Browsed by
Category: Teaching

Ruffle Scarf Workshop

Ruffle Scarf Workshop

Last week I taught a Ruffle Neck Scarf workshop. This was the first time teaching it and it went very well. I was worried about the timing but it all worked out. I thought the class at the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum. They have a nice big classroom with lots of light. and water.

As usual, I forgot to take pictures early but here are two of them being laid out

You can see the template they used to get the layout right and keep it even from one end to the other. I drew it with the outline to follow and a line on them to let them know when they had shrunk enough.

Here they are using the plastic under their scarves to make nice edges.

And a shot of the class working.

Here are the results. I really like the ones where you can see the wool that migrated through the silk.

The Class was a lot of fun. I made the written instructions more detailed than normal because I want to make it a kit. If I ever figure out video iI would like to make an online workshop.  If you were to buy a kit for a ruffled scarf would you want it to be a short neck scarf or a long scarf? the only difference really would be the amount of wool included and the length of silk. I was thinking a short scarf but include the sizing to make a longer template too. I am wondering about the template I usually use thick plastic to draw it on. but it is too bulky to fold flat and too big to ship cheaply rolled up. Should I include a template on thinner plastic or just the instructions on how to draw it up on whatever you want to use?






Techniques for Intermediate Felters Class-The Afternoon

Techniques for Intermediate Felters Class-The Afternoon

Last time I talked about the first half of the class, class-the-morning  In the afternoon they did one large sample of many things. They used foam tubes and lots of inclusions. There were two resists sticking up and spikes They added some silk and cotton squares, yarn,  some scrunched up silk and a silk flower.

See the cool little rolling tool I got recently. It’s a little massage roller. This was it’s first try out. It worked really well. I have some other kinds ordered so I will do a post about them later.


Here are a couple of shots of me teaching. The left one is talking about adding some scruched up silk and the right one I explaining how you make one of the resists into a flower.

Here Carlene and Jan are showing thier pieces at show and tell at our guild meeting.

and a close up are Carlene’s

We didn’t have enough time to do everything I wanted to do, so at the end I was doing quick how to’s.  The pine needle technique two ways  and I also explained book resists.

So now it’s a matter of deciding what to take out and what to add in for the next time I teach it. There was not enough time. I think adding an hour to the class would be good. I think I will drop the nuno part of the sample to make sure we got to the pine needle part. I am not sure about the book resist. It may take to much time. What would you want to see in an intermediate techniques class?









Felted Birdhouse Class

Felted Birdhouse Class

Hi everyone I am a day or two behind so please forgive the late post. On Sunday I had 3 ladies for a Felt Birdhouse class. There should have been 4 but one lady was sick. I hope she is feeling better now.

Here is the start, 2 gourd shapes and a circle.

Locks where very popular this class. Carlene ( blue ) brought lots her own and some threads as well. This is side one

side two after wetting

Healing the cut after making the hole to get the resist out and let the bird in.

And all finished. We used Corriedale wool and you can see the shrinkage, about 1.3. The brown took more work to shrink for some reason. I hadn’t had the colour make any difference before.

They got sent home with instructions to blow up a balloon or some scrunched up plastic bags inside to get it to dry in a nice round shape. Carlene posted some pictures of her birdhouse on facebook when it was dry.

You will notice there is a red lock missing at 4:00. So she has added one with some felting needles.  I think it turned out great.

Have you done any felting in preparation for springs arrival? We just had 15 cm of snow dropped on us and it is still snowing so thoughts of spring are all we have.


More nuno felt class.

More nuno felt class.

I taught nuno felt scarves again on Sunday. I wasn’t as good with taking pictures but I will show you what I have.

This lady Had to leave early. She was going to finish at home. I am hoping to get her to send me a picture of it finished and I will insert it if when does.

I didn’t get one of this one finished either

I can’t remember if  she added more or not. She had to leave before she finished but she said she will send me pictures today. I will insert them when she does.


This is the last one. We stretched 2 white silk hankies very thinly over the whole thing.  The last picture is of the scarf dry.

