Whoowwiee I Love This Fog!

It’s been cold as Alaska the past few days and nights. (Yes, I am exaggerating). I’m grateful to have a nice wood stove in this old drafty farmhouse. 20 degrees is much to cold for this chicken, that’s for sure. If I close off the unused parts of the house I can get a good cedarwood and oak fire to spike the air temperature all the way up to 80…sometimes more. When it’s 20 degrees outside, 80 degrees inside this old farmhouse feels wonderful.

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Last night the cold weather broke with the incoming rain, and so this morning we’ve got fog so dense that driving is treacherous…..sure am glad I don’t have to go anywhere until this evening…I hope. Well, I do have to go out later to ship soap orders, but I will wait until the fog lifts. No hurry on that.

Today is soap felting day, once the weekends orders are packed up. The animals may need more hay but so far they are still munching on last nights hay piles.

Don’t know what felted soaps are? Well, below are a few pictures of soaps that I have felted over the past few weeks. Felting the soaps creates a soap and washcloth in one, makes the soap easier to grip, and soaps will last longer in their felt covering. As the soap is used, the wool covering shrinks along with it and when it’s all used up you will be left with a small wool pouch that can be filled with soap scraps and used to scrub the sink, bathtub, yourself, etc.

You can find our soaps in our Etsy shop, or PM me for if you are local to Lynchburg Va and I can help you find our soaps in the area.

I wish you all a blessed day!

A few bars of our regular soaps after felting.
A soap cake ready for cutting and curing.

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A Sea Salt and Agave felted soap cake. Mmmm, this one smells lovely.

Some random bars of various felted soap cakes.

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A few felted soap hearts.
A felted soap cake in the delicious Christmas Cookie scent.
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Felted Soap!

For some strange reason, I have recently developed a fascination for all things woolen.  Maybe it’s because of these absolutely wonderful wool socks I’m wearing right now, or the pair that I’ve had for years that are all stretched out and funky looking, but still stay up in my boots and are divinely warm and cozy.

Maybe it’s the wool sweater a friend gave me several years ago that you couldn’t destroy if you tried.  It’s light and airy, but not a single wisp of cold air manages to get by those woolen fibers.

I’m thinking it even may have something to do with the buttery-soft cashmere sweater I got for Christmas two years ago.  I have worn that poor brown sweater just about to death, under every piece of outer wear I have, day after winter day….and it still looks bran new, and I have to pry myself out of it to even wash it.  🙂

But, what I really think started this fascination was seeing other vendors at craft fairs this year with their adorable woolen pieces of art.  I did not realize wool could be used to craft so many items.  From the cutest felted animals, hats and wall hangings, to durable sweaters, scarves, mittens, and more.  Well, whatever the cause, I’ve caught the wool crafting bug and just yesterday I received my very first package of wool ROVING in the mail!

"wool roving"
The roving on the left is called “domestic 56”, the darker roving on the right is labeled “New Zealand”.

And to think, two weeks ago I didn’t even know what roving was!

I decided that I’d like my first wool project to be felted soap, and I actually made a bar of felted soap last week using a raw fleece a friend had given me.  I washed it myself and combed some of it out a little but I didn’t realize I needed to card the wool, so my bar was far from beautiful and didn’t felt very well.

"first bar of felted soap"
This is the very first bar of felted soap I made.

The internet is great though.  I did my research and watched several videos of people felting soap, and here is the batch I made yesterday afternoon.  It is dry now and it seems to have worked.  We will use a few of the bars ourselves to make sure the felting does not come undone.

"felted soap"
"felted soap"Variously scented bars of felted soap.

I’ve got my kitchen counter and water pots all set up to do about 20 bars of Love Spell felted soap this morning.  If you’d like to order the lovely roving you see here on my blog, go to Brush Creek Wool Works at Etsy or The New Store .  They have lots of other types of roving, supplies, herbs, spices, sheepskins, etc.  Great, fast service too.

Felted Soap?

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This is supposed to be a bar of lovely felted soap.  And it is really a bar of felted soap, but it’s not quite a lovely as I’d envisioned it would be.  Far from it, in fact.  And it’s “sweater” is loose.

I used a piece of this Cottswold fleece to do my felting.  I cleaned it myself and discovered later (after watching a you tube video) that my water wasn’t hot enough and I agitated it too much.  I didn’t ruin the fleece though, luckily.  Image

I didn’t quite get it as clean as I had hoped, but it smells nice now and isn’t greasy so it’s at least better.  And when I felted the soap I created quite a lather which helped clean it even more.

I’m wondering what is the very best type of wool to work with for nice, tight, soft felting?  My felted bar isn’t all that soft, but for someone who wants a little more abrasion in their shower, it’s probably just right.  It didn’t seem to want to get tight though.  Maybe my felting water wasn’t hot enough?  It wasn’t steaming, more like extra warm.  And then the cold water was not icy.  Should there be a larger variation in the temperatures between the bowls of water?

Well, besides the bar of felted soap I tried to make last night, I also got some floral soaps done.  Lilac and Violet were made last night and turned out just wonderful.  I can smell them all over the house.  I didn’t think I’d like them at all, but they are so strangely familiar and bring back memories of something, I just can’t quite figure out what yet…:)  I also made vanilla sandalwood and it is also very nice.  They should be ready, after curing under fans upstairs, in a couple of weeks.  I will probably have them naked at the craft fair this weekend which will take place at the Campbell County Rescue Squad on 155 Rainbow Forest Drive, Lynchburg, Va. 24502.

And that’s about it!

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