I recently purchased some wonderful Gotland locks from Zara (Tuulikki Rooke) in Sweden. I know that quite a few others from the forum purchased some as well. But it seems everyone is holding back from using the locks because they are so nice. I have used locks as embellishments many times but I haven’t made a piece with mainly locks. So I thought I would show how I did it and also count this as my fourth quarter challenge piece since it is naturally monochromatic.
Here is my pile of locks. I ended up using about half of them. The original layout size was about 15″ x 20″.
I first laid out one layer of mixed 56’s. Not sure why I only did one layer as I should have just started with two.
Then I carefully separated my locks and put the cut end towards the white wool leaving the other ends loose. I gently patted the cut ends into the white wool. I also used a very small amount of white wool to cover the cut ends. This was to make sure the locks would hold. This step was totally unnecessary. I think the locks would have felted very easily without these extra wisps and it might have allowed more of the loose locks to stay loose.
I kept adding layers of locks. I didn’t try to put strips of plastic between each row of locks. That might have helped keep the ends loose but seemed too fiddly for me.
And here is the complete layout.
I then flipped the whole thing over and added another layer of white wool on the back side going in the opposite direction.
Then I covered the wool with another piece of nylon curtain and wet it down with warm, soapy water.
I added a bit more soap and gently rubbed the back side. I removed the top layer of nylon curtain quickly and things were already starting to hold together.
I flipped the piece over after the first rubbing to see if the locks were staying loose.
I teased up the ends that were sticking down. Only a few came loose as I was doing this. Most had already felted in very well.
I then flipped it back over and kept rubbing on the back with soapy hands. After it was holding together really well, I soaked it in hot water and threw it on to the white side for a bit. I also rubbed the white side together between my hands to finish fulling it.
And here is how it came out. The entire piece is on the left and a close up on the right.
This is the back side on the left and a closer view on the right. The Gotland fibers had no problem at all felting into the white wool. The piece is fairly thick even though I only did two thin layers of white wool. And it’s monochromatic so it is perfect for this quarter’s challenge. I may make it into a Kindle cover but I haven’t decided yet. Have you got some locks waiting to be felted? Why don’t you give it a try. I would love to see what you create.