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  • Michelle

Two bowls made of wool

Okay, as promised, a quick little tutorial on making a bowl out of wool. Aren’t these the cutest things? They are supposed to be two separate presents but I love the way they nest together so they may have to become one. Ah well, they are very easy to make, as you will see, so I can whip up another tomorrow.

To begin with you need roving, that is wool that has been washed and carded and dyed if you want it coloured, but not spun or treated. I have used a Romney ball from Kathy’s Fibres in Lobethal, Kathy is a very gifted textile artist and was the one who taught me how to make these bowls.

So this is the sort of fibre I am talking about. This is a ball of unspun wool roving.

This bowl used about one third of this ball.

See how it unravels to form a tail? This is the bit we will use on our knitters loom, or, as I prefer to call it, my knitting-as-meditation-tool, as I am supposed to do meditation for my hypertension but my brain is too noisy unless my hands are occupied.

You can buy these looms from spotlight, they are cheap and pretty sturdy and you can make all sorts of things on them.

To begin we split the roving tail in half lengthwise to give us a long, thinner tail, break it off when it is about a metre long, so from that one metre we will get two long half thickness strands, like this.

So beginning at the peg that sticks out of the side of your knitting as meditation tool you want to wrap the roving end around the peg twice to secure it, then, moving on to the peg immediately to the right hand side, wrap the roving tail clockwise once around the peg, then move on to the next peg, wrap each peg right around clockwise once, go all the way around until you reach the first peg you wrapped, each peg should now have one stitch on it

Push all of those stitches to the bottom and wrap another stitch on each peg all the way around, like this -

So now we have our knitted bowl, or what looks at this stage like a baby beanie, we now have to felt it so that it will be strong and hold its shape. So first we wash it in extremely hot water that has a bit of washing liquid in it so that it gets good and sudsy, then I take mine outside and throw it with great force onto the deck six or seven times, then I put it back into the water and give it another good scrub, then I plunge it into icy water to shock it and then I dunk it a few times and then wring the cold water out. Now I toss it into the washing machine with a load of washing and when it comes out it looks like this -

Oh dear. The poor little thing. Now what we need to do is straighten it out a bit back into its bowl shape.

Now we need to find a straight sided jar or bowl that has a flat bottom that we can stretch this snugly onto, this will not have much stretch in it, but we want to get the biggest straight edged mould that we can find that it will fit over so that it forms a nice, uniform shape. I used a large moccona jar.

Stretch it over very tightly and then check that you have it centred so that it comes up the sides evenly. Put a weight on top of the jar and leave that overnight to set, then next day, turn the jar upside down so that the bowl is still on the mould but the air can get to the bottom as well.

When it is fully dry, remove from the mould, trim the tails and it is done!

A bowl made of wool.


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