Browsed by
Category: Demo

Thinking Positive, it was a demo opportunity – Mer-Man in progress

Thinking Positive, it was a demo opportunity – Mer-Man in progress

Short post (for me) today before painkillers kick in again.

Sometime, probably Friday morning I did something that insulted my back. But it waited till Friday evening to launch into its escalating counter attack.

I claim innocence! I sat on a chair and planted out little pots of seedlings (broadleaf basil, radishes and one of the two curly leaf parsley). The planters were chair height so I was not bending and the pots the seedlings were in were quite light, I did pull the new hose so I could water but that didn’t seem too unreasonable either.

But by early evening I had decided sitting was not an acceptable activity as far as the disk was concerned. I had a burning and buzzing nerve (on the wrong side) and very puffy tops of both feet.  When I tried to get up later in the night, I could not without a lot of help and a lot of pain. Luckily, I have been collecting helpful items that my former patients could see or borrow, including a quad-cane. I got to use it for the first time. It is a wonderful thing when you need it.

1

In the morning I was not much improved. We called Tella-heath and got the receptionist. After getting the gist  of the problem told me a nurse would call me back. The wait would be about 14 hours (which would have been 11pm). Oh well, at least I could then ask questions. (It also allowed me to try to watch the next installment of the mermaid felt along but I was distracted so I will watch it again) He called in the late afternoon and was quite helpful and said I should call the emergency to get instructions on their present procedures.

I gathered a basket while I charged the cell phone (it’s always dead when I want to use it). Glenn got me, the quad cane, a normal cane and the basket into the car. He dropped me at the doors to the hospital. I think a snail in good health could have passed me as I tried to walk. I was having a lot of trouble thinking as well as walking (pain can make it hard to think and remember). All I remember of the first instructions was follow the green dots and the woman had held up a square sticky but had not given it to me since I had both hands full with trying to stand up. The waiting room was divided and some of the chairs had been taped off. The green sticky people went quickly but there were a lot of blue sticky people. I seem to have been blue.

So I found a seat in the far corner by the window and pulled stuff out of the basket. First the paper moridi until the Tylenol from the intake nurse stated to kick in. then it felt safer I put on the audiobook and pull out felting needles. (See this did have felting in it – there will be more)

 

(I didn’t notice when I did their photoshoot that Mr. Mer seems to be receiving a scalenes acupuncture treatment!)

An orderly would come and escort a few people at a time out of the waiting area. When called I moved as fast as I could but could not keep up with the others (maybe they had escargot for breakfast?). The orderly seeing the problem found a comfy wheelchair, Got me seated and jogged me up the hall to catch up to the two he had sent ahead. Compared to the snail speed it felt like flying! I was parked in the comfy chair of wheels just outside one of the inside waiting rooms at the end of the nursing station.  Since the back seemed to deem the new sitting arrangement worthy it reduced its screaming and buzzing. So I pulled the Mer-Man from the basket and continued working on defining his Illiotibial bands (I.T. band).

First the kind orderly who brought me the chair stopped by on his way to a break.  I explained how the needles worked and showed him Lats, upper traps, SCM and delts (they are a little accentuated so when I do the top layer in a thin wash of colour they will still show). I also pulled out the Mer-Woman to show him the size comparison. He seemed, particularly, to like her (she is naked). Some of the nurses rushing by seemed curious but too busy to stop. (There was a very grumpy woman demanding they get her food and Adderall). I got to see a nice doctor who was quite patient with me (it was still hard to think). He checked the feet and back and suggested contact my doctor, a big increase in painkillers and blood work to check for clots. If the blood work came back negative, I could go home.  The very nice nurse who had been harassed by the yelling patent earlier did an excellent job of taking blood and gave me 6 more pills.

Sent back to my previous parking spot I noticed I was at the tail end of the wave of patients so everyone seemed to be much more relaxed.  The doctor I had seen, and some of the nurses stopped by to see what I was doing.  Again I told them how it worked and about online felting sites and the felt along on youtube. I also told the two that seemed very interested, about the local weaving and spinning guild that had a good number of felters in it. (We may have new members when this pandemic is done). the results came back as no blood clot so I could go home, I was very tired.  I got picked up at 12:30 and climbed into bed just after 1 a.m.

