Another old post from me. This is one of the most visited posts we have, so thought everyone might like to see it again.
I have been wanted to make a cat cave for sometime now. I decided it needed to be bright. I picked some Blue Faced Leicester wool so it would be strong and dyed it chartreuse. Then I picked some purple and magenta for the spikes.
I wanted an oval cat cave. I used my oval hat form to get the shape and gradually sized it up.
I laid out 4 layers of wool for strength and even shrinkage. I put the first side aside and after laying out the second side I poked holes to put the spikes through.
After wetting it all down I wrapped each spike in plastic wrap so it would not get felted down flat.
I covered it with a sheer curtain and rubbed both sides for a while and rolled it for a while and then wrapped it up and put it in the dryer twice, changing the position of the felt each time. It was starting to shrink so I cut out the resist and switched to rolling it in a stick blind. I find the stick blinds to be very aggressive and shrinks felt quickly. I did do some throwing too. Finally I rinsed the cave out in a bucket of alternately hot and cold water being quite aggressive with it. I then had to stretch the top so it would be domed up. I steamed it to heat it up and make it easier to stretch. Mostly I used a wooden spoon to push in a sliding motion to get the shape. Here it is on top of the resist so you can see how much it shrank.
Here it is in use, it didn’t take long for one of my cats, Wu, to take up residence.
As a foot note Wu ( queen of all things) is no longer with us. This is one of my favourite pictures of her. She really like the cave and we buried her in it, here on the farm.
In my last post I talked about getting some felted body parts ready for making sheep pins. http://wp.me/p1WEqk-1o2 The other thing the sheep need so they will not be naked is wool.
First I had to pick curls out of a Blue Faced Leicester Sheep fleece I have. After having done this you appreciate why buying prepared curls costs so much. It takes for ever to pull the little curls out. This is something you do chatting with friends or watching TV.
The next part is more fun. My sheep like to have colourful fleeces so they must have their wool dyed pretty colours. I soak the wool while I am picking out dye colours. They take up dye more evenly that way. Sometimes I do not soak them so they dye unevenly. You get some interesting results that way. Usually they end up 2 tone. I use acid dyes.
I dye the curls in small batches in some small plastic containers I got at the dollar store.
I add the premixed dye and then some extra water to just cover the wool. Then into the microwave for a minuet or two. When it comes out I transfer the wool and dye to a zip lock baggy to sit until it is cool.
I do it this way because when I have tried putting a zip lock bag in the microwave sometimes it get too hot in just one spot and a hole melts in the bag. This way is a little more work but no holes in the bags.
I also over dyed some locks I had done earlier. I think they were done with onion skins. They where a horrible yellow shade I wouldn’t use for anything. The don’t look to bad in the picture but in person, yuck.
I decided on brown and black. I already had lots of green and some orange. They both came out brown. I could do the black again to make it go black but the brown is a nice shade so I will leave it. They are the two at the bottom of the picture. Sorry about the quality of the picture but it was too windy to go outside for a picture.
Now all I have to do is put all the parts and the curls together.
Just a quit little post to show you the sheep I have been working on for my Christmas sales. They do stand up so you can use them as a decoration but they will all have a pin on one side so you can wear them.
They are made with a combination of wet felting and needle felting. The ears are cut from a wet felted piece of fabric and I wet felt the snakes I cut for the legs. The body and head are needle felted. The ears, eyes and all the curls are added with needle felting. I hand dyed the curls. They are Border Leicester or Blue Faced Leicester I can’t remember.