Rare Earth Magnet on sale! Just add wool for more fun!!

Rare Earth Magnet on sale! Just add wool for more fun!!

A couple of weeks ago the latest princess auto flyer booklet arrived. It is always fun to look through and see what is on sale! Princess Auto is an interesting store that has a vast variety of things, hunting, camping, farm supplies, a bit of blacksmithing, welding, tool boxes, electric bikes, and lots of stuff I am not sure what it’s for but it looks interesting. I sat down to see what exciting things might be included this time. There may be more Bee Decapping combs (which make very cheap emergency wool combs! However, I have a couple of sets so maybe I don’t need to get another pair?) Aha! There is a metal bench on sale, circle that! Is there anything else? YES!! Magnets! (This is the link, they will go back on sale again sometime) https://www.princessauto.com/en/48-pc-rare-earth-magnet-and-dispenser-set/product/PA0008996993 ) 1) 48-piece Rare Earth Magnet and Dispenser Set

Glenn had a couple of things circled in the flyer too so stopped in after work the first day of the sale. I wasn’t quite sure what I was going to do with them but I knew it would be fun and I bet there will be wool involved. These are very strong yet very tiny magnets.

 2) Tiny, tiny Enthusiastic Magnets sticking to a felting needle to show you how tiny they are

I had a question a few weeks ago about making a sheep head, if I make a tiny sheep’s head I bet I can make a broach. Where did I put the wool with the tiny crimp I had purchased from Ginger at Farm Sol at the Wakefield Farmers Market? And more important, can I get more?

The mark 1 prototype I used unlabeled white wool roving, I am hoping it’s Corriedale but I’m not sure. It seemed less enthusiastic to felt than I usually find in Corriedale. So after more stabbing than I would have liked, I did get a basic head/nose shape.

3) This may not be the Corriedale you were looking for (spooky Jedi background music)

4) Eventually there was a head-like shape, sort of

Now that isn’t as sheepish as I would like. (This is why reference photos are really helpful) I know what’s missing,  I will need to add ears!!

5) Ears added to the slightly sheepish head

Now that is a bit better. Next to add the first magnet.

6) Magnet balancing precariously on superior aspect of sheep neck

The magnets were tiny and behaved in a slippery manner determined to fling themselves to their death on the floor!! Alas for the magnet, I used another previous Princess Auto Sales item to find them and pick them up!! (Without bending or crawling around on the floor under the computer desk, even better!!)((I am suggesting anyone doing Dry Needle felting should consider this marvellous invention to retrieve errant needles, and magnets from the horror of nether regions that the floor has become.))

7-8) Extending magnetic picker-upper of things mettle, with built-in light (it Is dark under the table)

The version that is brought in for sales with the light doesn’t seem to be on their website but here is the link for the lightless one. You can likely find something similar at any hardware store, this one says it will pick up 3lbs (that would be one big needle!!) https://www.princessauto.com/en/3-lb-magnetic-pickup-tool/product/PA0008716615

I wound up trying 3 ways of affixing the magnet into the back of the sheep head.

9-10) First I tried lightly felting a bit of wool, then attaching it to the back of the head. This was not totally successful since the magnet migrated lower than where I had been trying to hold it. I also found the needle was very attracted to the magnet when I tried to poke adjacent to it. Interesting.

This did let me find out that the magnet is strong and once embedded in the wool stuck to bulldog clips (some people call them binder clips) with enthusiasm and required gentle prying to get them to let go.

11) Sheep head sticking to bulldog clip

Next, I tried a divot in the superior aspect of the neck or back of the skull depending on your perspective. I placed the magnet in the dent and then added a backing that I had felted flat.

12) Magnet sitting in a bit of a divot and leaving the rest of the loose wool to work over the top of the magnet once it was in position.

13) The magnet was attracted again to the needle so this may not be quite the best solution

14) It was a bit more challenging to keep the magnet where I wanted it but the divot did help.

15) Success! But this took more time but kept the magnet location where I had wanted it.

(16) The third option is “this picture is unavailable” which was a combination of making a dent to seat the magnet and then making a felt backing for covering the magnet. I could have used a commercial felt but it’s so easy to just make a bit more of the wool you are using and you are sure it will match the head if you use the same wool.

17) Now let’s talk about ears.

