Friday, 10 July 2009

Learning curves

This is the wool I collected in Anglesey whilst walking in my feet felt. I decided its really time I should try and do something with it. It was pretty pungent after living in a plastic bag for a month so I decided that as soon as I picked out the obvious twigs and grasses I should hand wash it in cold water with a scented soap. Its the first time I've done this so I'm not sure of the processes.

This morning the wool definitely smelled a lot better and I have been feeling a lot better so I started combing though the wool and removing more grass and seeds. Its a long process. I'm sure there must be simpler and quicker ways of doing this. I'd welcome any advice on this :)

Tomorrow I'll finish off the rest of my small pile and then I'm going to put it through the washing machine on a low temperature wool cycle. I've read a couple of conflicting websites on this matter. One site advises to wash the wool at as high a temperature a possible, the other says a low temperature is best. I'm open to suggestions!

I've really enjoyed working with this pile of wool. It reminded me of when I lived on an organic farm in Edinburgh (which is where I met my friend from Seattle). The farm kept rare breed sheep and goats which we tended each day. I loved the contact with the animals.

A job we were given one day was to round the sheep up into the barn and clip off the wool between their hind legs. I think the vet may have given them some kind of inoculations or wormers whilst we had them there. I quite strangely had liked that job. Must have reminded me of my veterinary nursing days.

There is something quite nice about the feeling of having collected drift wool whilst walking, taking it home and spending time preparing it for felt making. I know I will feel a stronger connection with this felt as a result of following the processes from beginning to end.

I have found a supplier of wool in my area and will be placing an order next week. I don't have any tools or needles for felt making. Can anyone recommend equipment I might need? I'm hoping to make some felt beads and maybe do some felt painting. All advice will be appreciated :)

9 comments:

Karen said...

I have so much fun washing and dying wool to, i always use hot soapy water , never run the tap directly on to the wool, and never put in the washing machine even on gentle cycle as it will felt for you. You need to soak it a few times in hot water, i usually do that about 3-4 times before i rinse out, otherwise you'll still have a lot of lanolin in there, and then combing or carding will help soften it up so its easier to use.
Also Bob at wind4934 on ebay is fantastic for most of your supplies,
If you check out our felting forum they have an amazing amount of information about everything to do with felting, www.feltingforum.com an awesome site
cheers and have fun
karen

Jasmine said...

Thank you Karen,

thats a big help. I wasn't so sure about the washing machine but have read some sites that included it in the process...

I'm off to look at the forum now :)

yvette said...

never washing machine...it comes out one big strong ball. washing in olive soap after rinsed it in salt water the only thing you really need is bubble plastic warm water soap and the warmth of your hands...the forum will indeed help you!
Ot...I'm ok...a bit a sore head from bouncing to the aquarium but the little fish are ok!
love you!
yvette

Jasmine said...

Thank you Yvette,

I'm glad you are ok xx

ArtSparker said...

What a lovely project, I can't wait to see what you come up with. I am glad you got advice from Yvette, who knows whereof she speaks (I am quite confused about the aquarium thing myself).

Jasmine said...

Thank you Susan. I'm still confused about the aquarium too x

Caio Fernandes said...

oh! ... looking to this i remember my lhasa apsos , 4 , and the tons of hair , exatliy this color and texture i take fron then when i comb 2 times a week .
i am very interested to see the end of this project , and maybe learn something , mabe a new idea to adapt for what to do with so much dog , and cat hair .

Tammie Lee said...

Well this sounds like a fun project and adventure. I look forward to seeing what you will make. I would have thought that hot water would shrink the wool big time. So much to learn!

Jasmine said...

I thought the same about ot water Tammie. I am learning a lot :)