These days I’ve been working with a lot of materials that emerge, somewhat dusty, from underneath beds and from the tops of closets. Literally, a pile of black yarn and random balls of roving and fiber snuck out of two people’s excess yarn into the bin next to my armchair. Sometimes it’s a delightful find — see the wool bamboo yarn — while occasionally the apparently useful item is more frustrating than you would expect.

Unfortunately, I’m finding that one skein of apparently nice wool is just not felting as well as I would hope. And I’ve made three pieces from it! I think I’m going to have to toss it into a washing machine, and possibly the dryer as well. The problem with that is that I enjoy the process and control of felting by hand– you can truly create the piece as you work by focusing on working the areas you want to be stiffer or that you want to shape.

On the other hand, I was playing around with the brown roving my mother sent me and finding that it works beautifully. Last night I spun a bulky two-ply and worked on a second basket– knitting in garter stitch brings out a true basket texture. And it felts well! Win some, lose some!

More pics of the material and technique: