Monday, April 20, 2009

Make a Mossy Felted Rock

The fairy girl and the sea captain are posing on a fence next to some mossy felted rocks. Here's how to make one. Start with some dyed wool roving. Many knit shops carry roving now for people doing needle felting, but you can also order roving online. Ashford, a New Zealand company, might be a good place to start. They make spinning wheels and looms and many colors of New Zealand dyed wool.

You also need some dish washing soap, and some water in bowls: we put out a bowl of hot water, (the children are going to put their hands in it, so it mustn't be too hot,) a bowl of cold water, and a bowl for filling the water rocket.

You also need some nice smooth rocks. We collected these on the beach.

The children are picking out the rock they want.

Pick the colors of roving you want. A mixture of greens is nice for a mossy rock. Tease the fibers apart a bit. That will help them to interlock with the other pieces of wool. Start to wind the wool around your rock in every direction until it is covered the way you want.

Now carefully put the covered rock in a piece of stocking, like this mother is doing,

and fasten it in tightly with a rubber band.

Time to wash them in the hot water! Use lots of soap and pretend you have been playing with mud pies all afternoon. Wash, wash, wash and scrub, scrub, scrub. Do this for a while.

As you wash and scrub, the fibers of wool will start to grab onto one another and make felt.

Rinse and scrub some more in cold water. A parent can give the felt a good "shock", which accelerates the felting, by running it under even hotter water in the sink, and then some cold water.

Now take the mossy rock out of the stocking. The fibers should be well stuck together. If some pieces are sticking up, that's okay, that's like real moss. But if you want it smoother, you can felt it more.

Your mossy rock probably still needs rinsing. Rinse and squeeze, rinse and squeeze in cold water. Change the water when it gets too soapy.

After they dry you can play with the mossy rocks and make a scene. Here is the sea captain and the fairy sitting on some mossy rocks having a chat.

If you like these tiny little people and want to make some yourself, read Sally Mavor's wonderful book, Felt Wee Folk.

1 comment:

5 orange potatoes said...

Fantastic tutorial on this process! I have been wanting to make cat toys, a felted ball with a bell inside, I am not very experienced with the process so this really helps. Thanks so much for your wonderful blog. It really is a gem in the blogworld!