Giveaway – The Right Fibre PDF e-book

I first had the idea for some kind of reference source for information about embellishment fibres about 7 or 8 years ago. This was before it was quite so easy to have your own website like this one, or publish e-books by yourself. When we started this website, we did try to add as much info as possible about embellishment fibres-you can find lots of pics under the Other Fibres drop down on the menu bar-and I’ve probably shown more than my fair share of felt pieces combining different wool breeds and fibres! But having access to info is never quite as convenient as having the info all in one place is it? Well, after many years and 3 different cameras (taking photos of fibrey things certainly wears the motors out!) I have finally finished my e-book, The Right Fibre.

The Right Fibre smallIt isn’t a project based book- I don’t tell you how I think you should use fibres, it’s an objective look at them.  I profile 20 different embellishment fibres, and show lots of photos of how they look after felting in various ways, so it’s easy to compare them with each other and see similarities and differences.

compilation 1There is also a section detailing various things which affect the way a fibre will felt and look after felting, so by the end you have the information you need to choose the right fibre and give you more control over the outcome.

compilation 2For more information, have a look at the full blurb on my blog. To win a free copy of The Right Fibre, all you have to do is leave a comment on this post. If you’d like to spread the word through your blog or facebook etc, it would be very much appreciated but it isn’t a requirement. I will randomly draw the winner 8 days from now on Sunday 31st May 2015, so please check back to see if you’ve won.

compilation 3Good Luck!

Posted in Giveaways | Tagged , , , , | 11 Comments

Felted Flower Class and Some Lambs

I taught felted flowers this last week as a short evening class. We had a good time. This is proved by me not taking many pictures again.

First they did a morning glory style flower to get the idea of laying out. Some of the students had not ever used roving before. Here they are shaping their flowers.

shaping flowers morning glories

calenes morning gloryThis is Carlene’s flower

Next they made more delicate flowers using silk hankies and they learned to make stamen and stems.

Carlene’s again

carlenes silk flower

and everyone together

Flower class finnished

And be cause it’s spring her are some lamb pictures.

lamb on mom lambs and mom 2

when lambs are born we put them and their mom into a small pen to make sure mom has milk and  everything is going well. After a few days the lambs get their eartags and vaccinations. Then into a small group pen with other moms and lambs and then after a few more days out into the big group pen were they can get outside too. It is fun to run and jump with other lambs.

This is my house lamb, he is a preemie. He is very small with not much wool and no body fat. He was born late Tuesday night. And just because I like them here are the roosters roosting on some lambing pens for the night. They go to bed early as you see it is still daylight out.

preemie lamb roosters

Posted in Classes, Sheep Farming, Teaching, Uncategorized, Wet Felting | Tagged , , , | 23 Comments

Still Stitching Pomegranates

I have stitched a little bit more on my pomegranate piece. I had time when we went on a quick road trip this past weekend. I’m still not sure what direction I am taking with this so it’s kind of just “free form” stitching at the moment.

Stitched Pomegranates

This is the entire piece. I mainly added more stem stitch around the various pomegranate shapes.

Stem Stitch

I like how the stem stitch really defines the shapes. It is my go-to stitch for curving lines.

Close Up Stem Stitch

Here’s  a little closer view.

Seed Stitches

I did add a few more seed stitches but not many.

Another Pomegranate

Now I need to decide if I am going to add more to the background. I was thinking about adding branches and leaves. What do you think?

For those of you in the northwest United States, Gail Harker from La Conner, Washington is coming to Kalispell, Montana at the end of June to give a Level 1 Experimental Hand Stitch course.

poster

Northwest Montana is a beautiful place to visit and you could combine the class with a vacation. Road trip anyone?

Level 1 Stitched Page

 

 

Posted in Stitching | Tagged , | 20 Comments

That Doesn’t Look Like My Old Jeans

A while back I made a note to myself to make paper from and old pair of jeans.  I wanted to play with some fiber in a different way from felting.

The first thing I did was to cut the fabric into small 3/4″ squares, discarding the seams.  Then I dragged out my old papermaking equipment which includes an ancient blender.

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Using warm water I filled the bender half way, then added a pinch of the squares and ran the blender for 30 seconds or so until the water turned blue.  This was a long process since I couldn’t overload the blender.

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The resulting pulp was strained.  When I had about a quart (1.14 liters) of pulp, I gave the blender a rest.

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The set up for making the paper included a big container of water, a mould, deckle, pellon and blanket sheets. The deckle in black, the screen covered mould on the left.

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Using a handful of pulp, I added it to the water and agitated it. With deckle on top of the mould, I submerged the pair into the water at a 45 degree angle and came out with a pulp filled sheet.  Without going into all the nitty gritty of all the papermaking steps and terms, I couched (pressed) the paper onto a wet pellon sheet and repeated the steps until I had used up all the pulp and had a pile of sheets.

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The next step was to press the paper in my homemade paper press.

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After letting it sit awhile, I gently placed the paper on a white board and used a haki brush to place it on the board to dry.

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Since the blender was old, the fiber didn’t get chopped very fine, but it made an interesting texture and look with the various long fibers running through the paper.

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Like an old pair of well worn jeans, the paper is soft. One side is smooth where the paper dried on the whiteboard, the other is textured.

I could run it through the process again, but I think I’ll try to felt with it before I do.  What would you do with denim paper?

