Browsed by
Category: Experiments

Not for Hélène’s eyes – Christmas “card” swap

Not for Hélène’s eyes – Christmas “card” swap

This year, our merry (see what I did there?) group of crafters/blog writers decided to do a card swap among us. It didn’t really have to be Christmassy, it just needed to somewhat resemble a card.

The idea is to overthrow the ephemeral notion of a Seasons Greetings card on its head and make something with your own hands that a fellow crafter will appreciate and want to keep.

I was partnered with Hélène, felter extraordinaire, so I was naturally stressed out. I knew my card wouldn’t begin to compare with anything she created, but I put those pesky defeating voices aside and got to work.

It took me a few days to come up with a jolly (ha, again!, I crack myself up) theme for the time of year, and decided to join two strengths of mine: pattern search and knitting. Off to Ravelry I went browsing, and settled on Stay Cool  by Drops Yarn.

Ravelry first page results for patterns with the term "snowflake"
First page results on Ravelry for the term “Snowflake.” Pretty, but not very card-like…

Stay Cool is meant to be a pot holder but I adapted it to be slightly longer on two sides and kept the back plain so I could attach it to cardboard. In hindsight, I could have knitted both sides in pattern, but at this point I was still a little fuzzy on my end goal. (Sorry, Hélène!)

I used my own hand spun yarn because I wanted the “card” to be as handmade and personal as I could possibly make it. If you want to get geeky with me with specs, I used white Shetland spun woollen from pencil roving for one yarn, and an Alpaca/Polwarth blend spun worsted for the brown.

A printed version of the pattern on top and the finished knitted snowflake "card" on the bottom

Not unsurprisingly, the back came out “longer” than the front, despite having the same number of stitches. I should’ve predicted this because fair isle knitting constricts patterns a bit, but alas, I didn’t remember.

Now came the daunting part for me: wet felting. I wanted the end result to be a fuzzy and smaller version of the knit, so off I went to the kitchen sink armed with bubble wrap, soap and very hot water.

If you think this felted right away, you’d be wrong. Nothing happened for the longest time! In fact, I nearly despaired because my idea was to fuse the back to the front, and that never happened. Apparently, knitted jumpers accidentally machine washed only become tiny versions of themselves if you never intended for them to shrink – Sod’s law!

After what seemed like four years of wet felting, here’s what my snowflake looked like:

Knitted snowflake after wet felting, on cardstock background with "Merry Xmas" written on top with iridescent ink

Hopefully it still looks like a snowflake to the untrained eye. I punched holes onto the thickest paper I could find and attached the wool to it with string, because I want Hélène to be able to take it out and use it as a coaster (or something else functional of her choice). This way she can always have a laugh every time she reaches for a hot drink and sees my meagre wet felting technique.

Detail of "Merry Xmas" wording on card showcasing the ink's shimmer qualities

The ink I chose has gold shimmer in it, which I found quite Christmassy. I hope Hélène can forgive the “Xmas” instead of the word proper – I ran out of space.

(Aaand, a little confession: I cheated and sent my card swap partner something extra… ‘Tis the season, after all!)

A very cute needle felted Christmas tree with baubles and a star on top, made by Eleanor Shadow

That’s it from me. I have a newfound respect for anyone who takes the never-ending task of wet felting. What advice would you give me for future soapy endeavours?

Making sheep

Making sheep

Last time you saw all the lovely Bluefaced Leicester curls I dyed. It’s here if you missed it.  The next step was to take them to class for the students to use.

I had 6 lovely ladies. All but one ad not felted before. This is a short class 7:00-9:00 in the evening. so it moves quickly and I didn’t get a lot of pictures. I often forget to take pictures until someone else takes out their phone to snap a few.  the first thing we talk about is the legs. I show them how to go about needle felting them. then I explain how to wet felt them. Then I showed them the snakes I made so they could all have legs without making them. everyone is thrilled. It is a boring and surprisingly time-consuming job even wet felting them.

sorry no pictures of any of that.

First, they have to make the bodies. We are using corriedale wool. It felts up quicker than merino.



and then onto the heads

And attaching them


They added the legs and the ears. Sorry, no pictures of that.

