Feb 072013

Felting Needles

felting needles

Resistor had it’s first crafting Make-Along recently. Our theme: Felting. We started with wool roving, which is wool that has been carded or combed in preparation for being spun. It looks a bit like cotton candy. Roving can be felted by agitating it, causing the individual fibers to knot together. One way to do this is to poke a bundle of roving repeatedly with a felting needle, which has tiny grooves that catch and pull at the fibers to tangle them. This is particularly effective for delicate work, and is a nice tool for creating small balls and creatures and for doing applique.

felted creatures

felted balls and creature

Another way to felt is to wet and rub the fibers. We made some felted soaps this way. We started with glycerin soap, wet it and wrapped roving around it, and then moistened it again with hot water to press the fibers onto the soap. After this the soap was dropped into a plastic bag and rubbed until frothy and matted. Then we rinsed them, and left them to dry. The result is a decorative, scrubby soap. Designs are created by felting onto the roving before wrapping it around the soap. Surprisingly the wetting and rubbing procedure doesn’t distort the design.

felted soap

felted soap

Felting can also be a creative way to repair clothes. One of our felters at the Make-Along brought a sweater with a hole in it, and felted on a flower on as a patch.

At our next Make-Along we’ll be working with paper. We’ll have patterns, ideas, and some supplies, but you can also bring your own projects and supplies. Here’s a little inspiration.

 Posted by at 7:41 pm
Sep 162012

Alarm clock wakeup

I’ve been wanting a sunrise lamp for a long time, but I’ve never found the perfect one. Having a free summer, and the knowledge that I would be starting my first full time job in many years in the fall motivated me to actually make something happen. I’m glad I had the whole summer because this project had several learning curves for me — it was my very first electronics project, my first chance to learn how to use a laser cutter, and my first foray back into programming in many years. It turned out to be a lot of fun, and I’m looking forward to doing more projects like this!

Aligning the acrylic standoffs

Read on for build instructions and links to code, patterns, and components.
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 Posted by at 8:59 pm