This month my WI Craft Club, aka Grown Up Brownies, learnt how to do wet felting. It was a craft I had heard about; but had never imagined I would try. Fortunately one of our members has been making her own felt flowers and she offered to do a tutorial.
I went equipped with a very random assortment of items including -
I wasn't sure what I'd let myself in for. It didn't take long to see how the items would be put to use. We all got stuck in designing our flowers. I chose to use red and orange wool, so that I could make a poppy for my Grandma (who is hopefully not reading this post - if so, Surprise!)
Wet felting is an odd craft, you start out with tufts of wool, add water and soap, then roll the felt between the bubble wrap with a rolling pin. I now know why my wool jumper shrank - won't be making that mistake again.
It's hard work all that rolling. All the ladies were making a fair bit of noise, you'd have thought we were in some kind of gym session. We were worried the people downstairs might come up to find out what we were doing. I think we may even have worked up a bit of a sweat. I was certainly glad when the strands of yarn had come together and I could get on with shaping my flower.
It turns out wet felting is not very precise. It's hard to control how the flower will actually look and this does not appeal to the perfectionist in me. I tried really hard to just let go and just see what happened; but apparently I had a very clear idea of what I wanted to create and my felt just wasn't coming close. Saying that I'm not disappointed with my final flower, it's poppy like and pretty in its own way.
I did have fun and loved seeing how all the flowers turned out differently. I brought home the leftover remnants and I may give it another go; but I don't think wet felting is going to be my new passion.
Claire Wade is the winner of the Good Housekeeping Novel Competition and author of The Choice. She was bed bound for six years with severe ME, trapped in a body that wouldn't do what she wanted. She now writes about women who want to break free from the constraints of their lives, a subject she's deeply familiar with.