Thought for a lifetime

Einstein made the very important observation that " Imagination is more important than knowledge ".

Friday, March 20, 2015

My First Solo Wet Felted Wool Hat

After throughly enjoying learning how to wet felt wool 
using the Beth Beede ball technique 

in Heidi Paul's workshop

at wonderful Wayne Wichern's Studio

I succeeded in finding/buying/creating all the necessary supplies to try wet felting solo!

Each ball of wool is just 1 ounce exactly

Four ounces of beautiful merino wool short fiber batt was purchased from
CurlyFurr at etsy

The shop owner threw in a little pre felted wool to play around with 
and I spontaneously cut out a little smiley face.

This whole piece is only 1 ounce and needs to be separated into enough long sections to cover my 
bright pink gertie ball completely.
( Got my gertie ball from New England Felting )

Let the fun begin!
First color is carefully laid on ball in one dirction...

next 1 ounce layer is laid on in the opposite direction...

                          until all four of the one ounce wool balls has been placed on the ball.

Now it really gets fun trying to successfully stretch the top of nylons 
completely over the wool on the ball without messing up the wool
all by myself!

To felt wool very hot water is required,

and add a little Ivory soap to the water and then massage and agitate.
Check often to be sure wool is not felting to nylons! 

I am a little amazed that I actually succeeded in felting the wool!
It felt like a big soapy mess and I was sure when I removed the nylon that 
the wool would disintegrate and fall to pieces.

Obviously the wool is now removed from the ball 
and is the shape of a large oversized hat blank.

The wool still needs to be felted more and the felting will reduce it in size.

Rolling the wool in bamboo will help accelerate the felting.
Be sure to only roll the wool in the direction you want it to shrink.
I only rolled my wool side to side because I did not want to reduce the length.

When my new wet felted wool hat blank was the correct circumference for my head...

then I stretched it taut onto one of my wooden hat blocks.
I am a pretty big weakling so this is always a challenge.

Here is my securely anchored wet felted wool hat blank drying.

And this is my finished cloche style hat!
( I may still add a ribbon finish to the cut edge )

And the very first thing I had laid on the gertie ball was the smiley face,
having no idea if it would be visible on the inside of the hat.

Well, the face is still happy and so am I !!