And then they start adding curls. s o this was the end of the class. some finished and some went home with a needle and a handful of curls so they could finish them up later.

and lastly this cute one with a heart on his hip.

Everyone seemed to have a good time and I may have a few new addicts.

Dyeing curls for felted sheep

Dyeing curls for felted sheep

I am getting ready to teach a group how to make felted sheep, Like these I used for a post, quite a while ago.

The class is this evening( Wednesday) so freshly made cute sheep will be next week. I like to use Blue Faced Leicester sheep curls for this as they are nice small curls. I had a few colours but not enough variety.

I had a couple hundred grams of the white so it was time to dye. My usual dye pot is really big. a stock pot. Much too big for this job. YOu will have to trust me on the next part as I forgot to take pictures. I was doing too many things at once. I have a nice large stew pot that isn’t too deep but I want to use it for stew again so I got a metal bowl that could be sacrificed and created a double boiler.  I placed handfuls of soaked white locks into a medium freezer bag. I made up a small amount of dye poured it on top of the locks and topped it up with water until everything was submerged. I  squeezed most of the are out and popped the bag into the water on the top of the double boiler. I did the next colour the same and popped it in as well. I could do 2 at a time.  I made up 3 more colours. the aim was to have dark purple, lilac, lime green, pink and magenta. this method was great. the top edge of the bag was above the water so I could easily pick it up to see if the water was clear. Once clear I took it out and put it aside to cool. this is also a good idea when you dye. to leave the wool in the dye bath until cool, especially if it refuses to take up all the colour. You will usually find that when cooled it often has taken up the extra dye. I have to admit I seldom do this as I need to get the next batch of wool into the dye pot, reusing the dye water. With the small bags, it was easy to put them aside to cool.

This is the result.

Now, you are probably thinking that there seems to be more than one dark purple. That is because I used way too much lilac in the lilac dye bag.  I ended up with the 2 purples in the middle. the top one in truth is quite vibrant and the bottom one more deep with a little lilac leaning wool on one edge. I had hoped it would split giving me a purple and blue mix. There is even a warning on the Dharma chart saying it can split. No such luck, isn’t that always the way?  They looked so much the same when they were wet I did another batch and although it looks kind of dark here on my screen, it is pretty much lilac. I tried to adjust the colour but then the green started to look kinda funky.

So that’s my prep for the class. This is an easy class for me because everything I need fits in one small bin.

I will show you the results next week.



Finishing up my Visor Mirror Cover

Finishing up my Visor Mirror Cover

It has been a busy few weeks getting everything ready for our Guild Sale. Now that’s done and over and I am sure Jan will show you lots of pictures. For me, I found the time to finish embellishing my visor mirror cover. For those that don’t remember the cover on the mirror of my car visor was broken when we bought it. When you flip the visor down while driving the mirror is there. It’s distracting.  I decided it needed a cover. Nothing so simple as making a plain piece of felt to match the visor. That is much too easy. Here is a link to my last post showing how I created the cover.

I have continued on with my stitching. I wanted to use lots of different open background stitches. I didn’t want to cover up anything. I started working on the flower that looked like a superhero in flight.

I thought I better tackle the head next to stop it from looking like a person. I broke it into 2 areas. I think it worked well

Then I did this interesting stitch in the purple. Make 3 parallel lines and then come up in the middle go around all the threads and back down in the middle. I thought it was effective.

Then when I had just about finished everything else I decided to add 3 dots. I am not sure it looks like a flower but it looks a lot less like a superhero.

Next, it was this leaf. I thought I would do small stitches and go all the way around the middle but after a short distance, I didn’t like how the small stitches looked following the line exactly. I ripped them out.


I decided to use more threads and larger stitches and only follow one side.


And around the outside.


I liked it and I am getting very good at outline stitch. It was still a little plain so I added some colonial knots. Also in between I added some stitching to the small leaves. You can see a few in the picture.


I finished off this leaf and was thinking I was done, but…

My hubby said I needed to do the sheep and give him eyes and a nose. I had been going to leave him minimalist. It took 3 tries to get his eyes in the right place and the same size.

Now for the finished piece.

