scarf up close

Happy Felt Hat Makers

Just after I took my Moy MacKay class I taught a felt hat class to 6 enthusiastic students. they wanted different styles but they all wanted folds in the top.

and decorating, I am sure I took more pictures at this point but something went wrong because they are not on my phone.

Then there was rubbing and rolling to do.

Here they are after some shrinking but not there yet.

The did shrink much to everyone’s amazement. I don’t think they really believed they would ever fit.

These brims on these 2 wide brimmed hats are to heavy to hold themselves up while wet. They will be fine once they are dry.

I didn’t get a picture of the last one but it turned out well too. It was a really fun day for everyone.

scarf up close

A class with Moy MacKay

Last week I had the opportunity to take a 2 day class with Moy MacKay. I went with a couple of friends and we had a great time. We did the wet felting on day one. We had 2 pictures to choose from for the landscape.

I chose the one the left.

Moy demonstrated and explained to us how to work and what to do. We got to ask questions. She told us to take lots of pictures as we went because you see things in the picture that you don’t see in just looking at it. Still I didn’t take enough.

First we laid out the background

Then we added the foreground and details. The house is prefelt and the flowers in the front are chopped up curls

We wet them down and gave them a 2 or 3 min rub and then rolled them for about 3 min one way and then the other for another few min and we were done. They are very lightly felted but that’s ok because they are pictures not hats.

That took the morning. After lunch we did another piece, a still life, flowers. We had a vase of red flowers and babies breath to use for inspiration. We were not to copy it but to use it to see how flowers look. You can see it in the group picture. Moy demonstrated again and explained again and then we only had about an hour to put the picture together and then a short time to get it felted before we had to be out of the room for another group.

We started with the table then the foliage and then the vase and then moves some leaves around. Then we added the flowers. The babies breath is nepps.

I quite like it at this stage. Not as much after it was felted.

On day 2 we started the embellishing. Moy talked about and demonstrated needle felting accents and refining the pictures. Also some machine embroidery and stitching. we could try the machine stitching if we wanted but my picture wasn’t ready for that yet. This is what they are like now. No where near done but works in progress.

This is after I straitened up the house and removed the mangled fence and added a new one.

This is where it is now. I added windows and ivy to the house. I removed the cobwebs from the trees. I added some shading to the trees. I added in some stems for the flowers in front and another fence. I think the field behind the left fence needs to be darker because it’s farther away. It doesn’t show well in the picture but right now it is lighter and more yellow than the front field. It needs a lot more work but I think I know what I want to do to it.

And the flowers. I forgot to take a picture of when it was wet felted but had no embellishments. But here it is so far. I am not as keen on the flowers but they are alright. I may like them better after I work on them some more. The table needs straitening up and lots more texture. And notice the nepps have stuck. We had chopped up some green fibers as part of the foliage and I think the short fibers under them made them stick.

And lastly a picture of everyone’s works at the end of the second day. the flowers we used are beside Moy.

It was a great class. I think it’s given me confidence to try some more. Jan will be doing more posts for us and I hope she will do one about this class too. She will have taken at least a hundred more pictures than me and be able to show you her works in progress too.

Don’t forget to sign up for the holiday card exchange on the forum. Read all about it here: https://feltingandfiberstudio.com/2018/10/10/time-for-the-holiday-card-exchange-again/

scarf up close

A Picture for Exhibition

Last week I missed doing my blog post because I had no power or internet. My area was hit by 6 tornados. We were not hit we had no damage. Some areas near us were hit very hard, the large power substation near us was hit and some of the cell phone and internet towers too.

Before all that I did manage to work on my piece for the guild exhibition and sale. I do not think I will get it done in time as it is due in a week. The theme was a 100-mile inspiration. I decided to do a scene with the Parlement buildings. I am using 2 prefelt layers with a piece of cotton gauze in the middle for the background.

First I found a simple outline picture I could use for the outline of the building. I cut that out and tried it on the background.

I pinned it to another piece of prefelt and cut it out.

Then it was time to work ou the clouds.

After I took the picture and looked at it I realized I had made the clouds to symmetrical. Its funny how looking at a picture sometimes shows you more than just looking at it. I tacked all the pieces together with a few jabs of a felting needle

Next was adding fireworks as I am thinking it should be Canada Day.

Then I cropped the picture to see better how it will look.

I wet felted the piece and now I need to do some stitching around the building so it will show better.and my daughter said I should add beads around the fireworks like the sparkles you see with fireworks. I thought maybe some sparkly thread and a bead at the end of each firework. What else would you add to this silhouette picture?

scarf up close

Ruffled Neck Scarf Workshop

Last week I taught a Ruffle Neck Scarf workshop. This was the first time teaching it and it went very well. I was worried about the timing but it all worked out. I thought the class at the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum. They have a nice big classroom with lots of light. and water.

As usual, I forgot to take pictures early but here are two of them being laid out

You can see the template they used to get the layout right and keep it even from one end to the other. I drew it with the outline to follow and a line on them to let them know when they had shrunk enough.

Here they are using the plastic under their scarves to make nice edges.

And a shot of the class working.

Here are the results. I really like the ones where you can see the wool that migrated through the silk.