It is time to use those C40-111’s again, Crown Needles!!! For the first two sheep heads, I attached white ears and then added the wisp of pinkishness to the attached ear. For the third prototype, I build a base layer of the white, then lay in wisps of pink to make the inner ear. Using the crown needle at an angle close to parallel allows the addition of colour to one side without affecting the other. The working depth of the crown needles is much shallower than regular needles. Once the ear was constructed I attached it to the head. This was a bit easier than adding the pink to the ear after it was attached.

18) Time to add the second Magnet and check it sticks through cloths. Yep!

This sheep is still rather naked and needs curls. Remember that trip I took to Wakefield a few posts ago? Well, we are about to find out what happened to those fabulous little locks.

19) The tiny crimpy locks from Ferme Sol Farm in Wakefield Quebec http://www.fermesol.ca/

The locks worked perfectly. The tight and tiny crimp was perfect for this scale of sheep. Her sheep are Icelandic/ Frisian/ Gotland/ Finn and Shetland crosses. These were really fabulous fibre blends.

20-21) Front and back view of the sheep broach with a second magnet to go inside your shirt. This is less damaging to fabric than a pin broach back would be.

22) Here is the sheep with both the curls and ear details added.

23) A bit of online shopping arrived and I have added the two new boxes to the tools I used for this project (you don’t need quite this many needles I actually only used 3needles, which were each different, to make the sheep)

I had ordered two more needle boxes, this time a T-38G-333 and T-42G-222.  The T is the shape Triangle, the first number is the gauge, the G is the tip or point specification, and there is another letter designating the barb specifications which I have ignored and the last digits are the number of barbs per side. So I will leave you with a shot of the new needle boxes (yes there are 500 needles in the new ones a bit less in the older boxes) and the other tools and pieces I used for this project.

Next week I have a choice of things to tell you about, Mr. and Mrs. Mer’s trip to the Carp fair (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) or the mini-workshop I gave on a card stock 7- strand kumihimo-like braid (Monday). There is also going to be another trip up to Wakefield this coming Saturday, to purchase more little locks and hopefully get some good pictures.  It has been a VERY busy four days in a row!! Now it is time to find the Robax-platinum and crawl back into bed for a day or so.

Have fun and keep felting (even if you are wearing gloves – you will hear about that when we chat about the Carp fair!)

22 thoughts on “Rare Earth Magnet on sale! Just add wool for more fun!!

  1. Lovely little lamb heads, Jan. The magnets are definitely very useful for avoiding brooch pins. Glad you found a way to use them. Are you making these to sell? The locks did work perfectly for the scale. Sometimes that is a real issue if you only have a few locks to choose from. Have fun finding more locks and I look forward to hearing about the Carp fair and mini workshop.

    1. thanks Ruth! i spotted the magnets(didnt notice the tinyness) but thot they were a cool itum that could be fun to play with. NOt near any computer or electronics but they will hold on ether side of an ear so maybe sheepy earrings are a posiblity? i went looking for larger ones on line and found wornings not to be used near pacemakers. the little ones i got just says not to eat them….why would you want to do that?
      it may be fun to use them for removable apendeges. Who knows when you might like to removed a sculputres limb or hat or something but be able to put it back on. (i seem to have very odd thots some times)
      i hope to have a few sheep broches for sale at the Guild’s Sale and Exhibition in Ottawa in November.
      Did you have a prefered method of embedding magnest? it was fun for a bit as it flung itself towords the felting needle but i susspect that it will ware thin a few more sheep in. i wondered about an amature but it is not as interested in the aluminum as it is in the needle.i will have to investigate that its opinion of floral wire is. humm Octipi?

  2. Gorgeous little lambs heads Jan. If you are planning on selling them they will be sold very quickly. Every part is in lovely proportion – the locks are beautiful, Best of luck in your search for mini locks next week.

    That magnetic picker upper with light is a rather ingenious tool. It must make the search and find aspect of your life so easy. A super invention!

    Did I could 2,500 felting needles in total. I imagine they will keep you going for a while (or perhaps they are going to be for sale),

    Enjoy Carp Fair. Thank you for sharing that clever technique for using the magnets too.