I had thought of cutting off the wonky outline but decided against it. Here it is installed. I used the hook side of some stick-on velcro dots, to attach it to the visor. It is a bit big but if it had been smaller the velcro dots wouldn’t have had a flat surface to stick to. Anyway, I like it and I will definitely do the wet wool technique again.






Bat on a stick…..

Bat on a stick…..

One of the things that I have enjoyed doing over the last few years, is watching and chatting during live YouTube felting tutorials from Sara (Sarafina Fiber Art) and Marie (Living Felt). I have been inspired by projects shown by both felters.

As you probably have noticed, when seeing my adventures with the four-person Mer-family and their Mer-family pets, I don’t always follow the instructions exactly as suggested. In fact, I tend to fall off the rails…., wander off into left field, or was that right field?… ok, I tend to get distracted part way through a tutorial and wind up doing my own possibly completely different thing.  I am not saying that is a bad thing. It can open new options and create something that is vastly different than the original tutorial goal.

For Sara’s Mermaid project (google You Tube “Mermaid Felt Along 1: Armature”, “Mermaid Felt Along 2 – Body Shapes”, “Mermaid 3: Wet Felted Tail” and “Mermaid 4: Finishing” to see what I was supposed to do), I deviated first by wanting to do a merman but felt he needed a family. Instead of using both wet and dry felting, I used only dry felting.  With the change of scale and shape, I needed to augment the armature strength. Lastly, I made them Fish-People (Pike, Koi, Shark, and Arctic Char) rather than the more traditional mermaid shapes Sara was creating. I created some accessories for them and more will be needed. For the Mers themselves, I wandered off into thoughts of what kind of family pets would a Mer family have.  So the addition of family pets was created, Miss Manta and Sharkette. This could continue to spiral outwards from the original tutorial with Mer-Nabours and other yet unthought-of Mer-friends and accessories! Years of enjoyment even for someone who really would rather not get wet.


Two weeks ago Marie, from Living Felt, out of Texas, sent me off on another spiral with her “Needle Felt Simple Animals: Bat, Owl, and Red Panda Forest Friends!”.  This is a very beginner-friendly project, with simplified shapes and lots of explanations of tight wrapping to build up the core understructure. She did examples of blending and layering colours of fibre. All three projects were extremely cute. I am not sure I do cute, especially extreme cute, well not as cute and friendly as Marie can do at least.

Marie started by using a wooden skewer to tightly warp her layers of core wool, creating the basic shape. This got me wondering about other skewer like objects that you could use which I had on hand *actually I looked as far as the shelf beside my desk to find 3 options. I had also purchased at the Almonte Fibre Fest in early September, some short fibre Maori batts, one of which was white and another was charcoal. I had wanted to investigate working with short, somewhat springy, fibre and this seemed to be an excellent opportunity.

1) White Maori Batt, wooden skewer, knitting needle, one mettle chopstick

I decided to try the chopstick. It doesn’t have quite as much grip as the wood, but it’s not quite as slippery as the knitting needle.  I like the slight taper,  it was comfortable in my hand and oddly like the single knitting needle it happened to be sitting in a cup with my pens, markers, small files and metal pick set (that was for cleaning my drum carder, I don’t know why it’s here) by my desk.


one mettle chopstick on white batt of Maori short stale lenght fiber 2) selected a chopstick and Maori batt

using a chopstick to wrap fiber around and build up the core structure.3) using a chopstick to wrap fibre around and build up the core structure.

Adding thin layers of roving, wrapping tightly and tacking down, then poking from the base to further firm core layer.

Tearing off thin strips from the batt then drafting them to a narrow roving. This shows the VM and makes it easy to remove.4) Tearing off thin strips from the batt then drafting them to a narrow roving. This shows the VM and makes it easy to remove.

I found the white short-fibre Maori batt had more bits of VM than most of my spinning fibre. It was not a large problem and easily picked out before wrapping it to the core. It compacted to a firm core shape and was easy to work with.

