Our March meeting was a felting workshop, on network felting. As usual with our felting workshops, it was very well attended, with visitors and members of other guilds – great to welcome them – as well as our own enthusiasts.
We knew as soon as we started that this was going to be a bit different – our tutor tactfully described it as ‘slightly more tricky than normal felting’.
Despite the warning it was difficult not to be inspired when we saw what our tutor was wearing (though she wouldn’t stand still, and a photo had to be grabbed on the move).
The jacket wrapped over at the front and felting it as one piece had posed some unusual problems, like needing to take up the carpet to get enough room to work on the floor. Well worth it, though.
Our objectives were not so ambitious – either a long scarf or a square, perhaps for a cushion cover. This was just as well, as working out the plaiting of the strands of roving caused one or two problems (and some quite unladylike language, ahem).
Here one of our members is building the second half of her scarf, helped by the tutor (it became obvious quite quickly why we’d been asked to bring roving in different colours), and here is a square which has just been finished, with some embellishments added to the strips of roving:
The strips can be smoothed out (like the scarf), or rolled, as here. They have different effects on the finished piece; rolling gives it a bit more volume.
Then the normal felting process began, but with a twist. The aim is to get the roving to felt across the joints. Using hot water the merino would felt to itself too much; while you need some heat, we were told that the friction of felting would generate enough for us. Cold water it was.
Every so often we had to check progress, making sure the cross-over joints were felting together. As soon as we were satisfied that the whole thing wouldn’t fall apart when lifted…
we could start rolling, and finish off the felting process.
It’s always a bit of a rush, trying to get a piece felted in the relatively limited time available but many people got there (with only the drying to go), and those who weren’t quite ready got their pieces into a suitable state for transporting home. Where, hopefully, nobody had to lift the carpets in order to finish their work!
Here are some more pictures from a great day. Just click on an image to bring up a slideshow.