The Accidental Smallholder Forum

Food & crafts => Crafts => Topic started by: ellied on June 08, 2011, 07:06:50 pm

Title: Felting
Post by: ellied on June 08, 2011, 07:06:50 pm
I have just discovered felting and made my first cobweb style scarf under supervision yesterday which I am very proud of even if it's not a masterpiece ;)  I am now keen to have a go myself at home and have bought the dyed wools I want to use, but the lady who showed me used a long piece of standard size bubble wrap and I have some here but it's a very large bubble compared to the standard - would it do or do I need to find the normal size stuff to get the right amount of friction?  Or is there anything else suitable to use?

The class was for up to 4 people and lasted 3 hours - I was the only person attending so got more attention and probably needed it ;) cos I'm not naturally gifted in handicrafts, but I felt really creative and clever last night looking at it :)

Spare sheets of standard bubblewrap in a cupboard anyone?

Title: Re: Felting
Post by: jaykay on June 08, 2011, 07:12:18 pm
That's really pretty  :)
You can use those bamboo roller blinds - roll the felt up in it and then roll back and forth like a rolling pin  :)
Title: Re: Felting
Post by: Hermit on June 08, 2011, 07:46:48 pm
That is sooo beautiful, the colours are georgeous. Well done.
Title: Re: Felting
Post by: egglady on June 08, 2011, 08:00:46 pm
Ellie, thats really lovely.  Well done you.
Where was your course?  (wish I'd known as I would have come with you)
Title: Re: Felting
Post by: Anke on June 08, 2011, 10:10:39 pm
Congratulations - this is a wonderful piece! And for a first effort as well! Is it merino? I like the locks of silver/white in it - it's beautiful!
Title: Re: Felting
Post by: Bionic on June 08, 2011, 10:13:33 pm
I love it.  The colours are beautiful.  Well done
Title: Re: Felting
Post by: ellied on June 09, 2011, 09:13:55 am
Thanks for the lovely feedback, I do feel quite proud and keen to have another go, just not sure beginners luck will hold (or the felt!).

Laura it was the place in Perth and just a 3 hour intro session to make a single item by a single and simple method (hence my choice!), but they're shortly starting courses in Newburgh up near the bowling green - the other end from the existing yarn place that also do courses but haven't replied to my enquiries as yet ::) so Newburgh will be wool central shortly!  I'm planning to go to more half day things to learn other techniques and also to keep practising so will let you know next time :)

Anke yes it's merino wool as it's apparently easiest to work with for a beginner - I have hopes of using home grown shetland wool in natural colours eventually  ;D but haven't the skill or the sheep yet, might even see about using some pony moulted hair in things one day ;) but I'm sticking to basics for now til I learn :)  The silver is silk I believe, the terms are confusing me so far ::)

I've bought more wool and the silk tops for my first solo venture in orange, yellow and silver silk top..  At last a creative thing I can maybe do on those winter nights and come out in spring with bundles of things to sell!  I keep looking at other colour combinations and wanting to buy up a piece in every colour ::) but I'm trying to make one and buy materials for the next rather than have bags of stuff waiting to be done which is my normal pattern!
Title: Re: Felting
Post by: Anke on June 09, 2011, 02:56:12 pm
I have bags of fleece in the garage to spin/felt, several started knitting projects, wool ready to be put onto my wee loom for some cushion covers etc et c.... so yes finishing one project before getting started on the next is the sensible way forward... but I am not (sensible) when it comes to wool....
Title: Re: Felting
Post by: ellied on June 10, 2011, 08:58:13 am
Oops, first blip - soap!  I have forgotten, or didn't see, the soap going in the warm water!  It can't be squeezy handsoap with perfumes in presumably and I know it wasn't washing up liquid or clothes washing powder/liquid ??? and I'm pretty sure she didn't rub in a bar of soap :o  I have an ecover handwashing liquid in the cupboard and am guessing that's my best bet but before I risk wrecking my next masterpiece can someone reassure me or put me straight?  I got the 2 main layers done yesterday so just the silk to add and then I'm ready to go, but I'm out today so it might sit for a week now!