(you can see the clavicles on both and SCM on Mr.Mer. I am still exploring the legs being absorbed by the tail.)

I was very glad I had taken the basket of felting and one of the kumohimo disks with me. Most people were just sitting there looking unhappy and bored. I was in pain but definitely not bored. I’m sorry I didn’t think the back would allow me to bring the camera so no interesting pictures of tarps draped between sections of the waiting room and taped off chairs but I’m sure you can envision it. It is wonderful to have light portable interests you can take with you to these places you would rather not have to be. (I am sure given time and a less fogged brain I might be able to figure out a wet felting take along …..maybe in a zip lock bag to keep things from getting wet?)  Stay healthy and be careful of planting vegetables, they may be heavier than they look or felt!

How to Make a Wrapped and Felted Bangle,

How to Make a Wrapped and Felted Bangle,

The other day I made a bangle. I have made them before but it has been a while. So long ago, I can’t find the pictures. I know I have seen them recently while looking for something else.  I was not as good at labelling things then as I am now so searching didn’t help much. Anyway, for this one, I wanted to use some of my handspun. I have many little balls of yarn as I never make much of any one thing.

To start you need a piece of cord or yarn.  Make it the size you want your finished bangle. It will not shrink in size. I used a scrap of yarn.

You need some wool and some yarn. I am using some very dark purple merino but you won’t see any of it when I am done.  The yarns are some of my mostly wool handspun.

Wrap the roving around the string. Wrapping down through the hole and back around until its all covered.

At first, I thought I would wrap the 2 yarns side by side. The larger ball was too hard to poke through the hole all the time. I forgot to take a picture of wrapping the pattern I did but you can see here how snug I did it. It is compressing the roving but not a lot.

This is the wrapped and wet bangle.

At this point, I  just wrapped my fingers around it and squshed it like making a playdough bracelet. Move the bangle around and around so it was all getting squished. I did that for a few minutes, not very long as I am impatient. I rolled it up in a rolling mat. It’s a piece of the foamy, rubbery shelf liner.  I rolled maybe 10 times and then unrolled rotated and flipped it. I did that maybe 4 or 5 times. I wasn’t thinking about it as a tutorial at that point, so I wasn’t keeping track. When I was done it was flat.

Don’t panic, just pick it up and put one hand into the hole and one on the outside and roll it back and forth in the hands like making a playdough snake. Do that all around the bangle until it is round again and feels firm. You could just squeeze it for longer and then roll it in your hands if you don’t want to roll it in a mat.

It really works, it is round and the yarn has given it texture, as well as colour. The longest part of making the bangle is wrapping the yarn.  If you were not as neat as I was, you could do it much faster and would have a more textured bangle.

 

Here it is dry.

You can see it’s a little fuzzy. I wanted more texture and more sparkle. Both Yarns have silk and some Angelina in them.  So I got out my trusty dollar store disposable razor and gave it a heavy shave.

There is a lot more texture and you can see some of the minor colours and some shiny and sparkly bits. I had a really hard time trying to capture the sparkle. Most of the little pink dots are sparkle and the orange Bits are silk.

It is too large for me really It would fall off if I would it loose on my wrist. I push it up to my forearm. On a less Rubenesque person or my much younger self, the upper arm would work well. It was fun to do and I should have thought of it for the first quarter challenge.

So much time.  So much to do!

So much time.  So much to do!

So much time.  So much to do!

Almost all the exciting things I was going to tell you about today were cancelled. The first was the Drive to Peterborough for the first big fibre festival of the year. Last year, due to unpleasant weather in Ottawa, we seemed to be the only ones from there to make it. Not only does the Peterborough Weavers and Spinners guild put on a good sized fibre festival they also get Spring before we do! So it’s nice to see it may arrive in our area in a couple weeks more.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

1-14  From last year at the Peterborough Fibre festival,  a good mix of fibre, yarn, supplies and finished goods.

