This is a throw back post I thought you might enjoy because there have been a few people asking on Facebook about felting with dog hair. Just like sheep there are different kinds of dog hair and even the top coat and undercoat on every dog so you need to do a test piece for every new breed.
Recently I was asked to make something out of dog hair in memory of the dog it came from. Originally the woman asked a friend of mine to spin the dog hair so it could be woven into something. The hair was to short for that so she suggested talking to me. I wasn’t sure about doing it but she was so emotional I said I would give it a try. She had a large bag of hair that was quite short. The problem was she wanted me to use as little wool as possible and not to blend it. From My dog grooming days I knew this kind of curly coated small mixed breed dog felted their hair while wearing it so I was hoping it would do it here too. I laid out a base of wool and then add a thick layer of dog curls to the top. I made a sample that turned out quite well, I showed her and she agreed to me making a pillow and stuffing it with the remaining hair.
Here is one corner as I started to add the dog hair. You can see the blob of hair I am working from.
Here is the finished pillow.
and a close up of the texture.
The only problem with this felt is it sheds a lot. With the dog hair being so short, the really short straight dog hair sheds out very easily. Fortunately she will not be using it as a pillow but putting it a way to remember him.
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.
After the nuno flower workshop at the well-being centre last week, I thought I’d make a few flowers of my own as they don’t require too much effort. They’re mostly layers of cotton gauze or scrim, wisps of merino, another piece of gauze and finer wisps on top. I haven’t sewn them together yet because I want to put organza on the back of some. But I did hunt through my fimo buttons to find the right ones: I’m running low on buttons now, I don’t have as wide a variety of colours as I thought, so I might have to make some more. I had a look through my fimo tiles last week too, and put some magnetic strips on a few to make fridge magnets. These are some of my favourites:
I like making the inlaid ones, they’re quite easy to do, but look impressive 🙂
Some of you have already seen these next two pieces. I made a bright patchy piece of felt last week, mostly Merino, but with some strips of silk and gauze:
I thought I’d go a few steps brighter and made a stripey piece with vivid merino shades and gave it some sparkle with dyed trilobal nylon, milk, viscose, rose fibre and bamboo:
This is the back of a piece of felt I made from Lincoln wool tops:
I love the way the characteristics of the different breeds reappear with felting, when they’re not very evident from the wool tops. And you get such gorgeous edges with the curly breeds. On the front, I used a blend of Soy top and black bamboo tops. I just blended the tops by hand and laid them on the top:
The shape, texture and colours reminded me of finding oyster shells on the beach. This is the bottom left corner:
This is a close up of the texture:
And a close up of the back:
I still haven’t had chance to even look at the wool I ordered from Wollknoll because I’ve had builders in … for fibre addicts in the UK who don’t already know, the Euro is really low against the Pound at the moment (about 73p to €1) so have a look at their site, 100g of wool is starting around 72p… don’t be alarmed at their prices though, they’re usually given per kilo! I did manage to sneak a ball of rainbow Merino out of the box though and do a little bit of spinning, I also used the tufts I’d used for my colour wheel a while ago. I left it on the spindle for a couple of days then knitted a square from it:
Here’s a close up
And because I love them, a supermacro:
I’m not convinced I’m casting off properly though, all my squares look like they’re one stitch too short!
My sister got me some wool tops for Christmas. Even before I’d seen the colours, I’d decided I’d make her a book cover from whatever she chose, thinking she’d probably choose her favourites. She chose a selection of pinks, not the colours I would have chosen for her, but pinks it is 🙂 I Picked out some shades I already had that I thought would work, I already had a salmon pink, some cerisey purple, reds, maroons and a nice lemon. Then I started to make some batts with my carder.
At first I made up some batts without any other fibres blended in, I’ll use these for the bottom layer which will be inside the book cover. I split them in half lengthways after I’d made them, then rolled them up.
This is one of the lighter batts before I split it and rolled it.
I used some soy top, viscose, a small amount of banana fibre, black bamboo and dyed silk tops to blend in to make the batts for the top.
I rolled these ones a bit differently
I picked some fabrics to embellish the surface with, some silk strips, organza, dyed cotton gauze and some synthetic lacey stuff I bought years ago which looks like it might be meant for tying back net curtains. In the 70’s 🙂
I picked a few more embellishments too. Some silk throwster’s waste, dyed bamboo fibre, commercial art yarns and fibres taken from unpicked yarns.
