We had another fabulous workshop this week at East End Arts… I’m always amazed… I had a mix of experienced fiber artists and a few new to the craft, and one scarf was just as inspiring and beautiful as the next… so as promised, I wanted to recap for everyone what we explored during class so you can refresh when you’re all ready to start ruffle scarf #2, if you haven’t already…
We spoke about the fundamentals of laying out the fibers and why we lay them in the directions that we do for this particular project. First step, lay down your bubble wrap, can’t forget that! Bubble side up for the bottom and then bubble side down for the top sheet (but that’s not until later). For the center of our scarf, we started by pulling thin, wide tufts of extra fine merino and placed them horizontally until we reached our desired length for the scarf (for our first scarf we measured approximately 52 inches). Then a second layer going vertically. Whether we decide we want our ruffle to be wispy or on the thicker side, our center should be stronger and solid, not “thick” necessarily, but at least a bit more solid than the ruffle. After the center panel was laid out, we started working on our ruffle. The ruffle fibers were placed outward from the center body. Turning the corners and continuing along the sides. After we completed our first trip of ruffle fibers around the center, we revisited thinner areas filling them in as needed. The final layer was placed the same as the very first layer, horizontally across the full length of the scarf. We did this to neaten and hide the inside ruffle edges. Note: if you opt for a solid colored ruffle scarf, you should still place that third and final layer across the center body. After the body and the ruffle are laid out, we then added our designs and finishing touches.
After these steps were completed, it was time to spray. We sprayed our fibers to set them in place before we started to sprinkle them generously with water. The next step was to press the scarf between our 2 layers of bubble wrap, spreading the water throughout the fibers and getting ready to give our scarf a nice massage (tip: remember to sprinkle the actual bubble wrap with a little soapy water to allow your hands to slide around with ease). Spending 30 minutes or so rubbing the fibers between the bubble wrap, we then rolled, about 100 times. Checking the piece, flipping it over, rolling for another 100… Repeating this rolling process a few more times. The final step was to rinse out the soapy water, and then our favorite part? Throwing it on the table (or floor) 5 times or so, to shock those fibers into place. Lay flat to dry shaping the ruffles in between your fingers for a little extra curve.
A great resource for extra fine merino is New England Felting Supply, the link is on the right side of my blog. Here’s a link for the actual page, but you may want to roam around their site, they’re a real one stop shop… I would order around 8 ounces in total for this scarf. If you have any questions before you start, please email me. If not, happy felting and thank you for inspiring me too! See you all in the next class!