Guest Author - Laun Dunn
Sure, little kids havenít developed the coordination to spin yarn, but there are many other ways to grow their interest in fiber. Save the little bits you have left over from your spinning to do these fun projects with your kids.
Fuzzy Soap! Use wool or other protein fiber that felts easily to make soap that has the scrubby built right into it. First spread out the fiber into a sheet that will easily cover the entire bar of soap. Alternate the direction of the fiber to create a crisscross pattern to help it hold together. Dunk the bar of soap in a basin of warm water. Place the bar of soap in the center of the fiber. Bring the edges of the fiber square around and wrap the soap neatly. Put the wrapped bar into a plastic bag, let the air out, and seal the bag. Rub the bag vigorously to agitate the fiber and create a felt layer over the soap. Once the soap is felted, dunk into the water basin again and place on a wire rack to dry. Have the kids wrap them with ribbon, and taa-daa, you have a gift that spa shops charge a mint for.
Roving Trivets! Use a cardboard box with notches cut at ĹĒ intervals on two opposite ends. Use scrap yarn left over from other projects to warp the box loom. Weave strips of roving from side to side through the yarn. The roving should be wool, or some other felting fiber. Once the roving is woven, tie the yarn ends in bundles of 4 or so to bind off the weaving. Plunge the work into a basin of water and place it onto a picnic table, or other flat surface that you donít mind getting wet. Squirt a liberal dose of dish soap on the piece and have the kids rub it with their hands, or a smooth stone to felt it. Rinse thoroughly and lay on a rack to dry. If you used fiber that isnít as colorful as you would like, let the kids decorate the trivet with markers, even some food colorings work really well. This makes a pretty neat gift for grandmas.
Beet Juice dyeing. The pickling solution from pickled red beets can be used to dye fibers. The vinegar is already included, so all you need to do is add fiber. This is something that I would only do with older kids because I bring the dyebath up to a boil, but even little ones love the results.