Monday, February 16, 2015

unexpected holiday

What girl failed to realize that it was a federal holiday today and thus (courts being closed and all), she might have a day off from work?

This girl!

The full timers in the office forgot to tell me that they had decided to close today. Luckily I woke up this morning thinking that it might be a good idea to get confirmation either way about the office being open, clearly proof that my subconscious is looking out for me.

So what to do with an unexpected holiday, but mess around with wool all day? My parents came over yesterday, and while my father and Secondo prepared some delicious swiss steak, my mom and I experimented with the Artfelt paper that she took a class in at Vogue Knitting Live.

The idea of Artfelt is that you can produce a felt with less effort than needle or wet felting. The Artfelt product resembles interfacing, such as you would use in sewing. You lightly needlefelt the wool onto it, wet it, then wrap it in plastic, put it into pantyhose and toss it in the dryer. Once your desired level of felting is achieved, the Artfelt paper is dissolved using boiling water. 

Two of my experimental squares, ready for dunking. The Artfelt class recommended their merino combed top, and it does produce a lovely smooth product. Since Coopworth wool is the focus around here, I wanted to see how it worked. 

The answer: not too bad, but some further experimentation will be required.

I did manage to produce this lovely wool rose, which for some reason I have been dreaming about doing ever since my mother described the Artfelt product to me. I think it would make a lovely pin but the leaves are still wet, so it isn't sewn together yet.

The felting work continued with cat toys and soaps. I have a new gig starting this Thursday, at the Princeton Farmers' Market in the Princeton Library. Just once a month for three months, so it seems manageable, and I figure whatever doesn't sell there will be ready to go for Maryland at the beginning of May. 

The scent of Yardley soaps is now inextricably linked in my mind to fiber festival preparation. The soaps wrapped and ready to go into the bath...

And after some dunking and scrubbing.

Another snowstorm tomorrow means more time to get another batch done, though it is going to be hard getting them dried in time for the market on Thursday. The sun does such a good job! The oven is a poor substitute, and then it smells like soap the next few times I turn it on, not a great scent when getting ready to bake.

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