After the relatively successful felted waistcoat I have been preoccupied with plans for different felting projects. When I made a small piece a couple of weeks ago when we had some friends visiting I used some home-spun yarn as the decoration and I had been wondering about using yarn within the felt to act partly as decoration and partly to add structure. I laid out a thin layer of some red roving and then added a random layer of quite thick home-spun yarn, in a slightly darker shade of red. It started out 60" long (done on the kitchen floor because the table is not big enough.)
This second photo shows how it looked in close up. I damped it down between the layers with hot soapy water, then added a very fine layer of roving over the yarn in the darker shade and damped it again.
It was very fragile so I did not try rubbing it at all, just tucked the edges in very gently, then pressed some bubble wrap on the top to spread the moisture and rolled it up around the rolling pin. I read the 'rolling pin' suggestion somewhere on a felting blog and it works very well, keeps the roll in shape and makes the whole process easier.
After about 20 minutes I risked opening it out and just worked at rubbing it with very soapy hands until it was holding shape. Next stage I tend to screw it up in a ball and rub vigourously on the bubble-wrap, then rinse thoroughly (the final length is about 42"). It has little patches that are a bit thin but on the whole I managed to achieve the soft flexibility that I was after (click on photo to see it larger). I think my next experiment is going to have to be some nuno felt.