We also missed the yearly Demo at the Ottawa Valley Farm Show. In the last 2 years, I have felted at the demo, making the polar bear face and then a cardinal. This year it was cancelled but it is better to be safe than sick.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

15-27  The Farm show demo 2019. this is a demo for excellent questions, talking to hemp growers, and trappers with fur. I am going to miss the sheep shaped car air freshener that one booth was giving away!

Well this stay home/work from home idea may not be all bad (as long as we do not get sick!) So far I have read (yes books with words not available in an audible form), watched felting videos I had not yet watched, also videos on restructuring a Victorian style coat, making a pair of combinations (historical fancy underwear), making an 1887 corset and a video on pad stitching. I also am going through and sorting some of the project boxes I have around the house.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

28-30   This was hiding in a box between the dining room and the living room. I wondered where that had got. Originally it was going to be a 5×7 but quickly turned into an 8×10 as I grew more interested In the branch. I should keep looking and find its frame.

Best of all I found one of my missing pairs of old glasses that are just the right focal depth to read, type and felt easily!!! (Oh, maybe not being able to see the keys was better, I think I need to dust the keyboard more often)

3131  Hmm, maybe it’s time to clean up my desk too.

I have been spending a bit more time in the kitchen making interesting Dinners since Glenn is still working. In addition, I have a Grocery run for my mom. Last week was milk, which is a bit heavy for me. So the trundle box, that has been sitting abandoned in the kitchen had to be emptied so I can put her groceries in it.  When I emptied the trundle box I found my missing Other pictures for the landscape workshop!!! I have to remember to unpack and put things away!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

32-34    These are frames I picked up second hand at Value village. The larger one is a memory box, it has a fold down glass front. The second is a shadow box so it has a deeper space between the glass and the artwork. Both are lined with linen fabric so the felt has been pinned to the backing fabric.

Well, now I will have a bit more time since the Guild is closed and I haven’t been working on the guild library projects. Who knows, if I keep puttering on the house I may find that place where I keep putting things so they will be safe!!! (So safe I cannot find them again!)I have done a bit of online shopping some of which will be shared with Ann when it eventually arrives.  I even have felting projects I want to get started before the fleece washing season is back upon us. I hope you are all healthy and since we are instructed to stick our hands in soapy water frequently, at least the wet felters should have a great chance of avoiding the flu! Maybe I will have to wet felt a few backgrounds to needle felt over later. Have lots of fun and use up lots of soap!

 

Cangames gaming convention long weekend in May 2019

Cangames gaming convention long weekend in May 2019

1
Cangames 2019 Ottawa Canada. Upstairs at the curling club

 Image 1

A strange request

Image 2 Cangames 2019

In Ottawa, Canada there is a large gaming convention on the May long weekend each year. Glenn usually runs 18xx train games, other train games and sometimes Settlers of Catan. The 18xx gaming system is extremely long, involves stock trading, math and the early trains rust out part way through the game. It really doesn’t sound like much fun to me so I spin or felt.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Images 2-9 of cangames slide show

 

As you may recall from a previous post (https://feltingandfiberstudio.com/2018/05/23/spinning-at-can-games/) I have done these activities in the middle of several gaming conventions for many years. There has always been curiosity about what I was doing, culminating in a request of “can you run that as a game?”

 

Aha! A Challenge!

 

Why yes I think I may be able to come up with something. So I made a beta testing game for this year, with the option of a second theme for beta testing next year.

 

Since its live action it would likely be best to run this game as a live action role-playing game (LARP). Larp’s are a form of role-playing game (RPG) where the participants physically portray their characters. You may be familiar with table top RPG game like Dungeons and Dragons.  In both systems everyone has a character with stats in various skills. Using these skills, critical thinking and co-operative problem solving you have to defeat or solve some problem (rampaging orcs, dragons, other common problems) within a story told by your dungeon master.  (It’s all very exciting and better than trains that rust – Sorry Glenn)

 

Now how to fit fibre arts into this? I need a story arc or plot; one with the necessity to spin.  Rumpelstiltskin, which would be spinning flax, would be a bit hard for a beginner to start spinning on. Sleeping beauty, no that’s just how to catch tetanus. It would also be hard to find a prince that could actually heal that.

