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.
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.
Here they are finished
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.
We’ve been talking on the forum about how important it is to make samples, especially when using new fibers or unknown fabrics. It’s better to take a little time to make a sample, than to waste a lot of time and fiber.
I still had one fiber from WOW I hadn’t tried. It was actually a Jacob batt. The batt was very uneven so I used two layers and still ended it up with a couple of sparse spots. I only felted the samples to the prefelt stage so I could use them in another project. The end result of the Jacob was it was very loose and spongy. I’m tempted to full it to see what happens. It is very similar to the Black Welsh I featured in a previous post.
I recently did an experiment with one of Fiona Duthie’s 15 minute projects called Mountains. It’s lost it’s bowl shape a little, but I really liked the curliness of the base, but couldn’t remember what fiber I used.
I have been trying to use more of the coarse fibers I have. But I have been terrible about remembering to write down what I’ve used. I thought Icelandic was harder to felt. It has a very long staple, dyes well, and whenever I use it in has to be shaved when finished. So, I decided to make a prefelt of this as well.
What I discovered is it is soft at this stage, but felted easily.
So, have I been badmouthing the wrong fiber? I have a fair amount of Cheviot so I figured I would experiment with that as well. The Cheviot had a shorter staple but the resulting prefelt was soft and a little lighter in color than the Icelandic which I thought was a lighter color. Hmmm.
When I went with Cathy to the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival, I purchased some Navajo Churro which I have never used. It had a short staple and was coarse to the touch and filled with little knots. The resulting prefelt was very hairy and much flatter than the others. It reminded me of Gotland I had made a sample of a while back, but while they look similar, the Gotland was very smooth to the touch. It also had been fulled, so that may make a difference. The Churro was very hairy. I have some white Churro I will try dyeing later on.
Last but not least, I made a Romney prefelt and found my curly fiber. (its more noticable at the sparser edges. It is rougher to the touch but I like the cobweb wavy type look. It also has a long staple.
These samples were fully felted and it is hard to tell the difference except to rub my hands over them. The Icelandic and Domestic 56 are coarser to the touch than the Cheviot and the Romney. Different than at the prefelt stage. I think in the future I may take a smaller sample to full and compare obviously they are different.
Now as a preview to some more future sampling on a pile of fabric samples to test.
Last year Cathy (Luvswool) and I attended the Midwest Fiber Fair and were disappointed there were no live sheep. So, this year we decided to attend the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival in Jefferson, WI. Since we weren’t sure how big the Festival was and it was a two hour drive one way, we booked rooms for that Saturday night.
They had an extensive schedule of events and classes. Since we were interested in the Stock and Whistle Dog Trials, that’s where we headed first. We were under the impression they had started at 7 a.m. and we arrived around noon. We waited for almost an hour on a cold bleacher with the wind blowing like mad while they had meeting and set up the field (obviously they didn’t start early.) Fortunately, a gentleman with a headset and speaker was walking around answering questions and keeping up apprised of the activity. The first up were the more experienced trainers and dogs. It was hard to get good pictures because of the distance and the fence. The event itself lasted less than 10 minutes. Still unsure of what we were seeing, we listened to others around us say the trial went well.
Cold and hungry we headed for the food stands. After a quick lunch we perused an auction and saw a bit of the Make it with Wool competition and saw the Wonderful Wisconsin Quilts and Wall Hangings Exhibit.
There were two long buildings packed with over 130 vendors. However, it was fairly crowded and dark so we didn’t take a lot of pictures. Most everything was fiber, tools, and some finished goods. We ran across this display and thought of Zed who has been thinking about fiber packs. We thought this was an interesting way to market a variety of mixed fibers.
We even found a a copy of Ruth’s book on a display shelf.
There were contests and displays of all sorts and dozens of classes. We visited the class building but weren’t able to access it. They also had a Walk and Knit Relay challenge, and a Kids Fiber Camp in addition to judging for youth activities and sheep.
We had to visit the Lambing Barn, but passed on the Carcass competition. Here are the lambs born that morning.
There was also a Hall of Breeds, a couple of breeds we hadn’t heard of. But we did get to see many breeds we were familiar with. Although there was an Icelandic sheep there, a vendor told us she had just been to Iceland and our sheep look nothing like the real ones. Huh.
The shearing demonstration was next. The gentleman doing the shearing gave us an explanation as to why the moccasin shoes he was wearing were important to the shearing process. Having his feet close to the ground and animal, he could easily feel the slightest movement of the sheep between his legs to make adjustments as he sheared. He has been shearing for 38 years and does this all over the world. When asked how long it takes to shear one sheep, he answered in averages depending on the type of sheep, size and location. Evidently, shearing in New Zealand is quick. Sorry about the angle of the pictures we didn’t know when we sat down what view we’d have.
