I'm just starting to learn about working with fibers, and I'm wondering if I had some extra wool yarn, could I turn it back into roving (like maybe by carding it?), so that I can use it for felting?
Mama to DS (5) and DD (2)
I think it would depend on the type of yarn you have whether or not it would turn into roving easily.
For example, if you had single ply yarn that is loosely twisted together into yarn, then it would be a simple matter of using a pair of hand carders and untwisting and brushing the yarn back into roving. It would take a lot of work but I think it would be do-able.
If you had wool yarn that had several plies (strands twisted together), I think it would NOT be worth it to try to turn it back into roving. Chances are you would be absolutely frustrated with the process and the results would not be satisfactory.
If you had wool yarn that you wanted to use for felting your best bet might be to knit it up and then felt the piece. (I suggest knit vs. crochet as crochet uses up to 30% more yardage per relative area, and will result in a thicker fabric pre and post felting).
Mama to Emma (7) and Sarah (5)
I actually haven't introduced myself on the boards yet but I wanted to reply. I read recently in the book "Skills for Simple Living" that you can reclaim wool from socks etc. by cutting them into long strips and then plucking the fibers apart by hand. After that they would put it into a pot and pour boiling water over it and mash it until it became wool again. I haven't tried this method yet but I have an old sweater that I want to try to reclaim for wet felting purposes.
I have used some rainbow wool yarn for wet felting with the kids - we did a heart in a heart cookie cutter. It went fine. So depending on what you want to do, you could just use it as is.