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Mrs Mer Joins in the Adventures, Gaming (& Felting) Convention!

Mrs Mer Joins in the Adventures, Gaming (& Felting) Convention!

It has been a longer break than usual between posts but it’s also been a busy time.  I am partway through writing about the carp fair (yes, I will tell you if you can felt with gloves on shortly but not today.)  Today I want to tell you of the continuing adventures of the Mer’s.

Was it just a week ago that Mr. and Mrs. Mer and I followed Glenn off to the Kanata Games (and Felting) Convention? I have gone before and happily, spent the weekend felting, listening to my audiobook and watching the convention goers gaming. After a 2-year break, they were finally getting back to the fall tradition.

While Glenn wandered off to play train games (the older trains rust out part way through the game and there is a lot of math, doesn’t really sound fun to me.) the Mer’s and I settled into an empty table in the corner with a view of most of the gaming.

We are a little out of sequence since I had been working on Mrs. Mer at the Carp fair (which you haven’t seen yet!) I had built up her fishy parts to the point I was ready to add the wires for the fins.

1-Mrs. Mer, lying on felting pad, with fin wires for lower fins added to her fish body, needle is adding wool to lower abdomen of fish section.1-Mrs. Mer, lying on a felting pad, with fin wires for lower fins added to her fish body, the needle is adding wool to the lower abdomen of the fish section.

2- Close up of fish part of Mrs. Mer, adding folded wire that will be anal fin, the other fin wires are in place for lower fins and are wrapped in wool.2- Close up of fish part of Mrs. Mer, adding folded wire that will be anal fin, the other fin wires are in place for lower fins and are wrapped in wool.

3-Mrs. Mer viewed from the back showing under structure of wool and adding the back fin wires.  She is lying on a wool pad which is on top of a handwoven cotton blanket of various colours of blue and bits of purple.3-Mrs. Mer viewed from the back showing understructure of wool and adding the back fin wires.  She is lying on a wool pad on top of a handwoven cotton blanket of various colours of blue and bits of purple.

Since we cot Mr. Mer flirting again at the fair  I was determined to get Mrs. Mer closer to completion over the convention weekend.

4-Mr Mer as his arms resting over the handle of my willow basket, he is showing off his chest and smiling.4-Mr Mer, as his arms resting over the handle of my willow basket, is showing off his chest and smiling.

One of the tables designated for overflow games was suggested as a good spot so I was out of the way and it was large enough to work comfortably.

5-Table at back of gaming convention, gaming going on at tables in back ground, Mrs. Mer lies on table showing her back. She has her fin wires wrapped in wool and has a felting needle stuck in her sacrum.5-Table at the back of the gaming convention, gaming going on at tables in the background, Mrs. Mer lies on the table showing her back. She has her fin wires wrapped in wool and has a felting needle stuck in her sacrum.

I finished wrapping the last of the fin wires and was ready to start sculpting more detail into the fish bits and then add the actual fins. I still have work to do on her human parts but am focusing on her fishy bits at the moment.

I am interested in the intersection between human and fish again, this time playing with the echoes of lines that would have been gills.

6- Close up of Mrs, Mer’s gluteal muscles and the transition to fish, 2 ridges are developing reminiscent of gills.6- Close up of Mrs, Mer’s gluteal muscles and the transition to fish, 2 ridges are developing reminiscent of gills.

As I thought about the transition, I decided to move to the tail for a bit as I considered her options.

7- Mrs Mer on wool pad on table. Showing tail fin being built up with white wool over the Alpaca under layer.7- Mrs. Mer on a wool pad on the table. Showing the tail fin being built up with white wool over the Alpaca underlayer.

8- Showing Mrs. Mer on pad on table, with very thin felt being built up between the upper and lower tail wire, there is gaming going on in the background.8- Showing Mrs. Mer on the pad on the table, with very thin felt being built up between the upper and lower tail wire, there is gaming going on in the background.

9- Mrs Mer, lying on felt pad on table, with clutter of mini Chocklet bars, Ice crackers, glasses and extra needles spread around her. I am adding more fiber to expand the thin felted tail fin.9- Mrs. Mer, lying on a felt pad on the table, with the clutter of mini Chocolate bars, Ice crackers, glasses and extra needles spread around her. I am adding more fibre to expand the thin felted tail fin.

I added a lateral line on both her fishiness as well as her hips sort of where her IT band should be.

10- It band integrated with Dorsal line on fish body  anal fin over felt pad with felting needle adding thin wisp of fibre to wire fin armature. Glasses and tiny plyers and cutters are lying on the felting mat.10- It band integrated with the Dorsal line on the fish body anal fin over a felt pad with a felting needle adding a thin wisp of fibre to the wire fin armature. Glasses and tiny pliers and cutters are lying on the felting mat.

11- Close up of anal fin and tale (Caudal) fin both with very thin wisps of felt for the fins.  They are lying on the felt pad with a needle sticking out of it.11- Close up of anal fin and tale (Caudal) fin both with very thin wisps of felt for the fins.  They are lying on the felt pad with a needle sticking out of it.

12 - Starting the Ventral fin one on each side of the lower body of Mrs Mer’s fishy body12 – Starting the Ventral fin one on each side of the lower body of Mrs. Mer’s fishy body

13- Mrs Mer lying on her side on the table with her Ventra fin on the felting pad with a needle stuck in it. There is a bottle of mountain due (pop with a lot of caffeine), reference photos and my audio book player also sitting beside the pad.13- Mrs. Mer is lying on her side on the table with her Ventral fin on the felting pad with a needle stuck in it. There is a bottle of mountain due (pop with a lot of caffeine), reference photos and my audiobook player also sitting beside the pad.

