Although I haven’t felted anything for nearly a week, I did manage to make up some felting batts in that time. I had bought a very large batch of Botany Waste from World of Wool quite some time ago. One of my guild friends suggested doing that. From a spinning point of view, I can see the benefit of doing that, but I have doubts about it from a felting point of view. I ended up with a lot of black and natural colors. Not what I was hoping for. It was mostly Merino. Once I was able to sort it all out, I was left with a small bag full of mixed up fibers. I wish I had taken a photo of it before I turned it into batts. It was a mixture of blue, black, teal, purple and some other natural colors. There was no way to separate all the different colors. It was just a hot mess. I thought I would ultimately use it to make dryer balls, but it was very soft and I decided to make some batts from it instead.
I ended up with 4 batts in 2 different colorways. I forgot to take a photo of the other two batts. As you can see here, the linking color is the pink and light color. Two batts are not long enough to make a neck warmer. They are roughly 11.5 inches square and will shrink down. They tend to shrink more in length than in width and I prefer to have a width of less than 9 inches. This is actually the second scarf I made, so I will show you this one first as both scarves started the same way. I cut these batts in two, straight down the middle. I then alternated them. I left the stripes going vertical. Here is the layout below.
I have my dining room table back to normal size and this is just about 4.5 feet. The batts laid out were about 4 feet. To tie it all together, I laid out similar colors in Merino. You now can’t even tell what is underneath. I then added sari silk fibers on top. I put some net on, then bubble-wrap and then flipped the whole thing over. The fibers on the back did not go on the blending board nicely as the wool was tangled up. Sometimes dragging the wool on the blending board can tease it out or you can card it through, but because this side was on the horizontal it was a bit more challenging. I always flip my work over to tidy up the batts as there can be gaps. I added royal blue merino on the back and let it slightly overhang. Sorry, no photo. So, the batts are laid out on the blending board vertically and then a layer on the horizontal. Here the design is on the vertical, so the back was horizontal. My blue was laid out on the vertical. Total of 4 thin layers. I flipped it back over, wet it out, rubbed, rolled and fulled. This is what I got.
A long skinny scarf. I had no shrinkage on the length. It took a while to full down. The top layer almost didn’t want to felt. I have this mystery fiber in the middle layer, but it eventually all came together. By overlapping the blue on the back, I got a nice little blue edge on the front. I took these photos before ironing. However, I quite like the texture of it as it looks like mini landscapes in sections.
The next scarf (the first scarf) was laid out similar, but with the top layer on the horizontal. I had to add some extra wool on the back and used the mystery wool that I don’t know what the composition is.
This small piece of wool was also in the botany batch and is what I am guessing was in the hot mess of fibers I used to make batts. You can see how it has felted. It is very soft, softer than my superfine merino, but these white fibers are like little hairs. I kept thinking it was like dog hair, but the dogs aren’t allowed in the dining room! There was a bit of migration. Here is how the scarf turned out. I haven’t ironed it and most likely won’t as I really like the texture of it.
The neck warmer measures about 26 inches and it came out pretty much the way I wanted it to.
Here is a close-up of the fibers. The rust colored fiber is Merino mixed with Angelina from the Glitzy range at World of Wool. I just added a little bit to give the neck warmer some bling. There was rust and teal mixed in with the hot mess and I just added a bit more of the colors to tie the batts together. I then added some sari silk fibers. I had to full this scarf to every inch of it’s life before it got too hard. It is very soft and very light. The nice thing about using the felting batts is that you can get a much finer layout than if you did it by hand as you are literally dragging fine wispy bits of fiber across the blending board. The top and bottom final layers are laid out very thin and are mainly to tie the batts together so you don’t see any joins and to tidy up the decoration.
I think I am done with scarves for awhile. Since my craft fair was postponed, I have quite a collection of scarves, neck warmers, shawls and hats. I am going to have a go at accessories next!