 

Eureka!! Jason and the Argonauts! Yes perfect. Jason is an idiot but the story has lots of other great non-player characters (NPCs). Such as Jason, Captain and leader of the Argonauts (a lot of sailors), Medea (a high priestess) and her father (the King). The two important magical artifacts were the cloak of Helios and the Golden Fleece. There is even an epic battle. Perfect! But most important it involves a fleece (a rams fleece technically but I won’t be picky).

Well the battle is unimportant for spinning but it has to have already occurred so the players will have the fleece in hand to spin. It also needs to happen before Jason tries to dump Medea for the young and beautiful Creusila, daughter of the King of Crete.

 

Ok let me try to write that up as an RPG

“Live action RPG Spin the Golden Fleece

(Advanced characters with High Co-ordination best suited to this game but lower levels are welcome too)

 

Spin the Golden Fleece.

This adventure takes place between the heroic battle you fought, assisted by Jason and the Argonauts and the High priestess Medea against her cruel and unreasonable father the king. And before the adventures in Crete with the beautiful Creusala and her father, the king of Crete. (“Weave the Cloak of Helios” may be offered in another RPG another year but only if the weather is cloudy.)”

 

I printed out the instructions (see below) made up kits with the instructions, parts and a bit of wool to practice with. It all fit in a basket I picked up at value village. So off to Cangames with one of my travel wheels in a trundle box and basket to beta test the new “spinning game”.

Images 10-12

 

The gaming takes place in the curling arena, some games are on tables set in the lobby, a few in the basement and some in the upstairs hall that overlooks the curling area. It’s a very old building and there is no elevator but 2 very long sets of stairs do get you up to the comfortable chairs of the upper hall (luckily the washrooms are also on the upper level). Since Glenn was gaming upstairs and it has the best view for watch the other gaming happening below, I enjoy being up there. The best chairs are also upstairs.

Images 13-14

 

I set up in a corner near the RPG-ers but not underfoot. Most people had pre-signed up for games but occasionally there will be a break, a game is canceled or ends early. If you have a game going that could use another person you put out a small orange traffic cone to indicate you are looking for more players. Since I was beta testing I was not on the schedule so didn’t have preregistration. I put out my traffic cone, kits of spindle making and some extra fibre. Then sat down with my roadbug wheel, turned on my audio book and started to spin.  I had 5 people join me this year. Only one had tried to spin before. I did have lots who stopped to see what I was doing and were interested but about to start a preregistered game. A couple of the organizers stopped by to see what kind of game I had come up with too. They were also busy but wanted to see me submit it for next year’s program.

 

The first part of their adventure was to construct their own drop spindle. I had bought the necessary supplies at the local dollar store. The long and short meat skewers, small hair elastics, bull dog clips in a few different sizes (weights), a box of extra-large Ziploc sandwich bags, a ball of string and a really strong pair of garden pruners. I selected some of my superwash merino wool to stand in for the Golden fleece. Super wash wool may not felt but it does spin quite nicely.

 

After getting the players to assemble their own drop spindle I had them try spinning by using the park and draft method. I also showed them how to put it all together, drafting and spinning all at once. They all seemed very happy and headed off with their spindles, fibre and the web address for the local guild and their Face book page so they could find more spinners.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Images 15-23

It was fun to try to integrate two activities. My solution was to make spinning a game, but Glenn’s solution has been trying to entice me into sheep related boardgames (without trains that rust or excessive math or spelling skills). He has actually found and acquired a lot of sheep related board games for me. We have even taken them in to a couple social nights at the guild to enjoy them with other sheep oriented people.

 

Here are some of them. Have you found ones he has not?

Images 24-25

Images 26-30

“Sheepland”, “Attribute”, “Battle Sheep”, “Shear Panic”, “Sheep’n’sheep” (the Japanies one), “Wooly Bully”,   “Space Sheep!”, “Wool rules” and a sheep staking game.