14- Mrs Mer is now leaning on her elbows on the felting pad. I have all the lower fins added as well as the tail, I have started to add a bit of light skin tone to her lower back and glutes.14- Mrs. Mer is now leaning on her elbows on the felting pad. I have all the lower fins added as well as the tail, I have started to add a bit of light skin tone to her lower back and glutes.

The gaming will go on until 11 pm on Friday night, there are still quite a few people that I can see and more in the other half of the hall. Since I have a bit more time I started the Dorsal fin.

15- Mrs. Mer Lying on the table with her Dorsal fin spread out across the felt mat. There are wisps of wool being added to the space between the spines.15- Mrs. Mer Lies on the table with her Dorsal fin spread out across the felt mat. There are wisps of wool being added to the space between the spines.

16- Mrs Mer props herself up on the table with a bottle of mountain due behind her.16- Mrs. Mer props herself up on the table with a bottle of the mountain due behind her.

It is the end of day 1 at the Friday gaming and felting convention and time to send Mrs. Mer back to her project bag,

Day 2 (Saturday) unfortunately I had a previous shopping commitment when I learned about the gaming and felting convention planned for Saturday morning. Therefore, the Mer’s and I jumped in the car very early and headed north not just out of town but also out of province to Wakefield Quebec. They were having a wool day at the market.

17- Photo of community center and the corner of some of the Market stalls with white tents.17- Photo of the community center and the corner of some of the Market stalls with white tents.

We arrived in time as they were still setting up some of the booths.

18 -bin of wool and 5 small bags of tiny locks sitting on small chest freezer, more of market in background18 -bin of wool and 5 small bags of tiny locks sitting on the small chest freezer, more of the market in the background

19- Feme sol Fiber yarn and batting for sail in pretty baskets.19- Feme sol Fiber yarn and batting for sail in pretty baskets.

I found Femme Sol and sorted through some of their fibre, selecting bags with small curls in white and dark brown. The next booth over was Rocks end farm with Icelandic sheepskins and yarn but no fibre this time.

20- Rocks end farms  yarn displayed on table with dift wood support20- Rocks end farms  yarn displayed on a table with driftwood support

I also spotted some colourful wool mitts, shooting mitts (have a finger for the trigger), fingerless mitts and toques.

 21- table covered in batique cloth with colorful mittens on top 21- table covered in boutique cloth with colourful mittens on top

22- 2 ladys looking at mitts one lady selling the mitts22- 2 ladies looking at mitts one lady selling the mitts

Ginger had asked about Mr. Mer so I went back to the car to let them visit.

23- Mr Mer and Ginger Chatting.23- Mr. Mer and Ginger Chatting.

24- Mrs. Mer interrupts Mr Mer’s Flirting.24- Mrs. Mer interrupts Mr. Mer’s Flirting.

There was a dyer of yarn there, Riverside Studio, who had a great selection of hand died yarn.

25- Grid racks of hand dyed yarn, woman with large pink hand bag admires yarn25- Grid racks of hand-dyed yarn, a woman with a large pink handbag admires yarn

I admired the last of the fall flowers in front of the Wakefield community center before heading back to Ottawa.

26- Ornamental grass and brown-eyed-Susan flowers with dark rose colours flower I don’t recognize and general greenery behind.26- Ornamental grass and brown-eyed-Susan flowers with dark rose colours flower I don’t recognize and general greenery behind.

The trees are just starting to turn colour at the higher elevation around Wakefield.

27- fall colour along the highway green, orange, red yellow leaves on trees.27- fall colour along the highway is green, orange, red and yellow leaves on trees.

Did I mention the main highway in Ottawa is getting one of its overpasses replaced this weekend….. that would explain the odd extra traffic. I eventually made it back into Ottawa and then west to Kanata where the convention was underway.

Mr. Mer was very attentive to his wife. It may be she was annoyed with his flirting of earlier this morning.

28- Mrs. Mer on felt pad on table with Mr. Mer leaning over the back of the walker supervising her felting. In the background gaming is going on.28- Mrs. Mer on a felt pad on the table with Mr. Mer leaning over the back of the walker supervising her felting. In the background, gaming is going on.

Today’s focus is to firm up the fins I laid in yesterday.

29- his wife as she lays on the table with her Pectoral fin about to be worked on with the fake clover tool.29- his wife as she lays on the table with her Pectoral fin about to be worked on with the fake clover tool.

Glenn borrowed the camera so I have a picture of myself felting.

30- Jan using fake clover tool on pectoral fin, with Mr. Mer watching over his wife.30- Jan using fake clover tool on pectoral fin, with Mr. Mer watching over his wife.

Many hours pass…

31- Mrs Mer balancing on 2 mountain due bottles on table, gaming happening in the background.31- Mrs. Mer balancing on 2 mountain due bottles on the table, gaming happening in the background.

32- Mrs Mer tries to go for a swim  but it is now time to go home. Glenn had fun and so did i.32- Mrs. Mer tries to go for a swim but it is now time to go home. Glenn had fun and so did i.

As Mr. and Mrs. Mer head home they share a project bag.

33- Mr.and Mrs Mer share a project bag as they prepare to head home. Glenn sits behind the table ready to carry everything to the car.33- Mr.and Mrs. Mer share a project bag as they prepare to head home. Glenn sits behind the table ready to carry everything to the car.

Well, that was a good weekend of felting and shopping! I hope you are enjoying your fall, and that winter doesn’t arrive too soon.

Mr. Mer gets a new little friend Part 2

Mr. Mer gets a new little friend Part 2

It is time for Hair!

16 When we last saw Mr. Mer he was distracted and playing with his Jellyfish little friends.

17-18  I wanted to add hair down the spinal ridge I had created for him.

I had built up an extra amount of muscle above the upper traps attaching to the suboccipital bone so he would have an easier time looking up to see where he was swimming. Likely this muscle might be called the suprasuperior trapezius or maybe the superficial Inferior occipital muscle?