That’s if for classes for me until mid January. Now I will have to do some felting of my own to show you.




Nuno Felt Class

Nuno Felt Class

This last Sunday I taught a nuno felt class. I had five students.  They chose their scarf blanks and we started.


I think for a change I took more pictures. I am going to do each scarf separately. If you click on any set it will become a slideshow with bigger pictures. I hope you enjoy looking at the class as much as we enjoyed doing it. I have as much fun teaching as the students do making the scarves.  I get to do it all again with 6 students this Sunday.

Upcoming Course Opportunities

Upcoming Course Opportunities

For those of you in the northwest United States and Canada, I want to let you know about a couple of upcoming fiber art courses. I’m excited to announce that Gail Harker is coming back to Montana to teach Level 1 Experimental Machine Stitch. The course will be held May 18-22 in downtown Kalispell, Montana. The deadline to sign up is March 18th. If you are anywhere close, it will be a fun class so I hope you’ll join us.

The photo above shows one of the pieces I created in that class when I took it in 2009. Here is a PDF about the course:


The other news is that I am planning on teaching at Olds Fibre Week in June in Olds, Canada (just north of Calgary). I have 5 classes on the schedule including nuno felting a scarf, wet felting a phone sleeve, wet felting a cup cozie, wet felting a cat cave and wet felting a pair of slippers. There are also some other really interesting looking classes on the schedule for spinners, weavers, natural dyers and a few more felting classes. Registration for Olds Fibre Week opens on March 8.

purple scarf layout web

In preparation for teaching, I have started making samples. This is the starting layout for a nuno felt scarf that has a bit of extra cobweb felt on each end.

purple scarf layout with embellishments

Here’s the layout after adding silk noil and ramie. I used merino and ramie from Big Sky Fiber Arts that Karen so generously gave me. I used a 5 mm silk scarf that I ice dyed about a month ago.

Here is the finished scarf. The top left photo shows the wool side and the top right shows the silk side. You can better see the ice dyeing effect on the silk side but it does show in person on the wool side as I laid the wool very sparingly to get more of a cobweb type effect over the entire scarf. The bottom two photos give you a closer view.

I do hope you’ll consider attending one of these courses. I’d love to see you there.

UPDATE: Due to unforeseen issues, I will not be teaching at Olds Fibre Week 2016 after all. There will be other felting classes available as well as spinning, weaving, knitting, dyeing etc. Hopefully, I will be able to teach there in 2017.


Cat Cave Class Part 2

Cat Cave Class Part 2

Some more from the cat cave class. Eventually everyone got all their wool used up and got to wet everything down. With such big projects everyone was working at their own pace.

getting wet

Then there was the decorating

Cynthias cave with silk Garry decorating with yarn

The one on the left has merino and silk hanky decorations and the one on the right is yarn.

Then there was much rubbing and then rolling and throwing.

E rolling throwing

Cynthia checked to see if she could use it as a hat if her cats didn’t like it.

Cynthia wearing her cat cave.but it turns out her cats do like it. Both will fit in it at once.

cynthias cats in cave 2 cynthias cats in cave 1

Her husbands log is still in progress. The cats liked it once he made some holes in it (ant holes in a log) to let light in but it also needs some more fulling. Sorry no picture of that.

Elizabeth got her pebble done and discovered that perhaps the hole needs to be bigger.  and maybe it needs to be a little bigger all over. She is planning another one.

E'cat to smallE's othe cat showing how to make it work

Beth had trouble. She was the only one that had a different wool. a Polwarth/Romney cross. I have felted Romney and I know people that felt with Polwarth so we thought it would be fine. She worked very hard on it. She came to my house the next day and we worked at it some more.  It would not come together or shrink. So we tossed it aside and started again with some Fin wool I had. she made a very nice basket that her cats likes but decided to flatten.

Beths secong try

Beths cat bets cats

Garry hasn’t finished hers yet, she has the one with yarn decorations. Jan and the giant fish are done but that will be it’s own blog post next week.

