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Canadian Arcott Ram #2 Part 1

Canadian Arcott Ram #2 Part 1

A quick review of the Acquisition

1-2 scenes from last week

I told you last post that I had re-bagged the two Canadian Arcott Rams. They looked quite well skirted but one seemed more careful with his personal hygiene than the other. I started with Ram #2 who seemed to enjoy his dust baths.

3 Ram #2 4 Ram #15 #2 unwashed sample

Getting on to the Washing

Glenn got one of the washing buckets out and I pulled out the strainer buckets and divided the fleece into 7 portions, 4 quite clean and 3 less clean.

 6-8 test washing of some of the cleanest looking parts of ram #2

This year I tried elevating the washing bucket so it was easier to lift and lower the strainer bucket within it. This was easier until it was time to dump the water out of the bucket. I lifted the strainer buck out and left it hanging to drip on one of the blacksmith hooks. That went well but as I started to tilt the bucket to pour out the dirty water it started to splash on the asphalt driveway. It was determined to get me wet with all the splashing! Luckily, I had thought ahead and worn my rain boots! So my feet remained dry but the lower part of my jeans may now need a wash (but with cleaner water this time)

  9-10

Glenn brought the RV hand washer and spin-dryer up from the laundry room (it just sat there over the winter)

11-12 Glenn Helps with the spin cycle.

After a quick spin, it was onto the drying rack.

13 Now a pause, while the wool dry’s

 14 Glenn takes time to smell the roses.

And now back to work. The test washing of ram 2  is ready to take a look at.

15 now it’s time to eat ice cream with strawberry and think of the different fibre preparations I would like to try with this fleece. let me go find my hand carders and my mini combs! (but after I finish the ice cream)

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Ice cream break!

(its a long post with lots of pictures!)

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Testing to find out the properties of this fleece

Now that we have the Canadian Arcott (Ram #2) cleaned let’s make a few tests to find out what this fleece wants to become! not all fleeces are good for all purposes, so we should get curious and try a few options. this will tell us more about this breed I have not tried before.

 

Hand Carding the wool Test

Let’s see what happens when we try hand carding. I have a few hand cards, I chose the ones I like the best with the curved backs and have a nice carding cloth. I got them second-hand and have not tried to figure out the teeth count I should probably figure that out eventually.

16-17 rolags from the Hand Cards

Yes, that feels quite soft and lofty but there is definitely some lustre too. This could be interesting as knit socks. If only I Knit!!

Carded spun sample

I used the carders, created rolags and used the Electric Eel Wheel 6.0 (EEW6) to spin the singles.

I plied on the spindle since I didn’t want to switch bobbins for a small sample

18-19 2 ply sample

20  I hung the wool to dry in the window. Even without sunshine, it dried quite quickly.

21 washed 2 ply woollen prep.

 

There is a bit of elasticity in the woollen preparation but not as much stretch as other fleeces I have spun. I think it would make a good blanket or throw if woven and used as warp or weft.

 

 

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Hand Combing the wool test

Let’s see what happens when we try the Roger Hawkins Combs.

22loading the comb

23 First Pass

24  Second Pass

25  Third Pass then Drafting off the comb and the comb waste

26

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Combed spinning sample

I then took some of the combed fibre and spun it on the Electric Eel Wheel 6.0 (EEW6) as I did with the carded sample.

27 EEW6 with 2 ply sample

It was easy to spin.  I plied on one of my drop spindles since I still didn’t want to change bobbins for the short sample I had created.

28  Washed locks, combed fibre and 2 ply yarn.

29 the unwashed 2 ply samples.

You can see the halo already. I will wash and dry the rest of the sample. I made a mini skein, washed it, swung it around the bathtub, whapped it on the side of the sink then hung it up in the window with a small weight.

30  Hanging in the window to dry. Unfortunately, this seems to have inspired darker skies and rain!

31

33 washed 2py combed top

When dry; the yarn feels coarser than I had anticipated. It is not as soft as a Merino, more like a Corriedale but with less elasticity. There is very little stretch in the yarn so I am now curious as to how it would work as a warp for weaving. This breed may be ideal  for warps.