Oh and Anke, I succumbed and bought more wool yesterday - enough for the next 6 scarves I reckon ::)  Just seeing different colours and wanting them all :)
Title: Re: Felting
Post by: ellisr on June 13, 2011, 08:44:37 pm
I use ecover washing up liquid,olive soap or plumseverywhere milky baaaa just what ever I grab really. You should try nuno felting it is really good fun but remember to use cold water with that as you need a slow felting process to allow the fibres to migrate through the silk/cotton.
OH is trying to get me to sell some of my pieces but I love them all and can't part with them.
Title: Re: Felting
Post by: Fleecewife on June 13, 2011, 11:03:55 pm
OH is trying to get me to sell some of my pieces but I love them all and can't part with them.

That really makes me smile because it's so true  :)  When you have put your heart into making something it is so hard to hand it over to someone else.

I love your felt pieces ellied - and they look to have been such fun to make.
Title: Re: Felting
Post by: ellied on June 15, 2011, 08:58:53 am
Thanks I went into the wool shop at Newburgh and asked them and she said my Ecover WUL was fine so I went ahead with the first solo venture last night and it's not bad, a bit too soapy I think and the pure silk smells a bit weird (even in the bag) so I'm not sure folk would want to wear it but it's felted and dried as one piece and the colours are good so that's the main thing ;)

The first one I think the "silk" was a substitute rather than natural fibre as it didn't have this - and maybe putting too much soap in made it worse (think wet animal smell :o ) - any ideas for deodorising?

Here it is..a bit overboard on the silk too but I did half the strand.. ::)


I do plan to sell them once I get going, and am going to learn how to do sock/slipper/boots, bags, hats, wall hangings etc too as I'm really enjoying myself - while I was in the wool shop I ended up buying another lot of wool :o so thought I'd best ask on here rather than take the scarf in for her to sniff and inspect :o

Any idea what I should be charging?
Title: Re: Felting
Post by: ellisr on June 15, 2011, 09:33:56 am
Have a look on ( or ( for ideas on prices, with anything handmade we do not make profit when we factor in our time but it is satisfying when other can enjoy your art that you loved making.

Your work is very well done and you should be very very proud of yourself, experiment and use different techniques it is such good fun I love resist felting and nuno felting the results can be amazing and the nuno is quite organic in the end result and can be surprising.
Title: Re: Felting
Post by: Fleecewife on June 15, 2011, 10:50:21 am
Wow that one's eyecatching - and well made as ellisr says  :)

I'm not sure why your work has a smell - especially from the silk.  I think silk worms make a horrible smell but that shouldn't still be attached to the product you buy - but it obviously is  :D.  Maybe you could wash the whole thing in lavender Wool Wash from Lakeland - it has a lovely smell.  The wool itself may well smell of wet dog but again the Wool Wash helps.  I've had a sniff at some of my felt and it doesn't smell horrible at all  ;D

Are you coming to the Highland Show?  There is usually some felt in the handicraft competition.  A few years ago Jennifer Alexander (don't know if she's on here? :wave:) won the Championship with the most wonderful piece of felt which really inspired me.  Good luck with all your ideas - sounds excellent  :)

For pricing, don't undercharge - have confidence in your product and your confidence will add it's own value (does that make sense?)
Title: Re: Felting
Post by: ellisr on June 15, 2011, 12:28:08 pm
Do you rinse in vinegar and then rinse clean as that normally kills any material smells. After you have dried it as fleecewife says give it a wash in some gentle wool wash or baby shampoo to make is smell nice dry flat and then steam it flat again.
Title: Re: Felting
Post by: ellied on June 15, 2011, 05:43:38 pm
This is only my second attempt and the first was at the course so I have just done what they told me and no mention was made of vinegar.. but then the material they used didn't smell and I bought the silk and wool afterwards, the wool smells fine it's the silk bag that has a slight aroma to it and that's what is on the scarf now too ::)

I made it using washing up liquid (Ecover) and rinsed all the soap out at the end, but hoped that might help clear the smell, or that drying it would air and freshen it up - but still there..  I hesitate to wash it again in case it falls apart but will have a go with the vinegar as long as it doesn't end up smelling like a chip shop ;D

Thanks - and yes I'm planning to learn nuno technique and learn to use prefelts and anything else I can.  I also want to progress to using natural wools and incorporate non-wool materials into the making process :)  It's the first time I've found a "craft" I could do and enjoy so I'm full of ideas for things and colour schemes, should keep me out of trouble with any luck  ;D  Not sure what resist felting is but open to finding out ;)

Can't see me affording the RHS gate and parking prices but if I manage to hitch a lift I might risk a day trip on the Thurs or Fridays, the weekend is not a time I ever enjoyed there :o
Title: Re: Felting
Post by: ellisr on June 16, 2011, 09:54:51 am
White vinegar is like a conditioner for the fibres and after you rinse it out in seems to nutralise all odours and silk can smell, you use 1 tbsp to a bowl full of water so not much and leave it for 10 mins to soak.

