Tuesday, March 14, 2006


There's always warp waste in weaving. The only way to use nearly 100% is to use a dummy warp for tieing on to the warping beam. In September, I wove a shawl using a painted warp and solid-color rayon for weft. It came out beautiful largely in part to the painted warp. So when I had to cut off the ends of the beautiful painted warp, I simply had to save them.

Today after seeing an innovative idea of rug weaving, I tied them together end to end, wound it on a bobbin, and started weaving.

Weaving made from thrums, fabric strips, and rayon yarn

I've used three components in this fabric: the thrums, medium brown rayon yarn, and half-inch strips of fabric. Each component gets a few shuttle passes and then I move to the next one.

What will I do with the fabric? I don't know. It hasn't told me yet.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Felted Soap

You couldn't ask for a more simple, enjoyable, and fun project! And I'm not just talking about something for the kids.

To use these fuzzy creations, you simply get it wet under running water and rub the fiber to lather up the soap. When you're finished, wipe off the excess soap suds and let it sit to dry.

Felted soaps are a gardener's best friend. Their fuzzy texture with its built-in soap dispenser makes cleaning fingernails a breeze! In fact, these soaps are better than a loofah.

So how does one make felted soap? Read on!

Step 1
Using a bar of soap, you're going to wrap it in fiber. I've used roving made from alpaca neck and legs that I dyed green (and in later photos it "magically" turns purple :-) but you can use any carded clean fiber. I wouldn't use uncarded fiber because it tends to create a lumpy fiber covering.
Step 1: wrap soap with fiber

Step 2
Using a gentle stream of water, wet the fiber and soap. As you are doing this, scrunch the entire thing to work up a soapy lather. An alternative is to add some soap foam from one of those hand soap dispensers that put out foam soap. This will get things started faster. Be careful not to shift the fiber in a way that creates holes. I've found the fiber felts pretty quickly so be sure to cover any bare spots right away. If you do end up with bare spots, you can try adding some more dry fiber. Sometimes this works, and sometimes this doesn't. It seems to depend on the type of fiber used. Step 2: wet and scrunch

Step 3
Felt. To wet felt (and not all fibers will felt - be sure to start with a feltable fiber like alpaca), fibers must be exposed to soap and agitation. Another component often found in wet felting is extreme temperature changes. Thankfully, we don't need that component in this process. So once you have a soapy lather, rub the bar of soap along its edges. The more you agitate the fiber, the more it will felt making a strong covering for the bar of soap.
Step 3: felt

Step 4
Rinse off the excess soap lather.

Step 4: rinse

And you're done! Let it sit out to dry.

Done!  Felted Soap