In the last couple weeks, the chairperson of the charity organization I belong to called me. Some nice person had donated wool to our group. Most of the time people donate yarn. Often it is of their own stash that they just don’t have the time or have lost interest in yarn arts. In Hat Huggers we take that yarn and knit, crochet, or loom knit items for the needy. But wool, straight off the sheep?

Ms. Carol (chairperson) has had sheep and recognized that the wool was in a ‘rolag’. Yeah. I thought, whatever that is. Quickly my brain dismissed the word. I kept calling it a hank of wool. But all of this sent me on an educational adventure. I soon learned, though not solid in my understanding (feel free to correct my definition) that the rolag is the first level of refinement after being sheered and washed. It is like a long rope of wool. There are still bits of hayseed and knots of wool. Apparently, this wool had been of several cuttings so some parts are shorter than others. This makes it a bad candidate for spinning. So Carol wondered if I would be willing to learn about felting. Would I? Of Course!

I have been very busy since finding books, or YouTubes, or Pins of felting. The more I read and watched the more excited I was to give it a try. Think molding with clay without the mess!

Carol gave the mass another washing and even put it through her carding machine. I think that makes it a batting or roving. I think batting because the bag of wool she gave me had a lot of seeds and stuff in it. I couldn’t wait to get started felting so I followed instructions of Sleepy Mice. They are so adorable! BUT

BUT I don’t have the tool she uses to wind the wool around. I used something similar to a chop-stick. I got the head and body too far apart. Now that I look at it, it looks more like a seahorse.

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This is just the core as this level of wool is too rough and. well, ugly to use for the finished product. I’ll be getting some nice roving on Wednesday to finish this guy.

Meanwhile, I have a bag full of the rolag that just feels awful. I have no carding machine, not even the hand carders or even dog brushes that can work in a pinch. But I have short hair and in no need for a couple of brushes I used to use on my long hair. So I improvised and have been carding all day.

That first bag (left) is the rolag as Carol gave it to me. The brushes follow. I pulled out a couple of the puffs of wool I had carded and the bag on the right is what I carded today. I think it is enough to start another needle felting project. I want to try the mice but I saw a simpler rabbit that might be better for a first project. I am hooked! Even if we never get wool donated again, I will keep trying my hand and maybe even sell my projects to support my habit. 🙂

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By the way, I am still in love with loom knitting and looking for ways to incorporate both hobbies. It has been a fun busy summer.