(using two hands - I needed one for the camera) begin the felting process. This is a wonderful experience, feeling wool change to felt. It is gradual. At first hold the fuzzy rock and pass it back and forth between the hands, squeezing, encouraging, adding more water or soap as it feels right, back and forth, back and forth. Meditative. If it gets too soapy rinse it off. Back and forth. At some point the wool will 'clench' in on itself; at this point I usually bring my gaze back from whatever I have been thinking and stare at it in
amazement. Then the hands movement changes more into a smoothing and condensing. Over and over. More soap if needed, more rinsing if needed. Hot water and then cold if a 'shock' feels appropriate.
When it feels felted, rinse it thoroughly and put somewhere to dry. Here it is outdoors on the deck railing. At night I brought it indoors and put it on the hot air register. Let dry completely.
Now comes the moment of decision: what kind of cuts, and where, to release the rock. Hold the felted object and turn it this way and that and look at it and feel it and then decide. This one was a cross cut on one of the flat sides. It is always a surprise, what is revealed.
I had never used raw fleece (uncarded) before and it is fluffier than I expected. T-pins are holding the corners back for the moment; I think I will make French knots with more of the original yarn used
in the tying.
These are previously felted vessels, using fleece made ready for spinning; they were cut differently to let the rock out. The technique was the same.