My Fleecey Weekend
I was visiting my friend Shannon up in Oregon for a couple days last week and actually had more time to do the blitz-fiber filled couple of days because my good friend Maleah took care of Annie for me. It was our first time leaving her over night with someone else and for me it was a little strange but a welcome time. I was exhausted by the time I arrived at Shannon’s at 7:00 am. We had travelled the night before up to Ashland and Medford only to find that the Motels/Hotels were booked! No vacancy so my husband, being a traveller, pulled over to a Petro station and we fell asleep in the truck. Not my idea of a good night’s sleep. Hubby slept for a few hours, I tried but only got a couple at best. Once he was awake at around 3:30 am we took off again and finally I was able to sleep with the truck moving and the quiet of the diesel rumble. Yes, quiet, because we weren’t hearing the traffic, the bright lights and the jake brakes of the surrounding semis at the Petro.
When we got to Shannon’s I took a quick shower in her little Fiber Studio and Hubby took another nap before his trip resumed up toward Portland. Shannon and I started out our day thinking of what we would do with fiber and what I wanted to make. I thought a pillow would be fun so we started needle felting and I was amazed at how it was done.
This is what I ended up with on my little square piece of felt. My red dun mare, Cali. I prefer Shannon’s more whimsical ways with her art, I always try to get to realistic and it turns out funny. It’s okay, but like I said, whimsical is a lot cuter! So, we had to make the felt that this piece would attach to and we headed out to Joanne’s to see if they carried 100% wool felt like Shannon had noticed before. They of course didn’t so I learned how to wet felt some roving! That was very neat, and very fun too.
While I was making my felted horse pillow, Shannon was making a pillow with a custom Jacob ram for a present for someone who had done a lot of people a big favor. Mine is the chocolate, hers is the Jacob gray. It is incredible how much roving it takes to make a felted sheet, and is also incredible the shrinkage that occurs. Thankfully both of us are in the mindset that we “just do it” — no not Nike. Shannon had told me that some people will make a swatch to figure out the shrinkage to know exactly how large they should make their felt sheet for their specific need. Neither one of us was wanting to think that hard, thankfully. My head was still completely foggy from the night before — I don’t do good with lack of sleep.
Here I am, hard at work felting my wool and it was turning out pretty good. I definitely will be more aware of the holes you can get in it if it’s not thick enough, but for me, and my first time, it worked out just fine.
The process was sure interesting. Here I have my fleece on top of the bubble wrap (for friction) then put on top of that was the shelf liner and you soak the wool through the liner with a sponge of hot water, then rub a bar of soap all over it aggressively. You then rub it with your hands aggressively and then take of the liner, roll up the wool with the bubble wrap and rub it aggressively, then take it out, fold it up and pound it to death. Then there’s the rinses in hot and cold water, beating it every time you touch it. If you ever have some aggression you need to relieve just wet felt!
While all this was going on, we tried dying some wool, but I’ll do more on that later.