Scarflette with Locks

Scarflette with Locks

I was inspired by Nada’s scarflette a while back and thought it would be a perfect way to use some of the locks I received from Zara.

I dyed some Merino, Corriedale, Romney and Cheviot wool along with some silk habatoi and silk mulberry using Silver Gray acid dye. Then made some batts with the wool and silk.


I pre-washed some of the locks using Zara’s method posted on the forum using netting and soaking.  I wasn’t sure what color I would use, but chose dark gray Gotland locks.


It was a simple scarf  layout, but not a simple process.  I had never used locks, so I wasn’t sure how to space the locks. I anticipated a 30% shrinkage.  I needle felted the locks between two layers of batts using similar sizes and shapes. I also wanted a silk nuno close to the skin. I wet down the batts then added the silk on the back then proceeded with felting being very careful not to let the locks migrate or felt.  I worked slow and was attentive to the locks.


What I didn’t expect was that not all the silk would get nuno felted.  I even added some fiber at the beginning of the process to those areas. No deal.  I worked diligently on those areas, but no change.

I was ready to throw it in the lost pile.  The locks were fuzzy, some of the silk wasn’t felted.  I left it for a couple of days and decided I’d make it work.  I knew it was fruitless to try to continue to felt.  The felt was solid. I originally had the design drape to one side and was going to cut the ends at an angle, but I folded over the nuno side to create a collar and liked that better.  The silk was a bit larger so I just let it ruffle over the edges.

20160125_111715I had to do some stitching to hold the silk on  in places.  But its pretty much invisible.

20160125_11140320160125_111425Originally, I envisioned a cool button on the front, but ended up with a snap on the inside. The button I had purchased would be hidden by the overlap.


I wetted the wild locks and used a little leave in conditioner on them.  Not perfect, but my husband walked by while it was sitting on the counter and remarked on how beautiful it was.  (I never mentioned what I was working on or my disappointment. So, I guess it wasn’t a failure.)

I need to work on my locks skills.  I have no idea what happened to the nuno especially since my ginkgo piece turned out so well. Or why the locks turned fuzzy.

Any ideas?


30 thoughts on “Scarflette with Locks

  1. That’s really nice, Marilyn. I can’t see from the photos what ‘went wrong’, so maybe you just expected a different result? The locks don’t look too fuzzy to me, but you can get them to keep their shape more if you don’t wash them prior to felting, the lanolin protects them, but where they are between wool and getting wet and soapy, it washes off and allows them to felt in easily. You should be proud of it, it looks really nice 🙂

    1. Thanks Zed! I honestly didn’t know what to expect, but I’m happy with the end result even though it wasn’t the design I originally envisioned. Happy accident I guess.

  2. Wow! Serendipity at its best! But no way does that beautiful scarflette look like an accident. What a good job you persevered.

  3. Even though your scarf may not have turned out as you wanted, it is very beautiful. I agree with your husband. The locks do not seem fuzzy to me either. I never wash the locks before felting for the same reason as Zed mentioned above. If you want them to remain intact try two wrap a small bunch of locks in thin plastic foil (from tips upwards) and remove the foil only in the end when everything has been finished.

    1. Thanks Nada! I guess the locks looked fuzzier after felting than before washing. I really didn’t know what to expect. Thanks for the inspiration and the foil tip!

    1. Thanks Pollyannapengquin! I think I was concentrating on the locks and probably didn’t felt as evenly as I should have on the Nuno. It turned out well so I’m not complaining. 🙂

  4. The scarflette with locks turned out well in the end, so it pays to persevere! Nuno-felting is always a challenge, with or without locks. Different wool, different silk, changing water temp–add in the locks and well–it can get dicey. Nice work, Marilyn!

    1. Thanks Cathy! It’s always an experiment and learning experience. 🙂

  5. I think it’s always worth persevering until the end because usually it will work out. Maybe not as exactly expected but your scarflette is lovely. I agree with Zed and Nada that not washing the locks keeps them more intact. I think they will always get a little “fuzzy” but don’t be so hard on yourself. The locks look luscious 🙂

    1. Thanks Ruth! i will definitely not wash them in the future. That is after I use up the ones I did wash. 🙂

  6. I too never wash my locks prior to felting with them. I will, however, protect them with plastic during the felting process. I have seen other folks wrap them in clear tape, but that just sounds too tedious to me. I have had some locks get fuzzy on me, I have thought those were the locks that were not quite so intact and started out a little on the fuzzy side. I also have found that more is better.

    I think your project is lovely! Though I totally understand that it is disappointing when things do not turn out as you envision them. I tend to have that happen to me as well.

    1. Thanks Kim! I was a little disappointed at first, but I think it turned out much better in the end than what I envisioned. I thought about wrapping the locks, but they were really outside the primary felting area except for the buried ends.

  7. I am so glad to see that you have started using the locks! 🙂 And I am glad you didn’t give up on the piece, because it turned out beautiful. Well done!
    As others have commented, I also use the locks raw, without prior washing. It’s much easier to wash the whole item after it has been felted, if needed. A long soak, in warm water with laundry detergent meant for knitted items, cleans out any remaining dirt or excess lanolin in the locks.
    Another trick is to felt the main piece first, let it dry, and then needle felt on the locks along the edge, with a little extra carded wool on top, and then do a little more wet-felting just along the edge to secure them. This means adding more steps in the process, but then you can rub and throw when you do the main felting and fulling, without having to be concerned about disturbing the locks. This way, it is also easy to just continue adding locks until you are satisfied with how it looks. I often end up doing at least two rows.
    I do hope you will continue experimenting with the locks!

    1. Thanks Zara for the compliment and the locks! I rememberi reading (probably on your blog) about the process you described. As usual, I wanted to get it done. I may still see if I can add more using that method. I’m always learning and experimenting. Now I have to think of a new project for those lovely locks. 🙂

    2. Yes, I am sure you could add more locks to your scarflette, by needle- and then wet-felting, if you want to. And while you keep experimenting with the locks, I’m trying to master using merino. 😉

  8. It turned out lovely Marilyn. we are much harder on ourselves than we should be when things don’t turn out exactly as we think they should have. Should I join the others and say don’t wash the locks first. 😉

  9. Your piece is quite beautiful! I love the texture differences. Especially the collar. I can’t wait to see what you do next! 🙂

    1. Thanks Angie! What’s next is always a good question! Whatever it is you’ll see it here. 🙂

  10. I love the scarf, Marilyn! I’m not sure what went “wrong” but maybe we can agree it was something that made you think of a plan B, and it came out looking great? 😀

  11. Your collar is beautiful. I think that much of the fun of wet felting is the surprises we get when we see the final item.

    1. Thanks Elizabeth! Yes, it’s always fun to see what surprises you get wet felting.

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