Wow.........It's November! I am still having a hard time getting my head wrapped around the fact that summer has come to an end. It's amazing to me how the weeks have just marched on by, and how I have so not been keeping up with them.. Last week just whooshed past me....how did that happen?
Finishing up with my first Cardigan Sock, I quickly cast on the second one. If I get that second one on the needles right away, it's a sure bet the pair will be finished......but if I don't, well, I don't have to tell you the end of that story, do I? Lot's of single ladies kicking around here :-)
Anyhoo, I have had a few people ask me how I felted my Red Maple Scarf that I posted a few weeks ago, so I promised a tutorial. This is is going to be a picture heavy post, so I apologize in advance to those of you who not have fast connections.
As you can see, I am starting with one of my 2 oz angora/silk braids of roving. In addition you will want some sort of counter protection, a bottle of warm soapy water, a piece of flexible screening (bought in any hardware store) a big towel and a palm sander.
It is very important that the sander is not an orbital palm sander, but rather one that moves back and forth. An orbital sander will move the fibers in the wrong direction (ask me how I know this?)
Once you have finished the first direction, you will start again, covering the first layer with the same thin, wispy strips of roving in the opposite direction. It is important not to be heavy handed with the fiber as you want your scarf to have nice drape, but you probably won't want it to be full of holes either, unless you are striving for a more lacey look.
Check the scarf over for bare spots and once you are satisfied with the coverage, gently lay the screening on top of the fiber. Take your soapy water and start wetting the fiber, making sure to get the edges good and wet.
Gently again, lift the screening off of the fiber. The wool at this point is not felted, so you want to be very careful not to disturb it too much. Gently pat the wool, checking again for bare spots and gently push the edges, both sides and ends to give the edges a little bulk.
This is where the fun begins! Making sure that you have rubber soled shoes on and your outlet is one of those protected types (I can't think of the name off the top of my head), fire up the sander!
As this fiber is very feltable, you only need to keep the sander in one spot for a second or two. Move your sander up and down the length of the scarf, making sure that you get it all. Do the pull test, to see if the fibers are felted (pull up on the fiber...if felted it will come up together, if not, it will separate).
After the first section is firm enough, I then very gently folded that section into an accordion type fold. I then layered the dry roving on the edge of the wet section and repeated what I had previously done.
What the sander has done was prefelt the wool, making it workable, but it is still fairly fragile at this point. Gently start working the scarf, rolling it in one direction, unrolling and then rolling again in the other direction. Pay attention to your edges...you will want to use the palm of your hand to add extra friction there, giving a little extra firmness.
Again, as this type of fiber is highly feltable, you will not have to spend too much time working it. I usually toss it in the microwave at least once for a minute as the heat aids in felting items faster.
Once you feel the scarf is felted to your liking, fill up the sink with some very cold water and let the scarf soak for a few minutes. (cold water finishes the felting)
Let the scarf dry over night and voila....a warm, soft angora, silk scarf to hug your neck on those cold days that are coming your way soon!
I hope you enjoyed this little tutorial and have a fabulous weekend!