I considered and decided I would like to add hair along the spinal ridge of the new mer-muscle, (it will give more options in hair styling!!).

19 working in the spinal ridge and long hair

I started at about the level of the scapula and layered in thin locks. I focused on building up the area over the cervical spine, affixing one end securely in a narrow band and leaving the other end long and loose down his back.

(at this point I got very focused and put the camera down behind me… safe but out of sight!!!) SORRY!!!

While Mr. Mer patently admired his jellyfish friends, I moved to the occipital ridge (the bony bit at the back and base of the skull). For this area, I worked with the locks in the opposite direction to how I wanted them to hang and securely worked in the last half inch of the locks, I am not worried this will not hold since I am using enthusiastic needles (T36-333) and I will have more fibre layered over top. I worked with the darker shades of green then as I added fibre this time in the direction I wanted it to lie I added a few of the accent locks of gold/green and green/grey blue. I worked from the base of the skull up the back and sides. I added some shorter locks towards the temples and set aside some to use across the forehead. I added, like shingles –overlapping the butt ends of the locks and leaving the length and tips loose. When I got to the crown (top) of the head I had a few very long locks that I laid in side to side (ear towards ear) then let them fall back and to the sides. This filled in his potential bald spot (I don’t think it would work to try and comb over a merman’s hair!)

20 Mr. Mer helpfully held up his hair so you could see the long locks originating from the neck and upper traps area.

I then started to look at styling, I don’t have hair accessories of the correct size! He has decided on a loose ponytail for now but may look into other options if I can find Hair combs in his size.

21-23 Mr. Mer admiring his new locks.

I think he likes the colour! And his new eyebrows.

He seems a bit overwhelmed with all the new hair!

I think he could consider some beads to go in his hair (for special occasions). I have a couple of boxes of beads to look through and some fine wire to thread the beads on.

24 Mr. Mer lost in thought inspecting his new hair

25 In fact he seemed quite contemplative and took off for a quick swim around the office before returning to his project bag for a rest.

Now that he has hair I took a look if I could find hair accessories in his required size. No luck, so I decided to make a few options in different sizes of wire and beads.

26-28 beads strung on wire (20ga, 24ga, 26ga) to go in his hair.

On Saturday of the long weekend, we had a Cookie run to the Log Farm Farmers market and a fibre quest at the Wakefield Farmers Market in Quebec. Mr. Mer joined Glenn and me for the drive and to show off his fancy new hair to Ann.

29 Ann checked his new hair, Ross seemed quite impressed with him and took his picture!

30 Glenn Cookie shopping with Ann and Ross

We of course remembered to get the cookies! Now off to Wakefield!  We had a lovely drive north of Ottawa into Quebec up highway 5 through the Gatineau hills. There are great rock cuttings, Lakes, small rivers and lots of trees to admire on the way.

By the time we got there, it was very busy and hard to find a parking spot In the main parking area, we were going to go around for a second look when the Gods of Parking smiled upon us and we saw not only a parking spot but it was adjacent to the back of a booth with hanging sheep skin rugs!!  It must be Ginger from Ferme Sol and the booth we were looking for!  (if you would like to see some pictures of her sheep you could check out her Facebook page (

31 Fabulous parking spot and the back of the booth we were looking for

32 the front of her booth with fibre, yarn, sheep skin rugs and the freezer. (my little grey Kea Soul is hiding in the back)

33 Her fibre and yarn for sale

I got 3 bags of locks with very tiny crimp, in natural black, grey and white. I also selected a part of a ram’s fleece in natural black and white, which will be lots of fun to spin or felt with. Her flock of sheep are a mix of Finn, Gotland and Icelandic, which are fabulous for both spinning and felting.

Ginger asked about Mr. Mer so we brought him out of the car for a visit. She liked his new hair and said it was very soft.

34 I think Mr. Mer may be a flirt and I will need to finish up Mrs. Mer soon so she can keep an eye on him!!

Mr. Mer dose seem quite pleased with his hair and his lovely jellyfish. I may do a little adjusting once i have the complete family finished, but he is basically done.

I am sure he will reduce his flirting and behave himself, since i suspect he notice i took Mrs. Mer on her first outing to the Ottawa Guild social on the holiday Monday to start her (Butterfly) Koi body tail.  (Overall its was a very fishy and fibery holiday weekend.)

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35-37 Mr Mer wanted to say “Hi! and thank you for following his progress so far,” before he returned to his project bag for a nap (photo shoots seem to be quite tiring).

I am not sure that Sara, who started the Mermaid-felt-along on YouTube, intended quite this scope of project but it has be lots of fun. i hope others will give making a family of Mers a try!

Whatever you wind up working on, I hope you have fun and keep felting!

Mr. Mer gets a new little friend Part 1

Mr. Mer gets a new little friend Part 1

It has been another busy week full of multiple projects for the Ottawa Guild along with a sort and prep for photos project for Glenn. So Mr. Mer has been very patent and supervised me while he sits contemplating his options in his project bag (I did get him a bigger project bag).

On Monday evening the Ottawa Guild is usually back to an in-person social. There is still a zoom social for those who can’t travel. Unfortunately, last Monday coincided with a department heads/exec meeting so not as social as usual but it was good to see a lot of faces I had only seen over zoom the last 2 years!

Ann was there and had brought a present for Mr. Mer (I will defiantly need to get more hair if he gets a swollen head from all the attention!) Her Jellyfish is sooooo Cute!!!!! It is such a pretty blue and so delicate. I wonder how she made it?

1 – You saw his new Jellyfish from Twist.


2- This is his new Jellyfish from Ann

I set up my desk for a photo shoot and hung up the little guy.  Mr. Mer seemed happy to get out of his project bag and was immediately interested in the little blue jellyfish. It’s so delicate!

