Before I start today's post, I'd like to thank the people who left comments about Swallowtail. For some reason, blogger wouldn't let me reply to you all individually.
And now to felted soaps: these are something I've been meaning to try for ages, but despite looking at the roving available here, I only got round to buying some at Woolfest.
The method is very simple - take a good bar of soap (just like yarn - no point in using nasty stuff!) and wind roving round it until it is covered. You can then add other bits of colour to form a design or pattern. Then put your hand to the bottom of a pop-sock and grasp the covered soap through the fabric and draw the sock over your hand to cover the soap and roving and hold it all in place.
Wet the soap with hot water and work it in your hands to get the roving to felt - you can feel it tightening up. I then carefully take off the pop-sock and put the felted soap in a metal seive and pour very hot (almost boiling) water over it, followed by cold water, to shock the felt. This firms it all up. I then leave the felted soap to dry.
The soap can then be used as normal - it's like having its very own flannel attached, or can be put in a drawer for scent.
This was my first go at felting soaps and I think I was probably too stingy with the base coat of roving. I think a more generous layer would felt better and form a firmer coat.