These are my first makes for 2020. The blue scarf I made on New Year’s day and the pink one I made the day after.
Believe it or not, it takes just as long to make one of these scarves as it does a normal scarf. Now that they are dried and pressed, I still have to go back into them to trim out some fibers I don’t want. I was inspired to try this method of making a scarf by the book Fabulous Felted Scarves by Chad Alice Hagen & Jorie Johnson and Felting Fashion by Lizzie Houghton. There isn’t a lot of printed matter out there about felting wearables. Although the scarf book might seem a bit outdated in their designs, you have to remember that they were originally published in 2007! The designs and techniques would have been considered innovative in the day. Believe it or not, this scarf was probably one of the easiest ones to make, though none the less time consuming. Feltmaking has come along since then, and although they mention using a sander, even then, it wasn’t part of the normal felting process and used only on certain projects. Since I have discovered the sander for felting (you know what I mean), I have saved a lot of time rolling and massaging, although you never totally get away from it. Interestingly, I actually like a bit of rolling and massaging as I like to feel how things are coming along.
These scarves started out as two meters long (the length of my table extended) by 9.5 inches. I have a checked plastic tablecloth that I purchased to assist with the layout of my shawls and scarves as I can draw lines directly on the plastic. The grids on the tablecloth make it easy to lay out the lines. Making these scarves is a good way of getting rid of leftover bits of wool that you don’t have enough to make any one thing with. For the pink scarf, I made up some roving batts on the blending board in various shades of crazy pinks I had from a mixed bag. Only one layer is required. The scarf is very light weight as one would expect from something that was made with one layer of wool and lots of holes, but it is also very warm. It wraps very easily around the neck and folds up to nothing. Once you have mastered the technique, it can then be incorporated into other projects. You can make it smaller as a head wrap or larger to make a shawl.
In Lizzie Houghton’s book, Felting Fashion, she incorporates fabric into her network felt. I love the idea of this for a whole host of reasons. Nuno felting the neck cowls has taken the fear of felting into the unknown to something that I want to do over and over, and not just with wearables. Now that I have an idea of what the fabric will do when combined with wool, I am inspired to create some paintings. I think 2020 will see me having more adventures with felt.