November 2018, Felting

Amidst preparing for the winter season, the season of felting has already begun. During the months of November and December I spend a great deal of time working with wool, water, soap, scissors, and felting needles to create trivets and coasters with the unique and endeared shape of Michigan needle felted into them. In addition I make thick wool insoles, which keep many a feet warm and cozy. 

I am not entirely sure how I begun felting. Within our first year of farming we got some Icelandic sheep and sheared their wool and I suppose in determining what to do with all this beautiful wool that we had paid good money to be cleaned and carded at the woolen mill in Frankenmuth, I got creative. My first year of felting I used our old stone fireplace (pictured at the top of the page) to dye white wool with black walnut hulls, which we had gathered and then crushed beneath a board with the tractor to separate the hulls from the nuts. The result was a range of beautiful brown hues and I am still working through this first batch of that dyed wool in my felting presently. This old stone stove, which sits behind the house amidst a grove of ground ivy, maple trees, and an old stone foundation, is a delight to light a fire in and sit beside and takes you back in time a bit in doing so. 

Now a few years later, felting is a steadfast season that thoroughly keeps my hands busy from mid-fall to mid-winter. 

Malaika Whitney