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Cangames gaming convention long weekend in May 2019

Cangames gaming convention long weekend in May 2019

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Cangames 2019 Ottawa Canada. Upstairs at the curling club

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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.

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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”.

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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.

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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?

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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.

 

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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;

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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

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Image 33

 

Needle Felted Flat Landscape Workshop 2019

Needle Felted Flat Landscape Workshop 2019

Ann told you about the workshop she gave on felted Flowers. So I thot you might like to hear about the last workshop I was teaching. This was the first time I had taught it and I was a bit nervous and excited (inner voice to self, take a deep breath, relax). In December you heard about the panic of making the Catalogue sample for this workshop. (https://feltingandfiberstudio.com/2018/12/01/this-is-the-story-of-a-felting-emergency/)

As you may remember I have a background in both commercial and fine art.  Add to that the sivear dislexia which tends to change my way of approaching a subject or at least the way I tend to interpret it.

Last August the guild started to set up the list and order workshops that would run in 2019. There were a number of felting workshops but we had requests for felted landscapes in 2D. I had signed up to teach Inkle weaving as usual but Our Workshop coordinator was sure I could do the landscape and re-run a felted sheep class I had done over 10 years ago. I said sure and between working on the Catalogue for the workshops, restructuring the Guild library and a few Exhibition and Sale chores I started writing my notes.

I am pretty big on notes.  I want a student to be able to look back on them and remember what to do even if it’s been a year since they took the workshop.  For this one I felt I needed to include a bit on composition, perspective, aspects of different mediums of painting and finally how to deal with the felting itself.  So think small book rather than regular notes.

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(picture 1 Name tags and a bit of back ground information )

I was going to teach them a different way to look at felt; treating it more like a water colour than an acrylic and using some of the work principles used in pastels and oil paintings.  Because of the time restraints of only 5 hours to felt I went for a smaller size, working in a 5×7 inch format.

 

2 (picture 2 the supply,  a stack of notes, a picture chosen and all ready to start )

I prefer workshops where you don’t have to go searching for a long list of supplies to bring.  So I try to have everything that will be needed to start your adventure included in the materials fee. The Introduction to inkle weaving workshop is the same, students even get the integrally important box of smarties. For this workshop smarties were not as important but they did get a 5×7 frame with white mat, a selection of needles, a mat to work on (I took a workshop from Megan Cleland who had used Dollarama Garden kneeling pads as work surfaces which were light and worked very well. The handle even held fibre I was working on!)

I had found some mid-weight felt at Michaels that was longer then needed for the project so we had enough to do  a name tag too. I started everyone off by making a name tag. Firstly, so I would remember their names.  Secondly, it would give them a chance to try the eye-hand coordination required to needle felt. It also let them get a feel for the differences between needles at moving fibre.  They had 2 each of the fine, medium and coarser needles and one spiral in a fine gage.  I had ordered a Multi-needle tool (it’s the flake clover needle holder from china) but it was not expected to arrive in time. it arrived Friday afternoon just before the Saturday workshop.

3(picture 3 transferring image )

We started by discussing different ways to transfer an image to the felt. Megan was teaching a variation on the light box using a window. This will only work well on thin felt. So if you want to work on a heavier ground or a dark colour choosing another method would be preferable. I mentioned the most common methods for scaling and transferring images including using a Lucy or projector, the grid method and the template method. (I also mentioned pouncing as an option, it is used with frescoes) Since I haven’t seen anyone teaching template transfer we went with that.  Its low tech and requires only scissors, permanent marker and an image.

I had selected a number of images ranging from quite simple to more complex since the class was to accommodate beginner and intermediate students. I had a couple students bring their own images too. With a bit of discussion they all chose there images. As they prepped and transferred there images to the felt I did a vary brief overview of perspective, how overlapping objects give the illusion of distance, how colour fades out as it recedes, detail in the foreground and less detail in the background and sky is lighter at the horizon and darkens as you go up. We discussed light and shadows and keeping your light source consistent if you are using more than one photo reference.

