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Felt Cuffs and Hats

Felt Cuffs and Hats

My last post showed you some bubble samples I made when visiting my friend Maureen. This time I will show you what we did with them. The first thing we did was try some wrist cuffs. We both used the same colours. They were two scrap pieces of pre felt that Maureen had. We felted them together and down to 22 inches long. The bubbles will bring them to a good length for around your wrist.


I won’t show you all the steps of felting and putting the marbles in but as you can see it was done in the sun on the patio with a glass of wine. We are not all work and no play. In the right hand picture you can see the marble inside the bubble I just cut open.


Here they are on and in the right hand picture you can see we left one bubble uncut. It acts as the button to fasten the cuff around your wrist. We put a felt ball in that one.  That was a success so we decided to do hats.


Here you can see the resist and the size of the finished hat with the marbles in it. On the right is Maureen with hers on. They are still wet at this point. We ran them through her laundry spinner and they were dry in the sun in an hour.


By then we had eaten dinner and it was back out the deck for a glass of wine and cutting. Here we are wearing them and a close up of mine so you can see the cut bubbles better. I stretched the large bubble after I cut it open to really show off the contrasting colours.

We had a great couple of days together felting and enjoying the weather. I have to say her husband was great he did most of the cooking and all of the clean up.

Felt Bubbles

Felt Bubbles

A while back I went to a felting friends for a few days fun.  She showed me how to make bubbles and cut them  open to great effect. Here are the pictures of what I did.

First of course I laid out some wool to felt. But these are samples so plain felt won’t do . I added silk threads and a silk square and some silk roving and other wools to see how it would all go. This is the underside.

This is what the top side looks like

Then of course there was the usual rolling and fulling.

rolling rolling rolling

Here they are all finished and ready for the marbles.

The next step is to put marbles in while it is still damp. You pull the felt tightly around the marble and secure it with an elastic and now it is a bubble. We used the elastics they use to put braids in horses tails and manes because they are small, stretchy,  strong and cheap.  You put in as many as you like and what ever sizes you like. You can also use felt balls. the felt balls are good if you want to leave them uncut. Marbles are to heavy for that.

Here they are all tied up.

Felt with marbles tied in to make bubbles

Here they are cut.  I cut the tops off , I cut x’s and star patterns and some I tuned inside out. if you cut more off you see more of the inside and you can stretch them flatter too.

Bubbles cut open

You can see how the underside becomes the inside of the bubbles. These samples started out about 6×8 inches and the finished pieces are about 1.5 by 2.5 inches. They take up a lot of room. I only have 2 of them left my friends dog ate one. I think I will glue them to some leather and make broaches out of them. They are lots of fun to do. I made some wrist cuffs with this method and I will blog about them next week.

My Studio Challenge Contribution and Excuse

My Studio Challenge Contribution and Excuse

The second quarter is almost done and I finally have one of my planned pieces done. It is the simpler of the two but I  know I will not get the more complicated one done. This one was done like a line drawing with just a few bits of colour. It didn’t turn out as nice as I would have liked.

I make myself a piece of prefelt. Prefelt is just barely felted wool. You stop the process when everything is just holding together. I used Briggs and Little country roving. It comes as 5 strands of very thin roving ready to be put through a spinning machine. The only colour I had was red. It bleeds. I thought it might give the piece an interesting look. Here is the first strand on the prefelt.

roving on prefelt

Next I drew the picture and added some coloured felt from my left overs bin. Before cutting out the shapes and placing it, I brushed the back side with a dog brush to make it fuzzy.

all the elements added

I covered it with netting and rolled it up in a straw mat and rolled in all directions. I didn’t do any heavy fulling to shrink it because it does not need to be really strong.