“Sheep and Thief” and “Lowlands” have recently been added but not yet played.

 

31

Image 31 Glenn won a tournament.

 

 

If you were curious here is the written part of the RPG game I was running.

Live action RPG Spin the Golden Fleece

(Advanced characters with High Co-ordination best suited to this game but lower levels are welcome too)

 

Spin the Golden Fleece.

This adventure takes place between the heroic battle you fought, assisted by Jason and the Argonauts and the High priestess Medea against her cruel and unreasonable father the king. And before the adventures in Crete with the beautiful Creusala and her father, the king of Crete. (“Weave the Cloak of Helios” may be offered in another RPG another year but only if the weather is cloudy.)

 

The adventure instructions:

Part 1 Assemble the Turkish Drop spindle (25 experience upon completion)

How to assemble the spindle;

32  Image 32

Take the 4 shorter skewers, elastic-ed together in pairs laid tip to tail.  Make an ‘X’ by crossing the two sets on top of each other. Put the long skewer through the center of the cross and rap elastics diagonally from the point between the arms of the X and back to the point. Then add an elastic to the other diagonal. Trim off some of the extra length at the top of the long skewer. Take an arm’s length of your string and tie a knot to make into a big loop. Rap the loop around the spindle shaft and pull one end through the other do this again to make a double loop to set your leader. Add the bull dog clips on opposite arms to give more momentum if needed.

 

Part 2 spin the Golden top or Roving

 

(the golden Fleece has already been fiber prepped, presumably by Jason (drum carded), his crew of the Argonaut (Roving or Rolags) or Medea herself (Top).)

 

Method; Park and Draft

Use the attached leader from your spindle, fold over a bit of your fiber (pre-drafted if you have not spun before is suggested). Pinch the fiber and now add twist by spinning your spindle.

 

Do not let the twist into the fiber you are not yet spinning.

 

Once you see a good amount of twist in the leader and bit of fiber you are starting with, Stop.  Park the spindle between your knees. Now comes the draft part.  Slide the fingers you are pinching to keep the twist on the spindle side of the roving up the roving until you feel the fiber is starting to lose twist or you reach the end of the area you have predrafted.

 

Twist is what keeps the fibers together.  It’s the magic glue when you spin. If you get too much twist the yarn will have too much energy and twist up on itself when plyed. If you have too little twist it will break.

 

If the singles seems to be twisted to your liking, wind on to the spindle. With a Turkish spindle you wind over 2 and under one arm. Then set up to add more twist by spinning the next section of fiber (roving or top).

When enough twist has built up again, park the spindle and draft out the fiber.  Then add to spindle. Spin again to build up twist repeating until you run out of fiber or have a full drop spindle. (Park/Draft/Park/draft….)

25exp

 

Plying

If you wove or knit with a single (that is the yarn you made on the drop spindle) it will have excess energy which will affect the product you are making. To remove the excess energy plying is used.

Double ended ball method.

Use a ball winder, Nostapina or toilet paper tube to wind a ball keeping the inside end accessible. Join the inside end and the outside end together. Spin in the opposite direction to balance the twist and produce relaxed yarn.

Exp 25

 

Making a skein

Storing the spun 2 ply yarn is important, so it will be ready to weave or knit with between battles.

Equipment: skein winder, reel or squirrel cage. In an emergency, the space between your thumb and first finger and your elbow can be used to make a small skein.

 

Affix with a slip knot or hold the starting end. Wind the skein.  When you have almost finished secure the tail in two or three places to finish the skein.

 

Twist opposite ends of the skein and tuck the tail in to the opposite loop end. Let the twist create a finished looking skein for you.

Exp 25

33

Image 33

 

A class with Moy MacKay

A class with Moy MacKay

Last week I had the opportunity to take a 2 day class with Moy MacKay. I went with a couple of friends and we had a great time.  We did the wet felting on day one. We had 2 pictures to choose from for the landscape.

I chose the one the left.

Moy demonstrated and explained to us how to work and what to do. We got to ask questions. She told us to take lots of pictures as we went because you see things in the picture that  you don’t see in just looking at it. Still I didn’t take enough.

