Category Archives: felting
I have recently had the pleasure of being able to take a nuno felting class with Fiona Duthie of Saltspring Island Vancouver . It was a tremendous learning experience and great fun. Fiona is a delightful woman who is always smiling, happy to help and guide you through the process. She has a lovely looking studio on Saltspring Island where she dyes her own wool and more check out her blog here: http://fionaduthie.blogspot.ca/
So with my new found knowledge I thought it was time I gave it a go. I had previously plant dyed and bundled a couple of wool scarves. One of which the colours were very strong, I had used small pieces of saffron and a little goes a LONG way. I decided to nuno felt both scarves together to make one long scarf/wrap. I used natural merino wool, 19 microns ( I think) very soft. I laid out the scarves and wool using all the skills that I could remember from the class….but guess what I laid out the scarves (which I cut by the way) with the hem facing out instead of in ….oh well next time…
I like the result but I think a little stitching would help bring it all together. I like the fact that the wool migrated through the scarf and muted some of the brightness. I will be making more I am sure….after all I need the practice.
Thanks for stopping by and have a lovely day.
Felted wool birds are the latest items in my repertoire. I am having lots of fun making them, I use Merino wool roving in a variety of different colours. Sometimes I add silk threads or maybe a little tussah which is a fine silk mixed with wool, it adds a lovely sheen to the item.
I also use some of my knitted UFO’s you know the ones …unfinished objects ! I felt them, then create a small wool bird from the felted fabric. I stuff some of them with polyester fibre fill and others I stuff with pure wool. Many of the wool coats and sweaters that I have purchased from the thrift stores make great birds, I even dye the fabric to make it more interesting.
What I love most about them is that no matter what I use to create them they all have their own character, sort of like our children. But I am not selling my children to-day ! Just wool felted birds. I do hope you will take a look at by bird family on etsy. More will be along soon.
Wishing you happy creating with love, remember Valentines Day is just around the corner and a little bird friendly company maybe the perfect gift.
My goodness what a lot of time has passed since my last (confession…) oops! blog post. I have an excuse, really I do …I have a new job and I am making regular money … so I don’t have as much time to felt, knit or blog. But I would like to share with you my upcoming craft fair date.
I have lots of new items this year as well as some favourites. I look forward to seeing you there and hope you have a lovely day browsing and buying handmade. You will find the most amazing array of crafty wonders with over 140 vendors and all in time for your Christmas shopping. Please come an introduce yourself at the Woolbrain booth.
November 26th Saturday 10am -5pm Dunbar Community Centre, Vancouver, British Columbia. Canada
I have been very busy wet felting the weather has been unseasonable warm and so I have been taking the perfect opportunity to wet felt outside. This really saves on clean up time! My latest work has been inspired once again by my natural surroundings, mostly our garden but also the gorgeous coastal areas of the wonderful Westcoast of North America, where I feel very fortunate to live.
I have been using different wools, this time I have been working with polwarth this is a mix of two well known breeds, Merino and Lincoln making for a very versatile and soft wool.
Other things in my life schedule have changed and I will not have has much time to felt and knit has I have had in this past year. So I am rushing on to fit in as much outdoor work as possible. I must make felt while the sun shines ! I hope you are having fun being creative.
I have been meaning to write about this wonderful book for weeks now but somehow time seems to get away on me perhaps it is the beautiful summer weather that has me lulled into a stupor!
The book is by Chrissie Day and Nicola Brown both very creative felting artists. There is lots to chose from here from basic flat felting to more detailed works including nuno felt, clothing, vessels and bags to name a few. The instructions are easy to follow and there are lovely photos showing the steps along the way plus many helpful hints and ideas. Each of these talented artists gives a little insight into their felting experiences and their inspiration with lovely photos of their home area. Both Chrissie and Nicola have on-line sites; Feltingfibres and Clasheen respectively.
I have wanted to wet felt for sometime now and have played around with different types of wool. As some of you may know I have even washed and picked some of my own fleece, which by the way I am having professionally carded as I write! I am very excited about having beautifully carded batts of Romney and Merino.
I have been busy making flat felt pieces plus a few vessels and now I have more ideas for felted jewellery. I love this book and the fact that it is a delightful size and fits easily in my bag for shopping and doesn’t take up lots of space on the felting table. All in all I think this is one of the nicest felting books on the market especially if you are just starting out on the grand adventure of wet felting.
So here we are my Earth Day slippers. I did not end up using the tie, it was not the look I wanted but I do think that the bias binding idea from old ties is a very workable option. I will work on it at a later date.
For now though I am working on some small eco friendly change purses. I am using small scraps of handmade, hand dyed fabrics using the string quilting process. I think they have turned out really well, I love the more muted tones. I believe this is from using plants such as madder,indigo and marigold. No matter which fabrics I put together they all look lovely. Such is the way of nature….I really must pay more attention to her !
Still cool and blustery here but I have at last managed to get my laundry to dry outside on the washing line, how I love that smell when I bring it in to the house nothing beats it for me.
Here is the project I am working on for this Earth Day Challenge, so far so good but I am not sure about the tie! I read an article in the latest Threads Magazine about using old ties for bias binding. I found this lovely greenish one at the local thrift shop. ( See in the previous post pics) I noticed it is made of silk so I am not sure how I will incorporate it into my design ….I am thinking over the exposed seams. Hope you are able to make something too.
