Tales of a Bad (Overconfident) Daughter

felt hollow (Small)

A tale of woe. A tale of overconfidence. A tale of yet again saying “how hard can it be?” only to find out that I should have read up on it a little more.

So. I saw this beautiful tutorial over at Kleas. Felted beads…so easy that the preschoolers were able to do them. I thought, this is great, these are gorgeous, I will make these for my mom, who always wears interesting necklaces to coordinate with her outfits.

Such is my confidence in my fiber-wrangling abilities, that I waited until Mother’s Day morning before starting this project. My friend Kristin came over to help (I also consider her a specialist in wool control). She made the puffs.

felt tufts (Small)

I wetted and rolled a puff with a tad of soap. Ok, maybe too much soap. I labored alone in the kitchen, whining and wheedling that this was taking longer than I thought it would, and that the snakes weren’t felting properly. And that jeez, this is not working! Kristin felt certain that I was doing it wrong, so she came to the rescue:

felt process (Small)

She had no more luck than I did. Our snakes never did get firm enough; one felt hollow in the middle and the other had a permanent slit up the side.

felt snakes (Small)

When we cut the beads up, they were not as pretty as I had hoped. Worse, they started falling apart almost immediately. I am not as talented as the preschoolers at that other blog!!

felt beads (Small)

I ended up giving my mom a baggie full of vaguely bead-looking fuzz stuff. Happy Mother’s Day from your not-so-talented daughter.

Zach kept teasing me that I should have glued them and some gold-painted macaroni to a piece of construction paper and told her the Boogedy made it for her.

My mother, bless her heart, oohed and aahed and tried to think of ways to salvage them and still use them.

A good mom praises a good effort.

7 Responses to “Tales of a Bad (Overconfident) Daughter”

  1. 1 Sonya May 14, 2009 at 7:57 pm

    OK, the key to felting is temperature change. Have one basin with hot soapy water (hot as you can stand) and one with cold. Dr. Bronner’s liquid castile soap is easier on the hands than dish washing soap. Dunk it the hot and soapy one, then roll, roll, roll between your palms, then PLUNGE into the cold and repeat. It will take a while, but after a while you will notice a subtle change, I liken it to the way that nipples or little boy babies scrotums’ retract in the cold. But that’s just me and it is already quite clear to you and your family that I’m weird.

  2. 2 painted fish studio May 14, 2009 at 8:55 pm

    what sonya said.

    i think that they are lovely, though! wet felting isn’t always as easy as it looks. i’ve made many a lopsided smurf butt felted balls in my time. but your beads are beautiful! and your mom, so sweet…

    whoooo boy, just read all of sonya’s instructions. she’s a hoot!

  3. 3 Kristin May 14, 2009 at 9:26 pm

    Awww, it WAS a good experiment!! Nice of your mom to be pleased with your effort.

  4. 4 Katerinka May 14, 2009 at 10:58 pm

    Wery good idea!!! I’ll try too 🙂
    My blog: http://jewelryhandmade.wordpress.com/

  5. 5 Marian May 15, 2009 at 8:02 am

    What your friends what tell you the truth? Those are homely beads. But they would make some kind of great felted sushi for the Tacky fridge magnet swap– Love you, Marian

  6. 6 kristin May 20, 2009 at 2:06 pm

    oh wow!! i think they’re beautiful!! although i can see there are places where the roving didn’t bind as well. sonya has good advice about using hot/cold, although with preschoolers, we opted out of that method(for obvious reasons) and the warm water worked just fine. two important steps for review are

    – by your photo, it looks like your puffs could be “puffier”. meaning, the more “air” between the roving, the easier the wool felts, by really separating the thicker chunks, i’m sure you’d see the difference.

    -the other thing is, when you wet the roving, begin rolling the wool between your palms, very lightly at first until the roving begins to bind. this would avoid the long broken seams that occur when you begin pressing your palms together too soon. it has a tendency to fold the wool as you’re rolling and once a section is felted before it’s a “snake” it will fold over and create this seam.

    this post helps me realize there’s work to be done on my explanation of the process, everyone certainly is coming from different experiences, i just may go back and do an edit. thanks for your post though! i hope you’ll give it another go 🙂 xx

  7. 7 smoothpebble May 23, 2009 at 1:24 pm

    I’m just laughing over Sonya’s description! Too too funny! It looks like “Iggy” attacked your thinking about the whole project.

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