I love felt, I think it is a beautiful warm fabric where you can endlessly experiment with thickness, texture and colours by mixing different amounts and shades of wool. Felt is made by combining 3 layers of wool which are whetted with soapy warm water. You then rub the wool for ages until all the fibre have joined together leaving you with a nice piece of fabric. It’s a very pleasant and therapeutic process to go through but sometimes I lack the patience or time to rub the wool long enough.
These two tea cosies were the product of my experimenting to make felt faster by using a sander. A friend from my old knitting group told me about this technique where instead of using your hands the sander does the work (make sure you have a belt sander instead of a circular one and remove the sanding paper! Ones where the paper attaches by velcro don’t work). So I borrowed my friends sander and tried it out. It worked a treat with the pieces made in 5-10 min each but still being very thick and well joined.
I made two sheets of felt for each cosy and hand-sewed them together. I then decorated them with shells from my scavenging trips on the Scottish beaches by using a combination of needle felting them on with bits of wool and super-glue. The first one was for my friend Lisa, who is an interior designer and had told me she loves the architectural qualities of broken shells. The second one is for me and I used shells collected on a lovely summer walk last year with Diane to complement the pink and orange in the wool. It’s a great memory of the beaches in Fife and friends from Dundee with my morning cup of tea.