Comparing the Woolen (carded) vs the semi-worsted (Combed) yarns. The Woolen does have more loft, bloom and halo and slightly greater elasticity. Both would work as weft but I suspect the Combed will be a bit better weft since it has less bloom or halo to interfere in the heddles.

Next, we will check out the felting properties of this sample of Canadian Arcott. We will use the comb waste to check its ability to be needle felted and some of the Carding to check if it will wet felt. Ann is thinking it will not. Let’s see what happens next week!

 

More dyeing shenanigans (with a twist)

More dyeing shenanigans (with a twist)

The last time I wrote, I talked about dyeing yarn. As an indie dyer, my job is to create colourful yarn that someone else will turn into something beautiful. That’s pretty much the norm.

Now, what if I turned that regular idea around and dyed the finished item instead? What would happen? Let’s find out!

I had some very lovely 4-ply yarn at hand, plus some mohair lace that was just coarse enough to be uncomfortable if used alone. Paired together they would make the perfect DK weight yarn for a cardigan I wanted to knit.

 

Fast forward 2 or 3 days, and here’s the finished cardigan, minus the buttons.

Let the experiment begin! I wanted a red base. I had to add that to the dye bath first. It looks very much like a murder scene, so let me tone it down by inserting a cute photo of my cat Marshmallow next to it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Since I wanted the red to be soaked up slowly and evenly, I started with cool water and no acid for binding. This will ensure the colour is seeped up gradually and has time to get to the whole garment. I then added the wet cardigan, turned on the heat to medium-low and kept an eye on it.

After 15 minutes, the water was warm and I could see that the red was all over the cardigan. Time to add citric acid gradually. Then turn up the heat, simmer for 10 more minutes, turn it off and wait for the water to clear up and cool completely.

A good sign that you’ve used the right amount of dye and acid is that the water clears up completely once cooled. This is also a great sign of minimal bleeding in future washes, the bane of any dyer.
(If your water isn’t clear, try adding more acid and simmering for another 15 minutes. Let the water cool completely and see if things aren’t better.)

I really liked this colour, but a rule of thumb is, if it looks perfect under water, it’s too light when dry. I also wanted a bit more dimension to the red, so some dark grey was needed.
I didn’t want this new colour to soak up evenly, so I didn’t remove the cardigan from the bath water as I added the new dye, and I kept the same acidic, fast-absorption water from before.

And here she is afterwards in all her glory!

I know the “scruffy look” might not be everyone’s cup of tea but I love it. It looks like a long-worn cardi, something my nan might have passed on to me. The vintage buttons complete the look.

Now, the important question: is the end result the same as dyeing the yarn in the skein? The answer is a resounding No. Depending on how tight you knit, you might end up with a lot of areas that the dye won’t get to because the stitches act as a resist. You can see lighter areas in the photo below, something I fully expected, even though I’m a fairly lose knitter. I actually like this feature because it’s very different from what you normally see.

I had never done anything like this before, and you might be horrified to know that after this, I’ve knit a shawl and now have a second cardigan on the needles, and both will receive the same after-completion dye treatment…

I wore it for the first time yesterday (at the time of writing) and it kept me warm all afternoon indoors.

I hope you enjoyed this experiment. Let me know if you’ve ever tried anything like this before, and what the outcome was! If not, what dyeing shenanigans have you been up to or would like to try?

Stay safe and enjoy the rest of your day.

 

What goes into hand dyed yarn?

What goes into hand dyed yarn?

A few days ago, Ruth had the courtesy of sending me an email reminder about my upcoming blog post (this one). I mentioned I was sparse on ideas, so she suggested I talk about my dyeing process.

This ended up being serendipitous, as yesterday I received a custom order request for a new colourway I launched as part of my new collection. Voilá, I’ve got a blog post!

