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Fingerless Mitts or maybe they are Gauntlets or Wrist warmers

Fingerless Mitts or maybe they are Gauntlets or Wrist warmers

I am super busy getting ready for our last farmers market of the year. We sold so many meat pies I will be frantically trying to make as many as possible for this Saturday. I thought you might like this fingerless mitts post I did a few years ago.

 

I decided I want to sell some fingerless mitts this fall. Or maybe they are gauntlets or wrist warmers? Does anyone know what the difference is?

First I have to make a pair of resists. I traced my arm from knuckles to almost my elbow.  then measured around my arm to see how much I had to add for depth. then I figured on 30% shrinkage.

fingerless mitt resist

Naturally, I picked purple wool. I used about 60 grams for the pair. mostly because that is what was in the ball of wool I grabbed.

100_7131

 

 

fingerless mitts ready to felt

Here they are finished

fingerless mitt finnished

They turned out fine and they fit me and my much thinner daughter so sizing is good.  I may add some stitching and beading.  I think they are a little heavy or thick. I was going to put a thumb hole in but I think it would be uncomfortable with the thickness. Next time I think I will use 40 grams of wool and see how that goes.  I may try making the part over the hand pointed too. I think it would look nice.

 

Dog Hair Felting

Dog Hair Felting

This is a throw back post I thought you might enjoy because there have been a few people asking on Facebook about felting with dog hair. Just like sheep there are different kinds of dog hair and even the top coat and undercoat on every dog so you need to do a test piece for every new breed.

Recently I was asked to make something out of dog hair in memory of the dog it came from. Originally the woman asked a friend of mine to spin the dog hair so it could be woven into something. The hair was to short for that so she suggested talking to me. I wasn’t sure about doing it but she was so emotional I said I would give it a try. She had a large bag of hair that was quite short. The problem was she wanted me to use as little wool as possible and not to blend it. From My dog grooming days I knew this kind of curly coated small mixed breed dog felted their hair while wearing it so I was hoping it would do it here too. I laid out a base of wool and then add a thick layer of dog curls to the top. I made a sample that turned out quite well, I showed her and she agreed to me making a pillow and stuffing it with the remaining hair.

Here is one corner as I started to add the dog hair. You can see the blob of hair I am working from.

 

Starting to add dog fur

 

Here is the finished pillow.

and a close up of the texture.

The only problem with this felt is it sheds a lot. With the dog hair being so short, the really short straight dog hair sheds out very easily. Fortunately she will not be using it as a pillow but putting it a way to remember him.

 

Uninformative Sample

Uninformative Sample

This is probably going to be the least informative post I’ve ever done, but it has nice pics! A while ago, Cathy sent me some wool and fabric which she’d dyed with natural/plant dyes. I tend to be a little bit ‘messy’ and had misplaced them, but found them last weekend. I took them with me to the well-being centre and made a piece of felt with some English 56’s and lots of the wool and locks Cathy sent. Unfortunately, I forgot to write down what I used and left everything at the centre, so I will edit the post once I get the info! So, this is the finished piece with all the samples:

On a bit of an angle to see the textures more:

Closer along the surface to see the locks:

These grey locks looked really silvery:

This rose coloured wool had a nice rich colour:

I think this was Indigo dyed, I wish I’d used more of this:

I love the colour of these locks, I think they were Turmeric dyed:

How gorgeous are these, with the rich yellow and subtle orange, and gorgeous sheen?

I don’t think these locks had been dyed, I love ones like this, with small, tight crimp, they remind me of crinkle-cut chips!

I think these are the same as the Turmeric dyed ones, but natural:


Sorry, for the complete lack of info! But I hope you enjoyed the pics 🙂 One thing I can tell you is that none of the wools I used lost any colour.

Shibori Shrug Jacket

Shibori Shrug Jacket

Heres another throw back post. I thought if I do not remember doing this maybe you won’t either. I hope you like it.

