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Pandagirl’s Year in Review 2015

Pandagirl’s Year in Review 2015

I really challenged myself the beginning of 2015. I was determined to try free motion embroidery and used Rosiepinks (Lyn’s) instructions for making a round bowl. It turned out nice, but it was a little tense going round and round.

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My fan has to be the hardest felt project I’ve done so far.  Getting and keeping all those fan blades in place was maddening.

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Then I began work on making batts and bootie favors for my daughter in law Mari’s baby shower. 60 of them!

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I attempted a felted box.

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A clutch/makeup bag for a new Grandma.

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I gave my drum carder a workout blending colors and making a color wheel for the 1st Quarter Color Challenge.

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Still in baby mode, I felted over a wire baby buggy.

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Cathy and I received our first order from WOW, so the sample making began using wools I hadn’t used before.

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A wine bottle cozy.

back finish

Going back to my roots, I made denim paper, then felted it, and later made a glass case.2015-04-22 15.55.27

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Stepping  out of my comfort zone, I started using neutral colors and some wildly bold combos.

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Some wooly fun with my Grandson Luke.

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For a short period, Cathy and had a fish off.

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For the 3rd Quarter Challenge I used a color generator, dyed, carded some batts using those colors, then made in Ipad cover.

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My sister invited me to her quilt group for a Trunk Show.


To keep my earrings organized while I travel I made a jewelry roll.

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I tried getting my work space organized.


Cathy and I attended the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival.


Dyeing for special projects.  Some yet to be seen.


A nuno wall hanging for my daughter in law Lia.PART951442274018055950914151919

A challenge in combining techniques to make an elephant pic for my Sister.


The 4th Quarter Challenge – monochrome panda with dimension.


Odds and ends.

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Making ornaments with my Grandsons.


I had a lot of help this year and want to thank Cathy Wycliff for posting about making arm warmers, learning to make batts, her artist residency in Breckenridge CO, dyeing with natural plants, and Bengala dyes; Zara Tuulikki Rooke for showing us her process for making batts from raw fleece, shearing sheep, lambing in Sweden,  making a rug from raw fleece and sampling different Swedish wool breeds; Leonor Calaca for giving us a virtual tour of the Knitting and Stitching Show in London; Carol Gascoigne (Craftywoman) for submitting her 3rd Quarter Challenge; Lyn (Rosiepink) for her 3rd Quarter Challenge submission; Mary Stori for her advice on beading; and Jill Chadek for sharing her journey to becoming a felt artist.

Happy New Year!  On to new felting journeys for 2016!




Experiments with Coarse Wool and Embellishments

Experiments with Coarse Wool and Embellishments

Today we have a Guest Post From Cathy ‘Luvswool’

Zed and I were chatting about coarse wool fibers–which we both enjoy–and the end result of our chat was my agreement to try some wet-felting experiments with some “exotic” coarse wool she had just got from Woolknoll.  And even though I have tried many different types of wool fibers over the past couple of years, Zed’s package of fibers was quite a surprise.  Okay, how many of you have heard of Fox Sheep wool, Milk Sheep wool, Russian camel and Chubut.  The latter name is what my siblings used to call me in our “anything goes” name-calling childhood.

While in Colorado, I had gifted my four colorful pods (above) to the Breckenridge Arts Council for their silent auction. And I missed them.  So I decided to make four more pods, this time in neutrals, using the same resist I had used previously.

I also planned to add embellishment fibers, which were also contained in Zed’s package.  Although I was familiar with Bamboo and Viscose, I did not know how they might react with coarse wool fibers, so I decided to use Zed’s new e-book, The Right Fibre as my guide.  In the e-guide on fibers,  Zed clearly explains how one can go about blending fibers with each other, but also tips on which fibers might go better together.  The photos–some of them macro–clearly show the effects one might be able to achieve.
I decided to work with 4 coarse fibers I had never before felted, which were Fox Sheep wool, Karakul, Milk Sheep wool and Chubut.  As embellishments, I chose Viscose, Bamboo, Russian camel and Schappe (a type of silk fiber).
First up was the mysterious fox sheep wool, which has nothing to do with foxes and everything to do with coarse, hairy wool.  As an embellishment, I used black viscose.

Next was the Karakul, which I had heard about but really didn’t want to think about too much or too long.  This wool fiber–of course–was not the dreaded karakul you might be thinking about…phew!  I used black bamboo, which actually looks grey in the photos.

The Milk Sheep wool was a surprisingly lovely brown color and quite coarse; and I paired it with Schappe, a type of white silk.

Last but not least was the Chubut, which was very white, and I used Russian Camel as the embellishment.

To keep it all scientific, I used the same sized resist, felted for the same amount of time, and likewise with the fulling; but I did change up the size of the openings for variety.  Here is the order of most coarse to least coarse (and hairy!):  Karakul, Milk Sheep, Fox Sheep and Chubut.
Here’s what surprised me:  The Schappe, which has looked so soft and silky, turned out to be lumpy as an embellishment on the Milk Sheep wool, and I would use it again, but strictly for the build up of texture underneath other fibers. It could react differently on a softer, lower micron fiber, such as Merino wool. The Karakul shrunk the most and retained its very hairy quality, which I do like for this particular pod.  The Fox Sheep wool (white with the black viscose) turned out well, and I like the way the Viscose retained its waviness.

I did add some green wool yarn I had lying around, just for fun.

fox sheep yarn carrierThe Chubut seemed to be slightly taken over with the Russian camel, but perhaps I used too much camel as an embellishment.  It would be useful to try all four base fibers again and pair them with different types of embellishment fibers.
Here are all four pods standing nicely together.  I have even decided their fate:  a bud vase, yarn carrier, cat bomb (you may notice I added a felted cord for the wick), and gnome’s cap.  I’m not serious about the cat bomb, as I do love my kitties, but perhaps our readers will have a suggestion for use of the final unnamed pod?

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