I am waiting for more fibre coming as I have been asked to make a shawl for a bride and of course I had to order some for me to play with or it wouldn't be fun at all.

I was needle felting a pocket onto the bag I made last night very relaxing and it looks great I have some felt rope fastners to attach now and it will be ready to use ;D
Title: Re: Felting
Post by: Bright Raven on July 01, 2011, 10:32:56 pm
Your scarf is beautiful. I am planning to use some of my own fleeces to felt something big this year. Like you I did a little course and got hooked. You can get stunning colored tops from world of wool.
Just a thought on bubble wrap, as already mentioned old bamboo blinds work really well. Palmolive soap is nice on the hands and less expensive than ecover liquid. When pushed for time I have finished items in the washing machine with a cup full of white vinegar.

This may sound a bit macabre but I might make a shroud from my sheep's fleeces and embellish /embroider it for myself. I think it would be a really interesting project.

Happy Felting
Title: Re: Felting
Post by: Fleecewife on July 02, 2011, 01:03:21 am
Felt  shroud, wicker coffin.......what could be cosier  :)
Title: Re: Felting
Post by: ellied on July 02, 2011, 08:19:32 am
Not sure about shrouds yet :o but I made a third scarf as a leaving gift for my former PA who left work just 9 months after I did and is now away to set up a cafe in Tayside somewhere when she finds a venue - is baking meantime so I'm encouraging her to do a wheat free range ;)  This one came up a bit shorter than intended, but is still a nice wrap and far more sophisticated colours, forest green and mulberry with the silk top again :)

The silk smell did fade on the orange one - I hung it in a heated room while I was away but reckon hanging it on the line on a sunny day would do the same job.  I have been asked for a couple of commissions for Christmas and offered an outlet in a fair trade shop in Argyll if I have a few stacked up, so I want to make a few more soon, but with the weather being good I have a long list of things to do outdoors including ragwort pulling  :-\ and sorting out a chicken run :D so I'm not sure when it'll get done.  Number 4 is a dark purple/blue shade with mulberry I reckon, it's all set up and ready to go, maybe when it gets too hot :o to work outdoors over lunchtime ;)
Title: Re: Felting
Post by: ellied on July 02, 2011, 01:46:22 pm
Leaving gift in forest/mulberry/silk top

Today's one - dark blue/mulberry/silk top
Title: Re: Felting
Post by: Bionic on July 03, 2011, 12:55:01 am
That forest green and mulberry is lovely. 
 :) :)
Title: Re: Felting
Post by: ellisr on July 03, 2011, 01:38:33 pm
Here is one of my last pieces, this is nuno felting
Title: Re: Felting
Post by: ellied on July 06, 2011, 08:25:43 am
I'm going to another half day course in Newburgh on Saturday to learn felt jewellery techniques - and possibly one for bags in a few weeks too :)
Title: Re: Felting
Post by: ellisr on July 08, 2011, 03:01:19 pm
Ellied, Bags are the same technique as you do just using a relief (cardboard or plastic) just remember to make it much bigger than you want it and then full a bit longer and harder.
Much cheaper to watch youtube then play with fibres, why not try some needlefelting for jewellery bits it is god when watching the TV
Title: Re: Felting
Post by: ellied on July 09, 2011, 08:13:31 pm
This morning I did another class at short notice after someone meant to view a pony called off - making sheets of felt from fibre and then making flowers.  This afternoon it was jewellery as already planned - beads, rolls and various bits and bobs to decorate things with ;D

Here are a selection from my day's work..


Split bead for brooch (incomplete brooch!)

Flat flower

Full flower

Odd beads made with different techniques