After seeing Ruth’s jacket it reminded me I had made a small one for one of my daughter’s dolls years ago. I thought I should give it another try but life size this time. I thought about doing it seamless but decided that it would make something that is a simple design into something complicated. Although I am not a great sewer I was sure sewing 2 straight seems on my machine should not be beyond me.

There are quite a few pictures so I have put them in a gallery for ease of viewing. If I could figure out how to post pictures side by side or in groups I would but that is beyond my skill level.

First I made a large piece of nuno felt. I used silk gauze and merino wool. After it was finished I put it in a red dye bath. It came out quite nice. It’s hard to tell from the picture because my camera did not like the red at all. The one you see was the best of a bad lot.

The next thing to do was the shibori. I finger pleated the middle of the piece starting at one short end. I very carefully held it flat and tight while I tied it. The first tie is the hardest one. After that you just pleat it up tying every couple of inches. You don’t want to be too neat about it. If the pleats are to perfect you get straight lines. You want your pleats to be tight so some of the material will resist the dye in the second bath. This type of shibori is supposed to make a bark like pattern. I put the tied up piece in a purple dye bath hopping for a nice red purple to appear on my cloth. It came out black. After it was dry the gauze side had more of a purple look but still very dark.

I sewed up my jacket. I made the material far too wide so the jacket ends up long. The short sides overlapped a lot when folded up. I had to have long “lapels” to make it work. It is not a mistake it’s a design feature, just ask me :O) It is still to long for me. I think it may look good one someone who is tall and thin. Two things I am not.

All in all not a bad try. I’ve made another piece of nuno felt to try again, I made it narrower this time. Now I have to find the time to sew it up.

Felted Cat Cave, A Quick How To

Felted Cat Cave, A Quick How To

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.

Spikes and Wool

I wanted an oval cat cave. I used my oval hat form to get the shape and gradually sized it up.

Drawing the Resist

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.

Spikes in the Wool

After wetting it all down I wrapped each spike in plastic wrap so it would not get felted down flat.

Spikes all Wrapped Up

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.

Finished Cave on top of the Resist

Here it is in use, it didn’t take long for one of my cats, Wu, to take up residence.

 

Cat in Cave

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.

What To Do With All The Little Bits Or Fun Batts

What To Do With All The Little Bits Or Fun Batts

I am very busy getting ready for the first Farmers market of the season and forgot it was my turn to make a blog post. I thought You might like to see this one from 2012 again.

Ann

Last week I sorted out my wool and put all the decent size pieces on the new shelves. this left me with a lot of little bits. I usually keep bins of little bits to use as accents. Now I had way to much of that too.  I sorted it all, picked out the stuff I really wanted to keep and put the rest into 4 piles for carding.

I have a large carder, a Patrick Green Cottage Industry Carder.

A friend came over and we carded it into a 4 fun textured batts.

pink/red/purple batt
orange/yellow batt
brown/gray/black/white batt
blue/green batt

The batts came out really nice and will be great for felting or for spinning textured yarn. I didn’t think I had that much until we fluffed it up to card. It is amazing how much you can compress wool when you’re stuffing it into a little storage box.

Finishing and Framing

Finishing and Framing

 Our Guest Artist today is Tracey Thompson who has several galleries interested in her work and offered to share some tips on finishing and framing with us.

So, you have created your latest pictorial masterpiece and now you have to decide how you wish to display it.  Here are a few options that I have tried, I am sure there are more.

Canvas

Deep or shallow edge canvases are very useful and can be used in a number of ways.  One suggestion is to make the piece big enough to stretch right over the sides and onto the back, then staple gun the edges of the felt to the wooden structure. Here is my 8×8 canvas example.

Then to tidy up the back I cut a piece of calico to size, ironed a neat hem and sewed it carefully to the back covering all the ugly staples, then added a D ring for hanging.

Another way to use canvas for displaying your work is simply to stick strips of double sided sticky tape onto the canvas and press your work onto the tape, this is useful if you want an organic look rather than a straight edge.

