I made some wooly things for Christmas last year, gifted to family-members. And then I forgot to take pictures of them. This summer I finally got around to snapping some pictures, and it was a little strange getting the wool stuff out during the lovely warm season. But now it’s starting to feel like the right the time to get into woollenness again, with the leaves changing and summer definitely being over.
I posted about spinning yarn back here, and this is the yarn that resulted. After having spun the white yarn (which has some color-variations due to using fleece from several different sources), I spun the dark brown yarn. It was bought pre-washed I believe, intended for felting, and that’s supposedly not a very good thing for spinning. I found the brown fleece surprisingly easy to work with though, and it ended up more even than the white, and also the the first, yarn I spun. (Which might be the biggest reason it’s slightly more wonky than my second try!)
I did also get around to using that dark brown wool the way it was intended. About the same time last summer, I decided that the boy and I should make felted slippers for the grandparents. I’ve felted several times before, quite a long time ago, but I convinced myself that 1. I remembered how to do it, and 2. It couldn’t really be that hard, could it?
It wasn’t terribly hard, no, but took quite a lot of effort and time before they were all done, not to mention guidance from my mom, who actually did know and remember how to do this.
We made patterns for the slippers out of linoleum, and then set up shop outside in the yard. Then followed several hours of folding sheets of carded wool around the linoleum shape, careful patting, lots and lots of warm, soapy water, and vigorous rubbing. It smelled really good though – the soap we used has the aroma of fresh pine needles! (I’m sure there are some fresh pine needles in the soap itself too.)
The slippers started out really big, and the more you rub, the more felted they become – which also means the wool gets denser and the whole project shrinks in size. As the slippers got more firm, we could bust out some old-style washing boards, and really get down to business!
To get the color on the outside of the slippers, we put down some lengths of yarn in a random pattern at the very beginning, before covering the linoleum with the brown fleece. Since the slippers get turned inside out about halfway through the process, it was really exciting to see how the design turned out! Wool can be a bit slippery against some floors, so to finish off the slippers, I cut out and hand-stitched on soles, made of sueded leather.