Well – what else is there to do on a rainy weekend at the beginning of July? I have tried my hand at most crafts but always been a bit scared of wet felting ………………. it looks sooooo complicated! As I sell fairies, elves and lots of other worldly stuff on my stall at Festivals I thought it would be fun to have a go at wet felting a Pixie Hat! Now I have done it I shall certainly make more – I really have the wet felting bug! So, inbetween sewing, embroidering, making leads and trolley covers, soft toys for the grandchildren and snuggle tunnels for the dogs …………. I can be found making a mess of the kitchen with my wet felting. Here is how I did it – hope you enjoy it as much as I did!!
First, I started with a pile of Merino Wool Batts. I chose the colours and placed them in the order I wanted to use them.
I cut out a “resist” shape from 2 old plastic file covers. This stops the 2 sides of the hat from felting together during the felting process. I laid some bubble wrap on the table, then a layer of net, then the resist. Then I laid my first layer of wool on the first side
Then I sprayed it with hot soapy water and gently pressed the fibres down to start the “felting” process
Then I covered that side with a net and turned it over
I carefully smoothed the overlap over the edges of the resist so that we don’t get a bulky seam when it felts. Then I covered the second side with 3 layers of wool and soaped it. Both sides had 3 layers.
When the overlap was smoothed, I set about “felting”. The action of making the fibres rub together and become enmeshed to form a strong felt. Now you can see how the net is useful in keeping the wool in place while I rub the surface, wet, rub, wet some more, rub, riub, rub …….. drink some coffee, rub some more ….
Then I rolled the whole thing round a rolling pin and started rolling on the bubble wrap to further felt and shrink it …… see the coffee cup? That kept me going. 25 rols and turn, 25 rolls and turn, 25 rolls and turn ……………….
Finally it is in a soft felt state which you can tell by pinching it. It was now ready to be rinsed and to remove the resist from inside so I could rinse and shrink it further. See how big it still is?
Then for the fun – hot water, cold water, hot water, cold water – rinsing and shocking the fibres to make them felt and shrink, felt and shrink. Then throw it hard in the sink a few times to shrink it even more
Finally it is ready to be shaped and dried. I do not have a pixie sized hat block so the plastic measuring jug provided the perfect model. I tied it on with some old ribbon to keep it in place
And then placed it on a towel in the back of my car to dry for 24 hours
When dry, it was ready to be shaped further and trimmed
Starting to shape up
Then, as is usual in our crazy house, it dried out a bit more with the bread cooling ……
Finally, it is COMPLETE!!!! Tada! Just waiting for a Pixie to come along and steal it ……..
Hope you enjoyed this as much as I did!!