Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Felting Wool

Our emergent study of Beds has taken an interesting turn.

After reading What ? Cried Granny! that I wrote about in an earlier post, the children became interested in knitting and sewing as the granny in the story knits Peter a blanket after shearing her sheep and also sews him a gigantic stuffed bear.

So, we began our investigation into these two areas.

First, I called upon any knitters in the parent body who were available to come in a knit with the children.  Most were wary of the children's ability to handle the knitting needles.

Then I remembered a former parent and amazing knitress who had done some wonderful things with yarn and wool in the past. I remembered that we still had some of the sheep's wool that we had ordered when her daughter was in the school.  She reminded me how to color it safely with the children and turn it into felt.  She also showed me a great video about finger knitting on utube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t3LKAlDz9ig.
Unfortunately, the knitting proved to be too difficult and frustrating for most of the children, even when we brought in looms and tried to knit with them.

But the mulit-step sewing "creature" project has been a big hit!  Here is the first step:

Felting Wool with Koolaid

1. Put a small amount of fresh wool in a pie plate. (Spend time noticing the texture)

2. Pour contents of one pack of colored koolaid mix on wool.

3. Have child stand back while you pour very HOT water on the wool.

4. Child stirs wool and koolaid very slowly until wool is the color of the cool-aid and the water is clear.

5. Grab wool with tongs, squeeze out excess water and drop into large zip loc baggie

6. Add rocks to baggie(we used smooth river rocks) and about 1 cup cold water.  Seal bag.

7. Children need to smash wool around the rocks for about 20 minutes to turn it into felt.

8. Remove from bag and hang to dry.

You can use the felted wool for sewing embellishments, crowns, or anything the children can come up with.
Check out the next blog to see what we did with ours, and keep playing!

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