Next Step for Needle books.

Continuing on from my last post about making felt for needle books, Felt for Needle Books I started sewing them together. Well, first I had to iron them all which always takes much longer than you think it will. Everyone forgets to mention this step or they just say iron your pieces like it’s nothing at all. There are no pictures of ironing, as fascinating as that might have been, I didn’t take any pictures.

I also only took one picture when I was sewing them together. There was much swearing, and unpicking that you didn’t need to see.

After sewing them together I had to think about how to decorate them. I went online and looked for line drawings. You can find them in any theme you like. I looked for sewing. I also used some I had saved from other projects. I traced them onto a nonwoven dissolvable stabilizer. This is great stuff and it doesn’t take much to dissolve it. You can’t use a marker for tracing, it dissolves the stabilizer. I used a thick pencil to trace my designs.

On to the stitching. The first one is a snail. I picked a variegated embroidery floss. I used all 6 threads because I wanted a heavy line.

You will notice that in the first of the snail pictures the book is sewn together but in the other 2 pictures, it is pinned together. After stitching the snail I realized I stitched it so the inside is upside down and so I have unpicked the thread holding it all together and will sew the inside in the right way.

This one I really didn’t know how to embellish, I have another one almost the same. I decided on a backstitched chain stitch using 2 similar colours. I didn’t need the dissolvable stabilizer for this one. It’s a bit wonky, but there you go.

I also did the smallest book.

Closed the little book is only 2.25 inches (5.7cm) square. That is big enough to hold some needles and a thread saver. This book only has one double, needle page. All the others have two, and they all have 2 pockets. I have one more smallish one and the rest are all bigger. The biggest ones are 4.5 inches (11.3 cm) square so big enough for a small pair of scissors. After I get all of the embroidered I will have to add some buttons and ties or elastics to them. Elastics can look messy if you don’t have layers to hide the ends between. How do you deal with cut ends when adding them to a project?

This is what’s new on the farm this week. These are baby chicks.

And these are baby turkeys. There is not much difference between them as day olds. But only a few days on and the turkeys have grown necks.

Five of them got stepped on by there friends and had isolated themselves away from the heat so they had to come inside and live in a box with a heat lamp, in my sewing room for a few days.

Here they are all better, in a bucket for their trip back to the group. this is the safest way for them to traves without getting hurt or too scared. You can see how they have grown in just a few days. Not sure why the look so grubby in the picture because they weren’t, just the light I guess.

A zen sculpture and some cuteness

I saw an interesting Zen sculpture on Facebook. Now I can’t find the picture to link to of course. I think it was one of the Russian felters. Anyway, I thought it was an interesting resist and sculpture so I would see if I could do one.

first I made some circles. each one a bit smaller than the last one. then I cut out a bit where I would join them.

Then I used some duct tape to join them.

I forgot to take a picture of the layout before felting but here it is when I was about to cut it open and remove the resist.

Here it is finished. My husband’s and grandson’s first words were that it looked like a snowman, specifically Olof from Frozen. It looks a little better against the colourfull background.

It wasn’t a bad first go. I would make the balls smaller next time. Also, the bowls need to be wider and flatter by comparison to the balls. I would start early to make the bowls flatter and wider. Also, I am not happy with my colour choice. I think a solid colour might be better.

And now for the cuteness

These are the bottle lambs. Some got cold and didn’t go back some had other problems. on of a set of 4 had a strange leg that is now much better and not causing him problems but of course, it’s too late to go back to mom now. The white one my husband is holding is called Prince Ali, named by my granddaughter. The lambs are having a bigger pen made for them as I type.

 

First Time Felting, A Book Review

I was recently asked If I would like to review the new book First Time Felting. The Absolute Beginner’s Guild. It is a new book from Quarry Books by Ruth Lane. @QuartoCreates.

This is a great book for those just starting out Needle felting. It is clear and easy to follow with lots of pictures. There is information in equipment and fibres both wool and the extra embellishment fibres. The process of sculpting in 3D using wool is explained using a number of techniques and how to combine them.   I would say two-thirds of the book is dedicated to needle felting and one third to wet and nuno felting. So if you are primarily interested in needle felting but curios about wet felting it is a nice quick introduction to that side of the craft.  Just to wet your curiosity.

 

Dog Hair Felting

This is a throw back post I thought you might enjoy because there have been a few people asking on Facebook about felting with dog hair. Just like sheep there are different kinds of dog hair and even the top coat and undercoat on every dog so you need to do a test piece for every new breed.

Recently I was asked to make something out of dog hair in memory of the dog it came from. Originally the woman asked a friend of mine to spin the dog hair so it could be woven into something. The hair was to short for that so she suggested talking to me. I wasn’t sure about doing it but she was so emotional I said I would give it a try. She had a large bag of hair that was quite short. The problem was she wanted me to use as little wool as possible and not to blend it. From My dog grooming days I knew this kind of curly coated small mixed breed dog felted their hair while wearing it so I was hoping it would do it here too. I laid out a base of wool and then add a thick layer of dog curls to the top. I made a sample that turned out quite well, I showed her and she agreed to me making a pillow and stuffing it with the remaining hair.

Here is one corner as I started to add the dog hair. You can see the blob of hair I am working from.

 

Starting to add dog fur

 

Here is the finished pillow.

and a close up of the texture.

The only problem with this felt is it sheds a lot. With the dog hair being so short, the really short straight dog hair sheds out very easily. Fortunately she will not be using it as a pillow but putting it a way to remember him.

 

First Quarter Challenge Done.

Yay, I got it done in the first quarter. I didn’t seem to be able to do that last year. So let’s hope this is a good sign.
You can see the beginning of this here: https://feltingandfiberstudio.com/2019/03/03/landscape-in-progress-1st-quarter-challenge/
I have slowly worked on it mostly at My guilds Social nights.

