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.
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.
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
Most of my inspiration comes from the natural world, our garden and the surrounding beauty of Western Canada. We are fortunate to live near the ocean which can be a place of great serenity and chaos. I love colour and texture.
Knitting for me is a kind of meditative therapy that enables me to quiet my mind and explore my creative abilities. No matter what happens creatively, I feel a little magic comes into each design. I make every effort to create earth-friendly items for my shop. I like to use re-purposed, gently loved t-shirts and re-cycled natural and sustainable materials wherever possible in my work.
My favourite yarn is wool of any weight depending on the project. One day I hope to learn to spin and weave.
Today was a day not unlike any other. I had plans to work on my pouches and purses, as I told my SIL in the UK that I would. Believe me, I have to get busy but the sun was shining and I thought I would take advantage of the good light and take some photographs.
I have recently purchased some beautiful silk ribbons from a company called Treenway Silks here in B.C. The colours are divine. I would have liked to have had one of every colour but alas I must be careful with the budget. I took some great pictures and then one thing lead to another and I was photographing all kinds of different things that just happen to be on my table to-day. I really did tidy up last week but it certainly doesn’t look that way around here.
Yes, I was completely side tracked and looked longingly into the garden and not much actual work was being done. I daresay a lot was going on in my creative mind but the needle was not in my hand being busy so I gave myself a little talking to; you know the one “Get on, must do more work” etc, etc!
It must have worked because I have completed my felted fish purse now and have to say I had lots of fun making it. I even love how the shape of the pouch, when opened, is fish-like. The zipper pull looks like a tail fin – not planned, just a happy accident.
I am currently working on some new designs and hope to have lots to show you in a week or two. I have chosen some lovely felted fabrics and will be using more recycled items as I go along. I plan to keep knitting and felting as well but will make just change purses lined and unlined with minimal embroidery.
So to-day I will leave you with a great quote: The winds of grace are always blowing but you have to raise the sail.