Basket mark 2 finished

This week I finished the basket. All it really needed was to have the handle finished and that would have been fast and easy. But a white basket is not only boring it does not fit with me. I can’t keep anything white clean for long.

So faze to of the basket: dying.

I have a turkey fryer/corn cooker for dying outside. After clearing a spot on the porch for the dye pot and my son cleaning all the bugs and spiders and webs out of the hose and burner I got some water heating. Usually, when you are going to dye wool you wet it first. it gets you a more even take-up of the dye. I didn’t want that in particular so I popped it in dry.

you can see I only put it in partway. Ther is about half the bottom of the basket sticking out. This is limy green. after it had cooked for about 45 min just under a boil the water was clear and I removed it and added a dye from ProChem called Mallard. It’s a blue-green and put the basket into the pot the other way up. I forgot to take a picture of that, sorry.

Once the dye was exhausted I rinsed it and blew the beach ball up in it again, another alien. I am really pleased with the way the colours came out.

Since I had the dye pot hot I dyed some wool too.

My original idea was to use a piece of a tree branch in the handle.

It was ok when I was holding it but as soon as I put it down this happened.

It dropped right to the bottom. So much for the cream buns you just bought. It is much too heavy. Looking back at the pictures I had seen with wood in the handles, they were all small and the wood was mostly driftwood, which is much lighter. Those baskets seemed to be more decorative than useful. I went back to just rolling all the excess wool up into the handle. It makes a nice sized comfortable to hold handle. You can see the colour mixing better now its dry.

when I let go of the handle It still falls to the side but not nearly as much, so the cream buns are safe.

You may have noticed that one side of the basket stretched out more than the other. I think it was from the ball being blown up in it. I should have rewet it and fulled it some more but I didn’t want to. I was thinking of how to fix it or make it a feature rather than a flaw.

I pinched it a couple of different ways and that would have worked but I didn’t really like it. the heck with it, it’s just for me.

The basket part feels a little light even though there is 200grams of fibre in it. It was a bigger resist but I reasoned to myself that there is more wool in 200 grams of Corriedale then there is in the same weight of Fin. I didn’t put any yarn in it, mostly because I forgot. I wanted to prevent the basket lip form stretching out any more. I tend to overfill my baskets and bags. Off to search my handspun for some appropriate yarn. I found a yarn that is predominantly the same colour as the Mallard on the bottom of the pot and did some decorative and structurally helpful stitching. I am pleased with the results. Sorry about the pictures. I was trying to keep my arm out of the way and get far enough back to get the whole basket.

I think there will be more baskets in my future.

Second Quarter Challenge- Mark 1

So we are just starting the 3rd month of the second quarter challenge and I have a finished piece. Everyone, please clap because I actually finished it in May, very early for me who usually finishes the challenge after the next one has started. Here’s the challenge if you need a refresher. 2020-second-quarter-challenge

Last time I teased you with the beginnings. No one could guess what it was. Grey didn’t seem to be a very summery colour. Well, I made a basket. I had seen a few online and thought that’s a good idea. I liked that they looked rustic and functional rather than pretty. Best laid plans of mice and men as they say.

I started with a pattern. I wanted it to be big enough and I thought an oval would be the best shape to start with.

I wanted a sturdy basket so I used 160 grams of Finnish wool. In retrospect, I think another 40 grams would have been better. I thought the handle and where it attaches will take the most strain so I added 5 strands of Briggs and Little sport singles between the second and 3rd of the 4 layers. This sort of thing is always much fiddler than I think it will be.

I added 3 lines of the Briggs and Little to the outside.

After rubbing and rolling and for a while it was time to cut the handles.

I measured to get the handle in the center and made a template but then not thinking I cut the whole piece out. I had intended to only make the horizontal cut. I cut both before remembering that was not what I had intended. Oh well, I can fix that later.

The shrinking went very well. At first, I thought the ends dipping down would be a problem and I tried to stretch them up but after shaping it I realized it was a good thing as the middle shortens as you open it up. I already knew that I just wasn’t thinking it through, probably because I was still mad I cut he 2 side tops off.

When it was dry I pinned the two cut off pieces back onto the handled.

And used the machine to sew them back on.

Next, I wasn’t fussy about the edge of the basket so I used some fleece, double-fold bias tape around the edge. I had some grey in my stash so that worked out.

As I feared the red stripes all but disappeared. This is the best place they showed, not very impressive.

So, I went and got some of the yarn, the red and some yellow and stitched on 3 stripes. You can see the old red stripes more in the picture than you can in real life. I think I would just do the stitching next time. It is much easier really.