Holiday Exchange and wool order

Holiday Exchange and wool order

We do a holiday exchange on the forum. We make Felt post cards to share. I can show you the post card I sent to Cathy now that she has it. Do you participate in any fibery Christmas exchanges or challenges?

exchange card

The only thing woolly that I did this week was get a World of Wool order. I half put in an order because I needed Finn wool to do a cat cave class next month.  this is what 40kg of wool looks like when it arrives and one box open

40kg wool box open

And all ready to go to the vireos people

all ready for delivery

Inside the box you can see in the open box is a colour sample binder. I decided it was about time I had one so I could see the colours properly.

sample book

In the bags are the colours for the 23 micron merino. I am going to have a look for more of the plastic  pages so I can put the bagged sample in them. I think they might be for coins. One lady is thinking of ordering yarn to dye herself so got a sample pack of them. They are good large samples, well labelled. They are all sock yarns.

yarn sample yarn sample back





Needle Felted Sheep Class

Needle Felted Sheep Class

I hope all our American friends had a great Thanksgiving and have survived Black Friday.  Up here in Canada it is a new idea that has really only caught on along the boarder, where they hope for cross boarder shopping.  While some were out shopping I spent Saturday teaching a needle felted sheep class.

Here are a few of mine that created the demand for the class.


I had 3 student that had never needle felted before. We start by making all the parts. I forgot to take pictures early on but here are some legs being attached. I left the pen in to help you see the size.

adding legs

I love the way people really get into the felting. Such concentration. You can see her right hand is blurry as she needles the head on.

consentrating  After the parts of the sheep are all needle felted together and they have naked sheep,  it’s time to start adding curls. We use Bluefaced Leicester curls. They are good for this application because they are small tight curls.

starting to look like a sheep almost wooly enough

The last thing they add are the eyes. You don’t want to be stabbing something that is looking at you. LOL

adding the eyes

Here they are posing on some weaving that was on one of the looms in the Guild studio. I brought lots of colours but 2 of the ladies decide to got with the natural curls.

all finished They are always so cute.





Art Therapy, Roving and Wet Felting Class

Art Therapy, Roving and Wet Felting Class

A while ago, I was telling you about an art therapy wet felting workshop I was going to be involved with, and showed you some of the wool, fabrics and fibres which were generously donated for it. The first workshop was on Wednesday and was really busy and popular. There are two rooms we can use, so we can have a separate dry laying out area and not have to worry about anything getting wet, we stuck to one room for the first week, this photo is during tea break, but quite a few people stayed to carry on:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI think everybody enjoyed themselves making their pieces of felt, I got quite a few of the blended batts out because they’re looser and easier for beginners to use, and they were very popular. I’m afraid the photos don’t do the felt pieces justice, we’re in the basement with fluorescent lights. Here are some of the pieces made, apologies if yours isn’t shown, some didn’t come out.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

On my last post I showed a photo of some of the roving I’d made myself with a diz and a drum carded batt, I’m not sure how much there was altogether, about 25g, I think. I spun it up one night on a drop spindle:

I didn’t do anything to it, just left it on overnight, or maybe two. When I unwound it, it was soft and loose, and not as thick as the pencil roving, I knitted it into a rectangle with the intention of wet felting it so I’ll show that next time:

Due to popular demand our next online Wet Felting Class starts on September 18th.

wet felting FOR BEGINNERS flyer SEPT 2015
It runs for 3 weeks, with an additional 2 weeks of tutor support, so don’t worry if you think you won’t be able to do it because you have other commitments. You can work at your own pace, and we’re there to answer questions and give support and advice for the whole 5 weeks no matter how far behind you are, and you can download and keep the coursework to refer back to as often as you need 🙂 You can find full details on the Class information page HERE, including details of the course content, the supplies you’ll need and also the ‘equipment’ you’ll need. Have a look at our Gallery page to see what some of the previous students made, and we also have some really nice feedback from previous students too.

Edit: I completely forgot to say that last day for signing up for the class is 16th September!

%d bloggers like this: