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A Felt Solution for a Small Problem

A Felt Solution for a Small Problem

Black thumb drive and black thumb drive and black thumb drive? Which Identical looking thumb drive has the file I am looking for? Silly me I saw them on sale and bought them! Now I again have a handful of thumb drives that I have to open each one to find out what it might have on them…. Well, that’s annoying.

thumb drives Yes, I have a lot of black thumb drives!

I had to pass some files over to Ann and need some way to make this little black drive look different from the rest of them and so it won’t get lost with any that she also has.

Sitting here in front of the computer, with a pile of fibre and lots of needles, I wonder…… can you needle felt directly to an attachment point on the drive? These have particularly small attachment spots for a toggle so a ribbon or leather strip won’t fit. But I think I can get a felting needle in there!

I had bought a pink rose and grey batt from Christine which just happens to be sitting here.  What shall I do? What shall I make? I have no clue… No, I don’t think I want a fish. So I grabbed a bit of fibre and started to poke at it, poke, poke, flip, poke, hmmm, no, not a fish. But it is starting to look like it wants to be a mitt. One of those really big winter mitts gripping the end of the thumb drive. Ha! My thumb drive has a thumb attached to it (with the rest of the mitt!)

OOPS, I gave it to Ann before getting a photo of it.

thumb and palmfingers

thanks, Ann!  the top is the thumb holding on to the hole in the drive and the purple is the back of the mitt. it has a big fluffy cuff. I will have to work more on the palm and wrist when I get it back.

Ah, another day of rain, I guess my fleece washing and drying is now getting an extra rinse again. it’s raining too much to even sit out and felt undercover today.

I grabbed some more of the same batt of pinks, rose and grey and started randomly poking at the wool. After a bit I started feeling like footwear, yes that is definitely a short felt boot. I added a bright pink bit of fibre as the sole and started pulling bits of curls and added them along the rim of the boot and extended the backup and attached it to the thumb drive.

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I got distracted working on the computer and looked up to see MORE RAIN…. The fleece gets another rinse.

The weekend was busy with getting Mom groceries and birthday cupcake (chocolate on chocolate with chocolate!) She is 89 this year!  I had a wonderful visit with friends, with social distancing and then on to the birthday party and belated birthday presents for my Niece for her 16th birthday (we gave her a starter selection of fibre, needles and an instruction book. She had never felted before and made a very nice strawberry between getting the book, eating dinner and before dessert!

For the next thumb drive, I really wanted to make a wire sheep. I had some of the combed blue locks sitting close to hand so blue sheep it would be! I divided the single piece of floral wire into loops for legs, tail and left the rest for the head. My tiny scrolling plyers had disappeared gain so Glenn stopped into Dollerama to pick up more. I don’t know what I would do without that store, it has most of my not originally meant for felting supplies. I had to wait on the plyers until he got back from work so I hand twisted the legs and used the tail loop at the attachment to the thumb drive. I will tighten that up and make hoof loops later.  I decided to make a nice round little body but leave the legs and neck wire. The head I added ears and a couple of tight curls. I think she turned out quite well.

1089   8-10

The attachment is easier to see with the wire rather than with the boot or mitt felting.

111211-12

Since the labelling of the boot’s drive as a Boot drive gives it other meanings in computer vocabulary I will call this the pink slipper drive, and the other will be the blue sheep drive.

That was a fun little project and has successfully made the on sale black identical thumb drives now look different! Have fun and keep felting (but it may be best not to do wet felting with this one!)

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Influencing Shape with Prefelt Part 2

Influencing Shape with Prefelt Part 2

I finally got around to trying a different shaped pod using prefelt to influence the shape. My first post creating a seed pod is here. I created this pod in the same way but started with a different shape and cut the prefelt differently. I decided to use a bit brighter color for the inside layer.

I used the same green batt that I had used on my last pod but used a tear drop shaped resist. I covered the resist and felted until it was holding together to make a prefelt.

I then cut a little cap off the top and a diagonal type cut all the way down to the end. The photo on the left shows the “front” side and the photo on the right is the “back” side.

I then took the green prefelt off the resist and covered it with orange wool and wet the orange wool down. Then I put the green prefelt back over top of the orange wool. I wrapped the orange wool around the resist from side to side. Next time, I think I would wrap it from end to end to get a more defined shrinkage but it worked this way too. The orange layer is fairly thin compared to the thicker green prefelt.

I then began felting the two together. I carefully rubbed along all the green edges and worked on getting the edges to stick down to the orange underneath. Once everything was holding together, I removed the resist. Then I fulled the piece and rubbed along the orange lines to get the resulting shape. I fulled it very hard so it would hold its shape easily.

And here’s the result. It does look very much like a seashell but also could be a chili pod or some other sort of veggie pod. These are really fun to make, have you tried this technique yet? Please show us your results over on the forum.