Now, this isn’t meant as a How To on yarn dyeing, so I shan’t go into too much detail (although, if you’re interested, I’d be happy to write a more in-depth post in the future – let me know in the comments). I will, however, mention a few basic things you definitely need to dye yarn/fibre safely if, like me, you’re using acid dyes:

  • The hardware you use shall be for dyeing only. So don’t use that fancy pot if you’re even thinking of making Sunday roast in it ever again.
  • Always, always wear a respirator mask when handling dyes, especially when in powder form. Dye particles travel far – I’m all for fluorescent green wool but not in one’s lungs.
  • Gloves are a must. You don’t want bright pink fingers for a week (ask me how I know), and you also want to avoid absorbing pigment through your skin.
  • No food or drink near the dyeing station, and you’ll need to clean everything before and after if dyeing in the kitchen.

Ok, so let’s get to the good stuff.

This is the yarn I need to reproduce. It’s called Mossy Moggy (moggies being what we call non-breed specific cats in the UK, do you call them the same in the US?). I needed 3 skeins.

If you want to be able to reproduce colourways in the future, you need good note taking habits. I have a dedicated folder where I keep all my cauldron inventions. If you think you’ll remember how you created something months later, trust me, you won’t.

This is my dye sheet. I leave the space on the upper left corner blank so I can attach a photo of the finished item to jog my memory.

Now on to the dyeing itself. Since I mentioned how important it is to wear a mask, allow me to show you myself in my best Breaking Bad impersonation.

You’ve no idea how hard it was to procure this mask and filters. I needed a new one during the pandemic and everything was sold out. For the life of me, I never thought particulates masks would sell out, but I guess some people want to be extra careful.

There’s plenty of ways to hand dye fibre, and endless techniques. Each will yield different results, and it’s a lot of fun to play around. In this particular case, I’m doing low immersion dyeing: this means I’ll be using just enough water to cover the fibre, on a stovetop.

I’m using a Gastronorm pan, which might look familiar to you if you’ve ever been to a buffet in a restaurant. These are super handy, large enough for up to 6 skeins, sturdy, and fit my electric stove perfectly (over two hobs). There’s several standardised sizes to choose from, this being the largest one.

Mossy Moggy is created by dyeing part of the yarn first, without pre-soaking it first. As it sinks, the first colour gets absorbed gradually and allows for differences in depth. Then I add another colour to the top that has remained undyed, and after it’s all exhausted (meaning all the dye has been taken in by the fibre), it’s time to add sprinkles.

Sprinkling yarn is a favourite activity of mine. Wearing gloves (and donning my respirator), I scatter some dye powder over the yarn here and there. Less is more. The water here is fairly acidic (I use citric acid, you can also use vinegar to get the dye molecules to bind with the fibre) so the sprinkles stay relatively put. I love seeing those little dots of colour.

As I write this, the yarn is cooling down in the pan. I always let the water get cool before I remove the fibre, it allows for more vibrant colours. If I manage to remember to come back to this post before it’s scheduled to publish, I’ll add a photo of the drying skeins.

One interesting thing to remember if you’ve never dyed: colours always look one to two shades deeper whilst wet. If you’re trying to reproduce a certain colour and think it’s spot on in the pot, it’s probably too light.

Once these beauties are done they’ll be heading over to California. I’ll be very excited to see them reach their destination and even more if my client tags me on social media once she starts knitting with them!

Let me know if you have any questions, and if you’d like a more in-depth post on dyeing in the future (and what you’d like to read about the subject). Have a great week.

 

 

Felt Basket #3

Felt Basket #3

Yes, I made another felt basket. this one is with some Bergschaf Tyrollean wool I got from Lituania when it was on sale and had free shipping to boot. I don’t know if its the same as the Bergschef that DHG sells.  https://www.etsy.com/ca/listing/532965567/one-of-the-best-wool-for-wet-felting?ref=shop_home_active_7&frs=1&crt=1

I used a little over 300 grams.

I repaired the resist from the last basket with some sheep duct tape.

The wool was in a bat as you can see. I  am not used to working with them. But even with splitting it and fiddling to make it all even, it was faster to lay out.

 

I rubbed a bit and then rolled it as usual until it was shrinking then cut it out and cut the handle. I didn’t realize how much it had shrunk until I pulled out the resist. this blue foam is much softer than the white I get and you don’t feel it bunching up the same way.

