After the first week of New-vember has passed, I think it is time for revealing the new things happening over here.
The mysterious new technique I worked on last weekend is felting. Not the Sophie kind of felting, knitting things up and letting the washing machine do the rest. No no... real, wet felting! With everything, blood, tears, elbow-grease, the olfactory experience of very natural wool fleece and curd soap. All this crunched up in a basement room that is only about 1,70m high without a proper functioning light and - who needs light - during the night anyway.
That's why I took so many pictures, we had to check out our progress in the flashlight ;-)
I am not going to supply a tutorial on how to do felting. Just giving you some process pictures. Here to the left you see the wool spread out in shape for a bag.
Here, the whole lot is covered by a piece of curtain (by courtesy of GMIL, who presented those vintage 'treasuries' in full confidence I would someday use them as curtains). This way it is easier to soak the wool evenly with soapy water and knead and 'massage' the wool into some sturdy fabric.
This process picture shows the trick to keep the two layers of the bag, back and front, from felting together. I inserted some plastic.
This is the bag closed and almost done. Well, in fact the hard work isn't over yet. starts here. At least that is what my shoulders told me the next day. Boy, did they hurt! But for the visual outcome, this mainly is it!
The person who intended to join me for moral support (my very kind and incredibly artistically gifted MIL) proved to be the real designer here. She tried all kinds of different things and this peace of felt is going to be 'ends' for a scarf. Don't ask me... (language barriers!) She told me, she will cut it in shape and crochet something in-between. Maybe I can get a picture of the finished project.
However, what you cannot see on the pictures is how holey the felt I made is. No problem for decorative stuff, but bags... (We made three bags). Probably caused by my impatience during the process, but I like to think it was the lack of light.
No starting small: I also tried to make some slippers. On the first time felting. Well, not a smart idea. They do need experience. I was kneading my way through the night and while they turned out pretty stiff, they were far too big. And they wouldn't shrink a millimeter, despite hot water shocks and all. Finally, as a last act in despair before turning in, I threw them in the ewashing machine (no bin around) and tortured them with a full 90°C programme. Look!
They fit! Perfettamente! And they look very organic...
To sum it up, I think I am not a felting girl. I might do some more bags (that's the business person in me, a colleague offered to pay me for doing some as Christmas gifts for her daughters!). And maybe I will get the hang on the process then, but I thought it would be more satisfying, if you know what I mean. It was rather tedious. Boring. Hard work. Unpleasant result. Not to compare at all with the nice feeling of knitting.
And talking about knitting, I am in the position to have a far bigger stash now then I can handle for a long long time.
Someone was kindly helping me to get hold on some KnitPicks yarn (more then in the picture!) and while being bothered with handling my order, she has nothing better to do then reward me with adding some d-e-l-i-c-i-o-u-s Lorna's Laces to the parcel! How's that? Incredibly fantastic! Thank you so much, Amanda! This is going to be transformed into Eris and an almost uncountable amount of socks. Hurray for a hopefully enjoyable and rewarding knitting time and a double hurray for kind, funny, amiable and not at least generous knitters, who turn from blog acquaintances into friends.
* song from 'The Smiths' of course, where admittedly only the title refers to my enlightening experiences with felting.