Really the whole Festival was indeed about sheep. There were even classes for sheepherders. By the time we got around the whole fair, we had to make one more run through the vendor buildings. We couldn’t go home empty handed.
Cathy bought a handmade broom, black silk tussah, camel/silk roving, white Navajo churro, linen embroidery threads, hand-dyed silk thread, and an eco-dyeing book.
I bought grey and white Navajo churro, black corriedale and black silk tussah.
We were glad we had rooms for the night. We had dinner in Whitewater and returned home in the morning satisfied we had seen plenty of sheep.
This is an interactive booth. They are doing finger weaving. In this case it is called Ceinture flechee. A sash used by the Quebec Voyageurs in the 19th century to tie jackets around their waist to prevent the cold from creeping in. ceinture flechee
There was and art project going on outside the event. They were making an installation of sheep decorated with bailer twine. People were helping add the bailer twine.
And just in case your feet were giving out before your shopping was done, there was a place to get them massaged so you could continue on.
It was a fun and busy show. I didn’t have a lot of time to look around but there was a lot of fiber in all forms and tools for everyone from beginner to expert.
This week I made more cup cozies. I made 2 sets of flat ones that will have buttons. I started out with a rectangle. I decorated them in a random way. I then cut them into 4 at the prefelt stage. The purple has some orange blobs of orange throwers waist. It should show up again when they are dry. The green has some of my hand spun single yarn. It is quite stable until you wet it then it get its twist back and goes all crazy.
I finish them on a glass wash board. It is very fast.
These are the rest of the ones I made. They will get buttons. Some will fit a coffee mug and some will fit travel mugs or water bottles.
Here are some of my buttons I will be picking through for these. I have many more if I need them. I will use a thin round black elastic loop to close them. That way I think people may be able to adjust them by looping them once or twice as needed.
I also made some that are like the cardboard sleeves you get at take out places.
The multicoloured one was made using a batt and prefelt triangles I cut out of some scraps. The black one is regular merino top with a white silk hanky stretched over it. The white one is made with prefelt and a black silk hanky stretched around it. The white one shrank much more top to bottom then the other two. I didn’t look carefully at the piece I had before using it. Prefelt is directional. If I had looked I would have used it in the other direction.
I use the washboard to finish them as well.
This is the group drying. I really like the way the back and white ones look like marble.
If you made it this far here are two unrelated pictures. One is my grandson helping me with my ice cream cone at the farmers market on Sunday.
And the turkeys I showed you a few weeks ago. The first one is when they are 1 week old. They are now 4 .5 weeks old. They grow very fast. They will be moving to new quarters this week.
A while back I made a note to myself to make paper from and old pair of jeans. I wanted to play with some fiber in a different way from felting.
The first thing I did was to cut the fabric into small 3/4″ squares, discarding the seams. Then I dragged out my old papermaking equipment which includes an ancient blender.
Using warm water I filled the bender half way, then added a pinch of the squares and ran the blender for 30 seconds or so until the water turned blue. This was a long process since I couldn’t overload the blender.
The resulting pulp was strained. When I had about a quart (1.14 liters) of pulp, I gave the blender a rest.
The set up for making the paper included a big container of water, a mould, deckle, pellon and blanket sheets. The deckle in black, the screen covered mould on the left.
Using a handful of pulp, I added it to the water and agitated it. With deckle on top of the mould, I submerged the pair into the water at a 45 degree angle and came out with a pulp filled sheet. Without going into all the nitty gritty of all the papermaking steps and terms, I couched (pressed) the paper onto a wet pellon sheet and repeated the steps until I had used up all the pulp and had a pile of sheets.
The next step was to press the paper in my homemade paper press.
After letting it sit awhile, I gently placed the paper on a white board and used a haki brush to place it on the board to dry.
Since the blender was old, the fiber didn’t get chopped very fine, but it made an interesting texture and look with the various long fibers running through the paper.
Like an old pair of well worn jeans, the paper is soft. One side is smooth where the paper dried on the whiteboard, the other is textured.
I could run it through the process again, but I think I’ll try to felt with it before I do. What would you do with denim paper?
This quarters challenge is using a photo to generate a colour palette to work with. Often you have a photo that has colours that are really appealing but its not easy to pick out all the colours. There are some great palette generators on line. They can help you find all the colours in a picture.
Some generators only give you a few colours some give you a complete palette. I used my Easter soap picture to try them out. Some had a hard time with the yellow and the deep pink but generated nice palettes.
These first 2 are advertised to generate palettes from photos. The first is http://www.degraeve.com/color-palette/ It gives you 2 palettes from the picture but only 5 colours each. It gave me red for the pink and completely ignored the yellow.
