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Fingerless Mitts or maybe they are Gauntlets or Wrist warmers

Fingerless Mitts or maybe they are Gauntlets or Wrist warmers

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.

fingerless mitt resist

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.

100_7131

 

 

fingerless mitts ready to felt

Here they are finished

fingerless mitt finnished

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.

 

Influencing Shape with Prefelt Part 2

Influencing Shape with Prefelt Part 2

I finally got around to trying a different shaped pod using prefelt to influence the shape. My first post creating a seed pod is here. I created this pod in the same way but started with a different shape and cut the prefelt differently. I decided to use a bit brighter color for the inside layer.

I used the same green batt that I had used on my last pod but used a tear drop shaped resist. I covered the resist and felted until it was holding together to make a prefelt.

I then cut a little cap off the top and a diagonal type cut all the way down to the end. The photo on the left shows the “front” side and the photo on the right is the “back” side.

I then took the green prefelt off the resist and covered it with orange wool and wet the orange wool down. Then I put the green prefelt back over top of the orange wool. I wrapped the orange wool around the resist from side to side. Next time, I think I would wrap it from end to end to get a more defined shrinkage but it worked this way too. The orange layer is fairly thin compared to the thicker green prefelt.

I then began felting the two together. I carefully rubbed along all the green edges and worked on getting the edges to stick down to the orange underneath. Once everything was holding together, I removed the resist. Then I fulled the piece and rubbed along the orange lines to get the resulting shape. I fulled it very hard so it would hold its shape easily.

And here’s the result. It does look very much like a seashell but also could be a chili pod or some other sort of veggie pod. These are really fun to make, have you tried this technique yet? Please show us your results over on the forum.

 

Third Quarter Challenge Sample

Third Quarter Challenge Sample

I have been trying to decide what to do for the third quarter challenge. I remembered a post Zed did a while back that showed the back of her piece and how a colored piece of prefelt showed on the back as the edges migrated through the felt. So I thought I would try that idea.

I used a piece of white merino prefelt and then cut circles from a batt of short fiber merino in black. The plan was to put the circles on the back of the prefelt and see how the color migrated through the prefelt. I used only one layer of prefelt.

I placed the circles on the prefelt and then wet it down. I flipped it over and then mainly worked from the front side rubbing to felt.

Here is the piece after felting. The front is on the left and the back on the right. There was definitely a lot of migration of the black fiber through the prefelt. It gives it a muted appearance.

I then blocked the felt on a foam square to even out the edges a bit.

And here’s the finished felt after blocking, left is the front and right is the back. It’s interesting how the edges of the circle migrate more than the centers. So you get a darker line around the edge. Now to decide how to finish this. I was thinking of screen printing some circles over the top. What color would you suggest? I think I might cut it up afterwards and make some note cards.

Using Prefelt … Almost

Using Prefelt … Almost

I’ve been meaning to make more of my own prefelt for ages. I have some commercial prefelt, but thought it’d be nice to have some in other colours and even multi colours. I also had the idea I wanted to recreate a band logo or design or something. There was one I had in mind, with only 3 colours, so I thought I’d start small. The first colour I needed was red:

And, I also needed black, not as much, but I wanted to make enough in case of mistakes:

And it’s probably a good thing I did! I’ve only cut simple shapes from prefelt before, all freestyle I think. I might have been a bit too ambitious with my idea … Firstly, all the faffing around with the design, simplifying it to individual colours, then making those just outlines, enlarging, printing, cutting out etc, that all took a couple of hours. Then I couldn’t find anything to trace around the shapes and leave a clear outline. So, for now, I’ll just have to show you the shapes ready for tracing:

Those are the main shapes (flames), there are some smaller ones I’ll need to do too. I don’t think there’s enough black for too many mistakes, so I’ll have to be careful!

One thing I do have finished is a bird pod. Probably better for nesting material, I think.

And the back:

Have you overestimated how ‘simple’ a project should be?

Wrapping Up 2017 Projects

Wrapping Up 2017 Projects

Right now its cold in the Chicago area and as Christmas quickly approaches, I thought of my daughter in law Mari’s parents who live in Japan.  Their weather is very much like ours here.  While we will spend the holidays in California, I thought I would make and send some warm scarves for them since they are staying in Japan for the winter.