First we laid out the background

Then we added the foreground and details. The house is prefelt and the flowers in the front are chopped up curls

We wet them down and gave them a 2 or 3 min rub and then rolled them for about 3 min one way and then the other for another few min and we were done. They are very lightly felted but that’s ok because they are pictures not hats.

That took the morning. After lunch we did another piece, a still life, flowers. We had a vase of red flowers and babies breath to use for inspiration. We were not to copy it but to use it to see how flowers look. You can see it in the group picture. Moy demonstrated again and explained again and then we only had about an hour to put the picture together and then a short time to get it felted before we had to be out of the room for another group.

We started with the table then the foliage and then the vase and then moves some leaves around. Then we added the flowers. The babies breath is nepps.

I quite like it at this stage. Not as much after it was felted.

On day 2 we started the embellishing. Moy talked about and demonstrated needle felting accents and refining the pictures. Also some machine embroidery and stitching.  we could try the machine stitching if we wanted but my picture wasn’t ready for that yet.   This is what they are like now. No where near done but works in progress.

This is after I straitened up the house and removed the mangled fence and added a new one.

This is where it is now.  I added windows and ivy to the house. I removed the cobwebs from the trees. I added some shading to the trees. I added in some stems for the flowers in front and another fence. I think the field behind the left fence needs to be darker because it’s farther away. It doesn’t show well in the picture but right now it is lighter and more yellow than the front field.  It needs a lot more work but I think I know what I want to do to it.

And the flowers. I forgot to take a picture of when it was wet felted but had no embellishments.  But here it is so far. I am not as keen on the flowers but they are alright. I may like them better after I work on them some more. The table needs straitening up and lots more texture. And notice the nepps have stuck. We had chopped up some green fibers as part of the foliage and I think the short fibers under them made them stick.

And lastly a picture of everyone’s works at the end of the second day. the flowers we used are beside Moy.

It was a great class. I think it’s given me confidence to try some more. Jan will be doing more posts for us and I hope she will do one about this class too. She will have taken at least a hundred more pictures than me and be able to show you her works in progress too.

Don’t forget to sign up for the holiday card exchange on the forum. Read all about it here: https://feltingandfiberstudio.com/2018/10/10/time-for-the-holiday-card-exchange-again/

 

Spinning at Can Games

Spinning at Can Games

 

JAN’S BLOG POST; CAN GAMES Spontaneous Demoing 2018

For a number of years I have followed my husband to the local board gaming convention on the May long weekend (Can Games). In exchange for my support of his hobby, I get gardening help from him. I have been attending Can Games for quite a number of years always accompanied by my portable spinning wheel.

   Jan 2Friday spinning upstairs beside the Curling club kitchen. The Road bug spinning wheel fits in the trundle box for travel.

 

I have been there long enough that I am greeted by Gamers I recognized by face if not by name.

jan 03 jan 04

Glen plays various board games (many involving trains and vary complicated rules systems) and I sit with my wheel and spin, sometimes I use my hand carders. There are a lot of guys gaming, most of whom are interested in the way the wheel works. I hear lots of stories about wives and mothers who knit too. While the much younger kids just seem really interested in the turning wheel. I think it was last year that a very fussy baby noticed my wheel spinning and became mesmerized (and quiet).

The last couple years I have asked if they should add a live action RPG game of “Spin the golden fleece” or “Turn straw into gold” (well actually linen but it’s almost as good!). This weekend was the first time one of the volunteers who run the convention has mentioned that I should present a game description for play testing at next year’s convention.

He suggested I should have levels of difficulty to learn and earn experience (starting out with a skill and perfecting it). Then give them a greater challenge to learn and perfect. Maybe starting out with a regular fleece and moving up to a golden one? Maybe a silk and merino blend and then have a choice of alpaca or cotton for the really advanced spinners and to earn extra bonus points?

Character requirements would be high dexterity, excellent patience and a sense of humour.

