As you may remember from my last post, all has not been peaches in the Fairy Nest lately, so I decided to take the advice of Kristen of KnitSteel and try my hand at a smaller project as a change of pace. ( Kristen is an amazing metal artist and you should really check her shop out, it's full of marvelous pieces!) I had been reading about creating felt from old sweaters and decided that here was my chance to give it a try. First, since I didn't have any decrepit sweaters on hand and my hubby can't wear wool, I needed some supplies. Happily a large mound of stuff hanging out in the living room waiting to be taken to Goodwill proved to be the way to tackle two objectives at once and off to the Goodwill store we went. Once there I found several 100% wool sweaters that were just asking to be felted... a couple were pretty moth eaten and the others were stunningly ugly designs so you can see what I mean. Of course my significant other found a couple of wonderful shirts to add to his wardrobe as well so everybody came home happy indeed.
Next the felting. I put each one into a pillowcase, tied it up and threw them all in the washer in HOT water. When they came out they didn't really seem felted enough so I threw them in again. (Next time I'll just reset the agitator to run twice.) Now they were felted! I read that you're supposed to let them dry flat but I'm the immediate gratification type so I just threw them in the dryer. Wallah, Felt! Beautiful thick gorgeous colored felt!
My cat Lilith is a wool addict so as you can see she was very pleased that I've taken on this new endeavor. I wish I could capture the colors of the felt better, the picture really doesn't do them justice. I was particularly pleased with a lovely dark orange that will make perfect pumpkins for Halloween fairies next fall. Awesome, since I can never seem to find that color anymore.
Next I had to figure out how I was going to use these lovely pieces of felt. I immediately thought of the little wallets from Sally Mavor's book, Felt Wee Folk, that we used to make in the handwork classes I taught 5-7 year olds. So I made one using a lovely variegated pink for the background and a brown with multicolored highlights for the kitty. It came out so well that I decided to make up some new patterns of my own using some of the old shell buttons I inherited from my grandmother (who never got rid of any old clothing without cutting the buttons off first). I also had some antique looking snaps from the same stash so I used those as well. (Yea, recycling is a family trait. We're the people carefully unwrapping our presents at Christmas so we can reuse the paper! You'd be amazed at how much fabric I salvage from old clothes.) I was thrilled with how they turned out, what do you think?