Peri and I have been doing a lot of research and reading on felting. (You remember my sweater felting post of a few weeks ago?) Anyway, there is needle felting and sculpting like our bloggy friend Viv does. Her excitement with a new craft was very evident in her post from several years ago. My fear of repeatedly stabbing my fingers has prevented me from getting started on this craft.
There is felting from roving. As in using wool roving that has to be placed on a mat and hand felted with hot water to make a sheet of felted fabric. It results in unusual and vibrant one-of-a-kind pieces of fabric. This is the same type of material used in needle felting and comes in a beautiful array of colors, often harvested from animals raised lovingly by the artists for this very purpose, then processed and custom dyed as part of their art. Wool roving is used in a vast number of ways.
There is also machine felting, as in washing machine... which is actually fulling, but is called felting in an attempt to avoid confusion. (Check this link if you want to read about fulling in great detail).
Previously I had never used wool yarn for any of my projects. I was under the lifetime (that's a long time, by the way) impression that wool yarn was scratchy. While I was in CA I got a skein of merino wool, named for the type of sheep that produces this lovely wool. The moment my new birch crochet tool made it's first loop, I was hooked. This yarn is a dream to work with and it's 100% wool so I can felt/full it in my top loader washer.
After making an over-sized glasses case, see the image on the left, I felted it and tossed it in the dryer. You can see the size difference in the photo on the right.
I think I could have made it even a bit larger. My original plan was to use it for my shades, but it shrunk to the size of readers instead. It is still quite nice. You can still see some of the stitches and the wool got a bit fuzzy. Some folks shave off the fuzzies with one of those sweater pill shavers, but I kind of like the texture.
So there you go... I'm crocheting with wool. I'm quite happily surprised with my new yarn and hope to acquire more of this luscious yarn in the future.
That's all for now. We'll talk soon.