I have a washboard for rolling on but this was t wide for it. I have a great car floor mat that works great. it has a great texture. I wrap the piece in some plastic to protect the surface while I roll.

I also beat the basket into a nice round shape after blowing up a 24-inch beach ball inside it. Beating it with a pool noodle worked great.

I popped it outside to be another alien.

When it was dry I decided it had not been fulled enough. I wet it down and put it in the dryer with some bumpy balls. It shrank some more.

I dried it on a 20-inch beach ball this time. It is nice and sturdy now.

Not great pictures but it is thundering and we are about to get a downpour so I had to be quick about snapping a couple of pictures.

the handle is quite straight across when I roll it up. I think I may have to steam it and let it cool in a rounder shape.  Also, it is quite hairy. part of that may be the fulling with the bumpy balls. Tennis balls would have been a better choice, I think.

Anyway, I like it but the next step will be to try doing what they do for felt carpets in the middle east. use a blow torch to burn off the fuzziness. I was hoping to have pictures of that for you today but I have run out of time. so hopefully next week you will have some pictures of me trying that.  Anyone else ever tried to burn off the fuzzies?

Felt Basket Mark 2

Felt Basket Mark 2

I thought I would have a try at another felt basket. If you missed the other one it is here: https://feltingandfiberstudio.com/2020/06/01/second-quarter-challenge-mark-1/  It was part of the second quarter challenge and I guess this one counts too as we aren’t out of the second quarter yet. This one I wanted to be bigger and wider. I made the resist 30 inches (76 cm)across

This is how it compares to the one for the grey basket

I decided to use white Corriedale wool for this one. Corriedale is readily available so it might be a more useful example for people. It’s white because I only 100 grams of dyed Corriedale. I used 200 grams for the basket. I was sure I took a picture of the resist covered in wool but it seems to have disappeared. I am sure you can imagine a big circle covered in white wool.

Ta da, a wave of my magic felting wand and

The finished basket is 19 inches ( 48 cm ) across.

Next, I blew up a beach ball inside the basket and rubbed away some of the wrinkles that showed up when I tried to make it round with the ball.

It is now sitting outside on the table drying. It looks pretty freaky but it will be the right shape when it’s dry. Next week I hope to show it to you finished, and looking pretty and more basket like.

 

Do I have a finished vest? (Spoiler: I don’t)

Do I have a finished vest? (Spoiler: I don’t)

Hello! I hope everyone is doing well, or at least managing not to randomly yell at walls.

If you remember, the last time I wrote I was working on a Victorian-style waistcoat mockup, and I was determined to have the real thing ready soon. Famous last words!

Once lockdown happened, my energy levels plummeted, lots of food was eaten with no exercise (in which my waistline might have increased ever so slightly, making the waistcoat a bit more er, snug) and my creative mojo went out the window.

So… this is where I am now:

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After two mockups, I thought I was ready for the real deal. However… see the puckering on the armpit area? It’s driving me mental and I don’t know how to sort it. I’ve tried pinning and tucking but so far, nothing has helped. Argh. Suggestions?

The good bit is, I definitely did practice my tailoring techniques. Using horse hair canvas and a special type of tailor stitch, I partially lined the inside of the waistcoat to make it sturdier. This also helps with shaping – see how the lapel is bending in the right direction? That’s the horse hair canvas and the stitching doing its magic. Behold, my tailoring efforts below.

 

Another issue I’m having is the fabric itself: since the wool is on the thick side, each bit I add (such as the inner lapel) adds bulk, for which the pattern doesn’t account. That, plus my recent indulgence in delicious comestibles, and I’m in trouble… Next Winter should be interesting.

Another thing I’ve done so far is to topstitch the lapel by hand, so the fabric doesn’t pucker when the waistcoat is buttoned up. I think you can tell the slight difference between the topstitched right half and the left, yet to be worked on:

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And that’s pretty much me done for the moment. For those who might complain that I’m not showing any felting, look! I’ve needle felted a couple of little balls to see if they look good with a bead, for knitting stitch markers. What do you think? I’m not in love so far.

