Monday, October 5, 2009

Fiber Festival--Second Time Around

Last Sunday, my sister and I went to a fiber festival in Romeo at Mount Bruce Station. This one was held on a working farm and if you would like to read more about it, their web site is here. It was a beautiful fall day and while it wasn't a big festival, it was fun just to spend the time enjoying the cool fall day and sunshine. This is the farm house that was built, I believe in the 1920s:
One of the vendors had this really neat gourd tree which I would love to have in my backyard!
Anyway, after walking around and visiting all the vendors, we took a class in wet wool felting. Let me tell you people, this is not for the faint of heart. You really work up a sweat doing this! In fact, had it been any warmer I think we could have called the class "Naked Wet Wool Felting." It starts of looking like no big deal. In fact it seems kind of easy. You lay out our nice soft, fluffy roving...

You sandwich the roving between two pieces of plastic, first spraying it with a mixture of water and dish detergent. You have to really wet the roving all the way through. Then the fun part begins.
First you rub the roving with the palms of your hands. You start on one side and just when you break out in a sweat, you turn the roving and do the other side. You have to turn the roving so you work at it from all four sides. And then just when your arms are starting to give out--you turn the roving over and begin again on the other side!
(By the way, our lovely and charming hand model for this post is my sister, Karen.)
At this point just when you are beginning to think you shouldn't have let your gym membership lapse, you find out that you now must roll the roving in a towel, squeeze out as much water as you can and begin rolling it back and forth between your hands. I guess, "rolling" would be a nice way of saying slap it around because that is exactly what you do!

Once you've "rolled" it this way and that--unrolled it, rolled it from the other side and started all over again--you end up with a piece of beautiful felted wool:

While it is hard to tell from this picture, this is a beautiful piece of wool made of angora and merino wool with some blue silk threads running through it.

Now what to make with such a lovely piece of fabric. I would make you wait, but as you may know I have this slight finishing problem, so I thought I would share the instructor's finished project-- wool mittens!
Aren't they beautiful? The instructor also gave us some angora yarn so we can make the lace cuffs. And this wool is just so soft; they will be just the thing on a cold Michigan day. I may just have to put my rug hook aside for a week or so and pick up my knitting and embroidery needles so I can finish these before the snow begins to fly. And seeing that I had my heat turned on before the first of October, I don't think that day will be too far away!


  1. Always something new to distract us from rug hooking! LOL I Love those mittens! Yes, it's getting cold here in Wis. way to early! They say snow flurries by this weekend, not ready for THAT! Very interesting how to on the wool felting. Cathy G

  2. OMG I think those mittens are wonderfully beautiful.

  3. I love your mittens they are beautiful! I found your link from Katie's blog. I am so glad I did. Happy hooking.

  4. I always thought I could of had a career as a hand model.