I’ve had this idea in the back of my mind for an abstract piece made from felted wool. The other day, I decided it was time to stop thinking about it and implement.
I find it a little intimidating to attempt a new technique. I think about nonsense such as the cost of materials that will be ‘wasted’ and the time I spend doing this when I could be working on something I actually know how to do and being embarassed if I can’t achieve perfection the first time out of the box. I call these kinds of thoughts my “gremlin”. You know what I’m talking about: that voice in your head that nags at you about your inconsistencies, and your failures, and your inadequacies….. My “gremlin” is actually under control 99% of the time thanks to Taming Your Gremlin by Rick Carson.
So, I told my Gremlin to hush up and started dragging all the supplies out to my patio:
Here is the roving I used. Roving is wool that has been washed, combed, and carded; it is wool in the stage just prior to spinning it into yarn. This roving was all hand dyed by my friend Sophia Parrow. I am thrilled to be using her roving in my project. I also used roving hand dyed by Smoky Mountain Fibers.
Here you can see I’ve begun separating the fibers into tufts of loosely held together bits. I’m learning that the more loosely the fibers are pulled, the more evenly you have them felt together.
Here is the swimming pool full of layered roving. I’ve used several colors of roving and the roving at this point is about 1 1/2 – 2 inches thick.
Here I am actually doing the wet felting. There are several steps along the way and it is time consuming! The reason it looks white is because of all the soap I have in the pool. Murphy was fascinated by what I was doing and kept walking around behind me watching.
At this point, I will leave you in suspense wondering how it all turned out. I will tell you that once the roving was felted to what I thought I wanted, it was rinsed and allowed to dry. I decided I wanted it a bit more felted so I continued the felting process another day using a pool noodle. No one was around to get a shot of that!
I am currently doing some needle felting on the piece and will get a picture up in the next few days to show you at least a corner of it.