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Author: shepherdessann

Doing Some Teaching

Doing Some Teaching

The last couple of weekends I have been teaching some workshops. Last Sunday was Nunofelt Scarves. This was originally scheduled for December. But I caught whatever nasty head cold was going around, it came with a very annoying cough. I did a test for Covid and it was negative.

Anyway, after a couple of years of no workshops and a delay, it was good to be able to teach people in person again. I am still rusty when it comes to taking pictures during class, so there are not very many of this one.

rubbing nuno felt scarves

students with finished nuno felt scarves

 

Yesterday I taught Wet Felt Birdfeeder/house.

This is the picture we use to advertise it.

Everyone in the class chose to do a feeder( larger opening) in a gourd shape.

I remembered to take a few more pictures but I still had a hard time remembering.

Laying out the base wool.

laying out wool for a felt birdhouse Two people laying out wool for a felt birdhouses two people laying out wool for a felt birdhouses

 

Decorating

 

The finished birdfeeders. I think some of the holes may need to be enlarged. They have balloons in them to hold the shape while they dry.

 

 

All in all, we had a great time on both days. It was so nice to teach again to interact and answer questions and see people be amazed when it really does work.

 

Stitching Some Trees

Stitching Some Trees

I am continuing with my slow(very slow) stitching. I have accidentally done part of the first-quarter challenge. Last time I showed you my tree trunk. Next, I got some of my handspun to make the evergreen part.

I pulled a lighter green first. it was much too light. I switched to t a much darker green that works much better. it is a thicker yarn too, which I think works better.

stitching an evergreen tree light green yarn test. stitching an evergreen, tree dark green yarn test

 

The practice one worked out well so onto the good ones.

 

stitched tree trunk stitched evergreen tree

The trunk on this one ended up a bit fat but I don’t mind

brown stitched tree trunk 2 stitched evergreen 2

2 stitched evergreen trees

 

And the third one

third stitched tree trunk  third stitched tevergreen tree

And this is how it looks now

3 stitched snow flakes and 3 stitched evergreen tree.

 

I like it so far but I am not sure what to put in the blank corner. I thought maybe a branch so I did a test one. I may try to add some cones or snow. I am not sure what kind of tree it looks like. What do you think? what would you put there?

stitched evergreen branch, half done evergreen branch finished

 

 

A little slow stitching

A little slow stitching

I like slow stitching. Just stitching for fun and to relax. No big purpose or major projects. Just do it as you feel like it. This suits me as I am not a great stitcher and I can pick it up and put it down without any guilt. I belong to a group on Facebook and some people are amazing artists and some just do random stitching on a piece of cloth and everything in between.

I decided I wanted t make some snowflakes and at least one tree. I had seen an interesting one in my Pinterest suggestions. To this end, I took the ripped-up sheet out of the donations box. You know what they say if you want to know what you intended for something just give it away and next week you will know what you needed it for. I was lucky that we are very slow with these things and they hadn’t made it to their destination. I am still not sure what the original idea was for these wide strips of sheet.

One piece was a little grubby looking so I chose it for the proof of concept (practice) piece. I have a nice small free-standing embroidery hoop I got at a garage sale (I think). It means it’s hands-free and can sit beside my chair and the hoop doesn’t go missing.

 

Snowflakes. I drew 3 stars onto the cloth to use as patterns. I used some thick gold polyester thread from Gutermann.

PATERN FOR SNOWFLAKES gold thread spokes for stitching snowflakes Finished gold stitched snowflake

That was easy enough so I moved on to some clean fabric

I drew the stars a little bigger and I did gold again

Patterns for snowflakes gold snowflake partially donegold snowflake finished

Then I moved on to what would be the problem thread. It is something I picked up because it was shiny but it has no markings it is just on a plane cardboard tube.  It’s a copper/bronze kind of colour and it is terrible to work with. it seems to be a wrapped thread and it kept breaking. There are a lot more knots in the back of this one. and there was a lot more cursing with the rethreading of the needle. I would have liked to add more to this but I was done with the thread.

bronze stitched snow flake

 

Next was some nice silvery embroidery thread. DMC rayon S712. I used 3 strands. It was very nice to use.

silver stitched snowflake

 

And here they are together

3 stitched snow flakes together

I switched back to the practice cloth to work on the tree. this is the trunk( obviously) I tried to do varying lengths of stitches to help it look more like bark. It is very hard to deliberately make random stitch lengths.

brown stitched tree trunk brown stitched treetrunk close up

 

This is what the back looks like where the backstitching is. I think I like it better for bark. The problem is I am having a hard time wrapping my head around doing backstitch upside down. It probably has another name with you do it that way.

back side of stitched tree trunk backside of stitched tree trunk, close up

Next is the evergreen bows. I will see how that goes. As I said it’s slow stitching.

Thinking about a tree.

Thinking about a tree.

Before the pandemic, I used to organize and participate in a holiday card exchange at the Felting and Fiber Studio Forum. I am not sure why I stopped but I guess everyone was worried about spreading things and I just didn’t do it. Anyway, I missed making the cards so I wanted to try one just for myself.

