Friday, 2 May 2008

wool craft log 2/5/08

Flora brought back the 3 neck wraps she has knitted: a white one from the good Ullapool Shetland fleece, and two black ones with different highlights from the Iona Hebrideans.
Jackie got quite inspired seeing this handspun wool knitted and took the rest of the wool home to knit a few gauges to see what she can make with the wool.

Today we decided to wet-felt the half fleece of the Hebrideans. Flora, Mary, Anneruth, and Jackie were gathered with just enough time for this shorter rug felting project. Later Verene and Sarah-Jane joined up, too.

The first bit of the wet felting - trying to bolster up the thin bits - did not go too well today: first Anneruth rubber gloves caused the wet wool to stick to the netting - and then (after the whole felting was done) we discovered that the most wool we had felted on painstakingly was coming off again because it had not bonded, even with all the firm fulling we did (= the rollling). The reason for that seemed to be that the wool on the underside of that fleece was more wirey than the previous fleeces had been, and thus wouldn't felt properly, even though we had carefully used selected soft wool for the wet felting part here. This now means that we will have to do some stitching up or needle felting again as part of the final touch.

The felting process this time was very community building again :-)

The workshop was quite empty as the trainees were out on a boat trip. But there were a few guys about who were being hauled in for the waulking part of the job. See for yourself
on the new picture uploads
or on youtube, as here are the links to a few video clips of the felting action today:
hey hey the felting is on: for the rolling bit we had Sarah-Jane with us trying to learn with us a Hebridean waulking song (the un-traditional way: from a song sheet!)
guys can have a go at the felting, too: young Shaun ges a surprise how strong we women are, and so do...:
senior guys can have a go at the felting, too : see the old guard sweating (and they thought it was easy!)
and here are Sarah-Jane and Verene taking their shoes off and get rolling, and then Sarah-Jane opts for the singing and Mary is taking a turn

Verene and Sarah-Jane then washed the flelted fleece out and we laid it to try in the yard over the new wool drying stand, which Davey done for us!

It is so great to have more knitters on board - it inspired Anneruth over the weekend to experiement with Heather country wheel to card and spin the Jacobs wool (single; for chunky knitting or weaving) and spin & ply chunky Blackface wool from the Pentlands:

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