I have to confess this month, I am flying solo, because Alex has happily returned home to live with his housemates now that he’s had both Covid vaccinations. I had planned for him to visit me last weekend, for him to join in the blog project, but my partner Pete went up to London recently to watch Swansea City Football Club in the play-off finals for the Premier Division! As a result, I felt that it was too risky for Alex to come and stay, just in case Covid reared its ugly head. So I’m afraid you’ve only got me this time!
Anyway, it’s that time of year when we all love to get out and about for some fresh air. With lockdown affecting so many people’s plans for holidays and travel, many of us have turned to more home-based ideas to spend time in the fresh air. We have spent a lot of time in the garden over this past year or so, and I thought it would be nice to combine ideas for the garden with wet felting.
Here are some photos of our garden, which just over a year ago, was a mass of overgrown weeds, bamboo and brambles!! I think it’s coming on really well. Pete has worked a miracle and Alex has enjoyed learning how to garden and grow vegetables.
So… I decided to make something that would be a pretty addition to our garden……. a liner for a hanging basket of flowers.
I started by measuring the diameter of the wire basket from rim to rim, including the depth. It measured 21″ in total. In order to allow for shrinkage, I made a rough guess and decided to make a circle measuring 30″ in diameter. I decided that I didn’t want it too thick, so opted for doing two layers of wool batt, with a few decorations using Merino tops.
Before I started laying out my wool batt, I decided to make some spirals for the outside of the liner. I though they would add a nice decoration, and would make the liner both colourful and hopefully attractive to bees!
Some of the merino tops were quite short, so I drafted them in order to make them longer. As you can see by the pale green one, I need practice!!!
I wrapped the ends in some clingfilm, which I secured with an elastic band in order to keep them dry and prevent them from felting.
Next, I felted them in order to make my spirals. I don’t know about you, but it’s hard to roll them in your hands as they are so slippery! So I managed to find that by rolling them gently on a towel, I got a much more even shape and they were easier to roll.
Next was to start laying out my wool batt. Firstly, I did a layer of lavender coloured wool. Once I had laid that out, I then added my merino snakes! I have to admit, at one point I did think this was going to end up looking like Medusa!
I fanned out the dry ends of my ‘snakes’ so they would be sandwiched between the two layers of wool batt. Once I had all six snakes in place, I added my second layer of turquoise wool batt.
As you can see, I left a hole for you to see how thick I was laying the wool batt. I have to admit, the blue looks more of a sky blue in the photos, but in real life, it has a lovely turquoise hue to it.
I added some merino coils on the top, so look like little flowers. Then I started to wet felt the wool. It took quite a while and I have to admit it was tricky at first, because my table was the same width as the diameter of the wool batt circle. This meant that I had snakes trying to slither off in all directions!!! But once they were starting to get trapped by the wool batt, they were a lot easier to handle! Perhaps I was a snake charmer in a past life!
Anyway, I finally got there! I did not quite manage to shrink it back down to 21″ diameter, no matter how much I worked it and fulled it. I did contemplate trimming the top back to the rim of the wire basket, but in the end I decided I quite liked it as from above, it looked like a large Petunia flower! I cut six triangles out of the circle, so that it would sit better in the wire basket.
I was quite happy with the result…
I then made my snakes into spirals using pipe cleaners to shape them and left the whole thing to dry.
In the end, I also decided to use the triangles that I had cut out, by inserting them lower down into the wire basket. I think it looks like an upside down jesters hat now! I have planted it with a few flowering plants, and I’ve put it at the bottom of the garden. This is where I put my special, meaningful things. I like to think the fairies appreciate them!
I hope you like my wet felted basket liner! I thought I would leave you with some photos of my midnight garden to finish off…