Looking at Marie’s bat she used commercial felt to make the wings. While extremely cute you can’t pose or position the wings. Ok, I am going off instructions already!  There are a few ways to add an appendage with wire to a body. This time, since I was adding a symmetrical structure, I chose to pierce the body with a floral wire (unlabeled but suspect it is 22g). I centred the body on the wire then folded each wire up at the point it pierced the body on each side. I then folded each half, in half, twisting to create the leading edge of the arm, leaving a loop to add the “fingers” at the end of each wing.

wire piercing body, center body on wire and bend the wires5) wire piercing body, centre body on wire and bend the wires

folding each wing wire in half6)folding each wing wire in half

Next, I needed to add the “fingers”  to the end loops.

wing one armature with fingers added and wire bent ready to add to bats right palm loop.7) wing one armature with fingers added and wire bent ready to add to bat’s right palm loop.

both wings have full arm armatures. note that the fingers have 3 different lengths.8) both wings have full arm armatures. note that the fingers have 3 different lengths.

I often make very thin wings for the little dragons I’ve been making. I usually wind up using a fine fibre combed top laid in thin wisps in various directions. I have also used hand-carded fibre such as on Mrs Mer’s Finns effectively.  I was curious how the short fibre of the Maori batt would work for a top coat as well as for thin wings.

The Charcoal coloured Maori batt beside the small white Maori batt9) The Charcoal coloured Maori batt beside the small white Maori batt

I started with wrapping the body and armature.

wing/ arm armature and body covered in the short staple Maori10) wing/ arm armature and body covered in the short staple Maori

It was a bit fuzzy, but with further poking the surface became smooth and firm.

At this point, I again became quite distracted with another thought. Those scrawny arms are not going to be able to move those wings!!! So I had to add deltoids and bicep muscles, now he could try out his arms as we went to enjoy hamburgers at the butcher shop in Bell Corners (he did not have any since he doesn’t have a mouth or eyes yet it could get messy.)

You Tube Video link  

11) Video: bat on a stick in KIA trying out his muscles before he gets his wing membranes

Ann checks out Bat in progress12) Ann checked how firm he was and laughed at his fabulous physique.  (don’t tell bat!)

I made a couple of attempts with just the Maori but was finding I was not getting as firm and thin as I would like, so added a longer fibre in a thin web to let the Maori attach to it. when I had a thin layer of felt  I carefully attached it to the fibre wrapping the wing armature. I bent the armature and then sculpted the wing membrane further.  Once I had the wings looking more wing-ish, I made quick ears and added them.

I decided I wanted a more three-dimensional face (oh no deviating again!) so added a small nose and eye sockets which I filled with small beads for eyes.

Marie’s Bat only had its stick stuck in while she was creating the core shape. It kept your fingers and the sharp end of the needle well away from each other. She then removed it and added the layers of colour to make her cute bat. I like the bat-on-a-stick look and have kept it so far. Bat on a stick may be a cool Halloween hair ornament or a felting supervisor in a demo basket.

I have not had time to finish off the last bits for Bat on a stick he still needs his teeth, I tried to make them with the Maori white but was not happy with the first attempts. Next, I resorted to wet felting but I was still not happy.  I have a couple more options to try to make tiny teeth. I am also considering feet or legs and feet, so I may be adding another part armature to finish him off.

In the meantime, I have been taking him with me to the OVWSG guild library. I am working through the last few years of donations, sorting ones to keep in the collection and getting the rest ready to sell. Bat has supervised as I wrote the database for the sale books. I am almost finished with the data entry for the books. The magazines that are extra I have sorted by title and year ready for shopping! (it was a big job)

box of magazines sorted by year 13)just a few of the magazines being prepped for sale.

He also watched as I had my last of 4 evenings of nalbinding workshops which has been fabulously fun. I now know I can’t count since I keep losing track of where I am in my increases for my hat. I am off to find a stitch counter so I have a hope of getting the mythical (in my case) flat starting disk to make my hat. For this workshop, I do want to follow the instructions. (I have had a blast wandering off instructions for the felting though)

Felt Bat on a mettle chop stick with articulated wings  14)Thumbs up!  Bat on his chopstick supervising from the shelf above the desk at the OVWSG Library.

Each trip to work on the library bat has accompanied me. He has found a spot on the shelf above the desk where he can sit in a clip on the extending magnet. He is giving me a thumbs-up on all the work! Even without his teeth or feet, he is very supportive.