I did start my second piece. I made the felt for the base. I used some cotton gauze for strength so I wouldn’t have to use much wool. I plan to cover the whole base with more wool  in several layers using my embellisher so wanted to start out fairly thin.

wool folded over to make neat edges
second base ready

While we are talking a little about technique people ask me why I use a star burst Tupperware lit to do my rubbing. I do it because when I rub directly on the sheer no mater how lightly I rub the I pull would right through the sheer and out. I’ve found about 1/3 of the people who come for classes have the same problem. I don’t know if our hands are just to rough or what.  Here are 2 pictures of what happens.

wool pulled through

And lastly my excuse. Besides waiting to long to start I have been getting ready to sell at our local medieval fair. One of the things that has taken time is my costume. Here is the under dress drying on the line after tea dying so it is not bright white.  There is a lot of material in it and I haven’t hemmed it yet. I have a little over a week to go and I have to make the top dress yet. I have a busy week ahead.

underdress dyed with tea
Outdoor Show

Outdoor Show

Over the years I have done several outdoor shows and they are great venues. This week-end I did one I hadn’t done before and it should have been a great show. It is primarily an art show with may visual artists, potters and unique jewellers. However it rained all week-end and hardly anything was sold by anyone.

A favourite topic is always booth design; how best to display your products and how best to entice people into your booth. A lot depends on the amount of space you have.  Here is a picture of my booth on a rainy weekend in June. For me it feels very crowded with the walls of the tent on. This was during a brief dry period so I could get a couple of things out front.

At The New Art Festival.

Although the sale wasn’t great I did get to meet lots of other artists and had time to chat with them. I have been inspired to knit myself a cool shawl. I am not sure how long it will take. I am not a knitter at all but when I get it done I will blog about it.

Here is a shot  inside my booth.

I am going to post some more pictures over on the Felt and Fiber Forum  if you want to give a long critique or detailed suggestions pop over and have a look.

What Happened to the Orange Batt

What Happened to the Orange Batt

This is just a quick post to show you what I have been up to this week. I am selling at The New Art Festival in Ottawa June 2 and 3 . I am trying to get everything I want made, made by then. This week I have been working on I pad bags and  E-reader bags. I am sewing these as a better way to make sure I end up with the right sized every time. I am a slow sewer. I have my machine set to turtle. I decided this was a good thing to make with the art batts I carded up a while ago.


iPad bags in progress

The bags turned out nice but boring I thought. I am couching down some yarn I have to make them more interesting. The one the right everything is pinned but not sewn yet.I did two sizes one to put the iPad in short side first and the other to go in long side first. When I asked people what they prefered, it was a pretty even split.

All the bags are lined. Here you can see the yarn and thread I am going to decorate this one with.

iPad bags

Two almost finished ones. They have their decorations but I am not sure about how to close them. I was thinking a ribbon or piece or yarn and a button to wrap it around. I am not a fan of velcro. I never seen to have much luck sewing or gluing it on. Anyone else have a good idea?

Felted Cityscape

Felted Cityscape

I was asked about my cityscape in gallery so  I thought I would tell you about it. I made it about 3 years ago so there are no pictures of it going together .  The base is wet felted. There are 2 layers of merino, then a layer of cotton gauze and then 2 more layers of merino. I added the cotton gauze to make sure it wouldn’t sag when the temperature and humidity goes up.  I do live in Canada and although many people think its cold here all the time the summer temperature gos up above 85 frequently and we get high humidity to go with it.  I also wet felted several rectangles in diferant colours for the buildings and the windows. To put it together I used a little feltcraft needle felting machine.

small feltcraft needlfelting machine.

I placed all the buildings on the background and then tacked them in place by hand. Just a few quick jabs to keep them where I wanted them. I then went over all over them thoroughly with the little machine. I only broke a few needles.

I put the windows in with a single  needle first. I was afraid they would disappear if the corners were not well anchored.  Then went over them again with the machine.  The moon and the haze around it where put in the same way.  The stars are pearl beads, hand stitched to the background . Originally I wanted to sell this one so I made a smaller one to keep. I ended up keeping them both. I never did  offer it for sale. The moon in the smaller picture isn’t actually blue. the felt I used to make it was quite thin and the black showing through it makes it look blueish.

wet and machine felted aprox 20×15
wet and machine felted picture aprox 10×10
A Few Felt Samples

A Few Felt Samples

I haven’t been doing much that is interesting to look at lately. Everything is white and is waiting for the dye pot.  I thought I would show you some samples a made a little while ago. The first 2  are purple merino with some silk strips on them. I thought they came out nicely with lots of texture.

