As a weaver and knitter, I love felting. Turning wool into felt is an exciting process in which the airy light fleece radically transforms into a dense material. Also, felting provides near-instant gratification compared to the pace of other fiber arts. This project will teach you the ancient art of felt making while showing you a quick, easy way to make a groovy iPod “cocoon.”
You can make something completely simple and classic, or get more complicated, adding texture and cool designs to your cocoon. Try using different-colored fleece or integrate pieces of wool yarn when wrapping the final layer of fleece. You can also try felting with different blends of fibers (for example, silk and wool )or sew or embroider decorations onto the finished dried cocoon.
Step #1: Trace the pattern and cover the mold.Next
- Trace your iPod onto plastic, rounding corners, then cut out “mold.”
- Place the plastic mold inside one of the stocking feet, and neatly fold over extra material.
Step #2: Layer the fleece.Next
- Pull out lengths of fleece, evenly fluff them out, and wrap around the covered mold, creating 3 layers of fleece going in alternating directions. For example, wrap the first layer horizontally around the mold, the second vertically, the third horizontally again. Evenly cover both sides and all edges.
- Carefully slip fleece-wrapped mold into second stocking, all the way to the toe.
- Tie a knot with excess material of the stocking (above mold), taking care not to alter rectangular shape of the mold.
Step #3: Felt the fleece.Next
- Fill the bowl 3⁄4 full with hot (not boiling — you’ll put your hands in it), very soapy water. Mix to make loads of bubbles.
- Dip stocking-covered fleece so that it gets soaked and soapy. Squeeze out excess water. Felt fleece by rubbing wet, soapy stocking on textured surface, using a fair amount of pressure, and working all sides while maintaining the integrity of the shape.
- When it cools or dries out, repeat the above process. Continue to rub the fleece on the textured surface until it feels like it’s hardening and turning into felt inside the stocking (15-20 minutes, depending on the surface and amount of pressure applied).
- Untie and carefully remove cocoon — some felt might stick to the stocking. To modify the shape or surface of the cocoon, work it directly on the textured surface as described above. The longer you felt, the denser it becomes.
Step #4: Finish.
- Once you’re happy with the shape and density of the cocoon, cut a slit in one of the short ends and remove the stocking-covered plastic mold. Continue to shape and work the felt further from the inside until you’re happy with the look and feel.
- Rinse soap out of the cocoon under running cold water, then carefully squeeze out excess water. Block to desired shape, and let dry (if necessary, stuff paper towels inside to help hold its shape).
- Then have a blast decorating your cocoon!