I would suggest the chopstick Turkish spindles may be ideal for this purpose since you can increase the weight and rotational momentum by adding bulldog clips to the arms of the spindle and they are really cheap to make.

I could offer a second “Live action RPG game” for advanced level players who would turn straw into gold, which could cover bast fibres, if there was interest.

 

As you may remember, I did quite a bit of needle felting last year. I purchased a good quantity of super wash merino wool (mill ends from Black Lamb). The colours were amazing and enticed me into the purchase. Although I did successfully needle felt with it, I did find it was a lot more work than non-super wash wool. So I need to find a use for all this fabulously pretty fibre. Hum, I bet Mom would like a scarf for next winter. I bet I could make some very interesting slightly slubby yarn that would weave up nicely. I have a couple of table looms to choose from and could use that as a demo project for the next demo at the beginning of June. It will be nice to weave with my own handwoven again.

jan 05   Part of the super wash Merino acquisition.

I selected the blue and one of the greens tones in a slightly variegated top. I split the top into thinner strips and then intermittently spun one or the other colours then both together. It was fun to spin and I enjoyed the blending of colours.

jan 06  jan 07

jan-08-e1526940294613.jpg

I used the road bug travel wheel again. When I had the bobbin full I wound it off onto the blacksmith made plying tool. Glenn made it so I would stop using his paperback books to wind onto. It has 2 parallel arms that have a slight slope so I can slide the singles onto my wrist and then ply from the double ended ball that is now wrapped around my wrist. This tool also works for drop spindles and means I can put it down and go do something else (very handy).

jan 09 jan 10    Put the end of the singles yarn through one of the end rings and put your thumb over the tail as you start to wind on. (Alternating sections of diagonals similar to a Nostipine work well)

jan-11.jpg  Working at a distance helps to even out the tension consistency.

  jan-12.jpg  Wind off the bobbin onto the plying tool. You can put it down and go look at something then finish winding. When you get to the end, remove the beginning and the end from the rings and tie them together.

jan 13   I use my Left hand to slide through the double ended ball, gripping the beginning and end with the fingers,

jan 14   jan 15 Now slide the ball off the implement and onto your wrist.

jan 16After the bobbin of plied yarn was full (ok I played yarn chicken to get it all to fit back on the plying bobbin and won) l I used the cheap easy to make niddy noddy to wind into skeins. (PVC Pipe from Home Depot)

jan 17

Even with all the spinning I did while at Can Games I still had time to play a couple games (Chariots and A playtesting new game which hopefully will be available in August on Kick starter), some shopping a few board games, a couple for one of my friends, and a game of stacking miniature chairs) and watching some of the games that were running.

  jan 18  jan 19   The Chariot Race

jan 20jan-21.jpgjan-22.jpg

Lego mecs, Dice and Helms deep

jan 23jan-24.jpgjan 25

Pirates, chair game, sheep participate in Scottish fort battle.

I was not the only fiber arts person there this year. There was a lady knitting beside a miniature games with pirates being attacked by small green monsters.

The gaming convention is now over for another year and I hope next year I will be joined by more spinners, weaver’s, felters or knitters who would like to have fun on part of the long weekend. Maybe you will join me in an RPG to spin the Golden Fleece? We will make Turkish spindles out of chopsticks and elastics!

Demo Last Weekend

Demo Last Weekend

This last weekend my guild did a Demo at the Carp Fair I went on the Sunday.  I took a blending board to make some more rollags. I had some hand cards with me and I had a spindle I was spinning a rollag on so I could explain it all.  It was very popular with the visitors to the fair. .

Bernadette was spinning Rambouillet on her wheel. In this picture she is Chain plying it.

Jan was working On the Edo Challenge. And Yes that is an octopus. I am hoping to get her to do a post about her progress. Here she is explaining it to some visitors.

Her fish was there on display and tried to eat a passing child.

Julie was weaving. She is doing shibori on the loom. She weaves the draw strings right into the scarf ready to be tightened up and then dyed. She has a finished sample onto of her loom.

 

And lastly 2 of the display tables.

I didn’t get any of the third table except Jan’s Fish.  We had a great time chatting with people about spinning, weaving and felting.  Have you been doing your crafts in public lately?

