Since Lloyd's getting three Alpacas I thought I should learn how to do something with their fleece when we get some, so today I went on a felting course down at Naturally Alpacas ( it's where we're getting the alpacas from) It was great!
Now, I have never ever done this before so I am a complete beginner. I am also very cack handed when I try something for the first time. I always put it down to being left handed but maybe that's just an excuse! Anyway, as part of the morning we were given a bag of beige y fleece, and lot of different bags of trimmings. I thought the amount of bits we were given was extremely generous ~ it was way more than enough to make something and still have a lot left over to take home. We were given the choice of making a sampler or a scarf. The four of us on the course all went for the scarf option as we wanted to take home something we could use.
The actual technique we learned today was pretty straightforward, however what you need is practice ( or what I most certainly need!) to make nice edges and a uniform thickness and just general experience to know what will work. I'm really pleased with what I made today and also really surprised by how the 'things' you need to do felting are all totally inexpensive. Like a piece of net curtain from an op shop, bubble wrap, a broom handle, an old milk bottle, soap flakes, a towel and a long table - that's it! Then of course you need your fibres. But there's nothing technical, like you need for some other crafts. It's really good.
these were from one of the bags of fibres we were given
this is after 2 layers of alpaca fleece were laid out then the patterns laid out on top. It looks quite thick at this stage
then you sprinkle some soap flakes on it then wrap it up in the netting and wet it with fairly hot water and squish it flat
After that a bit of rolling is in order!
Then there's some more rolling and some washing and some throwing around! In the end you have a scarf! Amazing!
I loved it. There's another course on how to do the felting with fabric attached, so I've booked myself on to that one too. I bought a couple of bags of white alpaca fleece because I spied a lovely wrap that Christine ( the lady who owns the place with her husband ) had made that I loved and I want to try and make something like it - when I say like I obviously mean like in colour only!