Natural Wools For a Pod and Weaving

I made another bird pod last week, this time using various natural grey wools. The pictures aren’t the best because when I went to take photos yesterday afternoon, it suddenly went really dark, then we had the most epic hour long storm with non-stop thunder, lightning, wind and torrential rain (basically the whole  city shut down for hours because of it). So, I had to redo the photos this morning, and they’re a bit flat.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI mentioned in my last post I was getting a spinning wheel, and it came last week (yay!) but I’ve not been upto having a go yet, so I did a bit of spindle spinning and then weaving. I thought it’d be nice for fairs or the well being classes to show how hand woven yarn can be used. This first one was made with fairly neat (by my standards, anyway) yarn, just single ply, and I didn’t wet and set the twist or anything, just wound it onto an old broom handle from the spindle. I wove it on a little kids loom I bought:


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI was doing some of the weaving at night watching Parks and Recreation and thought I was using all naturals, but it was obvious in daylight I’d used some yarn I made ages ago from hand dyed Merino (green over orange, I think), but I think it matches alright.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASince not everyone has a loom handy, I thought I’d make a few pieces with cardboard looms, so I cut some rectangles and then marked out sections and cut notches in the bottom. I also used some yarn I’d made from my carding scraps – the really wiry, scruffy, short and matted bits – and some coarser wools like Herdick (the bits I used looked like unpicked Brillo pads) and a couple I got from Wollknoll which look like shredded wheat, to show that yarn, and weaving, can still look good even if you don’t make smooth, even yarn. This is a tall one I made:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThat’s a dried pepper keeping it flat, I’ll probably have to wet and block some of these becasue they want to curl! Close up:


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is a really small one I made:


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is the larger of the cardboard looms I made:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd this is a photo of the loom above with a smaller cardboard loom (it already has the warp thread wound on it) and how they compare to the kids’ loom I have. That is probably smaller than A4/printer paper:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADo you remember the inside of my bag from last time? Well, I was watching Neighbours last week (an Aussie soap, for those who don’t know) and a character was wearing a jacket, just like my bag flap!


Posted in natural wools | Tagged , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Around the Web

Hi this is Ann not Ruth as it says above. I am just back form my weekend sale at Fiberfest and I am afraid I am to tired to think. So I will let you have a look at these interesting things from around the web. I will tell you about my sale and show you some things a bought next time.

Felting around the web banner



Cool Felt Hats on a Band

some very inspirational purses.

mixed media around the web



Bumblebee by Mister Finch

spinning around the web

dyeing around the web 300

stitching around the web

Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Online Class Winner and Third Quarter Challenge

PSP Front Page

My online class Printing, Stenciling, and Playing with Thickened Dyes on Felt is coming up quickly. The class starts on September 16th. If you haven’t signed up yet, there is still time to sign up by September 13th. Thanks to everyone who shared my last post about the class in hopes of winning a free class spot. I had the computer pick a random number and the winner is:

Debra Pearce

Debra, I will contact you with further information about the class by Monday, September 12th. Congratulations! For those of you who didn’t win, there are still a spots available in the class if you would like to join us. Register here.

I finally got some time to work on the Third Quarter Challenge. I had decided that I wanted to try some silk flowers nuno felted to the surface to create dimension. I also wanted to add some other dimensional felting techniques to the piece.

Initial Layout of Still Life

I started with a large piece of white pre-felt and covered it with hand dyed 8mm habotai silk on the bottom third and hand dyed cheesecloth on the top two-thirds. Then I decided that I wanted to add some dimension with leaves under the cheesecloth. So I cut up a leaf printed wool blanket that I had printed with iris leaves. I just cut around the printed shapes and placed the leaves under the cheesecloth. I decided to use some black burlap for the vase. The nice people from sent me some samples of their burlap and I decided to try it out with this project.  I will be writing another post soon about the burlap and how I have used the variety of burlap that they sent me. This used only one small piece.

I hadn’t ever made silk nuno felted flowers before so I just winged it. I folded and wrapped the hand dyed 5 mm habotai silk and then added a few stitches with cotton thread to hold it together. I made the flowers different sizes and different shapes to give them some contrast.  I added some similar colored merino wool under and in between the layers of the silk flowers to “glue” them down.

Still Life Layout

To add some variety and a bit of contrasting color, I used hand dyed cheesecloth to make smaller flowers in purple and in yellow. I added stems with three colors of pre-yarn. The leaves were made from a mixed green batt and dyed Wensleydale locks. The photo above shows the layout before wet down.

I had a bit of difficulty getting the 8mm habotai to felt into the pre-felt but most of it did eventually felt. It didn’t really matter since I was planning to wrap the piece around a canvas so I could staple the silk around the back even if it wasn’t completely felted in. I didn’t felt the piece completely, it’s still rather soft. But again, since it is going to hang on the wall, I didn’t think it needed to be as sturdy as something that would be worn.

Finished Still Life

And here is the finished piece. The canvas measures 24″ x 30″ so it is pretty large. The long skinny leaves are behind the cheesecloth but do give some depth.

