You may remember that I promised to post (especially for Fiona!) a felt brooch tutotial, these were was what all of us in Feltmakers Ireland were teaching during the ‘Learning Curve’ sessions at the Knitting and Stitching Show in Dublin last week. Thanks Holly for giving me permission to share your instructions, here they are in my own words as an abbriviated list, I am assuming that everyone knows how to lay out the fibre but if not please refer to my basic flat felt instructions over on the tutorial page. For these brooches we worked between bubble wrap and used beautiful short fibre merino batts, of course you could use tops/roving but the batts are just so quick and easy it’s not funny! Anyway, don’t be afraid to experiment with the dimensions and fibres/fabric that you use, here is the process …..
- Lay out a 10cm (4″) square of one colour, wet out with soapy water and fold in the edges to make more even, put aside.
- Lay out an 8cm (3″) square of a complimentary or contrasting colour, wet out and fold in the edges as above.
- Place the smaller square on top of the larger and position a round or oval resist on top somewhere making sure to leave some space around the outside to allow you to trap it completely with wool. For my resists I like laminate floor underlay best but any kind of flexible plastic eg. bubble wrap is fine.
- Cover the resist totally with a couple of layers of wool, add in blobs of other colours randomly remembering that a clashing colour often provides an interesting point of contrast.
- Place a piece of fabric on top, we used muslin or scrim, and lightly wet.
- Roll a few little pieces of merino in your fingers and position them as surface decoration, circles or crosses look good I think.
- Rub your brooch between the two layers of bubble wrap for 5 minutes on side one, 5 on side two and 5 on side one again. For the purpose of the workshop I just asked everyone to count out 300 rubs X 3, easy peasy! Just check once or twice to make sure that it is both soapy and wet.
- After 300 rubs remove the brooch from the plastic and rub it in your hands. If you are using the short fibred merino you can get quite aggressive at this stage, it only will take a few minutes to full and finish it.
- Once it has shrunk by about 1/3 cut a small cross into the top of where you positioned your resist, push and seal the cut edges outwards with your fingers.
- Remove the resist, rinse and stretch the brooch into shape.
- Stitch on a brooch back and wear with pride!
On a larger scale and with a different design these pieces make wonderful framed landscapes, pressies anyone???