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Using Prefelt … Almost

Using Prefelt … Almost

I’ve been meaning to make more of my own prefelt for ages. I have some commercial prefelt, but thought it’d be nice to have some in other colours and even multi colours. I also had the idea I wanted to recreate a band logo or design or something. There was one I had in mind, with only 3 colours, so I thought I’d start small. The first colour I needed was red:

And, I also needed black, not as much, but I wanted to make enough in case of mistakes:

And it’s probably a good thing I did! I’ve only cut simple shapes from prefelt before, all freestyle I think. I might have been a bit too ambitious with my idea … Firstly, all the faffing around with the design, simplifying it to individual colours, then making those just outlines, enlarging, printing, cutting out etc, that all took a couple of hours. Then I couldn’t find anything to trace around the shapes and leave a clear outline. So, for now, I’ll just have to show you the shapes ready for tracing:

Those are the main shapes (flames), there are some smaller ones I’ll need to do too. I don’t think there’s enough black for too many mistakes, so I’ll have to be careful!

One thing I do have finished is a bird pod. Probably better for nesting material, I think.

And the back:

Have you overestimated how ‘simple’ a project should be?

Bird House Time

Bird House Time

Spring is on the way and its time to start thinking about birdhouses. I have an Easter show. Not much in the way of felt really sells at this sale, it’s mostly about food. Bird houses are the exception. Here they are ready to put to the decorations on and then be put together for felting.

bird houses ready to decorate

This one has its decorations started

start decorating

That is as far as I made it. they have been sitting there for most of the week waiting for me to get back to them. I have hopes for this weekend and when they are done I will show them to you.

the wool I used I died myself. It is sold as washed gray Romney but it is really brown and white. If you card it without dying it, it does end up looking gray.

Undied ronmney

Here is what it looks like if you dye magenta, purple and chartreuse.

dyed romney 2

I love the way the “gray” wools dyes. all the mixed shades you end up with. A spinner friend says its called depth of colour, so it’s not flat.  I wish I could find other breads of wool that were that varied in colour to dye.

 

2012 Review

2012 Review

It’s hard to believe it’s almost a year since we posted about our plans for 2012! Looking back over what I’d hoped to achieve I didn’t expect to have done many of them, as the year panned out a lot differently than I expected. One thing I really wanted to do was learn some stitches by taking part in Take a Stitch Tuesday (TAST). I did try my hardest, but I found the instructions really hard to follow and gave up after about 13 weeks. I never got the chance to explore direct dyeing felt any further, which is probably a good thing, since I’d hoped to combine the results with stitches I learned from TAST 🙂  I did dye some fabrics for using in felting, though. And I did actually get around to trying out a Suri Alpaca sample, but I’d hoped to try a few more ‘controlled’ samples so never had enough to make a post about it.

suri alpacaOne thing I was really looking forward to spending time on in 2012 was working more with other felting fibres and fabrics, and writing some tutorials for the studio site. Early in the year I did make quite a few pieces exploring natural fibres with natural wools, which I really enjoyed. Some of the results were quite interesting, like this Suffolk wool and banana fibre piece, a photo of which ended up being used by a Lecturer at RMIT (Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology) for a book.

suffolkI did write a few tutorials for the blog this year, but they weren’t about fibres. It seems like I spent a big portion of my time in 2012 on the phone to various government departments and agencies trying to get onto a scheme to become self-employed. I thought I had all the information I needed until it came to writing my business plan and realised I (along with everyone else, it seems) have no idea whether the scheme lasts 6 months or 12, which is quite a problem if you’re trying to forecast things! But hopefully that will all be sorted out in the new year.

I enjoyed taking part in the Studio Challenges this year, I haven’t done a piece for Karen’s weather challenge yet, but I do have some wool and fibres blended and around 40 photos of storm clouds to work from in the next few days 🙂 Another thing I enjoyed this year was finally learning how to make silk paper. I did intend to try a few more methods, but that was another thing I didn’t get around to, though I did buy a book about it!

silk paperA couple of my favourite things from this past year are the bird pods I made and using the electric sewing machine my mum gave me to make collage notebook and diary covers. I still haven’t mastered the speed pedal on the machine, but I can wind a new bobbin really well 🙂 The bird pods were great to do, I haven’t had much success previously making 3d felt from flat resists, but they all turned out really well. This is my favourite.

bird pod whiteI’m looking forward to 2013, all the challenges and exciting new things yet to come. I hope you’ve had nice holidays and if you’ve done your own 2012 review, post a link in comments, we’d love to read them 🙂

Felting Class

Felting Class

To start I apologise for the formatting but no matter how many times I fix it, it changes when I save It. I hope you can read it alright.

Last weekend I taught needle felting to a group of ladies at Just Knitting in Carleton Place Ontario. They were learning the basics by making Easter eggs.

Here they are starting with their core wool. That’s me on the left, in the orange.

Beginning to Felt

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here they’ve covered the eggs in a base colour and they are adding decorations.

 

Adding Colour

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are four completed eggs

 

Easter Eggs

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the ladies wanted to do a matryoshka doll. She didn’t have time to finish during class so she took some wool home.

 

Matryoshka doll
matryoshka finished

 

 

Another decided hers looked more like a chick and added a beak and wings.

 

Blue Chic

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two weeks ago I did a wet felted bird house class. I forgot to take pictures during class but did get one at the end of the class. The lady on the right has felted before and brought wool from her flock. It was Rideau Arcott wool. It is a down breed. She knew it might not work the way she wanted but wanted to give it a try.  Her bird house didn’t shrink very much and it needs a lot more work to sturdy it up. She ended up putting them through the washer twice and they still haven’t shrunk much or hardened up. It is the nature of this wool. It was an interesting experiment.

 

Bird House Class
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