Saturday, March 6, 2010


The other day Fiona came home all excited, because she has to make a wacky green hat for school.
I had not felted any large project in more than a year, but after some consideration I said, "well, we could felt one..?!" which of course was the beginning of a journey.
We went through all the felt books for some ideas/refreshing of techniques and I decided to work around a resist.
We measured the circumference of her head, took half of that and added 1/3 for shrinkage, cut the shape out of a thick clear plastic. We layered grass green merino on the resist, turned the shape several times in between, while folding over the overlaps until we had 3 layers of merino on each side of the resist.
I find the turning the hardest, because if you mess up and the stuff slips, it is the doom of your project. You will never again be able to get order into your nice layers of fibers, and I tell you the layering takes a loooot of time. We used a flat baking sheet underneath and towels or a placemat from some kind of foamy material to help with that.
At the same time Fiona worked some funny little felt snakes with a sushi mat.
She left one end of those unfelted, so they could be worked into the surface of the hat.
Just one layer of merino covers the fluffy end, above you see half of that process done.
She decorated the outer surface with some green fluff in different shades and we covered the wool layers with window screen. No pictures of the tidious scrubbing with hot soapy water until loose fibers are felted together. I tried to roll the hat with bubble wrap just once and when it seemed that the fibers were well enough connected I proceeded to the washingboard, my favorite part.
Sonja had said "This will be too big!" and she was right.
But not for long.
Just until we scrubbed the heck out of that thing on the magic washing board.
This process and its astonishing results never fail to amaze me...

Fine tuning will follow tomorrow.

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