Saturday, March 12, 2016

New Techniques

My knitting guild, Lebanon Valley Knit 2-Gether, recently had a retreat.  It included workshops on intentional felting, wet and needle.  Candie Falger was the teacher.  She's really great at what she does.  She knows a lot about sheep wool and breeds of sheep.  The guild is on Facebook here.  Perhaps you have done some unintentional felting in the past.  I know I have.  I have also done intentional felting in my washing machine.  That process makes a big mess.

I have discovered 2 things about me and felting.  They amount to the same thing.  The wet felting and subsequent fulling process is great for getting aggression out.  The rougher you are the tighter the fibers get.  Needle felting and I don't get along well because I'm too rough or to be nicer about it, I have too much aggression for doing it well.  I managed to break a bunch of needles and quit before I broke more.

Our learning for the day was to make a piece of felt such as the Bedouin use for their tents as well as the history of the sheep breed that provides the wool for this.  This was the wet felting workshop.  It was fun

Our afternoon workshop was about needle felting.  We had made coasters in January that we needed to needle felt for decorative purposes.  We also used roving and a piece of felt to practice forming a flat badge shape.  Candie gave a demonstration during the day about 3 dimensional needle felting.  She was making dryer balls.  I have not made these or used them before.  The pros I have seen online are

  1. You no longer need to use fabric softener
  2. wool dryer balls hasten the drying time
  3. it lessens the need to iron (not something I do a lot of to begin with)
  4. this is something you can do with wool yarn that has been a feast for moths
The cons I have seen online are
  1. the wool leaves fuzz on the clothes
  2. it wrinkles clothes
  3. they make your clothes smell sheepy
Have any of you readers used them?  What are your experiences?  Thoughts?  I'd be very interested to hear.