I always like to do trees and sheep. I thought a swirl tree would be a good thing. I found a public domain one online that looked simple enough.

a stylized swirly tree

I got some water-soluble stabilizer to trace it onto. I used the plastic-feeling stuff. I thought the Sharpie marker might dissolve it but to my surprise, it didn’t.  You can see that the stabilizer is textured, like a tiny waffle pattern.

a tracing of a stylized tree

It’s very flexible and easy to pin to the felt I wanted to use. It’s just a small piece about 2 inches by 4 inches, 5x10cm

Tracing of a tree pinned to a piece of felt.

 

I decided to you a fairly solid green handspun I had. It’s wool and silk. the pictures of it are not great the silk really throws the camera off.

a ball of hand spun yarn

Now there is a break in the pictures. I took progress pictures but they seem to have vanished. they are no longer on my phone and they are not on the computer. I check all the recently used folders. Poof, they are gone. so we jump to the finished pictures. I used the plied yarn for the trunk and then seeing how thick it looked I unplied the yarn and used singles for the swirls.

needle felted stylized tree needle felted stylized tree, close up

The tree is ok but everything is too close and not as defined as I wanted.  I am suffering from trying to work too small again. I had planned to add stitching for a star and Christmas balls but I think I will try again larger. I just need to find a piece of felt or make some.

Do you make felt cards? Or like Lyn, do you make dioramas or perhaps a picture to take a picture of, for cards?

 

A new spindle

A new spindle

Both Jan and Bernadette have told you about our guild sale and exhibition. Now it’s my turn. I didn’t have my own booth this year so I got to wander around and fill in and help out wherever I was needed. It was really nice to not be assigned anywhere and just enjoy the show and chat with everyone after not seeing so many in person for a couple of years.

I am not a big spender at these things. I look for new fibres and add-ons and how people are combining things. Then I  go looking for the ingredients to make my own.

The one thing I do buy is spindles. I bought a new spindle from Judy Kavanaugh. https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/JudyKavanagh  She makes all kinds of tools and patterns.  This one is a bedouin-style spindle.  It has 4 arms and is a top whorl spindle instead of a bottom whorl spindle I usually use.  The wood is beautiful.

 

Bedouin Spindle

People kept asking if it was a Turkish spindle but you can’t take the arms off this one and you don’t wrap your yarn around them. this is the other way up so you can see the wool cob on it. The angle makes it look small.

close up of the wool yarn on spindle

I am enjoying spinning on it. and that brings up to the other things I bought. I bought 2 batts from Bernadette. I like to buy them from Bernadette because she isn’t recarding wool tops. She is using wool she processed herself and it is really nice to spin.

blue wool batts for spinning. a bedouin spindle

The Darker blue is what I am spinning on my new spindle and it’s marked as mixed fibre. It’s soft and a little shiny.

The brighter blue I am spinning on another spindle.

bright blue wool batt and drop spindle close up of yarn of a drop spindle

The wool is much spongier and I have lost the label but I am betting it’s Coopworth. It’s very nice to spin too.

This post is a bit backward because I bought the wool first and the spindle second. The new spindle is more exciting to chat about so it got top billing. It really went like this. I started to spin the bright blue batt first. Then I decided that a blue spindle that Judy had for sale really was calling my name. When I went to get it, someone had already bought it. You snooze you lose. then standing there chatting with Judy I saw her spinning on a Bedouin spindle and gave it a try and decided it was just as well the other one was sold. I picked out the lovely one at the top. So then I abandoned this lovely fibre and started spinning on my new spindle with the other batt.

All in all, I think I was very restrained in my buying. There were so many pretty things I could have bought.

Here is a picture of me spinning at the show. And yes I really did chop my hair off. It was time for a change and it will grow again.

28 Ann took her new spindle for a spin!

 

 

Magazines

Magazines

The Other Ann had posted about a challenge in a magazine she gets. Inspiration Magazine. https://www.inspirationsstudios.com/product/inspirations-issue-116/ it’s a needlework magazine. It looks really cool. So, I thought it might be an idea to ask people what magazines they read for knowledge and inspiration. Everyone seems to really love the Christmas beetle brooch. So I thought I would edit in the price for the kit, $129.00.  I am assuming that is Australian dollars.

I read Filz fu4n. the guild subscribes and there is an English supplement available. https://www.filzfun.de/magazin/en/

Wild Fibres is another interesting one. Lots of interesting articles and pictures.  https://www.wildfibersmagazine.com/

I look through Ply https://plymagazine.com/ and Spin-Off https://spinoffmagazine.com/ magazines at the Weavers’ and Spinners’ Guild too. They don’t do felting but I spin and there are lots of colour inspirations.

     

 

I would love to see Felt Matters but can’t bring myself to pay $65 for a digital and $81 for a printed ( 4 per year) magazine.

I like to leaf through unrelated magazines too when I see them. art quilt magazines are inspiring. They are good at showing you how to break down and simplify a picture. Nature magazines of course are great for inspiration. I have an old National Geographic magazine that talks about wool. It’s packed away but I found a picture

 

So tell us which magazines do you read to learn, and/or get inspired.