I hope you too get a chance to watch some of the various online felt-alongs. You may also find inspiration in previous blog posts by all the fibre artists here. You never know what might inspire your next project, maybe you too will find a multi-year project! Or maybe just a quick little bat! (with or without a stick).

On to the stitching

On to the stitching

It is time to do some stitching on my visor cover. Stitching on felt is something I really enjoy. It feels nice to stitch on felt, It has texture even when it is smooth. You can feel the needle pass through the thickness of it.

I had people at my guild comment that the actual piece looked a lot more vibrant than it did on the screen. I fiddled with the colour a bit so I hope it looks a little better this time. It looks very bright on my screen. The crazy thing is it is sitting on the black, top of my laptop. I am getting some serious light bounce off the black.

I picked out some threads I think go with the colours. I need to find a “greener” green something in the middle I think but that requires digging in the mostly unpacked studio so it will have to wait.


I am a slow stitcher. I know I am not alone in this. There’s a whole movement called slow stitch. It suits me, stitching when I have a bit of time but with no deadline in sight.

I started with the turquoise green on the forest green part of the leaf. I thought it looked like a nice contrast even if it was still green. then I forgot to take a picture of just that stitching or rather I was probably intending to take a picture of just the stitching and forgot what I was doing.  So you get to see the contrasting orange I picked for the next part too. It’s a deep orange leaning towards burnt orange.

I did the first part in rice stitch. It’s fun to do but harder than you think to make it look random.

I tried an uneven long stitch for this part and didn’t like it. It was messy but not messy enough to seem like I did it on purpose just unpractised. Of course it was but we don’t want to advertise that too much, so I removed it.

The other nice thing about stitching on felt is when you take out stitches, it doesn’t show like it would on muslin or cotton fabric. I decided to do something else with the dark orange and a lighter orange for the cross stitching. I am not sure it is busy enough. I will leave it for now. I am also not sure it was worth changing oranges either.

Now I am onto wonder woman. I am hoping to stop it from looking like wonder woman and more like a flower with the stitching. However, I started with the “cape”. I am using the lighter orange. I am adding X’s as I liked the way they looked on the leaf. I tried looking online for open background or filler stitches but I am calling it the wrong thing, I think. Everything that Google gave me, were stitches to completely cover a space. I know I have seen them before. Does anyone know the right term?

That’s as far as I am. Well maybe a bit farther as I am writing a bit ahead as I will be busy baking for the Thanksgiving Day farmers market. In Canada, we celebrate earlier than our American friends and this year is earlier than usual on October 9th. with any luck, I will have a little time to do some stitching.

Felted Bird House ( sort of)class

Felted Bird House ( sort of)class

This last weekend I taught a Felted Birdhouse Class. A group of ladies and one daughter.  We were at one of the lady’s houses, working outside and the setting was lovely and the weather was very cooperative.

Here are all the embellishment fibres set up on the deck.

And here they all are working away on laying out the fibres for their birdhouses. although some wanted bird feeders and some thought a plant might go well in one. That is why it is only a sort of birdhouse class. everyone chose a gourd except we morphed one into a teardrop shape.

They had lots of fun deciding on embellishment fibres and adding them to their pieces


This one looks sort of dull but it is the green Merino and multi-coloured tribal nylon mix from the world of wool.

This one was all silk I think.

This one is sari silk waste

This was just the beginning it had lots of stuff on it in the end. You will see it later.

This one had lots of the sparkly triloble nylon.

Then of course there was the rubbing and rolling

And then the scrunching and throwing to get it well filled.

Here everyone is with their finished pieces.  They have balloons inside to help them have a good shape when dry. You will notice one was cut in half to become 2 plant holders but the one half is looking very much like a hat.

I got sent a couple of pictures of what they looked like now they are dry. I was right it did look a lot like a hat. the class was Sunday and today is Tuesday( Wednesday when this goes up)  so not much time for them to get me pictures. If I get more I will edit them in.

It was a fantastic warm September day and a great way to spend it.

