Thursday, May 23, 2013

Felting Part 2

I was eager to try my luck at making wearables and accessories for the home using some of the techniques learnt the first few days of the course.
So, feeling adventurous, I laid out a piece of silk gauze on the table and started to add layers of wool top and some pencil roving with high hopes of producing something that would look and feel like a scarf.
Wetting the fibers with a gentle spray of warm soapy water and gently rubbing till things stared to felt together. Eventually, the wool fibres will work their way thru the silk as well.

 Gentle rubbing is required so that things don't move too much and that the design stays in place.

The results are not perfect. I have ideas on how to improve on the next one. But it was a fun learning experience.
Next was a more open weave scarf done with pink alpaca fibre and some leftover yarns. More learning, more plans to improve next time. 

It's a bit crazy and not meant for warmth but as daughter says, it's more like a piece of jewelry than anything else. 
Next, was a vessel.
 Alpaca and Corriedale fibre were laid on both sides of a circle cut out of thick plastic. 
Some mohair locks were added.

The mohair took quite a lot of time to felt and I had to needle felt some parts once the piece was dry.

A circle was cut off-center on one side, the plastic circle (resist) was taken out, and the vessel was shaped as it was fulled even more.

Extra locks of mohair were needle felted in place.

I love the resulting vessel! It can be used to drop off your keys at the front door or for jewelry by your bedside.

I returned home on Friday evening and got back at it on Saturday morning.
Made with a merino silk blend top I had.
I love the wrinkles that show up with the silk.

I think this piece will need a bit of embellishement (more on that in another post),
a few beads most likely.

Made with red corriedale with wool roving in shades of blue, purple and red.

 You can see where I placed an elastic to pinch the top of the pot till it dried. I think I would like to add a nice thick hand spun yarn or maybe a felted rope in that spot.

A little pinwheel in the inside.

And the pièce de résistance (as far as I'm concerned)!

This is my favorite one. It's thick, it's sturdy. The shape is great. I added a layer of silk mawata to the bottom and it adds those wispy white fibres along the sides.

So. much. fun.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

I'm back!

Well, I have not been so great at keeping you posted, have I?!!!
I have had the best week of my creative life in Haliburton.
My friend and I have both said that we will certainly make this kind of get-away an annual thing...maybe even twice a year...why not!
The Haliburton School of the Arts is an off site campus of the Fleming college located in the Haliburton Highlands.
The course took us from the art of felting to embellishing with embroidery, beads quilting and so much more.
The group was small and we all worked very hard and passionately on every piece we tackled. I left feeling so motivated, inspired and ready to create.
I am watching over my two little grandchildren for the next 7 weeks because my daughter's maternity leave is over! When I come home at 5, I'm out of energy to start felting.
So, the ideas are simmering away in my head and as soon as school is done and daughter is on holidays and I am back in my studio, I'll be back at it in full force.
In the meantime I'm enjoying the wet kisses and hugs from the little ones.
But I can show you some pictures of a few things I made.
First day was to make landscape felted panel.
This picture shows the fibre layed out before wetting and felting stage.
 I did not continue to document the process...but this is what it looks like now.
A bit of embroidery has been added. More will be added, maybe some beads too.
This is not yet completed but you get the idea.
Just experimenting with colour and pencil roving...not too crazy about the colours and this piece does not speak to me at it a learning piece.
A merino silk blend roving gives a wonderful effect. The silk seems to just float and create wisps of softness and texture. It does take more work to felt it so beware! 
I have no idea how this piece will be used but Maggie (the teacher) uses pieces like this and creates wonderful wall art and adds quilting and some needle felting.
Pieces of burlap make an interesting background to felt upon.
Night sky over water
Small rocks were placed between layers of wool. Once the piece was partically felted, the rocks were removed by cutting a small bit of felt and the felting and fulling continued.
I was on a night sky kind of mood all week and this piece also has dark sky, water and large moon. It's been tacked to a hand dyed piece of cotton and batting and will be quilted by machine one day.

Next time, I will share the scarves and vessels that I made.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Hollywood Legends

Since my last post, I was determined to find a shawl pattern to cast on
as soon as the socks were off the needles.
I was doing some 'window shopping' on the pattern page of Ravelry and
the Lana shawl caught my eye.
The designer is Paulina Popiolek, a favorite of mine.
I've knitted Cameo last summer from Paulina's designs.
Looking closer at Lana, I realized that it's part of a collection of three shawls named after Hollywood Legends. The two other shawls, Ida and Ava, are equally as beautiful.
The price is reduced if you buy all three of them during the month of why not!
I could not have decided which one I prefered anyway.
So, (ahem), the socks are not done but Lana is on the needles.
The socks will get done along with the shawl.
The car is all packed up and I'm leaving shortly for a week of fun learning with Maggie Vanderweit.
Here is what her profile says on the school's website

Maggie Vanderweit

Haliburton School of The Arts

Maggie Vanderweit has been sewing since childhood and quilting for over 30 years. She operates her textile art business from her studio in Fergus. Her work is in private collections around the world, in public buildings in Ontario, and has been exhibited in galleries and museums across Canada. It includes original wall-hangings created with her own painted fabrics, silk fusion, felt, hand embroidery, beading and densely machine quilted surfaces. Maggie presents lectures and classes for guilds, schools, art colleges, shops, the CQA, including One of a Kind and national needlework shows. She sells her original textile art at major exhibitions and from her studio. Maggie is a member of Connections.

Friday, May 3, 2013


Sometimes life is like a raging river and all you can do is hang on
knowing and trusting that calm waters are ahead.
Thank goodness for knitting to help me get thru!
Just mindless knitting to keep my hands busy.

But before I show you those projects I must tell you about this one first.
Last week, my grand daughter told me all about losing the spring hat I had made her last year when she went to the store with her mother.
She was quite sad about it and asked if I could make her another.
To the stash I went to look for some coton yarn. Turns out I still had some of the yarn I had used last year and I decided to use it to make her a different hat.
I like to crochet spring and summer hats instead of knitting them. They just seems to be lighter.

Her only request was that the hat have a flower on it. The brim can be down or rolled up. It's quite cute on her. Details here.

Now for the mindless knitting.

It all started with a pair of Burning stripes socks.
I had two balls of Zauberball waiting to be made into a pair of these socks.
But I ended up knitting more than one pair.
You see, the first two socks did not match very well. One was very dark while the other one was quite light. I don't have a problem with fraternal twin socks as long as they look like fraternal twins.
Hubby and I agreed that the first two socks were more like step-brothers ;-)
Since I had lots of yarn leftover, I decided to knit another pair. Turns out that sock 1 and 3 are perfect together and that sock 2 and 4 are perfect together. I'm much happier now! And I have two pair of socks that I love.

I know I will make this pattern again with regular sock yarn.

This lead to more sock knitting.
Just plain socks with self striping yarn.

Then on to another pair.
The heel I use is Cat Bordhi's Sweet Tomato Heel. It fits very well and I use it often now. You can find her tutorial on youtube.

When this pair is completed, I think I'm done with sock knitting for a while.
I need something else now.
Maybe a shawl or another cardigan, a light one for summer.

But before that, I'm off for a very special week.
I'm taking a week long felting course at the Haliburton school of the Arts.
Leaving on Sunday with a friend.