Apparently the more appropriate term for the new wooly adventure I have embarked upon is “resist felting” not simply “wet felting”. I came across this website (feltinglessons.com) yesterday and thought it might not hurt to see another person’s techniques. Seems since 1987 when my book (Felting by Hand) was published, things have changed! Now they use tulle and bubble wrap. Things are more complicated and the supplies list is much longer. So I decided to take some tips from modern times and mix them with my 80s lessons. I didn’t have any tulle, so I skipped that; and I put a towel down on the table instead of bubble wrap. So when I had to roll everything up, I just rolled up the towel and didn’t bother getting out a dowel rod. Come on, people having been doing this for centuries! The Mongolians made yurts out in the desert by dragging rolls of felt around behind their horses. It’s not an exact science. Believe me, if it was I wouldn’t be doing it.
Before I learned all these new things, I attempted a me-sized pair of slippers. Apparently I am incapable of making two things that match. Not surprising since none of my knitted items match either! One slipper turned out okay, although it doesn’t fit me. The other one… the heel disintegrated, so I just cut it off, thinking I could make it into something else later.
Then I thought I’d make a pair of fingerless mitts. Not a success. Guess what? Felt has no stretch. I suppose that’s what makes it appealing, but that also makes it difficult to get onto your hand. So I just made the one mitt and now I have one mitt.
After I watched the videos, I made a pattern out of thick plastic instead of fabric. Much better! I started with a little pouch, but it didn’t end up quite right. So I decided to morph it into a tea cozy. Last night I laid there in bed and imagined all the embellishments I could add to it. I want to let it dry before I start fiddling around with it.
So it seems that I can’t start out with something specific in mind and execute it. Hooray! But I should be honest with myself and realize I just started on this. However, if I’m going to be really honest with myself, I was hoping I could be good at this without having to practice or try. Such is not the case. And so I will soldier on.