Almost done. Still fulling
Looking like road-kill in my sink
Friggin' stubborn wool
All laid out, before wet down.
Layout in progress
bags of fleece
There was recent discussion on my "feltlist" about felting a raw fleece ("raw" meaning as it is, sheered off the sheep) and I had purchased 2 fleece for the purpose of doing this. Nice little lamb fleece from the farmer up the road with Icelandic/Romney. They have been in my garage since the spring.
I laid out a base of batt from some wool from the same flock that I had processed locally. I chose one that I had the most of: a steely, lusterous grey that really felt quite "romney". I knew this could mean I was in for a long felt, but decided to throw caution to the wind and give it a dance.
I threw a layer of merino between 2 thin layers for the base hoping this would assist in the wet out. Well, wetting out seemed to go well on the surface, but I knew better. On the underside I had several very stubborn areas that no matter what I hit it with , it was this wiry wool that would not wet out and was pissing me off! You can see in the pictures the area that appears to just be loose fibres. My Mom dropped by at this point, as poopy sheep water was running into puddles on my floor. She asked, "So, what do you do?". I told her, that I just had to keep going. So, I added a whole bar of glycerine soap and did a ton of rubbing and began to full even when those areas were still very loose. I knew they would come together...and they did, in spite of my rotten attitude.
I laid it out in the sun to dry (and had to cuddle up on it in the warm sun for a moment) after lots of rinsing and it now resides on the floor of my youngest sons room. He says the pattern looks like a Satyr and I think it has found a good home. My pool covers and screens were given a serious rinse outside with the hose to rid them of gunk.
While my first thought was "I'm not doing that again", I think I will, however differently. First, I will do this outside. Second I will make a base of a different breed of wool. For this one, I really wanted it all local. I will also choose a fleece from the farmer that has more of the icelandic qualities 'cause I really like the hairy spots. I was nice just to felt...not for a show, not for a gallery, but just to play. Gotta love summer vacation. You know I love my job when I choose to felt while on vacation!
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