12.14.2008

Felt So Good

I took a felted ornaments class today with Jane Davis, author, teacher and all-around crafty person, who just happens to live around the corner from my favorite LYS. The ornaments are wet-felted over a styrofoam ball, then the decorative elements are applied with needle felting. Considering that all of this is free-form - and I am not an artist - I thought mine turned out pretty well.

Naia and Leia were at the house when I got back from class. Whenever Naia visits, I try to find something crafty for her to do. (Yes, I'm trying to bring her over to the dark craft side.) One of my classmates mentioned making felted soap, which is the perfect project for a seven-year-old who loves playing with water and bubbles. (I used this tutorial for a refresher.)
I found a Deb Menz-style multi-colored wool batt that I'd made in a guild workshop, grabbed a few bars of cheap soap stashed in my wool bins (the smell keeps the moths out. Allegedly), put the step stool up to the sink, and we were ready. Naia, like most 7-year-olds, has a pretty short attention span. I've tried other projects with her - weaving potholders, crochet, cross-stitch - and nothing has held her interest like this did. We spent over 2 hours happily wrapping soap with roving, soaking it with hot water and sudsing it all around until it felted.

We ended up with three felted soaps. One, the only bar of Camay I used, took much longer to felt and the wool didn't cover as well.
The other two - good old strong scented Irish Spring - felted fast and easily. Naia is thrilled with her treasures and we had a great time playing in the water. What more could you ask of a project?

p.s. I was supposed to take another felting class yesterday but
I was the only one signed up so it was canceled. That instructor was in today's class and it turns out she wants to learn to make crocheted socks. So . . . we're going to trade instruction. I'll make a felted Santa and she'll make my basic sock recipe. How cool is that!!