I’ll show you more pictures when I’ve started to make it 🙂
Do you remember the coppery bronzey felt piece I posted about last month? I cut that up recently and started to make a glasses case and purse out of it. I have so many cut out or part made up items at the moment, I think I’ll be working on them all year 🙂 I did actually finish the glasses case though. This is one side of it:
And this is the other side:
I used some gorgeous hand dyed cotton perle 5 from Rainbow Girl on etsy. The variegated colours work perfectly. I also managed to do quite a lot on the purse. I managed to sew it all together already.
I still need to choose the right button, which always takes forever, and sew the buttonhole.
I’ve also been working on a Fimo tutorial the last few weeks. Taking photos has been harder than ever, it’s been really dark, stormy and rainy, which is nice but not great for taking phtotos inside. We did get a few really bright sunny days, so I worked on the opposite side of the house to the sun and managed to get a lot done, or so I thought. When I downloaded the photos, what looked good when I set up a shot, didn’t look good once hands were in the photo! I thought Monday would be perfect for working outside, it was bright but cloudy, but also really windy, so back indoors. I did get quite a few good photos all in all, including this one, which captures perfectly my attempt to get rid of the dent I caused when I released the camera from the tripod without holding it first!
And here’s a sneaky peek at one of the other pieces I worked on:
I’m nowhere near finishing it yet, but when I have, I’ll put it for sale on etsy, it won’t be expensive, but I want to put as much in it as possible, so if anyone has any ideas, suggestions or requests, if it’s something I know about, I’ll do my best to include it 🙂
This week end I did something I claim not to like, weaving. What I really mean is I don’t like what most people think of as weaving, on a table or floor loom. I don’t like getting the warp ready and putting it on the loom and tying it all up and then sitting and weaving. I like finger weaving and I like what I was doing one Sunday, Inkle weaving.
This is a table inkle loom. I was using a floor version but I forgot to take a picture and couldn’t find one with the weaving on it.
I took the beginner class for the second time. I took it the first time a few years ago. Its not like most weaving where you only see the cross threads or you see the treads going in both directions. This is warp faced weaving. It means you see the threaded that are held on the loom not the threads you are putting back and forth. it also only makes narrow pieces. You use it to make straps and belts and trim.
This is the beginning. you can see at the bottom where I started isn’t as nice as it is a little farther along. In the beginner class we make a scissor pouch.
this is twisting the fringe the a really cool tool that makes it supper fast and easy.
You can see the little snip scissors inside the pouch.
This is the finished pouch . You wear it around you neck and when. you need to cut some thread you slide the snips out and there you go.
What I like about his kind of weaving is its so fast to warp the loom and the weaving goes really fast. When I finish my felt boots I may make some decorative trim for them.
The guild I belong to, the Ottawa Valley Weavers and Spinners Guild, had its annual exhibition and sale this last weekend. I had a booth selling scarves and wraps and flowers and cuffs and hats etc. The guild does a display on a theme and has demos and promotes our classes. It’s our big event for the year. The venue is beautiful it is a community center now but used to be a church and has a huge domed center.
Here are some pictures of my booth and me explaining what nuno felt is to a customer.
This is one of the organisers wearing an exquisite shawl she knit using her own hand spun alpaca.
Dyeing some waste. Throwsters waste that is and I suppose it must have been trash at some point or they wouldn’t call it that. Throwing is was they call reeling silk for thread and this is the left over little bits. I have a batch of white and needed some colours for a project. The pictures of wet silk an bags did not turn out but I have some nice pictures of the end.
I dyed small amounts in plastic sandwich bags. First I placed each blob of waste in a bag and added some soapy water to get it wet. I let it sit to soak while I got the dye ready. I used MX dye as it would be the fastest and easiest. I poured of the extra water out then poured in the dye, just enough to get it all wet. I squished it around in the bag to make sure it all got dye. No worries about felting the silk, a nice change from dyeing wool. I did the same for all the colours and let them sit for 10 min. I added a solution of PH up and water. Buying the pool chemical is the cheapest way to buy Sodium Carbonate, especially at the end of the season.
I made a solution and poured in enough to cover the silk. I let it sit for about half an hour then drained and rinsed the silk. Here is what it looks like drying on my front porch.
Not so great looking. I had squeezed all the extra water out of them. However after they were dry I fluffed them up and they look like this.
As you can see fluffed up they barely fit on the same drying rack in 2 batches. My project didn’t work out, the waste I used on the surface sank into the courser wool I was using and disappeared so I have nothing to show you right now. I am planing to use some more on hats so I will do a post with them later.