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Finally… I need a distraction from all my recent mask making, so I’ve decided to work on a miniature felt jacket for a lady rabbit I sewed a while ago. Naturally, Quality Control Kitty was there to make sure I didn’t make any mistakes.

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Hopefully in my next post I’ll have a finished waistcoat and a mini jacket to show you…

Oh, and one last thing: I’ve been having trouble commenting on everyone else’s posts, which makes me very sad. Tech is annoying. Please know I’ve been reading them. I really, really hope the tech issue doesn’t impede my being able to reply to your comments, fingers crossed!

Have your lovely selves a great day 🙂

Cabin fever and mock-ups

Cabin fever and mock-ups

Hello. Let me start by hoping you and your loved ones are all of sound health.

In light of recent events, last week my husband and I decided to self-isolate. Not too hard a task for two humans whose favourite activity is staying in their respective studios and create, but once it became a Rule I Must Follow in my brain, I knew I needed a project to stay busy and not rebel.

Before I tell you what that project is, allow me to share a new acquisition – I got a serger!

Brother

Meet Bert. Bert came to me pre-loved on eBay, from a lady that didn’t have much time to craft anymore. Judging by the state of his insides (lint everywhere!), you could tell he was indeed much loved.
I haven’t played around with Bert yet but I’m sure he’ll make a great companion to Marge, my sewing machine.

Now, to the project.
I’ve been down a historical costuming rabbit hole for the past few weeks (because, reasons) and decided to make myself a late Victorian waistcoat. This all may have gotten worse after I bought a magnificent pair of trousers with a very 1910s style, and felt my ensemble wouldn’t be complete without a vest, and later a jacket.

Who knew the internet had sewing websites just for this type of historical thing?

pattern

You’ll see on top right corner that the pattern I bought allows me to choose from 4 different styles. I went for the one shown in yellow. Don’t make me confess how many tailoring videos I’ve since watched on YouTube to learn how to create a proper lapel…

Fearing things might start going slightly dystopian, before I self-isolated I managed to run to one of my local fabric shops and buy the appropriate materials for this.

fabric

I got this beautiful 100% wool tweed for the exterior and a beautiful silky paisley for the lining. The latter is polyester, something I’m not very keen on, so I vowed to find something made of natural fabric for next time.
Both materials have been pre-washed but not yet pressed.

Now, before I get to play with the pretty stuff, I need a mock-up. If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, this is when you test the shape and size of your pattern by first sewing with inexpensive fabric – this is often called a muslin.

Mock-ups save you the heartbreak of finding out the pattern doesn’t fit you somewhere after you’ve cut into the expensive fabric. They are also a great opportunity for you to get to know the construction steps of your project, and train the techniques first. My waistcoat pattern reportedly comes from an original 1890s pattern so you can be sure I’m testing it first!

Good thing I did, too…

mockup

My mannequin isn’t completely true to my size but I can already tell there are some adjustments I’ll need to make to the bust line, plus there are a couple of instructions I’m not sure I’ll be following to a T (I am a rebel, after all).
I also managed to find out the pattern has some mistakes, such as telling me to use 4 pieces of something they only tell me to cut 2 of.

The keen-eyed among you might notice I’ve pinned the pieces together on the outside. This is so I can make easy adjustments and transfer them to my final pattern once sewn.

Unfortunately this is where my experiment is at the moment, so I don’t have any more to share with you. However, if you’re intrigued by this piece of clothing – have I mentioned this will have some real historic-style boning for structure? – I’ll happily share my progress in my next post.

Until then, stay safe and I hope you have plenty to keep you pleasantly occupied.

3D wet felting experiments (part two)

3D wet felting experiments (part two)

In my last blog spot I showed how I made a sprouting seed pod as part of a group of 3D wet felted objects I’m calling ‘Lifecycles’ that I am submitting to an open exhibition.  You can see that blog here if you missed it or want a reminder https://feltingandfiberstudio.com/2020/01/13/3d-wet-felting-experiments-part-one/.

The second piece is a fallen tree branch with fungus and lichen. My ideas is that as one thing dies (the branch) it gives life to others (fungi etc). This will tie in with the sprouting seed pod (a new tree) and maybe I’ll add a couple of other things too, yet to be decided.