It’s That Time of Year Again

It’s That Time of Year Again

You may be thinking No, it’s not Christmas time yet. I am still enjoying cooler days with amazing trees putting on a show. And you’re are right it’s not Christmas time. It’s getting ready for sales time. and that means making dryer balls and soap for the guild sale and the Log Farm Market.

I don’t have a booth this year at our Guild sale, https://www.ovwsg.com/sale/ instead, I am joining the co-op booth where members who only have a few things to sell can put things and the guild takes a small commission.

The Log Farm where we do the Farmers’ Market has a small store, https://thelogfarm.com/karens-kountry-market/ that is open through the lead-up to Christmas. They want dryer balls and soap.

So off my son and I went to find the Corriedale wool and the soap I know I bought and the bag with the pantyhose/nylons/stockings( depending on where you are from).

We found the wool and the pantyhose but no soap. We dragged out the big boxes of wool. One has all my dyed wool in it. I will need that for making soap. I am sure there is soap in there somewhere but that’s enough searching. I will go buy more soap. I will find the other stuff eventually and it doesn’t go bad. The other good thing I found was a box of frames. I hope to get a few things framed for the show too.

On to making dryer balls. Here is one leg of dryer balls ready to go to the washer and dryer.

And this is what they look like after I got them all done.

Monday evening I took my bag of dryer balls to the guild with me and with the help of another guild member( sorry I do not remember your name, sometime between 2 and 10 years of knowing you I will remember it) They were all removed. this means untying the knots between each ball that are now tight and pealing them out. they are stuck pretty good.

Now I am putting them into the pantyhose again so they can have another trip through the washer and dryer to get rid of their fuzzies from being stuck and peeled out of the pantyhose the first time.

After another trip through the washer and dryer, I will need to bag them, put a topper on them, and then label them with a unique number so they can be tracked in the co-op booth. and I then need to make the soap too. and I haven’t started that so they will have to be another post.

 

 

Thinking about doing some samples

Thinking about doing some samples

Today I am looking forward to having a little time to do some felting….well in the not-too-distant future. Today is the last day of the regular farmers’ market. There will be a bit of a break before we need to bake for the Christmas markets. I will need to make more meat pies and stock up the freezer with uncooked but ready-to-bake items but that is not as much of a rush.

 

One thing I want to do is make a big pullover/sweater/coat sort of thing. See the bad sketch below. I would like to be able to pull it on over my head but may have to opt for a zipper up the middle. all the squiggles in the second picture are scrunched-up silk…maybe.

 

Hopefully reversible. I think I want pockets. I am wondering if I should try side pockets like you get in a skirt seam or patch pockets inside and out.

 

 

I know I won’t get it done anytime soon, but I would like to do some sampling, and try out some different fabrics for backing and embellishment. I also want to try a sandwich of cotton/wool/silk, silk/wool/silk and cotton/wool/cotton along with the traditional wool on one side and fabric on the other.  I need to try some different wools too. I know merino is likely to pill a lot if not covered in something and I have Corriedale and some BFL that I should try.

Colour is another variable of course. My fallback would be grey with accent colours (I really like grey and red together) or purple, I don’t know.

Future felt

Future felt

So what would future felt be? Can you guess?

 

Here is a clue

 

Did that help?

 

how about this

 

I bet you know now.

 

 

 

Meet Pete also known as Handsome Pete. He is our new Blue Faced Leicester Ram.

 

He arrived on Wednesday. He is settling in well. he can see the sheep when they come in and he can smell them are girls. He is handsome and calm. He likes his back scratched. He is not sure about Ava. She is a dog after all but I am sure the others will let him know that although she is black and white, she is no border collie.

This very handsome and alert shot is also looking at Ava who is paying no attention at all.

 

 

A little spinning

A little spinning

I really haven’t done much of anything since I did the jellyfish. I did go to help with a Demo at the Almonte Fiber festival last Sunday. It was so lovely to get out to an event and a demo. I have missed doing both of these the last couple of years.

I am sure Jan will show you many pictures of the event as she is the official photographer. So I will only show you my end of the display table. well for the first half of the day. Then the other felter left and a weaver arrived and my end of the table worked better so I moved to the other end of the table and didn’t take a picture. Jan will have. Yay Jan!

It’s messier than I remember someone must have been looking at it. That’s a good thing. and then of course I put my spinning down in the middle of it and took a picture.  The basket and flax and silk and cotton are Bernadett’s and were not quite that hidden from the front.

 

At the demo, I was using my drop spindle. I spun up some rolags I made with Wool from Bernadette and some saree silk.

That’s really all I have done lately. So here are some of the rolags I have left and some of the spun yarn.

 

These are two I spun earlier that still need plying. It’s fun to see how the different colours of sari silk affect the same colour wool.

Next, it’s the green wool, with different sari silks.

 

That’s it for now. I hope to do some felting before my next post but you never know it might be more spinning.

 

 

 

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