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Second Quarter Challenge

Second Quarter Challenge

I know it’s taken me a while, but I finally got around to doing Ann’s 2nd Quarter Challenge! One thing I like more than colourful felt, is lots of colourful felt! So, when I have a nice collection of offcuts, I like to put them together in a collage and make something out of it. I’d been wanting an ‘alternative’ bag to my little drawstring bag for a while now, and I’ve got a canvas satchel which I really like, but I wanted something a little bit smaller, so I thought I’d go with a smaller version of that. I worked out the dimensions for the length and width I’d need it, marked out where the front, back and flap would be, then pieced all my strips together:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe middle section with all the nuno pieces would be the back, I positioned them there because I know from experience that felt, especially Merino felt, can bobble/pill easily when it rubs a lot, like bags do around the hip area. When I trimmed the edges and folded it into shape, I realised the front flap was a bit too long to add satchel straps, so I went with a magnetic closure. This is what it looked like from the front when it was finished:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is how it looks when it’s open:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is the back (with the front flap open):

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFor the side panels, I tried quite a few felt pieces, One which looked really good was a piece I’d made from woven pencil roving, but I knew it’d be too thick once the hook straps were added, so, and I don’t know why this is still hard to do after all these years, but many will understand, I cut up a piece of nuno felt I made a while ago. I’m not sure I ever showed it because it’s blue and I have a hard time taking photos of blue, but here’s one end of it:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI cut strips for the sides, and thinner strips to make the straps to hold the bag hooks in place:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI got the findings from another bag I bought from a charity shop just for them. I recently bought 10 metres of rainbow webbing with a bag in mind and it went perfectly with this bag, I even got the findings attached the right way around the first time!:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd on the rainbow theme, if there are any Mancs out there, Happy Pride weekend! πŸ™‚

Pods and Cords

Pods and Cords

I’ve mentioned we’ve been exploring resists at the Well Being centre recently, and one of the group said she’d really like to make a round vessel, so I thought we’d follow rosiepink’s vessel tutorial. It turned out there was only 2 of us there early enough to have a go, so we’re doing it again this week, but this is mine:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd the other side:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI’ve been looking for ‘smoothing tools’ for vessels for years, like Lyn’s suggestions of a baby’s rattle or laundry liquid dispenser, I keep checking the baby section, and dog toy section, even the kitchen section for a ladel, but still haven’t found one! I did buy some foam for resists though and I thought I’d try it out and make a new birdpod. I remembered those coconut ones, and tried to do a similar shape. I didn’t get it quite right, but using lots of coarse wools did give it a hairy coconut look, though:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI need to make a cord for it to hang it up. Usually, I make cords from offcuts or make some handspun yarn and felt that, but I had an idea for some garden ornaments and thought I’d give it a go using a bamboo mat. I can’t remember which wool I used, I think it was something from Wollknoll labelled just ‘Scottish grey’. I had a hard time getting photos of all my things, it went too dark yesterday, so this morning I took them into the garden and tried them in a few places, when I put the first cord down on the paving stones it camouflaged itself, even the pattern seems to match!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThat was just the test piece for the idea I wanted to try. The only trouble was, I needed a larger mat than a placemat. I looked at my living room blinds, just hanging there with a huge roll of unused bamboo sat at the bottom. I unrolled it and there must have been two feet of spare blind, so a few snips and a few tied ends later, I had a shorter window blind and a new rolling mat! This cord hasn’t completely dried yet, but I know I need to make the next one a bit thinner, and I think that will help it be firmer too, but it turned out a lot better than I expected:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAs usual, whenever I’m in the garden, I had a visitor, noseying from the background, poor little thing has no feet πŸ™

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Felt Rainbow and Yak Sample

Felt Rainbow and Yak Sample

In my last post, I had a photo of aΒ  rainbow piece I’d laid out for felting, I reworked the green and yellow part a little bit then felted it.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI’d used a top layer of drum carded batts I’d made from texturey wool, so the surface has an interesting texture:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASupermacro showing one of the wool locks:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI got a World of Wool order last week. One of the things I ordered was de-haired Yak fibre. A while ago, Marilyn sent me some Yak fibre to try and I loved it before I even felted it, it was so soft! After felting it, I knew I had to get enough to make a scarf, so ordered some. That was before I spent three hours on my knees making a scarf and vowing never again! πŸ™‚Β  I realised a few days ago though, I have an old door I can put over my table, which should do for scarf making until I find something better. So, I thought I should make a sample to work out shrinkage and see if my Yak feels as good as Marilyns. I laid out two fine layers, which is not as easy as laying out Merino. I added some of Marilyn’s fibre as surface decoration:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASorry the pictures aren’t great again, but this is it after felting. I haven’t worked out the shrinkage rate yet (I had accounts to do this week and have had enough of maths!) but there wasn’t much, it started out 20cm x 66cm and ended up 18.5 x 61.5cm. This is after felting:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd this is a slightly better photo of it close up.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMy girlfriend (who has never felted in her life, but has no idea just how much felting info she has absorbed) said the way it felted in soft ripples reminded her of Karakul. It feels so unbelievably soft, even softer than alpaca and cashmere! Don’t forget to check back tomorrow for another birthday giveaway πŸ™‚

New Year, Old Stuff

New Year, Old Stuff

I have one more piece that I made just before Christmas that I haven’t done anything with yet. I planned it so that the red to purple rainbow stripes in the centre would fit around an A5 notebook, and the stripes at the ends would be the flaps inside. But it didn’t shrink enough for that. And isn’t quite long enough to fit on an A5 ring-binder.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is the back side of it

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAfter the craft fair I made a few more camera cases, it was nice to sit and sew without any pressure of having to get it done by a certain time. These are from a grey merino and grey/pink synthetic fabric nuno piece I made a while ago. Sorry about the odd photos, there’s a weird blue light here today.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThese are slightly bigger and made from burgundy merino and a kind of tulle synthetic fabric nuno.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI haven’t had chance to do much at all lately, I forgot I’d have to file my tax returns soon, so have been frantically listing, categorising and printing all week. I hope I remember how to do it πŸ™‚
You might remember a post from last year about expanding the felting and fiber community. I just wanted to remind everyone that we are still interested in having guest posts, articles, features etc if anyone would like to contribute to the site? If you’d like an idea of some of the posts others have contributed, hover overΒ  ‘Community’ on the menu bar and you will see the various categories. It doesn’t have to be original, it can be something you’ve used on your own site, as long as it is about felt, fabric, wool or fibres or anything related like threads, tools, farming, production, supplies, selling etc we’d love to include it πŸ™‚Β  Use the Contact Form at the top or PM us on the forum.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI thought I’d add a supermacro of locks, just because πŸ™‚

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