My first thought upon completing my first wet-felting project: "I am not ever going to arm-wrestle with Carol Huber Cypher. If she does felting projects all day long, that woman must have serious upper-arm strength."
My second thought upon completing my first wet-felting project: "That was fun! What can I make for my second project?"
Wet-felting is the process of taking fuzzy stuff, a.k.a. fiber, adding hot soapy water, and rolling and pressing it until the fibers stick together to form felted fabric, beads, or ropes. Through wet-felting, Carol makes beautiful hand felted jewelry and accessories (and develops aforementioned upper-arm strength).
Her book, Hand Felted Jewelry and Beads: 25 Artful Designs, is definitely on the irresistible side: flower pins, beads, necklaces, bracelets all made with brightly colored fibers and a bit of water and soap. There's also some needle felting in there, just to show what lovely things can be created with some fluff and a needle.
The actual techniques are extremely easy--the artistry comes in the selection of colors, the forming of shapes, and the assembly of the felted elements. In about an hour or so, I made a wet-felted fabric piece about 6" x 9", ready to be formed into a flower pin, which was my goal at the start of the afternoon. I used some hand dyed fiber left over from a spinning batt, as well as some strands of a mohair/sparkle blend yarn I had in my stash.
Following Carol's really clear instructions, I layered the fiber with the yarn in the middle, then added soapy water and started rubbing and rolling. The photo doesn't really do it justice--the fibers sparkle, and the texture and translucency remind me of handmade paper, the kind with leaves and flower petals embedded in it. It's so pretty I have it hanging on the wall next to my computer; it's almost too pretty to do anything with! (That's why I want to do a second project; so I can actually end up with a flower pin next time.)
If you're in a crafty sort of mood and you just have to Make Something--go get a copy of Hand Felted Jewelry and Beads and see what pretty things you can create!
Pick up a copy of Hand Felted Jewelry and Beads at your local shop, or purchase online here.
Sandi Wiseheart is the editor of Knitting Daily.
What's on Sandi's needles? Striped socks. I have a bouquet of summer wildflower colored yarn from Louet and I'm knitting a bouquet of striped socks--look for them soon here on Knitting Daily.