Felting Boots

Nov 6th I promised that I’d write about the boot felting workshop I took at the Columbia Gorge Fiber Festival the last weekend of October.

The twelve hour workshop with Carin Engen was excellent and well worth the time and money. The two pair of felted boots she’d felted and brought to show us were truly inspiring.

With the exception of felting small plying balls and a few Christmas tree ornaments, and a wee needle felted rabbit I hadn’t done any felting. Only one other person had no felting experience while two of the women in the group had taken felting classes from Carin before and were enthusiastic about what they’d already learned. With 12 hours of class time the skill sets didn’t make much difference for Carin was great about spending lots of one on one time with each of us once she’d gone over the basic directions for making felted boots.

Carin had come straight to CGFF from a week long teaching session at the John C Campbell Folk School in N Carolina and was still feeling the effects of a very busy week and airplane travel but that didn’t dull her enthusiasm. Soon we were measuring our feet and cutting out the plastic form we’d be using, selecting the wools that we wanted to use and setting up our areas with all the supplies we needed.

The first layers on the outside leg area.

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Second layers applied. Looks like a collar for Sasquatch.
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The workshop was held at the local Community College and on Friday we could buy lunch in the student cafeteria. Eating there seemed surreal, an odd blast to the past. This beautiful sprawling maple tree beckoned me to come climb its limbs. I resisted, not wanting to cause a scene scrambling onto an outstretched branch with young college students ambling to the cafeteria.
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After eating and meeting up with Becca who’d flown down from Juno, Alaska for her very first fiber festival (bummed that I didn’t think to get a picture with her.) I dashed down to the Marketplace to touch base with Cheryl of Newhuehandspun who was sharing her room with me for two nights during the festival.

Back in the classroom Carin was helping Pam with her wild and wonderful boots. Pam has an amazing color sense that celebrates the explosion of colors.
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By the end of Friday’s workshop the last layer had been laid, the soap and water sprinkled on for the final rolling before getting down to the work of felting and shaping that would take place on Saturday.
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Tomorrow’s post will continue the process of felting the boots.

Today I’m thankful that the rain actually stopped this afternoon, and that the temperatures have stayed in the 40s – 50s. Lots of snow in the Cascade Mountains, just rain here. Since October 1st we’ve had 17.5″ of rain.

I’m thankful for a good time sharing dinner/lunch with Ed’s dad today. Instead of turkey we decided to have steaks. Pumpkin pie reigned as the dessert.
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I’m thankful for my walking neighbor/friend who roasted more sugar pumpkins than she needed and shared the extra bounty with me. Fresh pumpkin is the way to go! I still have 3 cups of pumpkin left which will go into the freezer for a future pie.

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Author: Wanda J

I never dreamed my life would be entangled with fiber and the tools used to produce fibery items. When I bought a boat shuttle Ed looked at it, decided to make a better one and the rest is history. For a decade he made shuttles, crochet hooks, knitting needles, until his spindles became so popular that he had to devote his time to making them, as well as Great Wheels aka Walking Wheels. Free time is spent reading, trying to coax food from the ground, and playing in the creek near our place. I love long walks and camping far from crowds. Playing my fiddle beside a stream or with good friends brings sweetness to my soul. Sundays we try to set aside for worshiping God with our small Quaker meeting.

4 thoughts on “Felting Boots”

  1. Thanks for this, it reminded me to go searching for needle felting tools! I have a favourite grey full length skirt that is full of moth holes (we had a really bad infestation – just stragglers mainly now, touch wood!) and I was thinking I could needle felt the holes in really bright coloured wools, make a feature of the damage.

    Always reminded of Inspector Clouseau when talking of moths!

    1. Needle felting over the holes would be a creative solution. Horrid moths! There are some years they’re real menace to our wool. Thanks for the Inspector Clouseau link and the laughs!

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