 

Spinning at the Medieval Fair.

Spinning at the Medieval Fair.

Last Sunday I went to the medieval for to be part of the demo at our local Medieval fair. It is always fun.

Here I am spinnign some of the rolags I told you about in this post.

It looks like I was saying something very interesting to Bernadetts Who was carding on the hand carders and spinning on her wheel. She was Dressed as a Moorish house slave to some a  Dutch family. She would not go get us Coffee though. 😉

In the picture above you can see Judy spinning on a medieval spindle and using a distaff to hold her wool. Below is a video of me trying to learn and not doing a good job.

It’s a different action then using a suspended drop spindle like I usually do.  You have to spin and control the spindle with your right hand and draft off the distaff with the left.  My right wants to drift up and help my left draft. I need to practice much more. If you look at a medieval painting of spindle spinners you will see how they have one hand at there side and one up by the distaff.

We were close to the stage so we had entertainment most of the day. Here we are watching the dancers and musicians. but notice I am still demoing and not slaking off.  Another great reason to use a spindle.

Then this happened, and we had to pack up quick as the heavens opened and we all tried to stay dry.

All in all a fun day with friends and fiber.

 

Makers Faire

Makers Faire

Last weekend we did a demo at the makers fair.  It was the busiest dem I have ever done.  Next year we will take more people. Almost 6000 adult ticket were sold. Children were free. My voice was almost gone by the end of the first day. I wondered if I would be able to talk on Sunday. But years of practice talking too much paid off and I was good to go in the morning and lasted all day.

booth-set-up

Jan is on the left for weaving, Elizabeth in the middle doing spinning and weaving and then my place is on the right were I had people making wet felted felt beads.

And a little closer, the elephant was made by Elizabeth on a ridged  heddle loom.

felt-and-elephant

This is my how to make a had display

img_4655

These are the guild sample books. One for sheep, one for other animal fibers and cullies fibers, and one to other fibers. the black at the front is Kevlar.

sample-books

First Jan dressed her loom, and then started a sample piece for a Viking blanket. She has found information on several way these were done so now she is figuring out what will work best for her.

jan-dressing-her-loom jan-weaving

And this was me most of both days. Jan had a hard time getting a picture of me as I was always surrounded by not just children but also adults wanting a turn.

ann-demo-web

One of the Leaders form this group came and made a bead so she could use it as a spacer in one of the machines that had some had some metal parts hitting each other.

soccer-robot

There was lots of variety. There must have been a doz 3D printers. But some low tech stuff too.

Felting soap and a Hat Class

Felting soap and a Hat Class

With the arrival of fall I don’t seem to have much time to felt. Today I have to make some felted Soap for the museum store. I thought I would show you how I do it. I do it  little differently then Leonor Calaca  showed you in September. felting-soap Please remember there is no one right way so you will probably find other ways to do it on line too.  They are all good.  

Here everything is ready to start. these are my bins of small amounts.

soap-and-wool

I wrap wool around the sides and then around the whole thing. The green was a small piece of a batt I had and the red is combed top.

wrap-one-way wrap-the-other-waywrap-the-other-way-2

Than I wrap either a thin piece of wool top or a piece of silk hanky

wrap-the-other-way wrap-some-thin-roving wrap-some-thin-roving-2

Then into a piece on nylon to hold it all together. I make up a bunch and then take them to the living room so I can watch TV while doing the felting.

place-in-nylon soap-pile

 

Once its felted I put it on a cake drying wrack to dry. I am afraid I only gat as far as the pile above and then my grandchildren showed up for an unexpected visit. So here is a picture of some I did another time, drying.

felted soap

The other thing I wanted to do was remind everyone , especially the people that missed the last one that Terry Berry is doing another Concertina hat class on November 4. Everyone in the last class had a great time. Here is the link to the class. Felted-concertina-hat-with-teri-berry and her is the link to some of the hats people made in class. felted-concertina-hat-gallery

Felted Concertina Hat by Teri Berry

 

%d bloggers like this: