fun with avocados, wool roving remix

There was a bit of a mishap unwrapping one of the scarves I dyed using avocado dye. I was using a pair of scissors to snip the threads binding one of the scarves, and I accidentally caught a bit of the silk, snipping a small hole into the scarf. Dang. Now what?

Nuno felting to the rescue!

Except I that I wanted to use something nice and soft, like merino wool, which I didn’t have on hand.

So I saved the dye. I poured off the dye into several quart jars, and set them in my Minnesota refrigerator, which is to say, I put them in the garage. Then I went online to the good folks at Dharma Trading and ordered some undyed merino wool roving and waited for it to arrive.

merino wool roving in pot of dark pink dye
Yeah, it looks a little weird. Kinda like intestines?

Once it arrived, and I had some time to move into this whole project, I brought the dye back into the house, refilled my canning pot, and started the merino wool dyeing experiment.

Once the wool dried, which took a surprisingly long time, and I again found the time to work on these creative endeavors, I brought the scarf out to be felted. First problem was that the scarf was 30″x30″, and the largest piece of bubble wrap I had was 24″. This project, which started on March 7, 2020, was now being worked on March 28, 2020 which was a whole world and a COVID-19 pandemic away from where we were a mere three weeks earlier. So it wasn’t like I could just go out shopping for bubble wrap. Also, it seems like there’s not many shopping options for bubble wrap that is big enough for a whole 30″x30″ scarf. So now what?

I had bought a roll of flooring underlayment to use for creating resists for felting vessels and bags, so while it doesn’t have the same bubble feature, it does have a bit of texture and was definitely big enough to cut two 40″x40″ pieces to use for rolling the scarf for the felting process. So I went with that, and began the process of adding the wool. In addition to the avocado dyed merino, I added some of the undyed merino wool, a tiny bit of Leicester curly locks, and gold silk threads.

It took a long time to get the fibers to felt through the fabric. I gave up on day one, and came back to it on day two. I may have used water that was too hot at first, or the project may have really wanted that bubble wrap to help it along. In any case, things went better on day two.

In the end, I felt satisfied with the overall look of the felting and the scarf, and am happy to be offering it to the Minnesota Dragon Boat Club for their pandemic-postponed silent auction. I love the mannequin figure too that I purchased for display from USAVECO on Etsy.

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