3-6 Hunting and catching Jellyfish

I have discovered the correct way of hunting jellyfish! You pick them up very carefully by their head strings!! (Not the lower strings, which might kill you. This is a special Mer skill and should only be tried on fibre-based jellyfish that have obvious head strings. Not the squishy ones found in water or stranded on beaches.)

7- 8-  He seemed mesmerized admiring both jellyfish.

While he was distracted, I went through his shopping bag to see what lengths and colours he had collected. Most of what he had collected was too short but in very nice colours. I am sure we can use them for other projects

9- 10- Sorting through the longer locks while Mr. Mer is distracted

The locks that look like they will be best are mostly the ones from Bernadette, who had purchased them from Adele’s locks of love.

11 looking at the best locks

I think I will have enough for him to have respectable hair.  He was still quite captivated by his jellyfish, having them chase each other. so I snuck his hair option into a bag and put the rest back into a bag of locks for other projects.

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12-14 Jellyfish racing!!!

Now I am distracted too! A Majacraft Suzie Pro spinning wheel has come up for sale, with a lot of accessories…. I am sure there must be room for one more wheel? it’s small! As I contemplate and consider a test drive/spin, Mr. Mer has tried to swim off with his little friends. Sneaky!!

15- ran off with his jellyfish

He wasn’t fast enough! I cot him and brought him back to the desk. I got his little friends to distract him as I got out a T-36-333 (I do have more aggressive needles but this should be perfect.)

16- ah good, he is not paying any attention to me!

Jellyfish seem to work as well as antithetic!!! We are set and He will shortly have hair! But that will be for next week in part 2!

Thanks, Ann!!! (your jellyfish is so cute and tiny I will have to inquire how you made him so tiny and so cute!! I hope there are pictures!!)


Hair shopping at Twist Fiber festival with Mr. Mer

Hair shopping at Twist Fiber festival with Mr. Mer

Finally, the big day was here! It is time to take Mr. Mer shopping for Hair! I had persuaded him to wait to broaden his choices by looking at the Fiber Festival Twist in Saint-André-Avellin, Quebec. That would be a bit over an hour’s dive east of home. I had a few bags to put purchases in (optimism!), the camera, something to drink, Mr. Mer in his project bag and a good audiobook to start the trip off (today’s driving was accompanied by “A Lady’s Guide to Fortune hunting” by Sophie Irwin).

1) Mr. Mer is napping in his project bag before the big drive. I promise I will get him a bigger project bag!

Ah, summer, the other season of road maintenance in Canada. Oh well, at least the scenery is lovely, driving through the rock cuttings along highway 50. To see all the geology from the comfort of your car, (ok there were a few potholes and truck ruts to distract from the view). You get glimpses of the Ottawa River as it heads south then into the hills and more rock trees and farmland. Turn at the town that makes me think of pineapples (it’s a French word that has nothing to do with pineapples) and go north over a stream, past the cows and eventually into the town of Saint-André-Avellin. A couple more turns and you are at the arena complex wondering where they put the handicapped parking (no I do not actually have the special parking for my e-“specially” great spelling ability). I stopped to ask a man in a sheep hat with horns, I bet he will know! Oh, it’s right here? And don’t run over the line of people waiting to get in. What a close parking spot to the line, amazing! I got out, organized and was already in line, we were ready to go.

2) in line at Twist, handicapped parking is adjacent to the line, now that is close parking!

There are a few changes since the last Twist festival (2 years ago), there has been construction on the building and a covid clinic has taken over what used to be the classrooms. There were, as in previous years, tents outside for Emerging Artists and the Food court.

3) the first outside tent

Inside there are two halls, the arena and the gym and locker room spaces which they are using for classrooms this year. My plan of attack was to cruise through the larger hall first, looking for long locks (the Olive sparrow and a couple more booths might have some) but taking a quick photo of the Black Lamb’s mill ends on the way by. Continuing on to the small hall where the booth for Fibercraft might also have long locks. We were in agreement and had a plan of attack!!
With Mr. Mer leaning over the back support of my walker, the line started to move and we were off! We breezed through the emerging artist’s tent (I will look more carefully later) and took a fast sweep through the main hall looking for the elusive long fibre locks.

4) Inside the Arena (lots of knitting yarn but looking for those elusive locks)
5) Half of the Black Lamb’s booth. They have mill-end fibre.

Pausing briefly, I took a quick shot of the pile of mill ends at the black lamb’s booth. I am fascinated by the hugeness of the pile as the weekend starts and the speed it dwindles as the weekend progresses. I will be back shortly and do a bit of shopping there myself. I hope that some of the other guild members will post the after pictures from Sunday! Finding only a few booths with any fibre, none of it as long as I was hoping, we turned our vehicle to the small arena to do a quick fly-through there.

6) AH ha! We found some locks, not as long as he wanted but a good colour.

We headed past booths with knitting yarn towards the Fibercarft booth, which was looking like our last hope for anyone with long 12-inch or longer locks for Mr. Mer’s hair. I hope he will not be too unhappy if he winds up with a military haircut if long wavy locks are unattainable.

7) Success!! We bought a bundle of green and a bundle of orange-red for his daughter or wife’s hair.

These were the only extra-long locks we were able to find this year at Twist. There may have been some in the back of a booth I did not see, but we were pretty thorough in our such (Next year there will be lots I’m sure since a short bald Mer-fish was asking for them!). The green locks look a bit bright but there is the option to over-die or it may be ok as an accent with the locks from Bernadette. He will show you his loot in a bit.
We met a relative of his while we were in the Fibercraft booth. She was also inspired by Sara’s “Mermaid-felt-along” at the beginning of the pandemic. ( this was a great way to keep us sane and busy during our time isolating. I am not sure if Sara realizes what she has inspired!

