Friday, July 17, 2009

Felting Friday

Ok...I know Friday is almost over, but it is the only day that rhymes with the word felt. I can't in good blogging technique call this Felting Saturday!!! Not proper blog literary form and a night in Blogger prison is not for me. I thought my blogging friends might like to see how I make my wrist warmers. It begins with a Wednesday visit to my local Salvation Army thrift store. Wednesday, because on that day EVERYTHING...yes I said EVERYTHING is 25 % off. I get goosebumps just saying that ;-) I look for 100% wool or wool/angora blends and cashmere sweaters. I never come away empty handed. I am starting with a red wool Abercrombie pullover sweater. I payed $3.75 for it.



When I get my treasure home I cut off any labels that might get in the way of my design. In this case my sweater had a cool Abercrombie label on the cuff and I decided to include that in my design...so I left it intact. I put my sweater in a pillowcase and closed it with a rubber band...I am going to repeat that ...I put my sweater in a pillowcase and closed it with a rubber band! Do not skip this step!! When it comes to felting tutorials, this is my pet peeve...this step is almost always skipped. I set my washer controls on hot wash/cold rinse and add just a few tablespoons of laundry detergent. I like to put a small amount of softener in my auto dispenser..optional of course. Set the washer to the fastest agitation and for extra agitation I throw in an old pair of jeans. The more agitating of the wool fibers..the better the result.


Often when I remove my sweater from the pillowcase it is all bunched up and full of wooly fibers.


Here is my Abercrombie turtleneck after the felting( the purest term is 'fulling' )..it has shrunk to about 1/2 it's original size. I block it back into shape and remove all the loose fibers. I then hang it on a rack to dry overnight. For further shrinking and to speed up drying you can put your sweater in the dryer also.



Here is the reason I made such stink about the pillowcase thing. Where do you think all this wool fuzz is going to go if you do not enclose your sweater while washing? Out with the rinse..that's where! The fastest way to kill the motor in your washer is to skip the pillowcase step. Believe me..it is not a pretty way for your washer to die. However if you have your eye on one of those fancy LG steam front loaders, then this could be your Kevorkian method.


After cutting off the lower half of each sleeve, I then had some fun embellishing my warmers. I made a rosette from some felted yellow cashmere sweaters and leaves from a pale green fair isle wool sweater. Once felted , the wool will not fray. No need to hem or finish edges. These warmers are great for keeping you warm while leaving your fingers free to use your cell phone or keyboard. I sell quite a few to ladies who work in air conditioned offices and complain their hands get cold. I hope I have inspired you to shop at your local thrift store and create something cool and beautiful. If not...just buy them from Me! ( www.theemptynest.etsy.com )



Until next time...be kind and stay creative!


10 comments:

hen said...

What fantastic bunch of hints and tips!!! The gloves are awesome Janet!!!! Love it!!!

hen
xx

The Emma Experience said...

What a great tutorial! I think I will make myself some of those, thanks!

Little Dickens Designs said...

That is an awesome tutorial, and funny too!!

Julianne said...

Very Cool - your wrist warmer looks awesome.

I have never tried felting, but am sure I will one day and I will try to remember your tips... actually, I might just jot down some notes. Thank you for the tips!

PS: I am so jealous that you have such a fab op-shop, my local one is terrible!

Anonymous said...

"Felt" and "Friday" don't rhyme unless I've been pronouncing them wrong all these years.

Tweed Delights said...

Janet - you are a total inspiration! I've always wanted to know how to do this - thank you for this fab, funny tutorial!

I really want to get rid of my useless old washing machine too - thanks for the tip :)

Marilyn said...

Great tutorial, Janet. Looks like fun!

PG said...

I'm far too lazy to do this, I might have to invest in some for winter!

sweetpeabyjk said...

Great article. I think I actually did a "Kevorkian" to my former washer by felting sweaters! I put them in mesh bags (smart,huh?) Now I have an LG front loader and have been terrified to felt anymore. I, too, have a red sweater that I am dying to felt!

Love the wrist warmers...

Anonymous said...

Good morning from Alaska!
Your site is lovely. I am not sure how to select a profile so I guess I will just be a noone. lol
I have felted for a year now and never knew about the "pillow case" trick. Sure makes sence to me. Thanks for the tip. I am felting this morning to make our pups matching woolie garments. Heck it is -14 outside. UGH
Again I do love your site. YOU will be book-marked.
Have a wonderful day!!!