I'm pretty sure that handling steel wool in the same manner you would handle wool to spin would rip your hands to shreds. Instead of steel wool, open up a stuffed animal or dog toy and steal the Poly-Fil to spin. It's not exactly like wool, but it's a lot closer than steel wool is, and easier on your hands!
I'm going to agree with Cyndi. For making mini-batts out of already processed roving or top or blending colors, the dog slickers are fine. Work really well, in fact. But they just aren't sturdy enough to do a good job on scoured wool.
I've been looking for a 4 x 4 peg loom to make square pockets and other small patches. This could definitely be the answer since the looms are proving to be expensive and hard to find. Thanks for posting the tutorial.
i don't know how oven safe a pickle jar is. that's my only concern. if they are oven safe, you can most definitely dye in the oven. when i dye in the oven, i bake the wool @ 350* for 30 minutes. i don't know if a pickle jar could stand that heat. definitely something to look into, though.
however, if you're in a hurry to dye a lot at once and only have one pot, i have three suggestions for you.
one, a sunbrew dye: place your dye and wool in pickle jars and let it sit in the sun for several days. basically the same way people make sun tea, but a longer waiting period. this will take patience, but it's eco-friendly!
two, put a strainer/collander inside your pot and fill with water to reach barely the bottom of the collander. either handpaint your roving and then put it in a freezer bag, or put your wool in a freezer bag and then pour your dye on top. place as many bags as you can in the collander and steam them... i usually steam mine for about half an hour or so. you can also wrap length of handpainted roving in plastic wrap if you want to preserve the color repeat better.
three, if your pot is large enough, place your pickle jars in your pot, put dye and wool in each jar, fill pot with water half-way up sides of pickle jar. cover and let the water come to a boil, like you are canning vegetables.
I LOVE it! I love the Raisin-Maid logo and have since I was a little girl. She is so pretty and wholesome! I totally forgot that they make plastic bags of dried fruit now; those are much easier to work with than the sticky cardboard from the boxes. I had a couple mini-boxes the other day trying to figure out something to make that would showcase the Raisin-Maid logo and it just wasn't happening.
The difference between stitches in the US and UK terms can be confusing; I'm assuming your mother's friend knows the UK terms. Here is a chart that explains the difference between the stitches. Hope that helps her out a little!
I made a few PVC niddy noddies a couple of years ago, and I prefer them to wooden ones, definitely. I'd make some adjustments to that tutorial. I think that caps for the ends of the PVC are a necessity, otherwise the yarn is in danger of slipping off the arms and tangling. They are like .10 each, definitely worth it. Also, I would not cement any part of the niddy-noddy. The fact that the PVC ones are able to pop apart is a huge boon. It makes removing the yarn so, so simple; I just pop off one arm and it's all loose! Plus you can take it apart and store it easily.