8) Mr. Mer met another Mer from a different branch of the family. (from the same Sara Felt along!)

We said goodbye to his cousin, I didn’t get her name so we referred to her as Ms. Coral Mer. With his shopping now done, we can relax and see what else is on offer.

Around the next corner, we spotted some familiar looking felt. This is Richard Hanna, he is an excellent sculptural felter and sometimes member of the local guild. It has been inspiring watching him work on some of his large pieces during meetings (the Narnian Lion head and Marilyn Monroe head were both very memorable). He has made some interesting green men and tree people more recently. He was quite busy so we didn’t have much time to chat. It was great to see him again, I hope he will have the time to come back to the guild and attend socials.

9) Richard Hanna’s booth at Twist

We stopped to have a quick chat with another guild member, weaver and basket maker Janet Whittam.

10) Janet Whittam’s booth

I took one of Janet’s basketry workshops years ago. To begin we went for a walk down country lanes near her home, collecting wild grapevines and other interesting vegetation. This salvaged material was used with various cane to make a basket. It was so much fun. Janet mentioned while we were chatting and I was admiring the new baskets, that working with the antler as she wove the basket was quite challenging. The final effect was definitely worth the extra work!

11) needle storage

In one booth I saw this lovely little pottery needle holder. What an elegant way to store needles!

12) These mice were so cute but I have no idea what they cost, I could not find a price and the vendor seemed very busy so I didn’t ask.

13) This is a prin to skene winder.

The Prin to Skene winder was incredibly cool and I would love to have bought it, I don’t know where I would put it but it turned easily and was just so cool! That is a giant bag of superwash merino mill ends, it’s sitting beside ($10.00 per LB). This means we’re back in the arena at the Black Lamb’s booth. Here are a few more shots to drool at. I got the last of the BFL (Blue Faced Lester)/silk which is fun to spin and it will also felt!

14) A few of the specialty blends at the Black Lamb booth

15) Mostly superwash merino but other blends of fibre too

16) a few of the Felting supply’s at the Olive Sparrow

We wandered back to the Olive Sparrow and perused silk in fish-appropriate colours then l checked out pieces of felt backing for pictures in so many colours. I spotted the painting in Wool book and one of the two recent Landscape paintings in wool books was also there. I found some extra-large leather finger cots by the cash so added that to my order too. (It’s hard to find thumbs that fit unless you sew your own.)

17) A Majacraft dealer booth

There was a booth selling Majacraft products, (they make spinning wheels that are very posh). I did not realize they also made fibre prep tools. I spotted blending Hackles, mini-combs, a tiny blending board and regular-sized drum carders.

18) A booth of mixed weaving equipment and weaving yarn

Mr. Mer was particularly excited about this Jane loom by Louet, I think the lack of treadles was appealing since Mer-persons would have a challenge to operate them with their tail fins. I did not point out that looms are usually made of wood so tend to float and would be hard to operate in an aquatic environment. In addition, getting wet would not be good for the loom.

19) This booth is Fibres of life

Fibres of life had cat caves, mice, balls in felt as well as felt backgrounds, really nice backpacks and bags as well as examples of the heavy commercial felt used in storage baskets (you can see them under the cat caves and holding the mice and balls). There were also mysterious giant balls of felted roving that looked like balls of snakes.

20) It was good to see such interest in spinning from a range of ages

21) this year the majority of the booths did seem to be more knitting oriented.

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22-23) One of the outside tents was filled by the rare breeds conservancy group.

Rare Breeds Conservancy group brought four sheep, a mother and son and two twins, I think the twins were Shropshires. There was interest in the mom’s pretty fleece too!

24) Sheep dog demonstrations

We stopped to watch the sheepdog demo. One of the sheep had figured out it was bigger than the dog and was being stubborn.

With all the fibre I had purchased (as well as Mr. Mer’s shopping), it was time to drop things off in the car. We headed back through the food tent, I was very tempted by the “Hamburger de Bison 1/4lb”, available “avec Sanglier Effiloche” if you wanted for a bit more money. (I had it without the extras last time and it was delicious!)

25) Exotic lunch options

We stopped to have a chat with a lovely lady who had driven up from the states with some friends to attend. She had enjoyed the scenery of the drive from the 1000 island bridge through the southeast of Ontario and then into Quebec. She mentioned she enjoyed our weather (the heat wave the states and parts of Canada were having, had broken in eastern Ontario after a heavy rain storm last week. It was either that or the weather feels cooler when posted in Celsius?) She is presently a knitter but said she is a future felter who is just waiting until she retires to start felting. I hope she will be inspired to jump in and try both wet and dry felting sooner.

The ladies at the ticket table were very helpful in making sure I got safely back to the car (which was much appreciated). Mr. Mer and I must have been looking very tired and I was going quite a bit slower than when I arrived. We got the shopping in, but I said I just wanted to rest for a few minutes, in hopes that I was up to another trip around the venue and take a few more photos to let the guild know what was there. Mr. Mer seemed very pleased with his shopping so he got comfy in the passenger seat as I had a short rest. We had another Guild member stop by, say hi and linger for a chat. It was a very restful chat and I was ready to take one more round of the shopping options.

26) Having a chat with Mr. Mer, who has retired to the car to recover from his shopping trip.

27) He checked out Mr. Mer. (Safety first- always wear your seat belt), Fish fatigue from shopping!!

I left Mr. Mer to nap in the car with the shopping and headed back in for one last lap around the booths. The crowds had thinned and I was able to get into most of the booths with the walker. I found a bit of fibre but was wanting to save a bit of money for a treat after the shopping. There was a booth “the Campaign for Wool, Patron: HRH The Prince of Wales” which seemed to have literature but it was still too busy to ask questions.