Wondering where to start with the texture I take myself off to the local park to look at different types of bark.

I am particularly taken with these very ridged examples and wonder how I’d go about creating that texture in wet felt.  I happen to have some off-cuts from the seed pod on my work table – a piece of fabric, probably linen, I found in a charity shop and felted –  so I decide to see what it looks like if I lay those under some new felt.  Keen to do things properly (and not waste time) I make a sample.

I am still experimenting with using wool batts from different breeds of sheep (rather than merino tops) so put together natural brown and grey Shetland and Finnish wools plus a little dyed green Perendale including a couple of bits of prefelt. You can just see the ridges when felted but I want more so try cutting into the surface. I really like that effect.

Sample of recycled scarf felted to become lichen

I try out some pieces of a (charity shop) hand dyed silk scarf for lichen and like those too so decide to get on with making the log.

I make a sheet of nuno felt using the recycled fabric which I cut into uneven strips.

Using a large rectangular resist I lay out 3 layers of wool on each side, wet it down, and add the felted linen strips on one side in what I hope is a bark-ish pattern. 

I cover these with two more layers of mixed brown and grey wool then add the surface decoration including prefelted discs for fungus and some marbles under the largest green section.

Surface of side one laid out

I would normally lay out the whole thing before starting to felt but there is a lot going on by now that I don’t want to disturb by flipping it over so I start working the first side to try to get it stable before finishing the second side layout.

On the second side I add yarn, locks, nepps, slubs, silk noil, nuno prefelt, pieces from a striped charity shop silk scarf….I am really starting to enjoy this. It’s a good job there isn’t a kitchen sink nearby as I might throw that in too. I’m thinking that as the log will be lying down, this will be the under side so it doesn’t matter if I don’t like everything. I could even cut bits out.

It takes quite a long time to rub and full this woolly smorgasbord, working hard into all the grooves. As I finish working it I decide it looks better standing up and so the log becomes a tree stump. 

Final tree stump from the front

In the end I decide not to cut into the surface as there is plenty of texture and I also leave the marbles in as I like the green knobbly bits (visible in top picture). 

What next? I’ve been mulling over how the pieces will be displayed together and decide to make a flat piece of ‘woodland floor’ felt for them to stand on.  I start with a piece of mixed leafy-coloured prefelt.

I cut the prefelt into rough leaf shapes and lay them on some layers of brown wool.  I can’t resist adding a little bit of 3D so felt some thick green rope to look like new shoots emerging from the ground. 

Finally I make an autumn leaf to highlight the annual cycle of a tree’s dying and renewal. 

Here’s the final piece.  Have I captured the idea of life cycles?

Final “Lifecycles” piece

And yes, Lifecycles has now been accepted into the exhibition so will be on display at Beach Creative in Herne Bay from 20 March to 2 April as part of the 3 gallery exhibition ‘Map’. If you’re in the Whitstable, Faversham, Herne Bay area do pop along to the Fishslab, Creek Creative and/or Beach Creative Galleries and check out how other people have responded to the Map challenge (dates vary slightly). I know some of my friends have fabulous work in the exhibitions so I think they will be hugely varied and interesting shows

Studio Space -“Final” Layout

Studio Space -“Final” Layout

On my last post, I showed you my new studio space. I had just moved in and my beloved fibre was still very much scattered around, and I felt a little at a loss as to where I should place my furniture.

It’s been 3 months, so how have things progressed?

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The quick answer is, very much as I’d expect – there’s still work to be done! For good reason, however: I’ve been busy working on a new collection and have been concentrating my energy on that instead of changing things around.

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I did manage to add a little touch of whimsy to this corner. A few of my for-dyeing fibres are tucked in those cubicles, and I managed a way to show off a few o my hand spun art yarns, as well as some commercial ones I have plans for very soon.

Holes in the walls are a no-no, so I’m buying some MDF, placing it behind the shelves and  drilling that instead to keep my vertical storage organised. Having it propped against the walls as is isn’t agreeing with me.

