Yesterday was another snowy day in the Mount Washington Valley, so I made a pot of coffee, pulled out the plastic tarp and sander and set about some felting. I have made a few wet felted handbags, but this time I wanted to give mittens a try, so I pulled out the big bag of Angora/Merino blended rovings and got started This is how my afternoon went:
First you lay the wool in different directions over a cardboard pattern cuttout (sorry no picture for that step), then you place a screen over the wool and squirt some soapy water over the wool. Gently work the water into the wool (I use a small felting tool). Flip the mitten over and repeat on the other side. Once it is wet (and I did both mittens at the same time), gently lift the screen off and gently rub the wool until it stops sliding about.
Next comes the fun step. I took a piece of plastic and laid it over the mitten and revved up the sander. Now.....I have done this in the past without the plastic and ruined my sander, so you take your chances if you don't use the plastic. Make sure you have a grounded outlet and rubber shoes on too...hehe. It takes longer to felt over the plastic however, but still faster than if you weren't using the sander. Whirrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
After you have added any design effect to the mitten and the fibers seem to stick together when you pull them up, it is time to take out the resist (cardboard), so you cut acrost the bottom of the pattern and GENTLY pull the cardboard out as the wool is still very fragile at this point.
After you take the resist out, start kneading the mitten like a lump of dough. You can use an old washboard or in my case, I use the broilerpan..LOL for added friction. At this point, you can throw it into the microwave for 1 min. intervals to spead up the felting too.
Now these mittens are not the exquisite latvian mittens that Steph is knitting, but they are lovely in their own way.
What Stephanie has done for MSF has really touched my heart. Following my fellow bloggers, Jean and Sandy, these little mitties will make a trip to Harlotville for Stephanie's give away. Harlotville is a very good place!!
These were such fun mittens to make and it is another yucky day here today, so I'm thinking a black angora pair would be fun....hhmmmmmmm
Over the last few weeks, we have truly witnessed wonderful random acts of kindess. You may remember my post a few months ago when I left the RAOK ring. I was struggling with just picking a name out of a list of people and sending them a gift. I struggled because it had no meaning to me. Not because i don't like giving gifts (which I do)...but because I felt no connection to it.
Watching the outpouring of kindess from knitters, children and people in general over the last few weeks has really touched my heart. This outpouring was because we all were touched in our hearts for the tragedy of our fellow man.......in our giving we have felt connected.....that perhaps we have helped in some little way.
Today as I was blog surfing Kerstin's site with my morning coffee, I followed this link . It made my day and it's way to my list of favorites. I have never read much about Zen or Tao, but learning more about this way of life is on my list of "to do's" for the New Year. It speaks to my inate love of balance in life. I have always said that I only strive for balance and here it is in black and white on this blog. A very interesting site indeed!