Another Art Retreat

Another Art Retreat

My last post was about an art retreat and normally, I would just have one a year to tell you about.  But this year, I had two only weeks apart. This is the annual retreat that my small art group does in late summer/early fall at the Kiwanis Lodge on Little Bitterroot Lake.

Landscape of Little Bitterroot Lake with pine trees in foreground and mountains in background on a cloudy day.

This is the view off the deck of the lodge. The weather was a bit cool and rainy but so much better than smoky skies from wildfires.

This year we decided to play around with making our own natural inks, printing and painting with the inks and then doing some bookmaking.

Before anyone points out that many of these types of ink are fugitive and might not last, we realize that. We were just playing around to see what happens and what colors we could get as a result. No “serious” artwork is being made from these inks.

We started by grinding up Haskap berries (Fly Honeysuckle) with a bit of water and straining the result. That is the bright red color on one of the acrylic printing plates in the foreground of the left hand photo. We also ground up beets, grass and kale and tried grinding choke cherries. The choke cherries were a disaster but Sally tried boiling them after she got home and got much better results than the fresh berries.

So Paula had gotten all of us some acrylic printing plates which we covered with ink and then let dry. We left watercolor paper in a baggie with water to get damp overnight and then printed the next morning. The two photos on the left show different prints and the photo on the right was painting haskap berry ink on to a page and soaking three squares of felt in the ink and laying these down on the paper. The ink changed colors depending on oxidization and what paper it was applied to.

Make Ink book by Jason Logan.

This is the book we referred to for various recipes and what mordants or modifiers to use with different foraged materials.

Drawing organic lines with oak gall ink on to previously printed watercolor paper.

I also added further ink (oak gall with ferrous sulfate) to one of my prints with my new fountain pens. I wanted to get used to using the fountain pens so this was good practice.

We then set about making a bunch of inks including hibiscus, acorn caps, acorn caps with ferrous sulfate, oak gall with ferrous sulfate, avocado, turmeric, blue pea flower and walnut ink. Paula also brought copper ink which takes several weeks to make but is the most beautiful blue. We put these in small individual jars with a whole clove to keep the ink from molding. These are now stored in the refrigerator in hopes of keeping them good a bit longer. These should be used fairly quickly. Paula had some that she had stored in the fridge for 6 months or so and they were mostly dull and brown and had lost their original color.

We then set about making little samples of the colors from these various inks. And then you can start adding the different inks together and see how they mix on the page. Such fun!

Table set up with blue pea flower dyes and various modifiers.

Our next set of experiments were with blue pea flower. Apparently, you can buy this as a tea. All you do is steep the blue pea flowers and then add different modifiers. The modifiers that we used were baking powder, baking soda, vinegar, cream of tartar and vinegar. The modifiers change the color of the ink.

Sampling of blue pea flower ink with a variety of modifiers.

Here is some lovely sampling of the different colors that you can get from the blue pea flower inks. They range from green to blue green to blue to purple.

Here are a couple of landscapes that I painted with blue pea flower dye. I love how they mix on the paper and the variations that you get.

You can also paint your paper with blue pea flower ink and then drop dry modifiers on top such as baking powder or baking soda. You really get some interesting effects with that.

Shibori tissue paper dyed with inks glued to watercolor papers to create bookmarks.

We did put some ink on shibori folded tissue paper that could then be overlaid on previously inked watercolor paper and glued down to make bookmarks.

Paper coasters with natural dyed organic patterns.

Paula supplied us with white paper coasters and we played with ink on those too. The left is a combination of walnut ink, acorn caps and oak gall. The right is blue pea flower and hibiscus with baking soda dropped on top while still wet.

Here a three of the books that I created at the retreat. The middle one was using a bit too thin paper which had not been ironed so it is a little sad. But I learned how to fold the triangular pages which was fun. I was using papers that I had previously printed with deconstructed screen printing.

I took my tree specimen book with me and painted one of the plastered pages with oak gall. The photo on the left shows that page which was interesting. The photo on the right is Sally’s book where she has collage parts of the page and added oak gall ink to as well.

We had the best time and thanks to Paula for most of our supplies. We also want to thank the Kalispell Kiwanis Club for letting us stay at the lodge each year!

