Seize the day

I was supposed to be teaching this weekend – a course on land restoration and habitat creation. Sadly, it had to be cancelled and I was left with three empty days, Not that my days are ever really empty, but I was very conscious that some time had appeared that would otherwise have been filled with teaching and I was keen not to let it slip away. Happily, I got the chance to go on a  felting course today… an opportunity too good to miss.

So, I have been making felt slippers at Denmark Farm Conservation Centre with Lorraine Pocklington of Greenweeds. In fact, it’s a course that I have done before, but a girl can never have too many pairs of slippers and I knew that I would really enjoy myself. So the day was seized and there’s now a soggy pair of handmade slippers drying in our bath!

We started off by selecting the wool that we wanted to use: Masham, Texel, Gotland, Icelandic or Hebridean, all produced in Britain so not many yarn miles!

A selection of undyed, British wools

A selection of undyed, British wools

Then we made our resists (the thing that goes in the middle or your felt to stop the two sides sticking together and allowing you to make three-dimensional objects without the need for seams). Once you have a resist, you build up layers of fiber around it, using water and soap and then you begin to felt.

The felting begins

The felting begins

You rub the fibres to encourage them to mat together, and once they have started to develop a structure, you keep on working them to form the felt. Today we rolled our felt in bamboo mats to achieve this

Bootee slippers still joined as a pair about to be rolled up in a bamboo mat

Bootee slippers, still joined together, about to be rolled up in a bamboo mat

And eventually, you form two slippers and mold them around your feet… or get a friend to do it!

Felting to fit your feet

Felting to fit your feet

Get a friend to help!

Get a friend to help!

And at the end of the day, we all ended up with at least one completed slipper!

Lovely slippers - mine ore front left

Lovely slippers – mine are front left

Since I had the advantage of having done the course before, I finished both mine: Gotland exterior, Texel Interior with decorations using some scraps of yarn from Colinette. What a productive and satisfying day.

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10 Comments

  1. What a productive day and what distinctive gifts these would make.
    xxx Hugs xxx

    Reply
  2. I love the slippers – and especially the low yarn miles! There’s something especially satisfying in making things for yourself, isn’t there? 🙂
    A couple of my friends have recently got the felting bug, and they’ve already produced some lovely things – i can’t wait to see what they’ll make next 🙂

    Reply
    • Felting has to be one of my favourite crafts – I love being able to make three-dimensional objects without any seams. Next year, I am hoping to attend a class in which we will make a garment… I think this would be a great achievement.

      Reply
  3. sarahfoto

     /  October 14, 2013

    I would love to try that! They look great.

    Reply
    • It is such good fun – and I’m gradually getting more confident, so this time’s slippers are better than last. Plus, my teacher – Lorraine Pocklington of Greenweeds – is fabulous!

      Reply
  4. very nice slippers 🙂

    Reply
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