Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Wet Felted Pumpkins

I was itching to do a little wet felting with wool (get it? itch. wool), so when we went to the Vermont Sheep and Wool Festival last month, I bought some orange roving. Roving is fiber fanatic talk for wool that has been cleaned, carded (combed) and possibly dyed.

We found a ball in the dog toy basket that was the size we wanted... slightly smaller than a baseball. The ball had to have a smooth surface so it would slip out easily later. We then wrapped the roving around the ball in a couple of layers, dipped it in warm soapy water and rubbed and smoothed, rubbed and smoothed until it looked felted and uniform without any visible seams. Then we rinsed all the soap out under cool running water and squeezed it out in paper towels.


I cut a small incision that was large enough to slip the ball out using an Exacto knife. It didn't need to be a huge hole because the wool stretches some when it's wet. Then we left it overnight to dry thoroughly.
Once it was dry, we cut a brown stem and a green leaf from felt and sewed them to the top from the inside so the stitches don't show too much. Finally, we packed the inside with stuffing and needle felted the seam closed. A felting needle has barbs on the pointed end that are barely visible to the eye. When it's repeatedly jabbed through wool, it pushes and pulls the fibers into one another until it's felted together. I let Pipsqueak do this making sure she kept her fingers clear. One jab of that needle and she wouldn't be interested in trying it again.
Here is the finished pumpkin. I'd like to try needle felting some black yarn to make the vertical ribs, but no time now. Pipsqueak wants to give one to each of her teachers this week.

2 comments:

Tammie said...

love this. ive always wanted to try wet felting.

Aunt Becky said...

You're all crafty and stuff. Putting me to SHAME.

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