Our guest author/artist is Tuulikki Zara Rooke.
Last winter, I buried a couple of raw fleeces in the snow, and let the snow melt “wash” them. Well, it´s not the most thorough way of washing fleeces, but they were slightly whiter in colour, and smelled a little less sheepy when they thawed out in the spring. I have now used two of these fleeces to make a rug, with the assistance of my kids, on a trampoline.
Carding this amount of wool would take quite some time, so I decided to try just whipping the wool instead. As it was slightly windy, and the wool tends to fly around when you do this, I decided to do it on our trampoline, which has a security net around it. Very practical indeed. Beating the wool with sticks is a rather fun way to separate the fibres and, being on a trampoline, it was impossible to resist jumping around in the wool, too.
Now that we had all this wool on the trampoline, I figured we may as well try felting on the trampoline too. We laid out the wool on an old sheet, added a thin layer of carded wool on top, and finally raw locks in different natural colours. We wet it all down with hot water and soap, rolled it up, and then the girls and I (ok, mostly the girls, but I did join in for a bit) bounced around on the trampoline until we ran out of energy.
The next day, we added more hot water and soap and did a bit of rubbing and rolling. Then we rolled it out of the sheet and I let the girls bounce on the rug. An interesting and quite effective way to full a piece of this size.
Apart from being fun, and giving us quite a lot of exercise, there is a practical advantage to felting on a trampoline. All the excess water drains through the woven trampoline, which makes it easy to just keep adding more hot water during the felting process, and to get rid of excess water after rinsing the rug thoroughly with the garden hose.
A rug made with wool equivalent to about three fleeces can hold a lot of water. It took three days to dry. After that, I could add the final embellishments – swirls of black yarn that I needle-felted on the white centre.
It´s a thick and sturdy rug, measuring 115 cm (3.7′) across. It will probably stand for a lot of wear too, as it survived the rather harsh treatment on the trampoline.
Zara, thanks for sharing your family’s adventure with felt on a trampoline this summer. It sure looked like fun with a beautiful result!