My latest posts on crafts have been on felting wool roving in the washing machine and tumble dryer. I’m aiming at a certain texture, and testing all the factors more or less systematically. The testing goes on, and for the fun of it I’m doing this post in English. Half of the work is learning the vocabulary so I can express what I’m up to. Knitting, crocheting and felting are all areas you need a certain range of quite specific terms to communicate about. An example could the basic expressions knit and purl. Not to mention fisherman’s rib, stocking stitch and other fun knitting. Luckily I’ve got a good dictionary and great broadband connection.
Lately I’ve been working on felting wool roving in the dryer. The first experiment was placing merino wool and yarn on a thin synthetic lining. I dampened the wool with almost boiling hot water and liquid soap. Then I covered the wool in lining, rolled it up in a wet towel and dumped it the tumble dryer. I tumbled it for 15 minutes or so, and continued the felting process on the bathroom floor dipping the scarf in warm soapy water and tossing it carefully to the floor. I must have been a bit eager on the throwing, cause the wool felted a bit too much and doesn’t quite have the soft merino quality and texture I was hoping for.
So back to the drawing board and more wool in the tumbler, this time in bubble wrap. I followed the same procedure with wool and yarn, covered it in bubble wrap and rolled up with a wet, hot towel in the center. Then I rolled it up in a dry towel and threw the package in the dryer for 20 minutes. The thing is that I was multitasking at the time and after the 20 minutes were gone the dryer continued tumbling on the anti-wrinkle program. So when I finally got to it the whole thing had felted a bit too much, and I still didn’t have the soft merino texture I was looking for.
I tried again today. This time just a small patch of wool and yarn. I was going to do doodles with the yarn, just to check how the yarn would attach to the wool. I ended up with my name written in yarn with about the elegance of drawings in ketchup on a grilled cheese sandwich. Well, it’s just an experiment, so why not? Bubble wrapped and rolled in a towel the whole bundle went in the dryer. This time for precisely 2o minutes. After the tumble, the result is closer than ever. The patch has been rinsed and is drying on the bathroom floor, and I’m looking forward to seeing if it stays this soft. So far, so good.