As promised a little felting project, a lovely warm scarf or wall hanging. I love it when a project can be something other than your original thought. Hence the wall hanging idea for this …scarf ! Imagine if you will, a small piece of driftwood attached to one of the short ends of the scarf. Perfect to hang in one of those small spaces in your home a stairwell or hallway for example.
Anyway moving on with the felted scarf, I used a few different types of wool. Merino wool from Knitopia Wools for the base which was in dark and light shades of turquoise blues. The next layer was made up of Louet Karaoke Angelfish which is 50% wool and 50% soysilk in pale blue and lime green colours. (This can be viewed here: http://www.suzooswoolworks.com) and for the final layer I added some teal and chartreuse mohair locks from Aurelia Wool and Weaving.
All in all it took me about four hours to complete the project from start to finish. My arms ached from all the rolling back and forth but I love the end result. I already have another two projects on the go…felting with different types of wool and silk hankies. More to come for sure.
I basically draw out a shape on paper that I think will work for a felted purse, I sometimes cut out a cardboard copy of this if I think I will make more than one.
Then you need to find a sweater of your choice from the thrift store…go for 100% wool whenever possible they felt up a lot better than other types. Take this cool find to your washing machine and do all the things you have been told not to do to wash your wool sweater! Hot water, lots of soap and agitate! when you have done this rinse out the soap using cold water, spin and place in the drier…this should now be a few sizes smaller ! and felted. Once your sweater is felted you can cut open the seams, now you have your working fabric. Your decision as to where to place your pattern happens now. Choose a part of the design you like and see how it will look folded or turned the other way. When you are happy with your choice, cut out and hand sew the side seams. I use strong buttonhole thread which comes in a mass of different colours.
I use an easy envelope style flap on the front of the purse. This design lends it’s self to a few variations, make a point like a regular envelope, angle up to the left or right side and round out the point as seen in the pictures. I sew on a large snap closure making sure to sew a small piece of felt underneath each part of the snap. This gives stability to the closure. Decorate the top if desired, I used a knitted, crochet and felted flower with two wool leaves. You could use recycled buttons, embroidery, loops, lace or whatever comes to mind. Let your creative juices flow.
If you are unable to find a wool sweater try making a swatch from your many scrap pieces of yarn. The multi coloured purse with the gold coloured flower was actually a test swatch that I made to see if I could knit with two yarns. I knitted in a round and found that the join looked kind of nasty so I decided to felt it. After this I cut it open were the join was and TA DA! a lovely working fabric to design with. If you need to flatten it out, just use an iron on hot and steam for a few seconds.
I love the versatility of this project. I am sure that I will be making more. I hope you will give this a try and if it helps.. you are making an eco friendly project by saving sweaters from the land fill.
January 2011 More Knitting and Felting from Woolbrain
This year I would like to share a little more of how I make the things I
do so for my first item I have chosen my felted change purse. This, of
course, is not its only use as it can be used to carry an i Pod or cell
phone, cosmetics, knitting paraphernalia, guitar picks and strings or
woodwind instrument reeds. Perhaps the most popular item to place inside
is a gift card for a friend or colleague therefore giving two gifts in
one! Each purse can be personalized to suit the recipient.
How to make a knitted and felted purse with a zip closure.
The body of the purse is knitted either flat or in a round with a yarn
that is 100% wool that can be felted. The felting process is quite simple
and involves your washing machine and some laundry that needs a good hot
wash. I always place my felting items in an old pillow case and fasten the
end with an elastic band. Load the washing machine with the laundry and
filled pillowcase, don’t forget to add the soap and make sure it is on the hottest wash cycle then set the timer for ten minutes.
Using rubber gloves, remove the pillowcase and take out the purse to gauge
the felting. Some yarns take longer than others to felt so setting the
clock for ten minutes helps achieve a perfect piece. Experience will make
this task easier and quicker. The trick is to not make the purse too small
by leaving it in the hot water for too long!!
Once the felting is to your liking remove from the washing machine and let the washing cycle continue with the laundry. Rinse the purse in warm water and re-shape it as necessary.
Let it air dry on a flat surface, making sure it keeps its shape. Avoid a
rack or ridged surface as this can leave an imprint on the purse.
When the purse is dry, hand sew in a colour co-ordinated zip using two
strands of strong buttonhole thread. Now is the time to decorate the
outside, if you wish to do so. Choose a suitable cotton lining; I have
several fabric scraps from which to choose as only a small amount is
needed. Measure the purse and add about a quarter inch seam allowance plus
a little more for the top edge. This extra seam allowance allows the
fabric to stretch around the corners at each end of the zip. Cotton
fabric has a little give in it and so this works quite well however
t-shirt fabric works very well and because it has more stretch, does not
require the extra seam allowance at the top edge.
If you require an inside pocket, add this before sewing up the side seams.
A bottom seam can be avoided by folding the fabric along this edge thus
making a long rectangular shape. Adjust the lining to fit the purse and hand
stitch it in place, just above the zip stitching making sure that your
stitches do not show on the outside of your purse.
Ta Dah – your purse!
Although this picture shows the flowers on the table at this point they SHOULD be securely sewn to the outside of your purse.
I hope this helps those of you who would like to make your designer purses
for carrying small items from cell phones to jewellery. They are lots of
fun to make and give as gifts. Adding beads and trims will make each one a