Wonderful Winter: The Silver Fairytale

 

An old Russian proverb advises us to prepare sleigh in summer; in other words, in fair weather prepare for foul. I did just that and made a pair of felt boots in August, when I was in Belarus visiting my friend. We also experimented with carded wool in felted garments and I've been excited about this idea.

 

And now I'm going to make a felt vest adding short carded wool, with a separate fluffy collar from Shetland fleece. We'll need about 200gram (7oz) of Shetland fleece curls, 40 gram(1.5oz) of viscose fibers, carded wool and merino wool roving (see the table of average expense at the bottom of this page).

I take a basic vest pattern with a classic shawl collar.

 

It should take into account that the collar shrinkage will be less than vest shrinkage; so before you start the work, measure the expected collar length and multiply it by the coefficient 1.25 (which corresponds to 20% of wool shrinkage) - that will be enough.

Begin with the collar. At first, lay down viscose lining.

Moisten viscose clouds with warm soapy water.

Begin the layout: first horizontal then vertical layer. Prepare the surface: moisten the wool, rub through the mesh and form open edges with circular movements.

Begin fleece layout along the collar edge. Each strand must be carefully stretched before laying down.

Cut off the film strip of 2-3cm(1in) width from the copy of collar template.

Lay down the next row of fleece curls: free ends on the filmstrip, roots on the wool surface; moisten the roots and rub through the mesh

Repeat these steps until the end of the collar.

Now, the fleece layout is done and the collar is ready for felting process.

Turn over and remove the template.

Start rubbing from the inside until first fleece fibers  - so the curls become less entangled with each other.

Slightly roll in a tube.

Remove the filmstrips when the curls fits strongly into their places.

Continue felting process, raising the curls from time to time to avoid them from joining the wool surface.

Form the inner edge, rinse in warm water then continue to felt adding fresh soapy water.

Now, the collar is almost done, set it aside and begin vest layout.

Lay down viscose clouds, moisten with warm water.

Begin the layout: first horizontal then vertical thin wool layer.

Moisten then rub through the mesh.

Lay down thin layer of carded wool over the template.

Moisten with warm soapy water and gently rub through the mesh.

Adding a cotton lace along the waistline.

Turn over the template and continue laying out the front detail.

Form open edges with circular movements, bend the allowances at the back and carefully rub them.

Spread the carded wool, moisten and rub through the mesh.

Pay attention to the side part - it should not have any ripples. Continue felting the flap detail so that it can be safely unfolded.

Continue laying out the second front detail in the same manner.

Continue rubbing gently then remove the template.

Continue felting process according to the previous lessons until vest becomes suitable for the first fitting.

 

Leave the vest to dry at a mannequin or on hangers.

Finish the job: sew loops into the collar and buttons on the tape along the neckline.

We were waiting for the snow to fall a long time, but at last the winter came to us.

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