Lately, I’ve been doing  smaller projects,  so these scarves took me a while to complete in stages.

I had some merino/silk roving in a couple of colors I thought would be neutral enough.The one on the left I used to make myself a cobweb scarf a while back. Then I made a my husband a scarf using prefelt in the center.  This time I was going to do something different.

 

The roving was quite twisted, so I made batts for each scarf. I laid them next to each other, wetted them down then let my EZ Felter machine do the hard work.

I finished and fulled them by hand using my bead boards and solar pool covering.  I  believe this roving had more silk in it and is a bit softer.

This roving was multicolored with a bit of brown, green, blue, gold and white in it.

While it looks beige in the pic above, the closeup is more the actual color scheme.

I hope no matter if you are in the heat or cold, you all have a wonderful, happy holiday!

Penquin’s 2017 Christmas Card

Penquin’s 2017 Christmas Card

Penquin (Anne Hickley) made me a beautiful Panda card for the holiday exchange.  For some reason I was stuck on the idea of a Poinsettia.  You may have already seen it on the Forum.

I made one for myself last year to hang as a decoration and wanted to do another.  Of course, making a card became more complicated than I had anticipated.  But I enjoyed making it.

I started out making thin red prefelt and cut out 5 or 6 layers of different sizes, putting plastic wrap between each layer leaving a hole in the center so they’d all felt together.  I had some green for the leaves and laid those underneath.  Unfortunately, I didn’t take pictures before I felted them.  But here is the flower after felting with beads for the center.

I stitched each petal and leaf.

Then I felted a white background with some sparkly fabric for a snowy effect.

I did another without the sparkle to be the back.  On the back I used Luminescent paint to write the words.

Now it was time to put it all together.  I used stabilizer on the back of the sparkly piece and sewed the flower on by hand.

Then the fun part was putting them together using the blanket stitch.

I’m happy Penguin enjoyed it and hope everyone is ready for the holidays!

Pre-Felt Samples and Nuno Scarf

Pre-Felt Samples and Nuno Scarf

While I had my pre-felt out doing the Suprematist pieces, I thought I’d try a few more samples using it. I’ve only used it a few times, but the suprematist pieces were so quick to felt, I thought it might be quite handy for making small pieces for greetings cards. The first one I tried was using some fibre and cotton gauze ‘paper’ I’d made a few years ago. The pieces were already cut out, I carefully peeled off the gauze and laid them on a piece of prefelt:

I can’t remember which fibre I used, but it looks shiny and metallic in real life, like copper, bronze and graphite, not dull brown, pink and grey! The piece is quite flat:

I used some dyed Silk Carrier Rods for the other two pieces, this first one has ‘whole’ layers peeled from the rods before dyeing:

There’s a bit more texture on this piece:

I used small bits of dyed silk rods on this piece, bits which fell off during peeling or after dyeing:

This had more texture too, probably because the pieces overlapped more:

I’ve been into making scarves lately, or more precisely endlessly carding wool and ironing scrim for making scarves, but I have finished a couple. This is a white one I made a few weeks ago:

I used rose fibre for embellishing:

I cut the scarf wider than my template, and scrunch gathered it to size before adding the wool, so it’d have some texture on the back:

And it only took about half an hour to do the photos this time!

4th Quarter Challenge Part 2

4th Quarter Challenge Part 2

I felted the Prefelt and Fibre paper Suprematist pieces that I showed you last time. I think the pieces shifted a bit, but this is the first one:

It didn’t have much texture after felting and is quite flat. The colours didn’t blend where they overlapped, but the underneath colour migrated through at the edges:

For some reason the burgundy piece was a lot fuzzier on the edges:

I did alter the second coloured one slightly, I noticed all the triangular shapes were pointing in the same direction on the same angle.