The second one I liked was http://www.palettefx.com/ It gives you a better range of colours and the colours were more accurate to the picture. The nice thing is that if you click on any colour in the palette it gives you the compliment and the triad.
I thought some people might like to break their pictures into colour and pattern to make a felt picture. I tried a couple of cross stitch pattern generators.
This one http://www.pic2pat.com/index.en.html generates 19 possible cross stich patterns each one uses a different number of colours. It will generate a palette and pattern if you click on them.
I couldn’t find any for other kinds of stitching so I googled quilt pattern generator and found the Victoria and Albert museum. http://www.vam.ac.uk/microsites/quilts/patchwork It creates a much more abstract picture. You can up load your own picture or you can use pictures from the museum. The thing I didn’t like is the colours are not bright. The yellow is mustard and not sun yellow.
I hope that you find these useful and inspirational when you try this quarters challenge of using a picture to pick your palette for making a felt piece. Remember you don’t have to use all the colours in any palette and you could split it and use some in the felt and some in stitching or beading you add after the felting. Please show us what you do here: http://feltandfiberstudio.proboards.com/thread/2196/second-quarter-challenge-2015
I had been traveling during the holidays and on the return home I had to start working on baby shower favors for the shower I’m throwing in California for my daughter in law later this month. It’s an exciting time, but also stressful with additional travels for graduations and birthdays coming up.
One of the first things I did when I returned was to go to The Fold to stock up on fiber. I needed primary colors to work on the color wheel for our first quarter challenge.
I also bought some Yak and ramie.
I’m not a pink person, but my first granddaughter will be born soon so I stocked up. I’ve been making booties for party favors, but I don’t think I bought enough roving. Thank you to forum member (Tina) Cherry for providing me with the template.
While we were in Hawaii my husband Craig and I had the opportunity to meet Tina Cherry and her husband for lunch at Duke’s On The Beach. Thanks for lunch Tina and Stan! We had a great visit.
I wanted one side to be lighter than the other so I proceeded to make batts combining white and pink to lighten the color.
I made 12 resists. Since I’m not sure how many people will attend the shower, I expect to make extras. I used two layers. One light and one darker.
Here’s the third side done waiting to put the final layer on.
So far I’ve made 24 experimenting with different ways to speed up the process. Since we are in the middle of a blizzard here in the Chicago area, I ordered more fiber from Paradise Fibers in Spokane. I’m hoping it will arrive by Wednesday when I’m sure to be out. And of course, I have to decide how to decorate and fill them.
We are starting a new blank calendar. It’s time to look back and look ahead. As I look back at my year it’s been quite busy. There have been lots of classes and I even took a couple of classes.
I managed to do some art with felt and make a huge curly fleece hat with horns for an exhibition.
There were not so good things. I didn’t get recalled to work in September so I am unemployed. On the bright side at least it was a good time. I had shows coming up so I did make some money. I sold some work to a store and got invited to sell work in a local museum store. One of the best things to happen has nothing to do with felt or wool. I found out I will be a grandmother in February. So now I have a reason for all this gray hair, I will be a nana.
My new year will be exiting with the new baby, hopefully a new part time job and more felt. I am hoping to try for the 3rd time making the felt boots I was supposed to try again last year. I think it will be a good year. I hope your year was good and the new one will even better.
Congratulations to Jolanta, winner of the Third Birthday Giveaway #4! Please send me your snail mail address and I’ll put the batts in the mail to you. I look forward to seeing how you use them. I hope you have fun!
Here in the Midwest USA, the weather has turned cold and the snow has started to fly. With the holidays and New Year around the corner, my thoughts have turned to warmth and gifts.
I’ve wanted to experiment with cobweb felt so I made a cobweb scarf with one layer of a merino/silk mix. I didn’t intentionally make holes, but let the process dictate the outcome.
Here are some closeups:
It is very lightweight but has enough fiber to keep the neck warm.
Using the same type of merino/silk mix, I made two additional scarves. But this time I didn’t want holes, so I used two layers of fiber and carefully inspected each before felting for weak spots filling in where necessary, then checked frequently during the process.
Of course, with the process of rolling and fulling each ended up with some holes. The brown more than the lilac. I like the look of them, but disappointed in the outcome.
Last year I made my husband a scarf with the merino/silk mix, but used a prefelt between layers and it made it much heavier. Perhaps, next time I will use an additional layer of merino instead of prefelt for a thinner scarf.
I’ve also been pod happy again and have made two more as gifts. I made batts using merino/silk, and merino for outside layers and Cheviot as an inner layer to give the bowl strength, but of course, it migrates through and had to be shaved.
What projects have you been working on for the season?