Carding some Wool and Making some Felted Soap

After I dyed my wool last week I had to recard it into batts. I have to do this because it became slightly felted during the rinsing process after dying. I have to rinse a lot more than some people because I have hard water. It doesn’t matter if I use a little dye for soft muted colour or lots of dye for strong bright colours.  To recard the fiber, I strip it down into thin ropes. I feed the ropes into the carder. I have a large electric carder but you can do this with a small hand operated drum carder too. I have in the past. I am sorry to say that yesterday I took a nice long video of the carder working but it has disappeared from my phone.  All I have are a few still shots.

Carder This is the carder and infeed table. They are in my nice new studio space. It is all by itself at the moment until I can get the rest of my stuff sorted and my husband can finish the electrical work.

wool in strips carder batt end

Here are the strips on the infeed table and the batt coming off onto the storage drum. I do feed the wool through twice as the first time it is still a bit stripy in density . I separate the batt into thin layers and feed it in again.  I end up with very nice batts.

finnished batts These are all a little less than 100grams/3.5ounses. I used them to make some felted soaps. I tear off a piece of batt and wrap it around the soap. I add a wool stripe or a piece of silk hanky and then pop them into the toe of a nylon. When I have a bunch ready I sit with an audio book and wet felt them all.

soap felted 2

Here they are all ready to go in their nice bright spring/Easter colours.

I am starting to feel like spring with the longer day light hours we are getting. it puts me more in a mood to be felting.  I would feel more  like spring if there wasn’t  still a couple of feet of snow on my lawn. I am however thankful I do not live in the Prince Edward Island on the east coast of Canada . They have had 16 feet of snow in the last two months the last being just a few days ago. I am sure they feel like spring will never come. Are you feeling like spring? Or perhaps you are in the southern hemisphere and are starting to feel like winter is coming?

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14 Responses to Carding some Wool and Making some Felted Soap

  1. Lyn says:

    Definitely spring here – mostly sunny and breezy and my garden is bright with camellias, daffodils, tulips, primroses, grape hyacinths and magnolia buds just showing their pink tips.

    I know I’ve said this before, but what a magnificent carder! Would love to see more photos of your new studio space.

    Your batts are the pretty colours of spring – the green reminds me new leaves on trees.

    • Our west coast gets spring first. We have patches of brown grass and that’s about it. we have a high of 4c/39f.
      There isn’t much to see in the room . It is just a rectangle. It is exactly the same space as I have but it has been painted top to bottom. It gives me a chance to rearrange where things are.

  2. luvswool says:

    We are not seeing signs of Spring in Chicago, sad to say. We have mostly been around freezing temperatures with half a foot of snow falling last week. No flowers, very little greenery.

    On the other hand, your bright felted soap cheered my day! My experience with felting soap a couple of years ago was that there wasn’t much soap left after the felting process. Perhaps I will give it another go, inspired by your lovely photo.

    • I don’t think its fair that Ruth is further in to spring than we are. find a nice hard soap. Fresh soap disappears to fast. put it in a nylon to hold it all together when you start. It makes it much easier. I am glad my soap cheered your day.

  3. ruthlane says:

    Your soaps definitely give the feeling of spring. Sorry to hear about your video vanishing. That is not good.

    It has been up and down here. At least most of the snow is gone and my daffodil leaves are poking up out of the ground. No blooms but it is feeling more like spring.

    • It is melting fast here. I am sure we will get to spring soon. The soap will go to the museum store this weekend. She wanted them for Easter. The last batch I took 2 sold before we could finish our paperwork.

  4. Marilyn aka Pandagirl says:

    Your soaps and batts are the only sign of spring here at the moment. Thanks for sharing them! Maybe next week.

  5. koffipot says:

    A new studio Ann, how exciting. 🙂 Your soaps look very pretty and springlike.

    I’ve been rearranging my small workspace which looks much better, perhaps just because it’s tidy!
    I love Spring, watching the garden come back to life and the birds nest building. Then there’s the downside – lawn cutting has started! 🙂

    • It is exiting but not really a big move. The building I am in is divided into 4 rooms all the same, I am moving one over. The nice thing is it has new wood on the walls and it got painted. Right now I am hiding the old walls with sheets. I can hopefully make a good job arraigning it as I move things in.

  6. zararooke says:

    Wow! That carder looks terrific – and the soaps look great to. Such chearful colours would make anyone happy.

    We thought we were having an early spring here in Sweden. Yesterday about 50% of our lawn was visible, the rest still covered by snow and ice. But today we woke up to winter again – 15 cm of snow and it’s still snowing heavily.

    • Thank you Zara. I am hoping people will buy them up for Easter. I spoke to soon, it’s been snowing all day here and all my dead grass is hiding again. Not as bad as you. only 2 or 3 cm.

  7. zedster66 says:

    That’s a shame about the video, Ann. The pictures are nice, though. I have similar experiences with felting soap as Cathy. The last time I did soap was better and they did feel harder, so I’ll remember that.
    We barely got any Winter here, it was up to 14C some days. It was very windy yesterday, I bet the birds are happy today, lots of sticks for their nests.

    • I have a friend coming to do some carding this weekend if the weather cooperates and I will try again for a video.
      You do need a nice hard soap. Yardley Lavender works well. Having it in the nylon really helps a lot. When you first wet it the wool gets all floppy and hard to keep in place without the nylon to contain it.
      14c I am jealous.

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