Sunday, July 18, 2010

Handfelted cuffs, or garnets, or whatever you call them, tutorial part one

Like these?I mean, it´s far too warm to wear them right now, but it´s never too early to start thinking about christmas presents, right?
These are made combining wetfelting and needlefelting, so let´s first focus on the wetfelting-part and gather our supplies for this:Wool. Only black and red, for these, of course. Well, colors you like. I bought mine here, I don´t think they´ll ship internationally, but I bet you´ll find a way to get some nice, soft, unspun wool for felting. I bought several colors, because I want to make tons of cuffs. For everyone. But let´s go on:You´ll also need warm (or hot) water, soap (olive soap is very good, but I think any will do), something to quicken the fulling process like bubblewrap, or a bamboomat, or a towel, an area that can get wet and this black plastic strip you see on the left of the pic. That´s for shaping both cuffs, and I cut it from an old placemat. The size is a little bigger than both your cuffs should be. Any plastic that´s thick enough will do, but don´t take cardboard, it will soak. So, no you take your wool and layer it on your plasticstrip: See, on the left and right side, it needs to verlap a little. I tried to describe the process of how to tear the wool in this post, and now you simply take those "feathers" and layer them, until one side of your strip is fully covered. Looks like a friendly, fluffy dog, right?Now gently sprinkle everything with warm water. Felting is all about being gentle, if you work too fast, you´ll get holes and clumps. Take your soap, and like washing your hands, make lots of bubbles. Then, still very gently, process caressing your wool, only with your fingertips, until you feel that the surface solidifies. Is that a proper word? Well, it should look something like this: Take it, with the plastic strip still in place, and flip it around. Fold the overlapping, wet wool on your strip, cover the whole thing with wool, like you did before, and repeat the last steps on this side. It doesn´t matter if it looks a little uneven, like this: Because wool is a natural product, and it´s supposed to behave a little strange. Just proceed felting, until you get the feeling everything is in place and the wool won´t shift when you move your piece. Make sure you also felt the sides. When everything feels fine, remove the plastic strip, and place your work on a towel: Wrap it, make it nice and cozy:Pour hot water on it. Make it very, very soapy. Roll it, knead it like dough, flip it, until you can feel the muscles of your arms. Sweat. Any spare agressions? Put ém here. We´re done with the gentle. Your piece will tighten and shrink during this process, how much depends on a) how long you work and b) the characteristics of your wool. Felting is a lot about trial and error, that´s why I like it. Open your towel and try wearing your piece:
This still looks a little loose, so I worked a little more until I was satisfied. Then rinse it and wring it out,cut it in half like this, trim the edgesand wear :-)
This was probably the longest tutorial I ever put up here, so, I split it up.
I explain the needlefelting here.
And in case you´d like to see how they can look in violet, click here.
I hope I´m still in time to link this to my favourite linklist, .
And as this was such a long tutorial, I´m glad my favourite song today is a long song, too, so I don´t have to push F5 too often:I admit it´s a little corny. But hey, I like corny.

So, my fellow ladies, I do indeed appreciate contact, feel free to leave me a comment below. Hugs, Helen


creativejewishmom/Sara said...

Long time no see! Great to have you back on Craft Schooling Sunday! Really neat felting project, hope to try felting someday too! Thanks so much for sharing, I think I'd just love a collar like to match the cuffs!

Anonymous said...

Just a quick note to let you know that a link to this post will be placed on CraftCrave today [19 Jul 12:00pm GMT]. Thanks, Maria