Bringing up the colour

Bringing up the colour

It was back to school week so I was busier than usual. re-adjusting times and schedules.

Last time I showed you the finished visor. It had a lot of fulling and it was nice and sturdy. When the piece is well fulled, you often end up with a dull picture. This is caused by the backing fibres migrating through the coloured fibres. Sometimes they end up dull or fuzzy looking.

When I make pictures that will be mounted or framed I fix this by not fully very much as the picture will not be handled much and it will have the matting to help support it. for something that will be handled or used more light felting won’t help so it’s time to break out the the razor and shave it.

I get them at the dollar store. notice I did not pay the pink tax for my razor, I buy the cheapest ones they have regardless of the colour. It’s a pretty simple thing to do and it makes quite a difference. I hope the pictures show it well enough. It is hard to pick up with the camera. I tried to do one half at a time for you.



and lastly, the sheep, I think it shows the difference very well.

I shaved the rest of the piece as well. This is the pile of fluff.

Here are the before and after pictures


Before Shaving


After shaving

I think I still want to add some stitching I am just not sure what. outlining seems redundant. Maybe I will add some leaves scattered about. and I don’t know about eyes for the sheep. Curved lines make it a bit cute and like it is sleeping and round makes it look odd. Sitting here looking at the flower, I can see something else now, how about you?

A cover for my visor mirror part 2

A cover for my visor mirror part 2

On Mondays, we have a social in the guild studio. I think some guilds call it open studio days. Because it is summer I usually go in around noon. I thought this would be a good time to do my visor cover. Jan can take some pictures too and all will be happy and bright. So naturally………

I packed my rolling mat, plastic, bucket, spray ball, rubbing tool, and wool but I forgot to ball of pencil roving. This is essential if I am going to try Ildie’s method of making the design with wet wool.

ball of brown pencil roving
The forgotten ball

The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry. I am not a Mouse or a man so I had a look through the donated yarns and found one that was not too thin or tightly spun

This is as far as I got before I gave up. Yarn is not a good choice. It has too much structure so it doesn’t want to stay where you put it.

Besides learning that yarn is not good for this I also decided I had made the design too small. It will be very fiddly to add the colour.

Now I am back in the studio with all my supplies.  All but one of the colours is Corriedale. One is Merino. the grey bat is unknown. I would say a medium wool and it is a short fiber. I sized my template for 30% shrinkage. you can get 30% out of most fibers. And why do a sample when you can live life dangerously?


The pencil roving was much easier to use to outline the designs. I wet it with soapy water and it stayed where I put it. The yarn had too many ideas of its own. I just did them freehand using the template to keep my design inside the lines.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Next was adding the colour. I got better as I went along. the first colours that have to be completely within the lines but right up to them is the hardest. When you add a colour next to another colour you can overlap and no one will see it. It will be between the other colour and the backing. Thinking upside down is a hard thing to do. you feel like you should say inside the lines. although I didn’t mess up the design lines I kept smudging the outside line. next time I will add them at the end.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


I added the bat to the back. it was quite thin so I did 2 layers, one in each direction. and made nice straight lines, not that they will stay that way.


I rubbed this side first and then flipped it over. Doesn’t it look pretty all wet and bright under the plastic?  Once I flipped it I was pleasantly surprised the sheep was on the right. Which, if you think about it, makes sense but when I was adding it I was thinking I wish I had left more space for it on the right. So that was a good thing.

I rubbed this longer than I usually do because I wanted the design to set well and stay put. I had no problem with it moving. boarder was another matter. it was constantly moving. I would lift the plastic and fix it. Then rub carefully and then it would move. In the end, I put it back where it should be and thought if it doesn’t stick, I will just needle felt it in place.

It moved a little while rolling but for the most part, it stayed put so I was quite happy. I rolled it a lot to get it to shrink. Whatever the bat is it makes a sturdy felt but does not shrink as much as Corriedale. I rinsed it with hot water and rolled it more, and more and when it wouldn’t budge anymore, I stopped. It got close but not quite there. I am sure it will still work but I haven’t checked yet.

It needs to be shaved to bring the colours back up and ironed to block it. I haven’t decided if I will add any stitching or beads. but I am out of time for now.