28) I admired the Baskets from Big Blue Moma’s booth but didn’t get one.

The baskets were in the first booth just inside the first tent. It was a great strategy. You could buy your basket then fill it with purchases or after buying everything inside you were wanting, buy a big enough basket to hide it in for taking your new hoard into the house! Many would make excellent presents for a family cat but only if you didn’t fill it all the way up with fibre.

29) I stopped to admire the Kromski wheel

I did finally get into the booth with a Kromski spinning wheel, I cannot afford one of their ornate wheels but I now have a Kromski drop spindle! I took it for a spin when I got home with a bit of the BFL/Silk blend I had also purchased.

30) Kromski makes a drops spindle, which is more in my price range!

The tag says it’s an 85gr spindle, so reasonably heavy but It still spun quite fine yarn. At 32.00+ Tax, it was also the least expensive spindle I saw and now I can say I have a Kromski brand yarn maker! (Ok, technically it’s not a spinning wheel just a drop spindle but it is wheel-shaped and it does spin!)

Some of us have a post Twist tradition of heading to a small restaurant at the far end of town. We discovered it was there quite a few years ago. I had checked online, to make sure it was still there and that the comfy-duck-club-sandwich was still on the menu. (YES!) Therefore, I had carefully saved enough money to get 2 orders of the drool-worthy sandwich. Unfortunately, I arrived to an empty parking lot and new hours, I found out that the restaurant is having trouble getting servers for the evening. We will have to make another trip of just over an hour or wait until next year to get the comfy duck!!

31) La Toquade restaurant, with Club Sandwich au confit de canard (comfy duck served on apricot Raisin and sunflower bread, garnished with bacon, onions, green apples celery and mayonnaise, with a side of your choice of French fries or salad.)(this explains why the duck is so comfy)

I was too tired to go back to Twist and shop till my pockets were empty but my car was full. Instead, I put on my audiobook and headed home. It was a bit slower traffic due to the roadwork, but the book makes the time pass quickly. Now all that is left is to show you the results of our hunting expedition.

Mr. Mer seemed quite pleased with himself. He had a lovely time, enjoying women (and some men) admiring his 12-pack abs and his fine butt. He had acquired the only long locks we could find, for both himself and ether Mrs. Mer or Teen Mer, as well as picking up a little friend.

32) Mr. Mer shows off his shopping

33) My loot!

I was looking for felt bases for pictures but got distracted by the soft fluffy BFL/silk blend (the large bag of white) and the blue batt looked so oceanic (yet dry) I could not talk myself out of buying it too. I was pleased by the leather thumb covers (finger cots), they are good for protecting fingers if you get momentarily distracted while felting.

I hope you also have access to a local Fiberfest with shopping, workshops and fabulous food. It was a fun day and productive hunting. I hope all the attention Mr. Mer got doesn’t go to his head or I will have to find more hair!



I was surprised (and pleased) at the interest in the crown needle post I just did. It is a cool little needle unequally suited to shallow detail work. Its low barb number, having only 3 in total all by the tip, does make it a slower needle but it’s not always a good idea to be in a rush.

The “not in a rush” has been impressed upon me again this past week as I shifted from needle review to a photo re-cataloging project for my husband. Nothing big, or heavy like arranging just the correct angle to capture in photographs his collection of Anvils (he is down to 3) or forges (he has 2, both on the back patio)!

What I was working with were Many, Many, Many tiny light objects. Unfortunately, I needed to sort through all of them, then spread pre-specified groups of them out to photograph.  The best spot to work for light was on the bed by the window. This put me in a working position of standing and bending forward. That is precisely the same position that I used to work in, which did not go as well as I had hoped. (Neuropathy is a neve yelling at you. It can scream –searing pain, it can lie to you –give false information, or it can refuse to talk to you –numbness or lack of proper function) the type of nerve and the location of its irritation give the location of where their displeasure is felt.  A nerve once annoyed can hold a grudge =this means if you irritate it then re-irritate it, it usually will take longer to forgive you and heal after each re-irritation.

I got help yesterday and am well over halfway on the first part of the photography project. Unfortunately, my leg is still intermittently lying to me even this morning, so no standing photography or poor ergonomic felting until that stops.

SO my plans for today’s blog are a bit on hold. I can bring you up to date with the project I had started with Mr. Mer. “The Quest for Hair”!  I have reminded Mr. Mer that Twist Fiber Festival in Quebec is only a few weeks away (Aug. 12th to 14th) .  If he would like to accompany me, he would have an even bigger selection of long locks to choose from. (I hope I can find vendors with 9 to 12-inch die or undyed locks that would be fashionable for a modern Mer person.) He seems very smitten with some of the locks from Bernadette’s stash but I think I can persuade him to wait till just after Twist.

Mr. Mer would like to send his thanks to Bernadette who raided her stash to help alieve his follicular challenges.  This is some of the fibre he has sorted through;

long fibers greens yelows long fibers Greens Purples long fibers with ruler1-3 sorting through the fibres from Bernadette

He has collected a small bag of fibre that he hopes goes well with his Northern pike lower half.

Mr. Mer (Merman) holds bag of long fibers in shades of green4 Mr. Mer’s Selection

Once he has a bit more he will have to decide on the hairstyle he wants. I am suggesting long since It would flow wonderfully as he swims. (vary Fabio if you are old enough – think historically inaccurate romance novel covers with beefy guys with long hair).  If he spends a bit of time online, he may find the Drummer Toll Yagami, from the Japanese band called Buck-Tick. He has an extra-long Mohawk hairstyle, it’s terribly impressive! I am not sure the ingredients to keep a Mohawk up would work in water. I may have to investigate if Mr. Mer seems interested. (There may be some Magic Mer hair gel I don’t know about.)

