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Guest Blog from Instructor (and vendor) Sara Smelt, Felt Evolution!

“I’ve never seen anything like it!” is the most common quote I hear when people see my felt work.

“Is it stitched? Is it knitted first? Is it made from sweaters?” – No….No…and No!!

Despite felt being the oldest textile known to man, felting is a surprisingly unappreciated fiber art. Not for long!!

‘Real’ felt is nothing like the little synthetic squares you find in the craft store. ‘Real’ felt is made with wool roving, soapy water, friction (rolling, rubbing and throwing) and a little bit of magic! The wool fibers tangle together and transform into felt fabric.  Seeing newbies witness this for the first time is one of my favorite things! Heck, I still get excited every time! In the more advanced technique of nuno felting  wool is combined with silks and other gauzy fabrics to create stunningly beautiful textures and textiles.

Felt can be worked into different sizes and shapes and holds the form in which it dries. A seemingly endless range of projects is limited only by your imagination.

I was enticed to try felting after reading about its incorporation into freeform crochet and seeing lots of fabulous examples during a visit to Iceland 4 years ago. ‘I’ll just try to make a felted soap’… turned into a full blown love affair with the art form!

I’ve already mentioned magic in felting and I’ve seen so many people who proclaim not to ‘have an artistic bone in’ their ‘body’ proudly leave class with a masterpiece! Everybody can do it! I’ve seen color combinations that have secretly made me wince, turn into fabulous works of art! There is just something about felting that creates glorious surprises every time.

My range of workshops will teach lots of the basic skills that will allow you to create your own works of art:

I call my Soap Felting Workshop “a fun, soapy introduction to felting!”. In this class you will create a colorful ‘soap in a washcloth’ but believe me, you will be racing home to make all your Holiday gifts! This class is great for kids too! I hear lots of ‘ooohs’ and ‘aaahs’ from little boys particularly….plus they get really clean hands!!

In my felted pod workshop, you will learn how to felt around a foam ‘resist’ to make a hollow vessel. It is a wonderful technique to learn – use the same technique to felt bags, hats, clothing and …..more pods!

In my flower pin workshop you will learn how to create a seamless, multi-layer, flower brooch/hairpin with no gluing or stitching! It’s all felted in a single piece! Even more felting magic!

After taking a workshop I know you will be eager for more felting! I will have my series of 6 felting kits available for purchase!  – These are great as Holiday gifts (for yourself or others!!).

And as a special bonus,
all felting workshop students will
receive 10% off the purchase of any kit!

Let’s get felting!!

Below is a very wide variety of Sara’s very interesting works! Visit her workshops and booth at Yarnosphere!

723 front of dress resized 792 day 2 back of dress resized blue pod with fat cactus 2 (800x600) IMG_1075b (600x800) IMG_1082c (437x800) IMG_1189 IMG_1216 (800x600) purple flower on bag with coffee (600x800) Rosaline red flower in hair (600x800) single orange pod with cactus (800x600) soaps for facebook (600x496) white flower on wedding gift new (800x747)