Thursday, 14 March 2013

An Adventure in Wet Felting!

Our fascination for this fantastic craft started a few years ago when A made a wonderful felt pot at school.  Never having tried wet felting, I was determined to have a go too but it took another of A’s school sessions, that resulted in a wonderful Mother’s Day present of a felted keyring, before I got around to buying the wool tops to ‘have a go’.  Unfortunately my interest that time was short lived as I just couldn’t get the felt to go right and instead of persevering I stupidly gave up.

My interest was revived this Christmas, however, by the gift of the most wonderful ‘Gillian Gladrag Bonbon Batatelle’ necklace kit.  The colours of the wool tops were amazing, the instructions clear and concise and after covering myself and half my kitchen surfaces with soap suds, managed to ‘master the art’ enough to produce a credible reproduction of the beads in the photograph on the packet!  I was very pleased with myself for having produced something that I am proud to wear.

When A came home from Uni for “Reading” week (and I use the quotation marks advisedly!) we decided on a trip up the A24 to Dorking to Gillian Gladrag’s marvellous ‘Fluffatorium’.  Oh my goodness, what a wonderful shop this is, definitely a ‘must’ to visit if you are ever in Dorking.  A and I spent a very happy time wandering through the kaleidoscope of colours, knitting wool, buttons, knitting needles, wool tops, kits, crafting accessories, deciding what to buy.  I bought the brilliant ‘Carnivalof Felting’ book and some wool tops and A invested in another of the felting kits, for herself this time, the ‘Anemone-Ome’ flower brooch kit. (The results of which can be found here)

Back home after a restorative coffee in Dorking’s Costa, A set about making her ‘Anemone’ (one thing about wet felting is that it does smell wonderful!) and I started layering up my wool tops to make ‘Simple Flat Felt’ following the instructions in ‘Carnival of Felting’.  Simple and fun to do, roughly an hour or so later, damp and sudsy with slightly prune-like hands,  I had a credible rectangle of damp, black spotty felt drying naturally on the table.  Success!

Now what to do with it??  The amount of felt I had managed to make was limited by the size of the bamboo mat I had used but it turned out to be about  9” x 11” by the time it had completely done all its shrinking, plenty to make a pencil/make-up/scissors etc case.  Once it had completely dried, I found some pretty lining fabric, bought a black zip and set about transforming my felt into something useable.  Despite the best efforts of my beloved sewing machine (which was having a fitful day), I managed to make the lining and fit the zip (after a fashion) and now have a pencil/make-up/scissors case I can be proud of (just don’t look too closely at the zip fitting!)

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