In March Gabe's class at school studied fabric. How exciting - for me! tee hee We got to talk with Gabe about fabric all month (when I remembered), what materials fabric can be made from and what fabric can be made into. At some point Gabe told me that his teacher said he could bring the scarf I made him to school. While I pondered what else I could send as I have so very many examples of knitted fabrics in the house and made from many different fibers I remembered a tidbit of information I'd read somewhere on Ravelry. You can felt in your Kitchen Aid mixer. Seriously. Is your heart beating a little faster like mine did when I first read that? I'm sure it is!
So I thought of a little project for us to do at home. I had some yards of 100% wool left from a project I'd just finished so I knitted up two quick swatches:
On a "quiet" afternoon Gabe and I got our materials together: the swatches, my mixer, a teapot of hot water, a bowl of ice water, a washcloth, a towel, and tongs. Oh, and don't forget a very goofy Gabe.
Start by adding one swatch, the washcloth (for added friction) and some hot water to the mixer and, well, mix. Let it run for a few minutes then give the swatch a dunk in the ice water.
Back and forth from hot and cold water every few minutes until the swatch has felted about how much you like. Then roll in a dry towel and lay flat to dry.
In the end you can see how much the felted piece has changed (and I could have felted it more had I been more comfortable being on my feet). The felted piece is smaller, thinner, and the fibers are tight together instead of loose - no holes! I sent it to school with Gabe with a paper on how we made the felt complete with pictures and a note that his teacher could keep them for later years if she wanted. They haven't returned yet but I did receive a note back saying that Gabe did a great job of telling his classmates how we made the felt. Pretty cool I think. :)