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Several of the Felting Friends are now also felt artists.
Blaze of colour Mairi Campbell led the Felting Friends
Felted soap is a good beginner project for quickly learning the basics of wet felting. It is a wool-wrapped bar of soap that provides gentle exfoliation when washing your hands, face, or body.
I don't like my fingers to feel like prunes, so I put on rubber gloves before starting the wet felting. Some rubber kitchen gloves have a rough surface on the palms and fingertips, and this actually helps the felting process.
"Most of my needle felting is done when I'm doing wall hangings," Merrill says, pointing to a felted portrait of two women in her studio shop.
"I will wet felt and then I'll go back and do detail work for their expressions and add the beads and other embellishing with needle felting," Merrill explains.
Needle felting takes the spun fibers, called roving, and shapes them into two- or three-dimensional images or figures.
Wet felting uses roving, but works by using warm, soapy water and a lot of elbow grease to mat the fibers.
Yet another method that is often called felting involves agitating a knitted wool item, such as a bag or scarf, in soapy, warm water to compact its fibers, shrinking it.
Leah Adams combines needle and wet felting in colorful geodes, and sells kits for them at her Etsy shop, kneek (short for "knitting geek"), or SpiderFelt.
A detailed glossary provides not only written definitions, but also drawings depicting the various techniques used in the felting process.
Teaching staff also took part in lunchtime workshops to pass on felting skills to other students in the school.
According to CSIRO Livestock Industries scientist Dr Tony Schlink, felting, due to the realignment of wool fibres, causes significant problems in the manufacture of knitted and woven wool products, and particularly fine wool products.
The discovery that felting is a moderately heritable trait opens the door to the selective breeding of sheep with tow-felting wool.
It was the second year that organisers had held a two-day felting course immediately after the show and both times the courses have been so successful that this year organisers are running two.