from my cavoodle dog but it didn’t hold together too well. I should have felted it for longer which may have helped. In the end, I added small amounts of dog fur into my wool felt and that worked really well. Megan

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      1. Thanks for the information, Megan. It would have been so great to felt my dog’s fur as it is, but adding some to regular wool could be a good way to recycle his hair!

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    2. Hi Hélène I was about to direct you to Megan’s blog, but she’s sent you the answer! I wish you could come and felt with us too – it is more fun than you can imagine.

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  2. It’s all looking and sounding fantastic, especially the part about the kangaroo! I can’t wait to see the finished felt. I wasn’t able to see the video for some reason. Thank you for another great day!

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    1. I think I’ve messed up the video, Megan, looking to fix it now. I’ve been to Bilby Yarns today (!) and apparently the car polisher is a kosher way to felt – who knew?

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