For the handle, I rolled up one side flap, then wrapped the other side around it and stitched it in place. It feels sturdy and comfortable in your hand. I used the red and yellow yarn around the handle to make it more visually appealing. If you wanted the stipes to say exactly in place you could catch the underside of the handle as they go round.

Here it is in its entirety.  it is about 14 x 10 inches. I am still not thrilled with it but my daughter really likes it so it is probably just me. It is growing on me. I know what I will do with the next one to make it better, besides paying attention and not cutting off parts that I want to stay on.

 

Pot in a Pot 2

It was 2 days later that I got back to my pot. After some preliminary rolling in the dryer, I rolled it by hand.

It shrank quite a lot. it is very tight around the resist. It is time to do some cutting. I cut in the spaces between the fins.

You can see how much the hole grows as you work the edge. The little blob on the left is the piece I cut out.

I didn’t want to pull the resist out through the hole. It is bulkier and less flexible than usual with the duct tape holding on the fins. I cut an X in the bottom of the outside pot. If I had thought about it I would have done it in the bottom of the inside pot so no one would ever have seen it.

This is how much it has shrunk so far.

Next was a vigorous rub down with a rubbing tool. This is one Jan found in the pet section of our Dollar store. It’s for washing your very dirty dog. I covered the pot with some plastic before rubbing. It is too grabby to use directly on the felt.

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It shrank a little more but now it is al flat and smooth.

Before doing any more I needed to rinse out the soap. It always takes much longer to get all the soap out than I think it should.

I start with hot water and finish with cold. I also want to get more shrinkage during this prosses so I am quite aggressive in getting the water through felt to get the soap out.

This is how much more it shrank. You can see the black lines of where it was before rinsing.

I stuck the yellow inside the red one. It wasn’t too hard because the how where they are joined is not very small. What was harder was getting the ball in so I could blow it up. I wanted to use a ball because I didn’t think a balloon would be strong enough. I did get this one I but ended up taking it out and switching to a smaller 8-inch ball. the ball is a Linsom ball, they are nonslip, sort of sticky on the outside. They are great balls because they come with a removable plug. I took a vessel class with Sharon Costello where we used them. I suppose it helped the first layer of wool to stick. The layout on a ball is very difficult. It was a great class, a lot of fun and we learned a lot but not one I like to use.

and in the dark

I think it turned out fairly well. If I were to do it again I think I would make the inside pot bigger so it would open up the fins. I may, depending on how ambitious I am, wet it down, blow up a ball inside and them stuff plastic bags in to make the outer pot bigger. I may cut the fins off and then so some stretching so you can see more of the inside pot. I am still thinking. What would you do?

Wet Felted Slipper Class

This last Saturday I taught a slipper class to 6 lovely ladies. I gave them a choice of templates, so there were different types of slippers being made at the same time. We used the one that looks like bunny ears, the one with little pointy the ears on the sides, boots and some pointy ones. They used Corriedale wool for the slippers. I prefer something like Fin wool but it is hard to get it in colours and everyone wants colours. So Corriedale is a good compromise. After everyone made templates it was onto laying out the wool.

Then on to rubbing rolling Once everything was hanging together well, it was time to take the resists out. You might remember Christine made one of the pixie hats in the hat workshop a few weeks ago. Hat Class. Hat Class She is planning for curly toes. And on to fulling. There is scrunching and throwing of course and we had a washboard and a car mat to help with the shrinking. Sorry I have no pictures of that.
You can custom fit your slipper right on your foot of course. You can really see how much it has changed compared to the one that hasn’t been fulled yet.
This one was almost done.
Judy’s are the only ones managed to get a picture of at the end of class. She put a little of all the embellishment fibers on them to see how they felted. She still wants to a just the top at the opening.
She is going to make insoles and add a leather sole.
I am adding this in. Judy had some felt insoles and she needled some special supports for her feet onto it and fit them into her new slippers.
And Christine’s curly toes
       

 

Making Some More Little Bags

I haven’t had much time to felt and today I finally got some time to start some new little bags.
The last time I made little bags I forgot to add the spikes that end up as the closures so I made a bunch of spikes to be ready this time. Now to remember to make the rings for the bottom.

I make these bas self lining by putting fabric next to the resist. This creates a nuno felt lining and I don’t have to do it later. I licked this silk scarf a friend gave me for it’s nice bright colours and interesting dye pattern.

The other thing adding the nuno lining does is add strength allowing me to make a thinner, less bulky bag. I set up 4 resists because if you are going to rub and roll some felt you might as well do make it worth while.

Here are the 4 bags ready to be put together. I try not to match the linings to the bag colour to much so it doesn’t disappear when I am done. I may have to switch the 2 middle ones.

