My first idea was to submit a big bunch of flowers, but then I though copyright might be a problem as the flowers are not of my own design. The next idea was for a set of nested bowls, and then that progressed into a funky colourful set of bowls, in the colours of the rainbow. And then, I decided to call them "Rainbowls". So that settled it.
As it turned out, I'd bought a load of food dyes at the beginning fo the year and had spent a few weekends doing lots of dyeing experiments. So, I dug out the fruits of that labour and found 4 colours that would work straightaway, another 2 that would need re-dyeing to get the right shade, and that just left a blue skein to complete the set. Perfect.
Once the yarn had been dyed, it was a case of winding it up into balls and crocheting the bowls, starting with the smallest. The first few didn't take long at all, but the 2 biggest ones did take a couple of evenings to complete. It made sense to start from the smallest, so I could make the next bowl a size bigger. As luck would have it, I had just the right amount of each colour of yarn as well, as some of the dyed skeins were just samples.
Then, onto the felting. Now this was the tricky part. Normally, there is no method to my madness with felting. I sling items into the washing machine, throw caution to the wind and they turn out however they like. Caution was needed for these bowls, though. At the high temperatures needed to felt, dye has a tendency to run, so they had to be felted in batches. I also had to make sure they shrank consistently so they would still fit into each other. The central set felted the most, which meant the outer bowls had to be finished off by hand to get them the right size.
Hand-felting also meant that I didn't have the spin of the washing machine to get all the water out, so while the machine-felted bowls dried overnight, the hand-felted ones took a few days, stuffed with tissue paper.
The deadline for submissions to the shop is in a couple of days at time of writing, so I had to make sure the bowls were ready to drop off last Saturday when I could get down there. Luckily, they were dry by Friday night, so I was able to take photos of them on Saturday morning when there was daylight. And there I was, snapping away when the cat decided to investigate...