 

First Quarter Challenge

First Quarter Challenge

They say great minds think alike. We all seem to have decided on a book resist. I started with 3 stacked circles. I had been going to cut 2 of them in half and attach them with duct tape but after reading Terries tutorial I grabbed a needle and thread and made a few stiches to hold it together.

The first thing I made was long snakes leaving the ends fluffy.

1 snakes

Then I made 6 fiber circles. I used about 2 grams of fiber in each of 3 layers for each circle.

2 circles

then I added them to the  stacked resist. I did remember what everyone said about having a hard time where the resists meet at the top and bottom and paid particular attention to that.

3 wrapping the stacks

next was the long snakes.

4 ready to felt

I put those on near the top of the circles.  The next part is not very interesting. rub, rub  rub,  roll, roll, roll. Then cut the hole in the top. I decided the inside wasn’t felted as much as I wanted so I left the resist in and went back to rolling.

5 cut open

after it was all dry I had planed to weave the long snakes around it in an artistic design. Unfortunately weaving really needs to have a odd number of so that didn’t work. I needed to find a solution.

I did these

solution 1 solution 3

or maybe turn it on its head?

solution 4

Last night I took it in to a guild meeting and challenged them to do something with it.

solution 5b solution 2solution 6

solution 7 solution 8

We had artistic twisting, plant hanger, a fancy bun cover, and a bag. We had a great time and lots of laughs, The conclusion was that had I made a great new party game.

 

 

 

Resist Shapes

Resist Shapes

Several people have asked me about what shape resists I use when making hats or vessels.  A resist is used in felting to make three dimensional objects from a flat pattern. The resist can be anything flat that will keep the two sides of felt from felting together, i.e. it “resists” the felting process. I usually use a thin foam as it is waterproof, inexpensive and can be used over and over again. The resist shown above is from floor underlayment. That is the stuff that is used under laminate flooring. It comes in huge rolls so unless you’re making large patterns for things such as clothing, you might want to use a craft foam or recycled packing materials. You can also use bubble wrap, plastic, cardboard or anything that will hold up to the felting process. The resist above made the orange hat in the next photo. The hat block shown in the middle gives you the idea of how much shrinkage occurred. I used merino with a shrinkage of about 30%. But if you’re going to be adding lots of folds in the felt, that takes lots of extra room in your original pattern.

For this hat, I wanted to have random folds but it could have been finished different ways. That is the fun thing about using a resist with lots of extra room in it. You can make small, subtle changes in the shaping of the hat and you’ll get a completely different look. This hat could have had uniform folds done concentrically and it would look like a completely different hat.

This is the resist shape that was used for the hat shown below.  All of the space at the top is used for the concentric folds that make the top of the hat.

This hat is made from a Stratta batt from New England Felting Supply. It felts very easily and is a quick and easy lay out as you don’t have to pull the wool all apart, just tear it to shape and you’re ready to go.

Here is the resist used for the Iris flower vessel shown below. I leave the top open so the edge is uneven, given it a more organic look. You could cover the entire resist with wool, cut it open and then have a straighter edge on the top of the vessel if that was the look that you wanted.

I made this vase for my sister as she loves iris. It is made with a variety of wool and silk.

This is the basic shape I use for making slippers. The resist shown here was for my husband’s slippers and I didn’t make as a big a cuff for him. The cuff is the connecting part between the two slippers. The more space in between the two foot shapes, the longer the cuff is. Or you could make it really long and make boots. Just remember to make them wide enough to get your feet in and out. You can see I’ve taped this resist back together again with duct tape. You cut the two slippers apart after you’ve gotten to the soft felt stage to remove the resist. But you can use the resist again, you just have to retape it each time.

Here are slippers made on a similar shape resist. I don’t wear these because they ended up just slightly too small. I’m going to need to make a new pair soon!

This is an experimental resist shape. If I was going to make this again, I would not leave the edges so pointy. Any pointy edge or really sharp angle is hard to cover in wool. I have found that the best resist is the most simple one. Just make the resist bigger for extra room if you want folds.

Here is the resultant felt vessel from the resist shape above. It’s kind of odd, isn’t it?

This is a vessel resist covered with wool and wet down. I used this same shape resist to make both of the vessels below. This shows that you can use the same shape resist but come up with a very different end product.

This taller vessel was made by stitching ridges lengthwise and then felting them together. You can see the thread at the top before it was removed. This formed a tall and slender vessel.

This vessel was made from the same resist as the tall vessel. However, I made concentric folds around the shape to make a short and squatty vessel.

As you can see, almost any shape can be used to make felt. The fun thing is that even if the same shape resist is used, the final shaping of the felt can change the end result. What shape resists do you use when felting? Or perhaps you haven’t tried felting with a resist? Give it a try and let us know how it worked out for you!

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