I needed to put “wire” on my fence posts so I spun a thin grey single. I took it right off the spindle and onto the fence posts.

I wanted some bullrushes mostly just because I like them.

I really liked them but once I added some sheep they looked much too small for where they were.

I really liked them but I took them off

Next, I added the wool to the sheep and some rocks for interest. Also some shadows so my sheep are not hovering.

I took my piece to the guild social and use one of Jans windows. This one has a 5×7 cutout. The picture is about 6×8 naturally. I tried it in different positions on the picture.

We decided to make a new mat. Jan cut it out of a piece of bristol board. She used to be a framer in your younger days.

Here is what it looks like. I am not sure about the frame but that can be changed.

The glass gives great reflections

I think a black frame but I don’t know about the mat. Now I will Wait for Lyn to give us the next quarters challenge.

The Hat is Finished

So this week I managed to finished the hat in my last post.

I left you with this picture:

Next I covered it and rubbed it for a while. then rolled it up and into the dryer with no heat for 10 min. while I was waiting for that I started to lay out another hat. After the first tumble I took the hat out flipped and rotated it and rolled it up again. you can see the other hat I am working on under the bundle.

After a few turns in the dryer I cut the hat open and shifted it so I would not be felting in the seam crease.

I continued to roll it in the dryer shifting the hat on the resist each time. Once is had shrunk some, I continued to full it by hand. This is what it looked like still wet and in need of a rinse.

and this is after it has been rinsed reblocked and dry. not really much different. the close up picture is a truer picture colour wise. it is a light silvery grey with pink and grey accents.

I like it, it is simple but interesting. I think I will leave this one the way it is. the next on in this style may be more embellishment after there fact. I need to dye more silk hankies.

A new hat started and why it isn’t finished

This week I decided to try a new style of hat. As it’s the first one and I don’t know if it will work I am making it fairly plain.

To save time I started with a template I already had. I traced around it so I would have the nice round part in the right size all ready to add the new part.

 

This is the final shape.

Next, I added some silk from silk hankies. The hankies are gray and pink. I stretched the hankies out long so I could wrap them around. They are hard to see, you can see them sticking out the sides.

After I wrapped the first side around, I added another hanky going the other way as well.

Here is how it looks with the first side of wool wrapped around.

And lastly where I had to stop. On the outside of the hat, I added more of the gray and pink hankies. They are very hard to see, on the wet felt they pretty much disappear. I am hoping the pink and gray on the light gray wool will make it shine nicely. It is a very conservative hat but this is a government town so that would work ok.

And here are some of the reasons I haven’t got back to it yet.

The red light is a heat lamp. It has moved to another pen now. They just needed it the first night as it was very cold. These 2 moms and babies are not much trouble but these three below take a lot more work. It is not a great picture but to get a picture of them not moving, standing in front of one another or showing the camera their tails is quite difficult.

Landscape in Progress (1st quarter challenge)

I have been slowly working on the 1st quarter challenge on the Felting and Fiber Studio.

I started with a piece of white prefelt to work on. Starting at the back I adding the sky and the mountains. The mountains are prefelt as well.

Next I added the grass, clouds and water. This is where the water isn’t blue comment comes form, on one of my other posts. Mostly at this point everything is just a place marker to be added to after wet felting.

So the first thing to do after wet felting it was to rip the water off. It looks better white than it did blue.

I set about fixing the water using some brown, grey, neppy Romney wool I had. I also added some silk noil to give it more shine and rocks.

I used the same Romney for the Mountains too.

After fiddling with the mountains it was time to add the fence. To get the placement right I used a piece of yarn to mark the path.

And here we are at the present. I added the posts. I need to spin some quit dark grey yarn very thin or possibly I will use some sewing thread. I have not decided yet.

Are you working on a piece for the first quarter challenge?

Silk Yarn Dying

This week I decided to do some yarn dyeing. I bought some ends of cones someone brought in to the guild. They are perfect for me as I don’t need large amounts of any yarn.

I couldn’t find my niddy noddy so I just wrapped the silk around a plastic box of curls. This is the largest cone I got. There was only one so I guess that’s why no on else wanted it. It is quite fine and it is a single yarn. I liked it because has little nubby bits. The other cones I got were almost empty.

I did 3 kinds of silk or at least I hoping the other two were silk. More on that farther down.

You can see the other tow yarns in this close up; there is one with slubs and one that is super shiny and has little loops.

I planned to use MX or fiber reactive dye for these. I wanted to do them with more than one colour so I soaked them in a soda ash bath. I was surprised at how dirty they were.

Next I made up small amounts of dye and dipped the yarn into them.

I made sure they were wall soaked in the dye then squeezing the excess out with a gloved hand. Then they are places on some plastic wrap them up.

They need to sit a couple of hours before rinsing. Two of the ones with purple on them took a lot more rinsing, one of the silk noil and one of the shiny ones. Not sure why.

This is the silk noil. The grey areas were turquoise. I am assuming it is grey because of the original colour of the yarn. You can also see it got some twist energy back and has little twists now. this is the one from the first picture. The other two were very white.

This is the one with the slubs. I was not sure this was all silk. I think that one of the ply’s is not silk. It must be a cellulose fiber but it did not take the dye quite the same. The fluffy slubs are definitely paler.

This is the last one. I really like the lavender that happened because I forgot to wipe the purple off my gloves before squeezing the excess dye out the turquoise part.

Last night with the help of guild friends I put them all into center pull balls.

All in all a very satisfying dye session. I am sure they will look very nice on some felt. I may use some of the silk noil to ply with something else. I am not sure I will have to see.