This piece was mostly flat too, the only part which isn’t is at the bottom where I used a piece of the white which is thicker/heavier prefelt:

The white piece was far more interesting before felting:

You can see from an angled photo the different textures, colours and shine better:

A close up:

The different thicknesses are more obvious on the Black and White one:

You can see how shiny the white bamboo is compared to the ‘black’ bamboo from this angle:

Close up:

I know I’m always complaining about how hard it’s been to get decent photos, but I’d forgotten how small the time frame is at this time of year where I live. I know it’s not a huge deal, no one’s expecting ‘professional’ shots on the blog, but when trying to show fibre comparisons for example, or like this week-white on white, you get massively different results depending on the time of day, or whether someone in the flats opposite opens their window just enough to direct the sun right on to your desk! So, here’s a slide show of comparisons for you of trying to photograph the white piece this week: Too late in the afternoon; Too early in the morning; Just right; Just right until neighbours open the window!

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Printing and Stenciling on Felt Part 1

Printing and Stenciling on Felt Part 1

I’m sorry for the duplicate post. I accidentally hit publish while creating it.  So, now that I have your attention…

I am taking Ruth’s Printing, Stenciling with Thickened Dyes class, so I’ve been practicing.

I made nine different colors using acid dyes and two thicknesses.  I have several stencils laying around so I couldn’t wait to get started.  The feather was the most open so I started with that using three different colors with different thicknesses and brushes.

I used commercial prefelt for the feathers.

The midnight blue feather was created with a thicker dye mix and stencil brush.  But I found the brush kept pulling up the fibers.  So, on the yellow I used a thinner dye, with a foam brush, but I didn’t get as much definition and more running.  For the red, I used an old stiff paint brush with a thicker dye and I got a little better definition.

Now I realize this is all new and practice will help me learn to manage the process better.

I tried a plastic stamp with a thin silver and thick purple on prefelt.  But neither stamped well.  I think  the surface of the stamp was too smooth.

Then I tried a butterfly stencil (which was too detailed) with commercial felt.  The gold ochre was done with a thick dye and thin brush.  While wet it wasn’t too blurred.  However, after setting the dye and drying it was blurrier. This was while it was still wet.

The  teal butterfly was done with a brush, again on the commercial felt.  Same result after drying. Plus the dye and felt were very hard.  I had thought I’d do some stitching, but I think it’s too stiff.

Then I tried a Stencilgirl stencil I had purchased for the Paper Lamination Class.  I decided to use two separate colors on prefelt.

I will felt all the prefelt ones to see the results and how it changes, if it does.  I used a second piece of prefelt to tie the feathers together in one piece.

Next I’ll try making my own stencils and stamps and continue to play with different tools and dyes.

Hopefully, I won’t give you an early preview next week.

Pandagirl’s Maneki-Neko for 2017 3rd Quarter Challenge Part 1

Pandagirl’s Maneki-Neko for 2017 3rd Quarter Challenge Part 1

I’ve still been in the mood to explore the Edo Period.  I remembered when my oldest son was in high school and brought home a Japanese exchange student who gave us a little kitty statute to bring prosperity to our home.

Of course, when I looked for it I couldn’t find it, but found plenty of pictures on the Internet.  It is technically called Maneki-neko which means “beckoning cat.” Of course,  there are many stories behind the cat.  You can read a few of them here:

https://www.tofugu.com/japan/maneki-neko/

There are also different meanings and results for different colored cats.  I chose black since it helps with good health (or getting rid of evil spirits).  Different writings have different meanings.  I did see one for green for good health, but I just wasn’t ready for a green cat.

Normally the traditional white cat brings wealth and prosperity and is seen in Asian restaurants and shops.  There is also confusion as to whether it is Japanese or Chinese.  It was the Japanese in the Edo period who developed this character.

I knew it was going to be a bit more complex than just making a resist for a pod.  Since I didn’t have a particular size in mind, I just made a resist I felt I could get enough detail on and manage.

I used prefelts for the first layer and merino wisps for the sides.  I also added needle felted noses, cheeks and prefelt and cotton batting for the one arm. Then added three layers of corriedale putting the eyes under the last two and prefelt for the ears.  On the back I also made a small tail using needle felted Jacob wool.  Not much of it is visible on the wet cat.

Then I added some silk with throwsters waste to add a little bling.

Then I fulled it and stuffed it with bubblewrap to give it some shape.  I did forget to open the eyes.

I rewet it and opened the eyes. So, next I will have to add all the details needed to finish.

Stay tuned!

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