Tuesday, December 17, 2013

From Infused Salt to Felted Soap

Want to feel like a kid? Get a bar of soap and some wool roving and you're on your way.

I'd never heard of felted soap until a student wrote about conducting a 4-H workshop on how to felt soap. I had no idea what she was talking about, so I turned to the internet to find out. After reading a couple of how-to's and examining some pictures, I knew this was an activity I really wanted to take part in. Being the anti-washcloth, anti-sponge person that I am, felted soap is exactly what I've been pining away for most of my life. Why it took me so long to learn of this amazing product is a mystery.

Once I decide to do something, nothing will stop me following through. I knew I had a couple soap bars languishing on the closet shelf, so that part was easy. After reading many of the how-to's, though, I knew I had no wool roving. Some of the articles suggested using wool yarn. I don't even have that around. Some suggested using an old wool sweater. I don't own a wool sweater, and even if I did, I probably wouldn't cut it up to make felted soap. So, after some thought, I pulled on the thermal leggings, a pair of jeans, two pair of socks, a sweater, my wool scarf (gasp! I have a wool scarf . . . . but I can't cut it up), boots, coat, hat, and mittens and set off for the thrift store.

I knew the walk would be difficult. Our town doesn't shovel sidewalks, which made me furious with each step. Some homeowners did clear the walk in front of their homes, but many haven't, making walking anywhere around here labor intensive. I finally said screw it and walked in the street. The whole motorist centric thinking really gets me going, but that's a discussion for another time.

So I made it to the thrift store. While there, I found bright green virgin wool yarn and some wool socks. I threw in some knitting needles just in case I decide to try and knit (which I was told by Funny Delightful Son is a sign that I am now officially old) and a knitted hat since one cannot have too many winter hats. All of this came to less than $10. The wool socks alone are worth more than $10 because they kept my feet toasty warm all evening. I won't be using them for any crafts project.

After I returned home, I sat and unraveled the yarn for an hour or so. At the rate I was going, getting enough wool to wrap the bar of soap would take a couple of days. I'm not that patient. I ended up going to the hobby store and buying some wool roving. Looks like the yarn just might end up being used for knitting after all.

In the end, I created two felted soap bars. They're not the best, but I'm pretty sure they'll get the job done, freeing me from having to use a wash cloth. Plus, I know I have more bars of soap stuffed in the back of drawers, and I'm eager to make some designs with the wool roving, so there will definitely be more felted soapmaking happening over the next few weeks.

Felted soap

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