Friday, 22 April 2011

Felting for the fearful...

Last night I went back for a second felting session and I thought you might like to see a little of the work we did and how we did it.  And as I have managed to sprain my ankle this weekend which has curtailed my mobility and crafting, I am also putting my flower up as my Handmade Monday entry... with grateful thanks to Wendy who does this every week... what a star!  Do go and take a look at the various makes that these clever crafters have completed over the last week.


We were all indulging in wet felting and started by choosing what we would like to make in our two hour session, a felted flower or scarf moving on to using more complex techniques with a resist which holds the two sides of your felting apart if you were making a bag or an all in one flower.  We then chose from the luscious colours of the merino tops... these are what you would use if you were going to spin your own wool.  I defy you not to find a shade you like!


Felting is a process of layering and matting the fibres to hold together using teased fibres, hot water and soap.  You can see in the pic below, various shade of merino together with some silk threads to give softness and contrast.


And if you have the imagination you can even add in beads (!) light fabrics - the sparkles are on a net fabric which has been trimmed to make the centre of a flower.  As long as you overlap the "foreign" objects to catch them, they will stay in place.


Bet you are all wondering what the bubble wrap is for... well you use that to agitate the fibres.    You place the fibres on the wrap as you lay them out and then thoroughly wet all the fibres with a warm water and soap solution and place another layer on top, then more soap and water and start what I can best describe a deep tissue massage to mat the fibres together.


Next stage is wringing out the soap solution and rolling up to shrink with a bamboo mat... messy but your hands will never be cleaner!  Then off to rinse with hot water to remove all of the soap solution.


Here is Jeanette Trim (in the centre) showing a couple of classmates how to style a finished flower... check out the flower on her scarf.




And here are a couple of the flowers which my colleagues created.









I made something a little different, a flower with a resist (an solid pattern piece around which the felting is done) and when the felting process is completed you cut it out to reveal the swirling pattern inside.


And for a first go, I am pretty chuffed... especially with the stamens and the way that the stem looks as though it belongs to the flower.




So there you go, my FO Friday make for Ravelry - let me know what you think?

13 comments:

Tink said...

I love your flower! It looks so real.

So interesting to see fiber being used in a different way. Thanks for sharing!

Becca said...

Your flower is beautiful! :D

Aviya Glass said...

Gorgeous flower, love the colours! Well done!

Picto said...

looks really lovely, nice colours too.

Jan x

Yarn Dependent Me said...

I might be visiting and borrowing some flowers. Just you know, temporarily.

Your Friend Susie said...

Oh wow. Oh wow! Looks fun, but it looks like a class would surely be called for. Your flower is stunning! Super job! I'm so impressed.

Carolee Crafts said...

The flower is so pretty and the colours very effective.

Wendy said...

Wow, wow and more wow. I was so excited reading this I think I need to go on a felting course!!! Like I need another obsession/craft/thing to do! I love that flower!
Thanks for taking part in HM x

loody said...

They're beautiful!!! Well done :D

Polly Polkadot said...

Love the way the stem blends into the flower, just like a real flower does. Fab

dreamstar said...

I've just spent this weekends craft fair back to back with a felter and she was demonstrating so i have seen all that you have described first hand and was fascinated by the technique. Your flower looks great Ros, well done.
My flowers sold well, by the way at the weekend tho my pen cases and mobile phone cases were more popular than anything.
Lisa

GiftsByJenny said...

What amazing flowers! Felting is something I would love to have a go at one day - I keep hinting to my husband about a local felting course (my birthday is coming up in the summer) but he says it would be too much like work. Sometimes men just don't 'get it' do they?!! x

rosiepink said...

Your flower (made with the resist) is wonderful. Look forward to seeing what you make next!