At this point I had to stop and switch the laundry and got distracted with other things so I haven’t made it past this point today. You will notice that I have forgotten the rings at this point but I have a chance to fix this when I get back to them. It is not to late …..yet. Next time I will hopefully have some progress to show you.
Ann

A Couple of Small Felt Pouches

This week I decided to make a new pouch for my business cards. The one I am using now is getting  a little ratty looking from being in my purse for several years.

I didn’t take any in progress photos. I wasn’t really thinking about it, just enjoying the process of making something.

This is the first one, front and back and closed. It turned out well but I tiny bit smaller than I wanted.  Not bad considering I didn’t do any measuring I just cut out a resist and started.

Here it is on the resist so you can see the shrinkage

And a pictures of the nuno felt designs.

I made the second pouch bigger. I wanted some ruffles along the sides so added extra fiber there sticking out from the side. I didn’t make the extra wide enough and it almost disappeared. It is a tiny bit ruffled but not great.

and on the resist.

And a close up of the silk roses, I think I will shave them, they are a bit fuzzy.

Finally both of them with a ruler to give you an idea of size. one is about 6 and the other about 8 inches

I have a thought of making them to sell. I thought maybe I would put a grommet in the back with a carabineer clip in it. I am just not sure they will sell at a decent price. Do you like the idea? What do you think people would pay for them?

Felt Vessel Class

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I taught an enthusiastic group of ladies how to make felted vessels last Sunday. They were a great group and without Carleen’s reminders to take pictures I would have nothing to show you today.

Three ladies chose to make pots that were a different colour inside.  and two made theirs a solid colour.

Then of course there was the wetting, rubbing and rolling and shapping

   

Blowing up a balloon inside  helps get a nice shape. In the back ground you can see Carlene rolling on a car mat.

For some reason I did not get a picture of all the finished pieces. This is the only one I have of this white and gold pot. It was very elegant and I think it would make a great light cover. She said she was rewetting it and reshaping it. I hope she remembers to send me a picture of it when it’s done.

There was also some very determined rolling on the glass wash board.

I do have some finished pictures.

 

The blue one is Carlene’s. She wants to add to it. Here are 3 thoughts. The second and third pictures are the same yarn but different ends,  one has more blue in it.

Her husband thinks the yarn covers up to much of the pot. I like the spiral but think maybe make the lines farther apart. What do you think? It may have been better to felt it right in. It would still be texture but flatter, more integral to the pot. Hey Carlene, maybe you just need to make another pot.

 

Fingerless Mitt Class in February

I am teaching at the Ottawa Valley Weavers and Spinners Guild
red fingerless mitts 2
 Fingerless Mitts, Cuffs or Wrist Warmers
Feb 22 (Saturday) – Wet Felting—
Description: Learn basic wet-felting techniques while keeping your wrists stylishly warm. Make a pair of wet felted cuffs that can be embellished in many ways. Keep your hands warmer but still allow full mobility for knitting , spinning or weaving or texting.
Your cuffs can be small and discrete or big and bold!
Prerequisite: None
Class Size: not more than 6
Time: 10am-3pm Level: Beginner
Cost: $40 members, $50 non-members Materials fee: $10
please contact the workshop coordinator to register: workshops@ovwsg.comfingerless mitt blue 1 fingerless mitt flowered 1

Fingerless Mits Experiment

Christmas is coming so I am still working on fingerless mitts for my guild sale the first weekend in November. One of my scarves made the poster.

OVWSGposter2012-3-400

I decided to try an experiment with a couple of pairs of Mitts. I wanted to make long cuts to reveal another colour.  I wrapped some shrink tubing and some regular tubing like you might use in a fish tank in some wool. I gave it a quick felt to get the wool tight around the tube. I thought this might be the best way to keep the fibers where I wanted them. I placed them between the layers of the mitts.

tubes collage

It worked really well.  After I cut the felt and took the tubes out I steamed them and opened up the slits. They are purple and pink and pink and purple but the cameras seems to think the purple is blue. I think it is because the wool of the table is so yellow.

purple and pink pink and purple

This is what they look like on. Sorry the pictures are bad I had to take it on my own arm.

purple and pink on pink and purple on

They turned out really well . I think I could have used less wool around the inclusions. I think I might felt them more next time too.

the other thing I did recently was make a matching set of hat and mitts. I added some silk to both, scrunching it  up to make it very textured. One small part didn’t stick down properly on the hat and will need a couple of stitches.

gray hat and mitts

I have more hats on the go and need to do some scarves before the sale but I think things are going well so far. Have you tried anything new recently?