Many of the projects that have come to my attention recently have involved re-using and re-purposing old things you don’t want anymore.
Some of those particular projects involve making items like mittens and hats out of felted wool, which is easy to make and fun. When natural fibres such as wool are washed and rubbed against each other, the fibres shrink and separate, tangling with other fibres, creating the thick, durable material we know as felt.
Take yourself some old sweaters. Sweaters that are 100% wool (or merino, angora, cashmere, etc., all the natural animal fibre ones) work the best, but I experimented with two orange sweaters which were 90% wool and 10% nylon. I picked up most of these at Value Village.Chuck them into your washing machine and wash them in HOT water. Just make sure you turn all the knobs back when you’re done so the next person doesn’t accidentally shrink all their clothes in the next load!
I managed to produce a large ball of wet sweater babies when I cleaned out the washing machine.Pop them in the dryer when you’re done and when they’re dry they should be felted. You may have to do this more than once if your sweaters are loosely knit, just to get all the fibres tangled up with each other. If you can cut into the sweater without it unraveling or fraying then you have successfully felted your wool.
Stay tuned for all the fun things I plan to make out of these!