Purple wool with strips of silk before felting
Purple samples after felting

The second is orange merino with some silk and curls on it, here I wanted to felt the curls right into the background. I also wanted to see how it would stick if I put it over the silk. I really like the way the little blob of curls all became one with nice texture. The curls going across the silk stuck down very well. Enough wool migrated through the silk to grab the courser wool of the curls.

Orange wool with silk and curls before felting
Orange sample after felting

This last set I wanted the curls to be attached at the base and left loose and hanging for the rest of their length. I use a small piece of scrap floor underlay with a hole in it so the wouldn’t stick down. It worked very well. I am not sure how I ended up with one really long curl.

Small samples with curls with their resists on before felting
Small samples with curls after felting.

I am not sure what I am gong to do with these. I might make some buttons or hair clips. Do you have any ideas?

Developing a Sample for a Nuno Felting Class

Developing a Sample for a Nuno Felting Class

My friend Paula and I have been working on a nuno felting class we’ll be teaching soon. It’s a nuno felted jacket based on the Cocoon Jacket that was featured in Felt Magazine by Polly Stirling. Essentially, you nuno felt yardage and then turn up the short ends of the fabric to make a seam for the jacket shoulders and sleeves.

Here’s the back of the jacket. I used 5mm silk habotai with a batt that I carded containing merino wool, Tencel, Seacell, silk noil and soy fiber. I then added wisps of  black merino pencil roving and some preyarn in green.

Here’s the piece after felting but before I dyed it the deep red color.

Here’s the front of the jacket. I sewed the seams before I dyed the jacket. I used acid dyes so the Tencel, Seacell and soy fiber didn’t take the dyes giving a beautiful contrast of fibers.

You can see how the plant-based fibers stayed closer to white and give a nice contrast from the deep red and black. The green preyarn is now a deep brown.

Here’s a closer view. I really like how this jacket turned out and hopefully, I’ll get some photos of Paula’s jacket today to show you later. Hers is completely different from mine as she used already dyed wool and silk fabric to start the project. We wanted to show the students different options and ways to do different designs. I’m planning on making more of these in the future as it is a simple way to make a jacket.

I got a photo of Paula’s jacket to show you. She hasn’t sewn the seams yet but isn’t it cool?

More Dryer Felt and Easter Eggs

More Dryer Felt and Easter Eggs

As you know I wasn’t very happy with the dryer felt I did last week but I thought I would try some nunofelt. This went much better. I made this piece called snowy night.

Snowy Night

I used fine merino on a silk chiffon. It was inspired by the snow falling outside my window the other night. I had tried this before without being all that happy. I use plastic top and bottom as recommended but didn’t like it. I went back to using my sheer curtains. I did rub it on the back for about 5 min. There wasn’t a lot of wool on this one. I rolled it up around a damp towel an then wrapped another one around it , tied it up and tossed it in the dryer with no heat for 20 min. when I rook it out is was attached somewhat to the sheer. When I roll by hand this happens too. I carefully peeled it off . I though it was done really well and ready to full. For some reason I though I would roll it up the other way and give it more time in the dryer to be sure. I  opened the dryer to find everything had come undone and was in a pile. When I untangled everything I found the scarf was completely fulled and very close to dry. I need ironing but I havn’t done that yet.

Felt Easter Eggs

I made these Easter eggs the other night. I will be teaching an Easter egg class at Just knitting in Carleton Place, Ontario. If your close why not join in.

The Mobius Twist

The Mobius Twist

When Zed first told us the theme of the challenge, twist, the first thing I thought of was making a Möbius scarf. I have seen lots of these types of scarves that have been knitted but hadn’t seen any that were felted. So I thought I’d give it a try.


This is the result, a scarf with a twist. I was supposed to leave the ends dry when I was making it so I could connect them but I somehow forgot about that when I was wetting the wool down. So I ended up using my handy sander to felt the inner portions of the scarf and leaving the connecting ends alone. Once most of the scarf passed the pinch test, I connected the two ends with a half twist in the scarf and felted the two ends together. I used Merino wool and have left the scarf its natural color.


The scarf can be worn so that the top twist covers your head or it can be doubled around your neck. It is nice and warm and I’ve been wearing it with my black coat. So the scarf with a twist is a success. Have you been felting with a twist? We’d love to see what you’ve done. Just go to our Flickr group and post your twist challenge projects there.

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