Introduction to Wet Felting at The Fold

A couple of months ago while shopping at The Fold in Marengo, IL, owner Toni Neil asked me if I’d be interested in teaching a wet felting class.  Many of the people who shop there are knitters, crocheters and spinners and she said they were curious about the felting. I agreed and we settled on November 1, class size and I provided her with a class description and supply list along with a list of the items I would be supplying.

I always think when taking a beginners class it’s nice to come home with something you can either use or show people, so I chose to make a place mat.  In preparation, I made a couple as examples and gathered some other samples to show how embellishments can be used.  I also brought along, yarns, prefelt, and some silk for embellishments.

2014-11-02 14.40

I provided a pool noodle, bubble wrap, a template, a piece of polyester curtain fabric for each student and gathered up my samples and other tools to discuss as we worked. In addition, I printed out flyers for the forum, a resource list and a general step by step guide to basic wet felting for future reference.

preparation

The class was held in Toni’s kitchen at The Fold which was comfortable for four people. Unfortunately, they had to turn away a fifth, but I don’t know where we would have put another body.

I was surprised to learn that a couple of the ladies had come from as far away as Beloit, WI and Highland Park, IL which is an hour and half away.  The other two lived closer to me.

layout 3_edited-1

The kitchen was nice and bright.  So sunny, pictures were a little hard to get.

laying out lay out 2

The one thing I learned is that they would have preferred to not have choices as to design.   However, I’m never one to squash the creativity of a group and as it turned out they helped each other and while they followed basic designs they added their own creative touches.

Toni M (not the owner) finished first and was pleased with her first project and decided she liked her organic edges.

Toni

Dana brought some beautiful Churro yarn she’d purchased from New Mexico and made her mat a bit more abstract with a lovely turquoise background.

Dana

Carolynne purchased her roving and yarn to match at The Fold with the intention making an additional five mats of the same design which featured the stripes and abstract yarn design.

Carolynne

Since Candace had just purchased all the merino sheep from The Fold, she chose to feature a sheep on her design that she cut out from prefelt and used yarn for a fence, silk for clouds and some roving for grass.

Candace and sheep

They were all pleased with their place mats.  We worked hard, but had a good time.  Now these knitters, crocheters, spinner and weaver have a new tool in their fiber kits!  I hope they will continue to experiment and join us on the forum.  For more information on The Fold check out their website http://www.thefoldatmc.net

I haven’t taught a class in a long time.  I was tired, but a good tired and had fun meeting new people and sharing my passion with them.

 

 

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20 Responses to Introduction to Wet Felting at The Fold

  1. Lyn says:

    I think four students is enough – very tiring!
    You’re right about too much choice – when I go to a workshop it’s the choice that slows me down. I dither around when I should be making.
    The placemat with the sheep on it deserves to be hung on a wall and not hidden under a plate.

    Good idea having a workshop in a kitchen – you’re never too far from tea and biccies!

    • Marilyn aka Pandagirl says:

      Lyn, I thought having a few examples was better than staring at a blank canvas so to speak. It all worked out. They used the basics to do their own thing and we’re happy with the results. You’re right about the sheep mat. I hope she does decide to hang it. We were so busy we didn’t even think about eating or drinking even though there was coffee on the counter and water nearby. 🙂

  2. jane dolan says:

    Well done you all. Looks like a delightful place, happy class, and good results. Hard to limit choice, but perhaps when you are starting it might make it easier?

    Agree with Lyn that having tea/coffee and biscuits close to hand is an added bonus 🙂

    • Marilyn aka Pandagirl says:

      Thanks Jane! It was a pleasant space and friendly people. I thought I had provided simple enough samples to follow, if necessary. I’ve been in classes for other things where the instructor has everyone do the same thing and there is always one person who takes off on her own. You never know. As long as they were happy, it worked well. 🙂

  3. shadyrr says:

    When and If I get enough experience I would love to teach – I teach gardening classes and sharing knowledge is so rewarding. Your instructions must be great because all the mats looked to be well done. Thanks for sharing.

    • Marilyn aka Pandagirl says:

      Thanks Frances! Teaching is very rewarding and fun when you get a good group. The class was small enough I was able to give each one personal attention.

  4. luvswool says:

    Kudos to you, Marilyn, for introducing the joys of felting to four new people! Teaching can be tiring–and sometimes frustrating–but so rewarding in the end. Great results, too!

    • Marilyn aka Pandagirl says:

      Thanks Cathy! I’m hoping to build our own felting community in the Chicagoland! 🙂

  5. Looks like everyone enjoyed this class and they can always build on their skills if they wish.

    • Marilyn aka Pandagirl says:

      Thanks Judy! I hope they do continue to felt. They asked if I’d be teaching more classes so I hope to see them again.

  6. ruthlane says:

    Congrats on your foray into teaching felting Marilyn. I enjoy teaching and I find it is better to have smaller classes than larger ones. Looks like they all enjoyed it and you’re right, this is a good way to get others into felting and developing a “felting group” in your area.

  7. Marilyn aka Pandagirl says:

    Thanks Ruth! I agree smaller is better and teaching is fun! A felting group in our area would definitely be a plus.

  8. Looks like a great class. I really enjoy teaching too. its great to see how people do different things with the same instructions.

  9. zedster66 says:

    It’s hard to believe none of them had felted before, those pieces are all excellent! I love Carolynne’s colour scheme. Well done, Marilyn, you must be a good teacher 🙂

  10. Marilyn aka Pandagirl says:

    Ahh. Gee, thanks Zed! I probably enjoyed it as much if not more than they did. I thought their projects turned out great for first timers.

  11. Judy says:

    Hello Marilyn, congratulation on teaching your felting class. All the students did great and had big smiles on there face.. I especially love the one with the sheep pictured on it.. I reckon you have the starting of a new wee group.. Smile.

    • Marilyn aka Pandagirl says:

      Thanks Judy! It was a nice group, a lot of good synergy. Perhaps I’ll teach another class in spring and they will return.

  12. Leonor says:

    Yay, Marilyn! I’m glad you enjoyed your teaching experience. It must be very daunting and rewarding to impart knowledge and hope the other part will take it in and make it their own…

    • Marilyn aka Pandagirl says:

      Thanks Leonor! It really is more rewarding than daunting. Getting organized was the dauntung part. :-). It was great to see they were all happy with their mats.

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