The Class was a lot of fun. I made the written instructions more detailed than normal because I want to make it a kit. If I ever figure out video iI would like to make an online workshop.  If you were to buy a kit for a ruffled scarf would you want it to be a short neck scarf or a long scarf? the only difference really would be the amount of wool included and the length of silk. I was thinking a short scarf but include the sizing to make a longer template too. I am wondering about the template I usually use thick plastic to draw it on. but it is too bulky to fold flat and too big to ship cheaply rolled up. Should I include a template on thinner plastic or just the instructions on how to draw it up on whatever you want to use?

scarf up close

Dying Some Silk

I am teaching a class next week and needed to dye some more silk for embellishment.

I had looked in my silk box to see what I had and I seem to have a lot of green and not much pink/purple.

I use a variation on the scrunch dying I use for the scarf blanks. I soak the silk in a little soapy water to get them properly wet before dying.

I use just enough fibre reactive dye to cover the silk. Then leave it for about an hour and put the PH up (sodium carbonate) in. I mix the PH up one tablespoon for each cup of water including the water I am mixing it in. Then I let it sit for a few hours.

One of the colours I wanted was a nice brown but when I rinsed it all the brown stayed in the water and I had purple. I haven’t had that happen before.

This is what they look like after rinsing and squeezing all the water out, they look a mess.

After they are dry, they fluff up some, but still not very nice looking

Next, you shake them out a bit and give them a tug along their length. Now they are pretty. again. Now I have a good variety for my students to choose from. The top one is the one that should have been brown.

I think I am just about ready for the class. Just some plastic to cut and pack it all up.

 

 

scarf up close

Scarves Done, Well, Almost

The felting part of the scarves is all done. I have moved to adding buttons. A friend helped me pick out all the buttons at our guild social On Monday night. At one point we had lots of buttons out of the bags on the table as we poked through them in search of just the right button. Unfortunately no picture of that. Jan got a great close up of this button we were trying on this scarf. Actually all these pictures were taken by Jan Scott except the 2 of her and her new wheel.

Here is a picture of part of the social. There was spinning and weaving and knitting and wheel adjusting, probably other stuff too.

And Jan brought her new wheel. It is an electric spinner and it fits in a small plastic container. It is as portable as a spindle. There were lots of oos and ahhs as she showed it off.

And lastly 3 great pictures of my scarves, thanks to Jan.

I hope you like all the pictures. Now I have to get on with the finishing, the hardest part.

scarf up close

Felted Cat Cave A Quick How To

 

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.

Spikes and Wool

I wanted an oval cat cave. I used my oval hat form to get the shape and gradually sized it up.

Drawing the Resist

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.

Spikes in the Wool

After wetting it all down I wrapped each spike in plastic wrap so it would not get felted down flat.

Spikes all Wrapped Up

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.

Finished Cave on top of the Resist

Here it is in use, it didn’t take long for one of my cats, Wu, to take up residence.

 

Cat in Cave

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.

scarf up close

Techniques for Intermediate Felters Class-The Afternoon

See the cool little rolling tool I got recently. It’s a little massage roller. This was it’s first try out. It worked really well. I have some other kinds ordered so I will do a post about them later.

  

Here are a couple of shots of me teaching. The left one is talking about adding some scruched up silk and the right one I explaining how you make one of the resists into a flower.

Here Carlene and Jan are showing thier pieces at show and tell at our guild meeting.

and a close up are Carlene’s

We didn’t have enough time to do everything I wanted to do, so at the end I was doing quick how to’s.  The pin needle technique two ways  and I also explained book resists.

So now it’s a matter of deciding what to take out and what to add in for the next time I teach it. There was not enough time. I think adding an hour to the class would be good. I think I will drop the nuno part of the sample to make sure we got to the pine needle part. I am not sure about the book resist. It may take to much time. What would you want to see in an intermediate techniques class?

scarf up close

Techniques for Intermediate Felters Class- the morning.

On Saturday I was teaching Techniques for Intermediate Felters.  It is a sample class.

First we talked about how felt shrinks and then  did ruffled edges.

As an aside it was Jan’s ( top right) birthday and the class was one of her presents.

Only two finished ruffle pictures thanks to two of the students.

After ruffles we did cracked mud. They did a double sample. One side was done with painters tape and one was done with floor underlay with holes cut out. On Lauren’s piece here you can really see the tape and the underlay.

I wanted them to see how even the thin underlay makes it much harder than the very thin tape.

Some needed a little more fulling at this point but were progressing well. We were on to lunch and then more techniques. I will tell you about the afternoon next time I post.

scarf up close

Spin in

Saturday I spent the day at a spin in not to far form home. There were lots of people there. More people arrived after I took these pictures, mostly wheels but ther were a few of us on spindles.

There were things to buy of course

There were door prizes.

And show and tell, this amazing blanket Rams and Ewes I think it is called. it is a double knit so it is double thick and the back is different then the front. The wool is all natural coloured Shetland I believe. Click onthe picture to get a batter look. here is a link to the pattern if you are interested. https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/rams-and-yowes

I got a close up of this dog collar and leash,

Here are some other . I didn’t get  picture of the table after it filled up, sorry. I was to busy chatting.

And lastly some tiny little handwoven pillows. So if you thought you don’t have the room to weave , you do.

This is my loot, a bag of Massum, a bag of silk cocoons, and a new sketch book.

That was my Saturday well wasted. Nothing better than sharing a fun day with old and new friends doing something you all love.