I found a pattern to make felted soap - you know - you put wool roving around a bar of soap and then you dunk it in hot water and rub it a lot and you get a soap in a sweater that has shrunk!
These are the wool roving pieces
This is the soap with the wool wrapped around it. The directions say to wrap it one way and then then other way. I added the additional smaller pieces for stripes.
and here is the finished soap it its own little wool condom
Here's the pattern I used: http://www.mielkesfarm.com/felt_soap.htm
This was fun! and cool to watch change its shape right before your eyes! I found this hint somewhere on the internet - sorry I don't remember where - after you have the roving on the soap put it carefully in toe of an ol' pantyhose to help keep the wool in place. I tried it on the first one and it seemed to work well.
I don't have a washboard so I used a cheese grater but only went with the grater holes. I'm not exactly sure what this did. I guess it helps to mat the wool together.
I found that in the final stages if you roll it around in your hands in a figure-8 motion this worked well to take the shape of the soap. Don't worry about being too gentle with this process - go ahead and put some grit into it!
These are some pre-felted slippers for Lois:
And a felted bag for Brittany:
I was going for the width of this priority mail box as a finished target size:
and I suceeded. I wrapped a towel around the box and dried the bag around the box. It was the perfect width.
And finished product:
I was surprised that the bag came out feeling really soft. The mosaic patterns are all varied and I think the simpler patterns at the bottom look better then the more complicated ones nearer the top.
And in honor of my favorite beloved King Charles Spaniel, Marty: a pair of slippers for his mother, Rachelle.