The last canvas tip I have is to again use tape to stick your piece to the canvas but this time, the work is slightly bigger than the canvas, so this creates the illusion that your art is ‘floating’ just off the wall.

 

Framing

Obviously your pieces can be framed, including a mount and glass. This is how I finish my pieces, choosing the correct colour mount to compliment the work, and using white wooden frames.

Another way of framing is to tape the piece to a complimentary coloured mount board and display it organically within the frame.

The last method I want to show you is a backing for a wall hanging.  Once the piece is finished, size a piece of calico for the back similar to the canvas above, and sew as before.  Then machine sew a strip of velcro (the fuzzy part) to the top of the work. Cut a slim baton and to this the loop section of the velcro is glued, and a D ring screwed midway for hanging.

The piece now has options available to yourself or the customer.  It can be hung as it is, using the D ring, or the baton can be taken off and the piece can be framed organically or with a mount as desired.

I hope that has given you a few ideas as to how you can show your work to its best advantage.

Thanks Tracey for these great framing tips!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Holiday Card and a Look Back and Ahead

A Holiday Card and a Look Back and Ahead

I have been to busy lately to do any felting. The other problem is my felting table gets turned into gift wrapping central.

I Got a lovely card from my exchange partner in our card exchange. I got a few extra goodies with my card too. My partner Rhoda Lamb (how’s that for an appropriate name) has a nice little etsy store. https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/TheFibreBin?ref=search_shop_redirect

This year seems to have flown by. I have been teaching and making some art pieces for the guild art show celebrating Canadas 150th birthday. I even sold a piece, the sheep.

  

 

I had fun reshaping some hats. I plan to make some more that are similar.

 

 

Next year I would like to work more on artwork. Time to dig into the inspiration file. I have accumulated lots of frames I think will work well for felt. I will need to remember to make the pieces the size to fit and not make some felt and then try to find a frame that will work. The first thing to do will be to have a really good tidy up. With today being boxing day you wild think I might be inspired.

I am hoping for a slower and more creative new year and I wish you the same.

Ann

New Felted Hat in Progress

New Felted Hat in Progress

If you are on the forum you may have seen the resist for this hat in the daily dose of fiber thread for this month. daily-dose-fiber-october-2017

I used wool in 3 layers because I wanted most of the shrinkage to be around. I wanted some height to play with.

After I cut it open I worked the edges and the rest as normal but near the end I also cut the top part of the right hand curled brim. I worked those edges to get them sealed. the rinsed all the soap out and let it dry because I was out of time for a few days. Today I finally got some time to work on it some more. I wet it all down and popped it onto a regular hat block and twisted the two long cut pieces around each other and then curled the ends around some tiny “pool noodles” I over exposed the picture trying to get the twist to show but the wool is just to dark.

Then I put in two sloped folds and pinned them with the little double pins. I found them after spending half an hour trying to fined my T pins that I gave up on finding. I am sure they are somewhere that was logical at the time but isn’t any more. I am not sure how that happens but it happens to me all the time.

It is now drying. The hat is sitting on another flat toped hat block and the pop bottle is holding the rim up so it dries in a better position.

When it is all dry I will take a picture of it again and show it to you.

Have you been working on any new designs lately?

 

Fibrefest.

Fibrefest.

This last weekend was Fiberfest. I was a vendor. Set up was Friday afternoon and the sale was Saturday and Sunday. It was a good sale and I didn’t take a lot of pictures.  Here are the few I took of my booth.

You can see my new table drape with my name. I should have got a better picture of it.  I always forget when I am busy.

Here are some pictures of some of the new scarves in progress. I had planned on taking more pictures especially finished ones but I ended up in a rush to get done and packed.

This is some softsilk.  I got a small bag at another fiber festival. When I looked at it on line it looks like the silk sari threads. I think it may be but it has been shredded finer. It is very soft as the name implies.

After set up I went home to make tarts for the farmers market on Saturday morning, Strawberry and Blueberry.

My husband son and Mom will be going while I am at Fibrefest.

It was a busy but fun weekend

 

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