    1. thanks! i was prototyping the concept to see if the magnets would work so wasnt working with my regular method of lots of referance pictures so they all started out looking a bit horse faced to me. (it may be some new breed of big headded sheep still in development?)

      the machanics tool with the extendy handle and light is fabulous. its originaly for picking up bolts and scresw and bits that fall under cars as you are takeing them apart or putting there engins bits back in. there is a magnet backed shallow dish my Car Doctore sticks to my car to hold important bits that need to go back in later. i am not sure how we could use that but its still a briliant idea.
      my other helpfull floor avoider is my grabit stick. it has a pincer end on one end and the operating handle on the other. i am glad i sat on the floor a lot as a kid becouse i cant enjoy doing that anymore.

      close on the needle count! (4×500)+400 equils a lot of needles!
      i dont know why the T36’s were sold in a box of 400 not 500 like the rest. i think the total was 2400. i shared some with Ann and have gifted some to frends who felt. i would like to sell some of them at the sale in november. if i sell enuff i can expand to some of the even more expencive shapes.

      i will get to work and finish my notes on the fair shortly. have fun if you trip over a bunch of little magnets! let us know what you wind up doing with them! other than having them stick to your needles…. well i gess it could be a good way to know where your needle is stored?

  3. I agree with everyone else, your lamb heads are certainly going to be in demand. I am interested in trying some crown needles, if you happen to have any for sale. I purchased 500 needle boxes of Groz-B needles from their distributor in North Carolina, (38star, and 40 triangular) a few years ago. But, after reading the blog article about crown needles I have been curious. I am not sure we have Princess Auto parts in the US, but that magnetic light extending tool is something I need to check out. Brian said he has a couple, but he is not usually one to share his toys with others. 😅 I hear from friends it’s a man thing? So thank you for sharing your tools, and possible fiber related uses with us.

    1. Thanks!! it was a fun little project and i suspect i will get faster as i get into the swing of Lambing production (from watching Yew tube reglar lambing is a lot of work i think i will stick to makeing lambs with needles!)
      i would love to have been able to Buy From Groz-B but the montrial office didnt seem interested in selling a single box. both Ann and I had truble with them. i think the ones i have from DOER as simmiler but Groz-B has the best reputation and a more extencive sellection. though i am diapointed in G-B’s rumers vs the Dura needles that were released. oh well i hope the rummer options still turn up at some point.

      Crowns are in the group of Structuring needles, they add serface texture to the industial made non-woven fabric. the other in the group is a forked needle. they take over after the Felting Needles (in all there shapes and gauges have done there work) what is apealing for hand felting is that the crown needles (which come in lots of gauges to as fine as a C-46 so far) have such a shallow working depth it means you can work at an low angle and affect one side of your sculputer with out affecting the other. (you still have to be carefull if its a thin pettle) the draw back is only 3 barbs total so not a fast needle but realy shalow working depth can over come the lack of speed. its not a needle to use every day (unless you are makeing dry felted flowers) but when you need it its handy to have. i am sure i will have some for sale in Ottawa at the guild sale in November. i just have to come up with a packaging idea.

      i wonder if Princess auto would ship out of contery? there must be a discount auto store somewhere in the states? or a quick trip to Canada? (we have butter tarts and prity leaves in the fall!!) If you cant find it ask Brian to add it to your christmas list!!! it would make a fabulous stocking stuffer, it will let you see all the way to the bottom of the sock! (i am hopeing its a big sock full of wool, a spinning wheel, maybe a small loom and a chocklet orange in the tow.)

    2. I am certainly willing to trade needles, if you want to test out the Groz-B’s I have. We are driving to Arizona in the next couple weeks, so my hopeful trip to Canada will have to wait until spring. The packaging I use for felting needles, are plastic test tubes with plastic end caps. Teenitor 50 Pack Clear Plastic Test Tubes https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07FVJZH6D?psc=1&ref_=cm_sw_r_ud_ct_V5H8R97SFN3TCR3B8F9Z. They were $8.99. The caps are not great…but good enough for the price! Maybe they will work for you too. Capi

    1. i have seen the non-eluminated one at Canadian Tier stors but that dosnt help ether (i dont think Canadian Tier has any stores in the state). there must be a discount auto machanics store down there somewhere. or check if Princess Auto ships south. Dont forget to Ask for the Bee Combs if your ordering from them, there a cheep alternitave to buying expencive combs for fiber prep.
      Good Hunting!!!

  4. Great idea to use the magnets and you’ve made a gorgeous little sheep’s head. Perfect curls! It looks like it just trotted out of a sheep salon. Would also make a delightful fridge magnet. I can see them being very popular if you decide to sell them.

