Browsed by
Tag: crocheting

The Year Ahead

The Year Ahead

I’m ahead of myself this year, usually I start by planning to be more organised, but I bought some new tubs a few weeks ago and cleared up a few piles off my desk! And yesterday I sorted through a large box of fabric from the well being centre and put it more tidily into different bags and labelled them. One of the bags is lots of ready cut strips for making experimental nuno samplers. There are lots of unusual fabrics in there for beginners to try before they pick up any ideas of which fabrics ‘work’ and which ‘don’t’.

One of the first things I need to do this year is write a constitution for our group. We have our own light hearted rules, such as ‘You’re not allowed to be disappointed, we don’t make failures, we make unintentional discoveries’! but maybe we’ll keep that as our motto 🙂

Looking back at the things I made last year, I saw a lot of things I started to learn, but never really progressed with. One ‘unintentional discovery’ I made was that I quite like freestyle crochet:

I would like to learn how to do it properly though, so I can maybe make something, or at least freestyle a lot better! Another thing I didn’t really progress with is spinning. I did spend a few days practising and made some yarn I liked:

But I think trying to spin some Superwash, which spins about as well as it felts, put me off a bit:

I want to learn to spin on a wheel so I can knit some really cool jumpers, or at least a funky hat, but not being able to do a good job of sewing up is quite limiting:

And only really being able to knit with chunky pencil roving on fat needles is too:

So, I’d like to learn to knit better, or more, or just differently! And I’m really looking forward to the Surface Design challenges this year, I’ve already started thinking about mine for the 4th Quarter. If you missed Ruth’s post the other day, have a look here. Have you made any plans for the year ahead?

Introduction to Wet Felting at The Fold

Introduction to Wet Felting at The Fold

A couple of months ago while shopping at The Fold in Marengo, IL, owner Toni Neil asked me if I’d be interested in teaching a wet felting class.  Many of the people who shop there are knitters, crocheters and spinners and she said they were curious about the felting. I agreed and we settled on November 1, class size and I provided her with a class description and supply list along with a list of the items I would be supplying.

I always think when taking a beginners class it’s nice to come home with something you can either use or show people, so I chose to make a place mat.  In preparation, I made a couple as examples and gathered some other samples to show how embellishments can be used.  I also brought along, yarns, prefelt, and some silk for embellishments.

2014-11-02 14.40

I provided a pool noodle, bubble wrap, a template, a piece of polyester curtain fabric for each student and gathered up my samples and other tools to discuss as we worked. In addition, I printed out flyers for the forum, a resource list and a general step by step guide to basic wet felting for future reference.

preparation

The class was held in Toni’s kitchen at The Fold which was comfortable for four people. Unfortunately, they had to turn away a fifth, but I don’t know where we would have put another body.

I was surprised to learn that a couple of the ladies had come from as far away as Beloit, WI and Highland Park, IL which is an hour and half away.  The other two lived closer to me.

layout 3_edited-1

The kitchen was nice and bright.  So sunny, pictures were a little hard to get.

laying out lay out 2

The one thing I learned is that they would have preferred to not have choices as to design.   However, I’m never one to squash the creativity of a group and as it turned out they helped each other and while they followed basic designs they added their own creative touches.

Toni M (not the owner) finished first and was pleased with her first project and decided she liked her organic edges.

Toni

Dana brought some beautiful Churro yarn she’d purchased from New Mexico and made her mat a bit more abstract with a lovely turquoise background.

Dana

Carolynne purchased her roving and yarn to match at The Fold with the intention making an additional five mats of the same design which featured the stripes and abstract yarn design.

Carolynne

Since Candace had just purchased all the merino sheep from The Fold, she chose to feature a sheep on her design that she cut out from prefelt and used yarn for a fence, silk for clouds and some roving for grass.

Candace and sheep

They were all pleased with their place mats.  We worked hard, but had a good time.  Now these knitters, crocheters, spinner and weaver have a new tool in their fiber kits!  I hope they will continue to experiment and join us on the forum.  For more information on The Fold check out their website http://www.thefoldatmc.net

I haven’t taught a class in a long time.  I was tired, but a good tired and had fun meeting new people and sharing my passion with them.

 

 

The Midwest Fiber and Folk Art Fair, August 1-3, 2014

The Midwest Fiber and Folk Art Fair, August 1-3, 2014

by Guest Artist/Author Cathy Wycliff (Luvswool)

We, Marilyn (Pandagirl) and I (Luvswool),  had never attended a “fiber fair,” so there were expectations and then the reality of the Fair.  We had planned for many months to attend the annual Fair and met there early Friday morning with great anticipation. The advance program showed photos of sheep, fiber, workshops, art exhibits, bags of fleece, etc., and the Fair delivered all of that except for the sheep. One of the organizers explained to me that August is too hot for sheep, and I guess that makes sense. So, the only live animals were a lonely llama and a couple of angora rabbits. Still, it was an enjoyable experience.

The Fair has been held for 8 years in Grayslake, IL, a far northwestern town in the extended Chicago metro area, and it’s a Fair that celebrates the work of many hands. We saw spinners, felters, and knitters demonstrating their crafts, and there were many workshops offered during the 3-day fair. There were a couple of folk singers and a few food vendors outdoors, but everything else was contained in an air-conditioned building. The majority of the indoor vendors were geared towards knitters, with many beautiful displays of hand-dyed, hand-spun yarns and goods. Neither Marilyn nor I are knitters, so we headed first for a walk around to scope out the lot.

IMG_5785

First stop was the Art Exhibit, which displayed fine fiber art–among them, my own display of five fiber wall-hangings. There were other fiber wall hangings, sculptures and “vintage” handbags (crafted from vintage patterns but otherwise entirely new).

IMG_5781
Cathy Wycliff’s Exhibit

(Cathy had a very prominent display!  It was the first thing to see on our way in.  Very exciting! — Marilyn)

Next up were the vendors, which included some crazy rag rugs, lots of beautiful yarn and bags of alpaca fleece. There were also felted hats  and you’ll notice I didn’t snap pics of the roving, since I was busy buying it. Marilyn and I purchased some fibers we have not previously felted with–including Navajo churro, 100% Organic Polwarth, white Falkland and I bought some black Blue Faced Leicester with silk. Since there was so much yarn, I did pick up some white wool boucle for embellishment, as well as silk hankies, which I have never used.

IMG_5786 IMG_5787IMG_5789

As we neared the end, we were able to view the judging of alpaca and llama fleece. Two judges followed a quality control checklist and had to concur on all points.

IMG_5788

Then it was goodbye to Princess Athena, the lonely llama,  and our day at the Fair came to an end. We would love to attend another fair, but next time would like to see sheep–sheep-shearing, sheep-judging, sheep fleeces, border collies herding sheep, etc.  Maybe there’s a trip to New Zealand in our future!

IMG_5790
Bye! Thanks for stopping by.
Felting Around the Web

Felting Around the Web

Felt Along’s Wool Furry Vessel

VunoRad’s New Blog with Wool Paintings (see galleries)

Felted drawstring skirt

Barbara Trafficonte’s Needle Felted Santas

Jagusia’s Felted Tree Ornaments

Christy’s Needlefelted Embellishments on Knit/Fulled Bags, Mittens and Hats

Free Vintage Knitting patterns

Feather and Fan Comfort Shawl

Knitted Pinwheel purse

Crocheted animal sculptures

Crocheted Rope Basket

Chad Alice Hagen’s Stitched Felt Pieces

Annie and Lyn’s Stitched Felt

Interactive Jellyfish Swarm – Origami

%d