I also explained about thinking about using wool as paint.  Using properties from water colour , acrylic and oil techniques.

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(picture 4- 14 Slideshow Work in progress )

By that time they were ready to begin.  There was much poking but I don’t think anyone stabbed themselves. (I did have 3 boxes of bandages just in case) Most of the students had never felted before so were quite amazed as the wool started to turn into a picture. There was some reworking of areas to get the shadows they wanted but it started to come together.

15 (picture 15 Framing there work)

As you have probably found out yourselves if you put a frame on even a simple sketch it gives it importance, focuses the viewer and gives it the feeling of Art. As the students put there finished pieces into their frames it was fun to see them so pleased with their results. Two of the students had to leave early due to impending bad weather and lengthy drives home.I realized afterwords i missed getting a picture of there finished piece.

 

(picture 16- 19 Finished and Framed )

 

Felted Flower Class

Felted Flower Class

Wednesday I taught an evening class in flowers at the Ottawa Valley Weavers’ and Spinners’ Guild. It is a bit rushed for beginners to get both flowers finished but everyone got it done and we all had a good time.

As usual, I kept forgetting to take pictures but I did get some and Jan was in the class and got some but she was busy too.

First, we did a petunia/morning glory shaped flower this is me explaining how you layout the wool for the flower.

Jan remembered to take a picture of her layout. This is part way through.

Here everyone is diligently felting their flowers

Shaping

This is Jan’s flower after scrunching and throwing. People usually look skeptical that this will be a flower at this point.

But then Ta Da!

Then there was no time to waist and we were on to Flower 2. Stems and stamens and silk hankies.

 

There was rubbing and rolling and gentle fulling and no throwing for these.

And lastly Jan to a good picture of her 2 blue flowers.

I think I may make this into a full-length class with a few more flowers. and maybe add some leaves to the stems.

 

 

 

 

Nuno Felting Class

Nuno Felting Class

Hi all, sorry for being late I am a day behind in my week. Probably to make up for me thinking it was Sunday all Saturday.
This last week end I taught a lovely group of ladies how to make nuno felt scarves.
This is what the set up looks like just before the students arrive.

After everyone picks their scarf blank and the main colours for their scarf they got down to laying out their patterns.

Here they are a little farther along.

After adding all their embellishments it was on to rubbing and rolling

and then the fun of throwing to finish the fulling

Here are everyone’s scarves front and back

This last picture on the right is a close up of the silk hanky flowers that were added to one end of this scarf. the look great but will look better when they dry. They will lighten up and some hidden silk will show up. I never get to see them dry. It was A good class and everyone seemed to have a good time.

Have you given or taken a class lately?

 

 

This and That

This and That

My plan was to show you the needle felted sheep class I taught a few weeks ago but it seems I took a lot of pictures of my hand and only ended up with two group pictures at the end. So here they are:

That doesn’t seem like much so I though I would show you what my house looked like on Sunday morning. It was so pretty and I may do a felt picture of using one of the pictures for inspiration. It was only -2c and all the snow is gone now.

I have a couple of new felting tools. The first I am told is for sitting on to help with some hip problem but I found 2 of them (cheap) at the second hand store. Value Village for those who live in the USA or Canada. I will attach a strap of some sort and give it a try.

Jan Found this great foot massager for me. It should be interesting to try out.

Lastly If you signed up for the Holiday card exchange the partner names are now up on the forum holiday-exchange-2018

As you Read this I will be at my Guild Exhibitions and Sale. It’s in Ottawa Ontario Canada if you are in the area drop by and say hello. facebook.com/events/

Also, I would like to encourage anyone who would like to learn how to make felt bags to sign up for Teri Berry’s online class. Registration is now open and class begins November 22. For more information and to register, please click on the link to the Felted Bags online class.

Who could resist learning to make a cute bag like this?

 

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.

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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.

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