    1. Thankyou!! i had made one with a white face with dark gray locks and was waring it at the carp fair. i am not shure where it went as we were packing up. i wanted to photograph it for the blog. it may have been thrown into one of the demo boxes or the bag of table drapes. i will keep looking.
      Fridge magnet is a great idea too!!

  5. Wow Jan, that’s useful. I admit that I hadn’t really known what rare metal magnets were, but having done a quick recce on Wikipedia I understood. Your second link to the magnetic pick up tool looks very useful too – must get one. (My very wide work table, which my husband built for me, has a bottom shelf which is only about 6” from the floor so you can guess how dark and mucky it is under there, and of course that’s where everything usually ends up.)
    I love your little sheep brooch and agree with Lindsay that they would make great fridge magnets too. With those strong magnets you could hang all sorts of useful stuff round the sheep’s neck, like a little notice board, or even the car keys.
    What a busy week you’ve been having. I bet Mr & Mrs Mer enjoyed the Carp Fair. I look forward to hearing about that and also the workshop and Wakefield trip.

    1. when Glenn brouth them home i was supprized how small they were!! but realy strong. key ring holder…. humm… let me think about that.
      oh you will enjoy the extendy handle needle fetcher with light. (and they thot it was for picking up after messy machanics!) i am sure it must be avalible from more than just princess auto! (and Canadian Tier stores)
      september can be quite busy and i still have the garden to work on!!!
      i will show you at corner of the fair i got to see and tell you about how the Mer’s enjoyed it. (Mr. Mer mit be in a bit of trubble with his wife. More on that shortly.) i am looking forord to saterday and a trip to wakefied farmers market, looking for fleece.

    2. I’ve found some of the long handled magnet with light thingys on Amazon too. One has several things you can stick on the end, like a mirror and I think some sort of grabber, which will be useful when it’s something like a reel of cotton that has rolled under my table.
      I wonder what Mr Mer was up to that upset his missus – the mind boggles!

  6. Fabulous sheep head ‘pin-less pin’ Jan – using magnet is so much better than putting little holes in a blouse or jacket!
    And there are so many ways to use the magnets for temporary attachments in textiles.

    The magnet picker-upper is so useful in many ways. I have a carpet that hides dropped pins so sweeping the picker-upper side to side, like a metal detector, works well.

    1. Thank you both! the sheep are fun to make

      if you are looking for pins in a shag carppet i have an even better tool for you! i got it to get roofing nails out of my gardens after the roof was redone. https://www.princessauto.com/en/50-lb-magnetic-pickup-tool/product/PA0008713679 these go on sail so dont buy at full price.
      https://www.princessauto.com/en/17-in-magnetic-sweeper/product/PA0008616294 this is more like a carpet sweeper but i bet it would do the job on pins or felting needles! there are a number of width options and prices. there must be something similer in your area.

      the final option is no carpet in sewing rooms, its less dangerous for the tows in the long run. Good hunting for pins!!

  7. What a clever alternative to brooch pins, Jan. I must confess I’d never have thought about this method in a million years!

    You can also make a whole sheep, place more magnets along its body and use it as a needle minder (or pin minder, for sewing)! I’m tempted (I’ve got a few magnets at home doing nothing) 🙂

    1. Thanks! i have seen magnetic name tags so i think that is where the idea percalated from.
      i like your sheep idea, if you tryed a border colly with magnets it mite be a needle fetcher!! it sounds like you have a blog post idea! i cant wate to see what you come up with.
      have fun!!

  8. Your sheep, with it’s freshly coiffured locks, is fab. I hope you find your grey one, I’m sure it looks fab too. They will certainly be frolicking off to new homes soon I’m sure.

    You’ve chosen the right size of magnets too. With no experience of buying magnets online & overwhelmed with the descriptions, I purchased 20 x 20mm for my needs (felt pebbles). Oh boy!!! …. They are soooo strong I can’t get them apart particularly if I lose the plastic separating discs.

    To actually use them – I created minuscule fabric pouches to pop each magnet in – this stopped them flying/slithering off.

    1. thanks Ann, i will just have to get back to work on them. i have been working on Mrs. Mer and the library and still have to do layouts for the sale and exhibiton. i also have the garden to put to bed for the winter, then the migration of the trees will happen… fall dose not have enuff hours to get everything done. the trees may not migrate very far this fall.

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