I got up extra early to work on my blog post and look who I found doing research on my computer! (Why does my computer freeze when I use it but he can spend all night browsing?)  I will show you what he was up to.

5 Compilation of research by Mr. Mer

Mr Mer thinks he should keep researching. It is a big decision and he is a bit overwhelmed with all the options! For now, he is on his way back to sitting in his project bag, clutching his bag of fibre, in deep contemplation.

Mr Mer with his bag of fiber ready to go back to his project bag and think

6 Ready to go to his project bag and have a think.

After all his research and contemplation he will likely want eyebrows and ears too! I will keep you updated on his progress.


Have fun with fibre and keep felting








Update on Mr. Mer Part 2

Update on Mr. Mer Part 2

As I had mentioned before I had started the Mer-Family from Sara’s Mermaid-felt-along.  She had used 14 ga armature wire. I had not yet investigated armature wire when I started or I would have upped the wire strength since I had scaled up the figure. I also suspect I am working more firmly than she had intended.

I was finding the wire was unable to hold articulation at his waist. This could either be from the wool overpowering the gauge of wire used or the 14 ga wire may have broken at his waist. I am not sure that it has broken since it doesn’t feel like a bake. I have had a broken wire on another sculpture which might have been from metal fatigue but I hadn’t finished making it, so it should not have been tiered. For that one I did surgery, creating an incision and inserting a new wire. The incision was worked, with a course felting needle, diagonally across the incision to create the equivalent of scar tissue. Finally adding a surface layer to finish hiding the post-surgery look (you don’t want to leave a scar!).

This worked but I wanted to try something less intrusive. I was quite pleased with the glutes and lumbar spine /sacrum so did not want to do the incision. Instead, I decided to try arthroscopic surgery! (Without a license!!! Don’t tell!!)

I checked my options for wire. Since 14 ga aluminum was way too light, I suspected that either the 10 ga or the 9ga might work. Since I knew I wanted to position the Herring-ton rods (this is a fishy procedure) down each erector spinae, I would not likely need anything stronger than the 9ga. I checked the samples I had made during the wire study group and decided that 9ga should work.

21 Tools to sharpen the end of the 9ga aluminum wire

I cut 2 lengths that would reach from lower quads to upper back. I used the rasp and nail file to sharpen one end. I used an awl to make the insertion then worked the wire through the glutes and down the hamstrings.

22 insertion of the lower section of the first Harrington rod

I could easily feel where the end of the wire was through the wool (that Registered Massage Therapist career is still useful!!). I could rotate the wire to keep it more centrally located. As you may have noticed, the glutes are more posterior than the hamstring muscles so the wire needed to follow the couture of the body.

23 The white line indicated the approximate path of the 9ga wire.

The awl allowed me to insert the wires to either side of the spine, where the original twisted 14ga aluminum wire was located. It also allowed for an angle of descent into the glute so I could rotate the wire and get it to dive into the lower leg. I was sure I would need to cross the point of articulation (his waist), with enough length that the wires would stay well embedded and allow not only flection and extension (bending forward and backwards ) but, with this lateral placement should allow for lateral rotation!  When he had a single point spine (and less wool), he could bend forward and back but his rotational movement was minimal and not pose-able.

So the steps I took for this operation were:

  • Select the gauge required by reviewing my previous sampling,
  • Sharpen the aluminum wire with a file then refine and smooth the point with a nail file
  • Arthroscopic insertion (with an awl – I am sure it was well sterilized since it was brand new!)
  • Work the wire through the glutes rotating it to descend into the lower Hamstring muscle while palpating to keep track of where it was in the leg. Then repeat to this point with the second wire leaving the upper end loose and out of the body.

24 the insertion of the awl at a shallow angle

I check that the patent could do full flection at this point to confirm the operation was proceeding well.

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25-28 Mr. Mer shows off his new flexibility

There is also confirmation that some rotational movement is already possible, I suspect he will have more once the surgery is complete and the upper rods are inserted.

For the second half of the operation;

  • I bent and tried to determine the best angle and location for the wires. *remembering that there is a triangular frame in his torso that is allowing some shoulder curvature (Protraction/ Retraction) and rotational posing. So I chose to position the wires more along the Erector spine (located to each side of the spine) and then redirected them into the lateral part of the lats (latissimus dorsi).

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29-31 upper wire placement

 I trimmed the wires to a bit closer to equal length and sharpened the superior (upper) end of the wire.

I curved the wire to insert it but could not find my big pliers to straighten it out properly once the insertion had been made. I used one of my metal chopsticks to push against the wire to straighten it and it worked.

32 the skin graft to cover the inserted wire

For the skin graft, I took a section of the dark green fibres and needle felted a section down the center of the fibres leaving wispy edges for attachment on either side of the wire. (You can see the first part of the graft in the lower spine). I added more fibre to build up the Erector spinae muscle over the wire. (You can see that in the upper section of the lumbar and lower thoracic region). The wire is very close to the surface at this point so I need to make sure the fibre above this point is well secured so there will be no exposure of the surgical rods. (That would be embarrassing!)

I used the cop stick again to flatten the second wire and finish embedding it into his upper body.

Adding more wool fibre, I continued to contour and build up the muscles until the wire was well buried on both sides of his spine.

Mr. Mer is quite pleased with his operation and wants to show you how discreet the scaring is.

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33-36 Mr. Mer shows you where the wires are and how discreet the post-surgery scaring

Mr. Mer insisted I neaten up his hands before the photoshoot so while listening to an audiobook (a werewolf romance this time) I pulled out my 40ga crown needles and got to work. It took most of the 8-hour book to get the hands tightened up and reduce the fuzzy halo on them. I will want to go back later and trim them with scissors ( I have ordered a pair with curved blades that may work well with his fingers.)

