Tag Archives: felting

Teresa’s Tips – Felting and Felt

I know you’ve done it.  If not, some man in your household has done it for you.  That special sweater that is supposed to be dryed flat…. now fits a toddler.  So how and why does wool shrink when dryed?

First of all, the wool did not shrink.  It has however changed shape and may or maynot ever be the same again. 
Secondly, many people think it is the heat of the dryer that caused the damage.  This is not true.  When wool is dyed it is brought to near boiling temperatures, yet does not ‘shrink’ or felt at all. 

So what does happen and why?

Take a look at these wool fibers up close.  See the scales on them? 

When wool is wet and agitated, these scales begin to connect together and interlock.  The more they are agitated, the more tangled and locked they become until they are densely felted.  Your sweater has an even great tendency to felt because heat and detergent cause the scales to open more readily.  Plus the knit of the sweater gives the wool a ‘head start’ on the tangling process.

But what about needle felting?  The wool is dry for that and yet it still felts. 

With needle felting, the effect is the same, but the cause is different.  A specially designed felting needle is used.  At the tip of the needle are very tiny barbs, or scales.  These barbs lift the edge of the wool scales, allowing them to interlock and the felting action to take place.

Can felting be ‘un felted’. 
I’ve never tried to unfelt something that is firmly felted, but since what has happened is a tangling and interlocking of the wool, some gentle tugging and maybe even a mist of fabric softner could help your unintentionally felted object.  But a fully felted object is pretty permanantly changed.

Oh!  And be careful with those needles!  They are sharp!


What’s in a Ball? One never knows….

In one of my felting classes I taught my students to make felted geodes… or as I like to call them, wool-eodes. They are fun, easy and no two are alike. 

An unopened Wool-eode

An unopened Wool-eode

So I made a kit where you can create your own. Once you make one, you can send in a picture of your creation to share. Each kit makes 2 wool-eodes.

To order – visit the online store!

The Inside of a Wool-eode

The Inside of a Wool-eode

So, what do you do with a wool-eode?

Toss it, Bounce it, kick it, let the cat play with it,  When you eventually cut it open, you can make something with it or just admire your creation.

For more felting fun! Check out The Fiber Friday Carnival!  http://www.alpacafarmgirl.com/2009/03/fiber-arts-friday-carnival/

What Does it Take to Pluck a Bunny part 1

First You Need A Really Fuzzy Bunny!

I get so many questions about harvesting fiber from Angora Rabbits.

  • Are the bunnies Killed? No!
  • Are the bunnies hurt? No!
  • Do they like it? Mostly!

Angora rabbits have been bred for fiber production. They likely would not survive in the wild without their human friends taking care of their special needs. They need a high protein diet, digestive enzymes, cool temperatures, and constant grooming to name a few.

Once you have a very fuzzy bunny, like Charlie here, you are ready to harvest. The first question is how? Their are 2 popular methods: Plucking and Shearing. I pluck, though it is much more time consuming. The end product is worth all the work. Shorn angora has blunt ends and spins very differently. I also enjoy the time with my bunnies, so I pluck.

Get comfy… This is going to take a while! Plucking an angora rabbit can be done in 2 – 3 hours or over the course of a couple of days. I get most of it done on day one, and then finish up in a few days.

So, put a pot of tea on, get a comfy chair and all your tools. You will need: scissors, cat comb with wide teeth, and nail trimming scissors. These are the basics. You may need to combat static, so some mild lotion or a spray bottle of water for your hands might be good too. I use a 50/50 mixture of Skin So Soft and water in a sprayer. For me, not the bunny!

Check back later and we will get started!

Spring Rose Cosy – My First Felted Project

Spring Rose Tea Cozy

This is my very first felted project and I am so pleased with how it turned out.  I wasn’t sure how the rose would work because it looked terrible after crocheting it… but when it was done working its felted magic in my washer, it was so cool.  This is definitely a favorite.  Visit my etsy store for more…. http://www.yarntospin.etsy.com