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My little reading corner, currently filled with work stuff. When I’m sewing I feel I never have enough space to place my finished items.
I managed to add a little artwork to the walls, to liven the place up. My ceiling is very high and the bare walls looked a little sad. Wish me luck when it’s time to remove them…

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Placing the sewing table in front of my window was both smart and silly. I get plenty of light (my initial reasoning) but when it’s windy I can feel the draft from the window ventilation slots. For now, it stays where it is, but I might change it later.

Have I told you I named the sewing machine Marge?

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My former dining table can be completely stretched now, which is lovely. It might look chaotic but every item is in use for my current project! Ok, most items are.
Spot the Christmas wreath in the background… it’s needle felted.

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I made this wreath for my husband, who had to spend the holidays by himself in Scotland. I wanted him to enjoy a little seasonal joy and made this in a couple of hours. What do you think?

That’s my tour of the studio space. I’m still going to add more artwork to the walls, and might change the big table’s orientation. Other than that, I’m very happy with my work area and have found my energy is higher here, especially now that the days are growing longer. I’m looking forward to working in my corner during Summer.

Werewolf Boy

Werewolf Boy

1Ghost Girl looks lonely 1

Werewolf Boy:

Last post I showed you the OVWSG sale and exp. between photos I was demoing needle felting.  I brought the ghost girl and had already decided she looked very lonely even with her ghosts on strings. After a bit of consideration I decided on giving her a friend, Werewolf boy.

23Workshop sign up table and the beginnings of a friend  2-3

As you saw before, I made the armature from the same Dollarstore floral wire (no gauge noted on packaging). Learning from experience I doubled up the wire for the legs and arms but the head loop is single. The tail is actually one-piece cut in half and then folded which gave four offset twisted pieces. I made the farther end two strands and the nearer end four strand. I had left a tuft to start the tail and anchor the wire as I was building the body shape.

For this one I wanted to have the appearance of mitts, boots, a hood and muzzle mask, jacket, tail and maybe another basket. Like the ghost girl I wanted the hood to be removable. I still do not have a base. I had wanted to take another wander down the street to the used-to-be-there forest, the crows do not look pleased, but there has been a lot of mud created by the heavy equipment moving tree pieces around into piles. I may be able to get to the scrap pile now that the ground will be starting to freeze. If not I may try to find a piece of firewood and split it. In the meantime, they can enjoy the softness of my working foam (garden kneeling pad from Dollarama $2.50 Canadian.  They should be back in the stores by February).

I made the frame and then decided the shoulders were a bit too wide so adjusted them and started with the boots followed by chest, arms, neck/head and then legs. I am not sure why that felt like the right order. I used wast wool from combing again for the body and primarily locks or teased locks for the costume pieces. The wool is from a dark section of the giant Shetland fleece from earlier this summer.

For the hood and mask I started with the mask, getting the upper jaw then adding the lower jaw. Adding a strap and then worked on the hood. I joined the jaw with the strap and the hood then added the ears. I found the ruff a bit thin and wanted to add as few more curls to augment it. The seam ripper was sitting close by so instead of trimming the locks with the scissors I tried the seam ripper.  Although my seam ripper is sharp it produced a less straight cut then the scissors would have. It also has the advantage of being able to get into spots my larger scissors could not reach.  It may be a useful tool to add to my felting tool box.

Another odd tool was the foam hair rollers which I had picked up in three sizes, again at Dollarama. (No I don’t work there or own stocks in the company but maybe I should look into that?) It made working on the curve of the assembled hood and small basket quite easy.

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Felting Tools (What you put them in your hair? how odd.) 4-6

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Werewolf Boy needs a basket for trick-or-treating 7-8

I again got distracted as I was working so there are few pictures (that makes up for the last post!) to make up for such a horrible pho-paw, I had werewolf boy participate in a couple photo shoots so you can see him.

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Werewolf Boy dose Photos Shoot 9-13

1415Ghost Girl meats Werewolf Boy and its time to Trick-or-Treat 14-15

These small figures were fun to create and then dress in their costumes. Now I have to find them a better base but that may be best left for a later day.

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