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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Last week end I went to Twist. It is a fibre festival in Quebec. It is about 1.5 hours away from where I live. I shared a double booth with 2 friends.
we had lots of stuff. Elizabeth had some yarn and spindle kits and lots of cool roving she had died in a special way to create really cool yarn. I only got a blurry picture of it close up I am sorry to say. This is some of Judy’s wonderful hand spun yarn.
Next to us we had a sweet lady who was displaying some fabulous dolls and selling some books. This Traveling yarn store was the other way.
The lace makers were there they had a big display celebrating the Rideau canal in winter. it is the worlds longest skating rink. Everything on the board is hand made lace.
Of course there was a lot of fibre for sale there was a whole booth for qiviut from raw to finished product. Qiviut is musk ox fibre. and some beautifully dyed mohair.
and of course Ashford was there. I imagine they are on tour. I can’t imagine they cam just for Twist. They where very nice and had lots of equipment there for people to try. My big purchase was a new e clip for my spinning wheel.
we stayed at a very nice bead and breakfast in the tow where twist was held, Saint-André-Avellin I didn’t get a picture of that either but I did get a picture of the great “club” sandwich we had at a local restaurant. On the bottom was duck confit and bacon, on top was green apple onion and celery, the bread was apricot, rain and hazelnut bread. It was so good we eat it both nights.
In a few weeks, Cathy (Luvswool) and I are going to attend the Midwest Fiber Fair in Grayslake, IL. I started thinking about what a great opportunity it might be to introduce some people to the Felting and Fiber Forum/Studio. But I didn’t have any business cards.
So, while working on one of my felt projects I decided that if I’m representing a fiber collaborative I should have business cards that reflect that concept.
I pulled out a bunch of prefelt pieces leftover from other projects and piled up a stack of embellishments and went to work. Of course, I forgot to take a picture before I felted them. I used just one layer of prefelt so that it wouldn’t be too thick and proceeded to play with the embellishments using yarn, silk, silk habatoi, silk hankies, sari threads, throwsters waste, silk gauze with sequins and ribbons.
When I finished felting/fulling the pieces, I cut out a business card size plastic piece and cut out the cards while the felt was still wet and soapy. Then I worked the edges some more before rinsing and drying.
After they dried, I steamed and shaped them a little more. Some of them shrank while drying so I did a bit of pulling and stretching.
I didn’t want to sew them on, so I used three different types of glue (Elmers Clear, Sobo and Tacky Glue) to see which would work best, but all worked nicely and didn’t leave any residue. I applied it using a wooden stick so it was evenly covered. The nice thing about the glue was that while it was wet I was able to stretch and manipulate the felt to cover the card. To make sure they stayed put I piled a couple of heavy books on them to let them dry and flatten. I left the organic edges because I like that look.
I’m not sure how people will react to wool business cards, but I think it sends the right message. I’m definitely a fiber enthusiast.
The next time I make more cards I will stick to silk and embellishments that are flatter. While the yarn and ribbon are nice and very textured, it is a bit more bulky. What do you think?
In an effort to evaluate our marketing plan and see if we were meeting our Felt and Fiber Forum Members needs, we conducted a member and guest survey May 20 though 27.
Overall, the results were good in terms of the satisfaction of our members. There are a few things we will be working on to make some improvements to enhance the site and information available to members.
Our first question was “What Brought you to the Felt and Fiber Studio forum/Blog?” Since we are an online community, it was important to know how people find us.
I added invitation to the list on the graph because several comments we had included that as an option we hadn’t offered on the questionnaire.
For those members who found us on an online search, half of the respondents chose “wet felting” as their search criteria, 25% “fiber,” and 25% used “needle felting.” Other comments included — felting, fibre, fleece, and wool roving.
93% of the respondents said they were satisfied with the interaction on the forum. Sometimes was the response for 7%. The comments for “Why not” were, “I don’t feel I have much to contribute to the conversations, but find them interesting” and “I check in occasionally, but not regularly.”
Members (79%) feel valued. 65% feel their interests are well represented. Friendly and helpful members rated 93%. Comments requested more information on spinning, weaving, crochet, etc.
One of the most interesting answers for me was the activities members are looking for on the forum.
Comments included “Mixed media is more interesting to me,” and “online classes.”
Participation would be higher if we were able to give our members more time. 100% of the respondents checked this off. What this tells me is that those regular members somehow make time to visit, while others pop in occasionally when they have a few minutes available. Giveaways and classes were also considerations at 8% each. “A larger membership with increased posts would naturally prompt me to respond more frequently” was a surprising comment for this question. We’d love to have more members participate, if only we could find a way to give them more time!
92% of Forum members also subscribe to the Blog. Again time was mentioned in the comments as to why members did not belong to both.
One of the reasons I wanted to do the survey was to see how we could get our members to help us increase our membership and participation. Here were the results:
Again there is that power of “word of mouth.”
I was also curious how people felt about the lack of advertising since we make an effort to keep the site uncluttered and supportive of the purpose of the forum without compromising the integrity of the site. 71% liked not having advertising. 29% had no opinion. However, the comments were revealing — quality fiber related vendors would be welcome. Others commented that the sponsorship banner was a good idea.
What does all this mean?
Generally, it means for those members who responded, The Felt & Fiber Studio Forum/Blog is doing a good job as a friendly place to share most things fiber enthusiasts care about. The information gives us a few directions to improve or make changes that would benefit our members and, hopefully, engage our current members to help attract new members and other ways such as Search Engine Optimization clues to drive more online traffic our way.
Can we improve? Of course! There are things we will be doing in the future to offer more of what our members want to see and do. In addition, we will provide some material to promote the forum for anyone who wants to help.
In the mean time, keep telling your friends about us and come by often to share what you’ve been working on with us, offer some tips or let us know how we’re doing.
Our thanks to everyone who took the time to complete the survey!
The other week I decided to make a beret to see if I remembered how as I haven’t made one in years. They seem to be making a bit of a comeback where I live.
I decided on a nice bright red
I added some white throwsters waste for some interest
After some rubbing and rolling I cut a small hole to get the resist out and to make a hole for my head.
The whole stretches easily to the correct size
As it turns out a little bigger ( not much) would have been better it is a size small so tight on my head. I stretched it as much as I could. Just as well as I do not look good in a beret. I could make it bigger by cutting and adding sewn on brim but I am lazy.
I really like how the silk worked. It is quite big but I was thinking the you could put your hair inside it.
A while back Ruth got some free samples of some cheese cloth or cotton gauze from Cheese Cloth Fabric.com. She dyed some and sent me some samples. I also had a more open weave cheese cloth that I will use so you can see the difference. I thought if I am going to use my time I should make something that will be salable in the end so decided to make bracelets or cuffs so I could easily compare the cottons.
The pink on the left is the sample sent to Ruth and the purple on the right is the gauze I got at a place called Lens Mill http://www.lensmill.com/ in Guelph Ontario. You can see the purple is a much more open weave.
Ruth sent to colour samples. Here is before and after adding the wool.
I did one sample of the purple flat and one scrunched up. You can see my template marks behind the right one.
I like the way both these tuned out. they are very different than the tighter weave cotton.
I did a scrunched up pink one for comparison. I think I like the scrunched up ones the best. I may add some beads in to folds. They will be for sale later in the summer once I get some buttons and button holes done.