 37-38 working on Mr. Mer’s hands

I also worked on his head a bit more giving him a bit more cranium and a better jawline. I am still working on his face but it’s coming along. I have found him hair, but it is still with Bernadette (the truckers in Ottawa interrupted its arrival on library day.)

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39-41 continuing to work on Mr. Mer’s head and face.

He has also had a bit of work done on his chest and I am back to working on his arms again.

42 a post-surgery treat

I gave him a chocolate for his post-surgery recovery but he seems to just want to hold it. Probably for the best, since I didn’t felt any internal digestive organs for him….. and he only has teeth in his lower jaw. Let’s not think about that too much….

Now on to his photoshoot!

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 43-52 Mr. Mer shows off his progress so far

Mr. Mer is quite pleased with his progress and is sure Mrs. Mer will be happy too. He would like a bit more work on his human muscles (I have no objection, you should see my photo reference pictures!!) I think I may make the integration from his fishy under-section to his knees a bit more elongated too. Otherwise, he is almost done.

For the rest of the Mer-Family; Shark Boy needs his hair and maybe a bit of a touch-up with the 40 or 42ga needles. I have had a trip to the local purveyor of wool (Wabi Sabi) to pick up Corriedale for the Mer-Ladies. I am considering Goldfish /Koi as inspirations so have a lot of body reshaping to consider. I have contacted Adel about long locks for their hair and she will watch for some in the right colour and length. Adele does fabulous dyeing of locks and roving (Adele Forward on Facebook) just don’t buy the one that looks like goldfish when she posts it!!. She use to go to a lot of the fibre festivals in Ontario but has been working from her home and shipping out during the pandemic.

While I am waiting for Mr. Mer’s hair to arrive, I will keep working the intersection between the fish and man and adding a few more muscular details.

If you would like to create a Mer-Person (or family) for yourself, I would suggest checking out Sara’s mermaid felt- along on YouTube to get you started! (  What type of fish will your Mer-Person be related to? Will you stay more traditional? Or will it be a non-fish aquatic species, maybe a Mer-turtle? Whatever you chose to inspire you have fun and keep felting!

Update on Mr. Mer part 1

Update on Mr. Mer part 1

For those of you who have not met Mr. Mer, here he is last year as I was working on his anatomy.

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1-2 Mr. Mer 2021

Mr. Mer was underwhelmed with how I had left his basic under-structure of his fishy bits.  I agreed with him that he was not quite as pike-like as I would like. The fish part of the body needed to be thicker and more muscular when compared to my photo reference. How can you fight snapping turtles with such a scrawny lower body?  I still liked the vestigial knees but felt the idea had not yet coalesced into a good integration between man and fish.  I will think more on this as I add bulk to his fishiness.

3 parts of the green fibre collection.

I dug through the greens I had been using, I was almost out of one of the colours I had blended and will have to blend more of it! I was using the large ball of “Olive” Corriedale as the base and adding other greens to mottle and create the colour for the under-structure.  The darker top that I was blending with the olive I am pretty sure some was the Superwash I had bought from the Black lamb.

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4-5 blending wool to build up Mr. Mer’s fish body and tail.

Since I needed a reasonable amount of fibre to build up his fish end I used the hand carders to partly blend the colours. (Nature tends not to have flat colours.) Although I usually hand blend small amounts for details, using the handcards or even dog brushes is easier on the hands and wrists than working with the same amount of fibre hand blending.  When I take the fibre off the cards, it is still quite a long staple. For the under layer and blocking in the basic shape this will work. However, as I get closer to the final shape I tend to tear the fibre into pieces from half an inch to an inch long.

Although I started with the armature and adding shapes build-up of fibre as per Sara’s instructions I have deviated well away from her original Mer-Maid design. She tends to work by adding formed shapes, but for this one, she added a wet felted skin layer to put over her under-structure. I have had more fun using a more blended approach of both additive and subtractive sculpture.  (Adding pre-formed shapes and felting them into place is a lot faster than what I tend to do with using layers and small amounts of loose fibre to sculpt into the desired shape).

You can see I have moved from legs with a tail shape Mer-Man to the beginnings of a more human-fish hybrid.

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6-8 upgrading Fishy-bits underway

I like the direction but need to increase the height and a bit more width of the fish section. I am investigating the popliteal space (the area behind the knees).  I like the angle of the intersection but want to raise the fish spine a bit higher.

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9-10  Needs a bit more

Oh no,  he is not going to like the way that tail looks, it’s a bit bear. I over fanned the armature of the tail and then added wisps of full-length staple. I added a bit to each side using a variety of needles and finally the punch tool (fake clover tool). so when I adjust the tail to the correct position the webbing should ripple like partly closing a fan.

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11-12 Working on the tail

That seems a bit better so I switched back to the body again.

13 elevating the top line of the fish body

I have made both the top line higher and am investigating the angle of integrating behind the knees. Tomorrow Is Library Day for the guild and I will ask Ann what she thinks. So it’s time for Mr. Mer to get into his project bag (not that I expect to have any time to work on him tomorrow) but I am sure he will enjoy getting out of the house and Ann will like seeing how he is coming along.

14  On Library Day, Ann Checked out  Mr. Mer’s Progress, she had a few suggestions.

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15-17 Ann critiques him

As we got the library ready for book pick up, Mr. Mer took up position on top of a small 8 harness loom to watch for guild members wanting their requested books.

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18-20  Mr. Mer is watching for Library patrons

 I noticed he was having trouble bending and has to maintain a push-up to allow him to look out the window.  I have to see what I can do to help him. I will start with an assessment of his ROM (Range of Motion) particularly at his waist but that will be in my next post.

I will hope you are not getting bored with the fishiness of my posts and promise to try to work on something different, but the next post will be part 2. There may be surgery involved!

Have fun and keep felting!!

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