Burlap Flower Pot

Here’s a little closer view of the burlap vase and locks.

And here you can see some of the dimension added. Have you tried felting something with surface dimension? We would love to see what you create for the third quarter challenge.




Posted in Challenges, Wet Felting | Tagged , , | 17 Comments

Natural Dyeing with Cutch, Rhubarb and Indigo

This summer I’ve been playing with a lot of natural dyes with the help of Cathy (Luvswool).  This is the third in my series of natural dyeing experiments.

As with the other dyeing sessions all the silk and wool rovings were mordanted with alum potassium sulfate.  I used the same silk habotai, silk gauze, silk organza, merino and corriedale roving and wool yarn as I did in my previous experiments.

I started with cutch which was in powder form.


The colors for silk and wool were pretty much the same gold peach except for the the organza which seemed to soak up all the color.



I decided that I wouldn’t use a modifier with the Cutch because I had enough browns and goldens.

So, I moved on to rhubarb liquid extract.


The resulting colors were also in the peach/gold family.

20160702_142739 20160703_115005

A couple of years ago Cathy and I had an indigo dyeing day.  I had a piece of dark crimped silk left over and decided to use this as a modifier for the second rhubarb batch.


I thought perhaps I’d get a muted green, but here’s what I did get:

20160703_115958 20160907_124311-1

There is a hint of green, but it’s not obvious in these pics. the silk gauze and habotai closest to a light turquoise.  The organza is dusky turquoise blue.  The wool is more of a baby blue.

Here is the indigo silk piece after being used as a modifier.  Still a nice indigo color.


Have you done any natural dyeing this season?

Posted in Dyeing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Another Bag and More Unfinished Projects

If you’re anything like me, when you get the sewing machine and felt and/or fabric scraps out, you end up with stuff absolutely everywhere and a huge mess to tidy away afterwards which takes so long you start to consider whether you really need to use that room again or if you can get away with shutting the door on the mess forever. I usually try to make the most of it and do as many sewing projects as I can all in one go and live with the mess in the mean time. After making the satchel type bag, I had some good sized off cuts left over so thought I’d make myself another bag. This one is ‘passport bag’ size. This is what it looks like from the front with the flap closed:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd this is what it looks like with the flap open – I used magnetic closures again:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd this is what it looks like on the back:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI used quite a few of my recent nuno felt pieces, but also a few from ‘the box’ including the piece I used inside the flap which was a piece I made years ago with lots of different pieces of silk. I’ve got a few more half finished projects too, this next one will also be a piece for Ann’s 2nd quarter challenge, because I’m changing a piece of soft scruffy felt I made a while ago:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd this is a bird pod I started at the well being centre a few weeks ago. I need to shape it and full it:


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMaybe when I get my new spinning wheel (oh, yes I am!) I’ll make a matching cord to hang it🙂

Posted in Felt bags, Surface Design, Wet Felting | Tagged , , , , | 13 Comments

The Finished Hat and Some Scarves.

I finished the Hat I was teasing you with last week. Now you know what I did with the spike.

red and gold scarf layout 3 red spikey hat 1 red spikey hat 2

I also finished this scarf. It has a antique colour wool base and then a thin layer of mixed brown on top and then some brass/coppery silk hankies stretched over it all.

laying on the brown silk on brown

I was thinking it might appeal to men as well as women.

brown and copper scarf brown and copper scarf close

I’ve started 2 more scarves. You will get to see them next time. I may get one more done but then it’s time to start ironing and tagging everything for the coming weekend. the show info is here   It is always a bigger job than I think it will be.

purple carf 1

red and gold scarf layout 1red and gold scarf layout 2


Posted in Design, Fairs and Shows, Felted Hats, Nuno Felting, Scarves, Uncategorized, Wet Felting | Tagged , , , | 14 Comments

Online Felting Fantasy Fish Class with Galina Titova in October

We are excited to announce a new online class with Galina Titova of Gone Felting, Felting Fantasy Fish beginning October 4, 2016. You can read more about the class and sign up here.

Fish 1

Galina creates wonderful felted fish and is now going to share her methods with 15 students. Sign up quickly so you don’t miss out on getting one of the 15 spaces available. Learn to make felted fantasy fish in this three week online class. Each week you will learn to create a different fish and move from a simple design up to more advanced fish with different surface design techniques. Every week Galina will provide more examples of fish with the same elements used in different ways to create various effects.

red fish

The class is for intermediate felt makers who are comfortable creating felt pods or vessels over a flat resist. The cost for the 3 week course is $60.00 US. Sign up for Felting Fantasy Fish here. 

Fish 2

We will also be giving away one class spot for free. To enter to win, share this post on social media such as Facebook, Instagram or your own blog and receive one entry per social media share. Leave a comment below with where you shared the post. You must leave a comment here to be entered to win. The drawing will be held on September 25th  and the winner announced here on September 26th. Good Luck!

Don’t forget that we have other online classes available for sign up including Print, Stencil, Play with Thickened Dye on Felt and Wet Felting for Beginners.

Posted in Announcements, Online Classes | Tagged , , | 7 Comments