Posted in Fiber Preparation | Tagged , , , , | 32 Comments

Nuno and Stone Sheep

I can’t remember the last time I got a chance to do some felting, but I got chance again the Sunday before last, and I’d had the pieces laid out for at least a week and half. Two of the pieces were nuno samples. I’d bought some scarves and wanted to see how the fabric felted. For both samples, I laid out two layers of Merino tops and laid the fabric on top. The first scarf I tried didn’t have a label on it, it felt like a synthetic chiffon, slightly ‘rough’. It felted quite nicely, though there were a couple of places along the edges where it didn’t attach securely.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe nuno texture was really nice:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe next piece I tried was viscose, it was really soft. It looked like crepe after felting:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA close up:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA supermacro close up, I think I got the colours matched pretty well :)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnother piece I made was with Stone Sheep wool. I first tried this last month, probably the previous time I did some felting. I liked the way it felted and how fast it felted so thought it’d be really good for something I wanted to try out. I laid out a couple of layers of some carded Stone sheep wool, then added a big pile of fake Angora fibre in the centre. I covered it with a circular resist, covered the resist with some ‘Silk Schappe’ that I got from wollknoll (it seems like carded silk noil), then added another couple of layers of Stone sheep wool. I finished it off with some kapok fibre. When it was felted, I snipped a little hole to take the resist out and worked it until I got it how I wanted.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI thought the fake Angora might be a bit fluffier and looser than this, I mustn’t have piled quite enough in!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYou can see the Silk schappe from this angle:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Posted in Nuno Felting, Wet Felting | Tagged , , , , , , | 25 Comments

2nd Quarter Challenge Guest Post

Today we have a Guest post by Leonor from Felt Buddies:

A few days ago, I decided to respond to this quarter’s challenge and make a colour palette out of a favourite picture of mine. I decided to go with one of my cat Squish.

I used Color Palette FX. If you are using an image of something real, you can almost make sure the colours will go well with each other in different ways and thus have a nice palette to work with.

Jungle SquishIn our daily lives we get so used to just looking at things with narrow focus – my cat is black, his eyes are yellow, plants are green, light is white. But if I take the time to actually notice things properly, I’ll see that there is depth to his black, with purples and blues showing, and his eyes have a beautiful green popping out. The plants are at least three tones of green and the reds and oranges just catch your eye. And look, the light is white, ecru, and yellow.

This is the result of the website’s narrowing of colours, still probably more than I’d notice with a naked eye.

Squish PaletteThe next step would be to choose the colours and the medium to work them. I went with a limited palette of the closest colours I had in my fibre stash. Below, starting on the bottom left: sari silk waste, natural white mohair, three batches of merino (purple, mint green and forest green), short silk fibres and dyed bamboo.

StashThen it was drum carder fun. I had to decide how to layer the fibres: most of the merino was placed first and then I added the other fibres, placing some in between the wool layers as well.

Drum Carder 1More fibre added. I just kept adding fibre until I ran out of merino (or the drum was full, whichever came first. It was the former.)

Drum Carder 2The bottom of the batt…

Bottom of Batt…and here the top of the batt is in all its glory. I really like how it turned out.

Long FibreThe finished item. That top left pile is fibre I took out of the drum carder when I was done.

Rolled Up Fibre 1bMy next step is to spin this, but as always, I still fear my spinning knowledge won’t do it justice, so I suspect it might stay in my stash for a while. Here’s hoping for some (near) future courage…

Rolled Up Fibre 2How about you, what are your plans for this quarterly challenge?

Posted in Challenges | Tagged , , , , | 19 Comments

Announcements, Announcements, Announcements…

First up, the announcement of the winner of the free space in my upcoming Nuno Felting with Paper Fabric Lamination online class. There were 38 people who commented that wanted to be in the class. The random number generator chose number 13 who is Linda. Congratulations Linda! I will be sending you an e-mail with further information.

Module 1 of Embellishing Felt with Surface Design Techniques - A Mixed Media Approach, Online Course by Ruth Lane

For the rest of you who commented and wanted to be in the class, you can sign up here. The last day to register and pay for the class is May 13 which is only two days from now. So go ahead and sign up, it’s going to be a fun class. Remember, you do need to have nuno felting and wet felting experience to take this class.

Also, there have been a few questions about when the Nuno Felting with Paper Fabric Lamination online class will be repeated. The plan is to complete all four modules and then repeat the entire 4 modules again next year. So it will be repeated.

The next announcement is to not forget that registration for the next Wet Felting for Beginners online class is open. Go here to register. If you know someone who wants to learn to felt, please pass the word to them. This is a very affordable class and is perfect for someone who has never felted before.

Layered, burned synthetic fabric, Ruth Lane

And I hate to do a post with no eye candy. So here is what I made on Friday with my local art group. We layered synthetic fabrics and then stitched them all together. The last step is using a soldering iron to burn out portions of the fabric.

Layered, burned synthetic fabric, Ruth Lane

Here’s a closer view so you can see the holes and the stitching a little better. I think I will put this on to some kind of background but haven’t decided yet how to finish it. What do you think? Would you add a color behind it?

Don’t forget to sign up for Nuno Felting with Paper Fabric Lamination online course beginning May 15th!

Posted in Announcements, Free Motion Stitching | Tagged , | 16 Comments