Monday, December 12, 2016

Ramp up production

I was at the shop in Jordan Village, and they were almost sold out of my scarves, so the last two days I have been felting non stop, and have whipped up another 12 scarves!
 So no time to photo or post much, but here is a shot of one of my coats, hanging on the cool mirror at Pamela's in Jordan Village.  Stop by if you visit the Niagara Area of Ontario.  What a lovely friendly little village.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

photos: Nuno felt fashion

Here are a few photos of my wearable art as they entertain at a fashion show!
The first is a nuno felt long vest.  Red silk base with lots of black merino and details.

 The second is a winter coat, burgundy and black, with pockets and huge lapel.
 The third was the finale of the show (a weavers and spinners and fibre show).  It is my butterfly coat.  A young man chose to wear this and "flew" around the room.  It was hard to capture a photo, but I added my own modelling photo at the end.

 It is very big and makes quite an impact!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016


For those who are close to the Niagara Region, I am hosting a few workshops in 2017.
The January ones will be Sunday Jan 8, and Sunday Jan 29.  Both from 1 - 4:30pm.

Any interested in attending workshops can contact me through my email at the right (contact info).
Here's some random photos of previous workshops....

Sunday, November 27, 2016

photos for inspiration

Scarves, felted monster, dryer balls....   Does that not make you want to put your hands in soapy water?

Friday, November 25, 2016

Black Friday Event

I am having my first Black Friday Sale on my Etsy site!  All my Felt Items  (except the custom made coats) are up for at least 25% off, and for a very limited time I have posted my KNIT SAMPLES from this blog, up for the cost of the yarn only!

Here is your chance to love the items, and just buy it already finished.

So please pop over using THIS LINK, or the photo of the butterfly coat in the upper right corner.  Contact me there if you have further questions.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

felting tutorial: wet felt mittens

I have never tried to make mittens before, so here goes a detailed tutorial of how I did it!
First, I measured my hand, then made a pattern that is about 50% wider and longer than the finished mitten should be.

 I also made a larger thumb.
 I transferred these to two sets of resist material.  I use an inexpensive foam carpet underpad material (from a big roll that I picked up at Home Depot).  Note the thumbs are taped into place, making one right handed and the other left.
Then I laid these two on a plastic wrap.  Covered them in two directions with a layer of Merino and silk blend roving from The Fibre Garden.  Note at this point the thumb is pointed up so that all the rest can be covered.
Then I wet down the space where the thumb will lie (the top half of the mitten), then covered the area in a small piece of plastic.
Then two layers (opposite directions) of roving were placed over the plastic wrap to cover one side of the thumb.

I pushed the thumb down over those layers, and wrapped the overhanging roving back onto the thumb.  Then I added more roving to completely cover the thumb.  Wet down the whole mitten on this side, and cover with plastic.
Flipping it over, I pulled the overlap to this side,
Then covered and decorated the "back" of the mittens
After wetting that side and covering with plastic, I flipped it once again to the palm side.  I wrapped the excess overlap back to the palm side, then checked the thumb. The gap was covered with a bit more merino roving....
Then the plastic replaced that separates the thumb from the fingers (really important or the thumb will be glued to the top of the mitten!
Then the wet mittens were tumbled and worked until they were well fused, but still too big for my hands.  I then spent about 10 minutes with a hot soapy bucket, rubbing and mushing and throwing them about until they were a perfect fit.  You want to watch this stage and keep trying them on, as they can get too small quickly!

Let them dry and voila!  Warm and interesting mittens.  Not bad for a first pair.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

felting tutorial: bobbles, and prefelts

In this scarf, I will add details using prefelt, and bobbles.  Prefelt is a layer of felted wool, often with silk fabric or decorations already attached, and felted just to the point that the base wool is compressed and started to migrate into the top layers.  It will still continue to felt further into whatever is is attached to.  In this case, the prefelt is black merino base, with a black patterned silk chiffon attached on the top.  The prefelt is made in a large piece, and when dried, it can be cut into shapes that will mostly maintain even through the further felting processes.  Here I have cut circles.

I am using a lovely cotton sari.  Slightly sheer, so the wool should migrate well through the fabric.  I start by placing the wool roving, a blend of burgundy and grey and a touch of white silk, over all the raw edges.  And a few bands of roving to place the decorative touches over.

 Here is the (rough) circle of prefelt.
 Circles and yarn and more silk laid over the bands of merino.
 The prefelt needs no more than a bed of merino to attach it nicely to the base fabric.  On the other side, add merino to the same spots where the bands are on the front side.

This piece was then wet with cold soapy water and rolled up and worked until a firm state, but NOT until the shrinking has begun.  This is when you may add the texture that bobbles bring.   Gather some fine yarn and some beads or pebbles or marbles.
 Slide the bead behind the fabric (only within the wool band) and push it up into the front side.  Pinch it in your fingers as below.
 Wrap some yarn around the bead to hold it in place, and tie firmly.
 I added about 25 of these to random spots within the wool bands.  Cover again with plastic and continue to work the scarf through the remaining felting and fulling steps.

 After the scarf is rinsed and dried, you will need to cut the yarn around the bobble, and push the beads out the back.  The shape will remain even after the beads are gone.

And a lovely wool, cotton, bobbley scarf is the result!

Saturday, November 19, 2016

felting tutorial: joining pieces of silk fabric together using merino wool.

How to nuno felt several small pieces of silk into one scarf?  I do this a lot to use up smaller pieces of sheer silk (from vintage silk saris).  It is easy to fuse the sections together, then decorate the scarf with coordinating bits of sari and other fibres.
Below you see three pieces of silk, lying on my table.

 I first put some sheer whisps of blue roving along (and over) the first edge to be joined.
 Then below you see that I have overlapped the light blue silk over the dark silk fabric.  Overlap by about 1.5 inches, then lay another line of light whisps of roving, over the edge of the light silk onto the dark silk.
 Do the same at the next join.  You see that the last dark silk piece is a bit smaller.  No worries, it is fun to play with the negative space.  The thing to remember with joining the separate silk fabrics is to have a layer of wool roving between and on top.  This will cause the wool to migrate through the layers and fuse with the wool on the other side, creating a solid fabric, that will not allow the seam to come undone.  You will add more roving to the flip side, effectively making a wool/ silk/ wool/ silk/ wool "sandwich".
 Add some pencil thin roving in a bit of a lattice pattern to the negative space....
 Then add a few tails to finish this end.
 In the middle of the large, light colour silk, place an "island" of fine merino, and on top of that a sliver of the dark silk.  Cover with VERY thin whisps of merino roving.  This introduces some of the end colour fabric into the center.
 A few tails of the light colour silk at the other end, layered with very fine whisps of merino, and some silk fibre and mohair yarn.
 A few circles of merino roving, and some added silk, and ramie fibres in green, and aqua and purple.
After wetting and covering with plastic, flip it over, and cover the seams one more time with fine merino roving.  Decorate just a bit on this side.
Finish with rubbing, rolling, hot and cold water.... more in future tutorials about this!

And here is the dried scarf.  The seams where I joined the different fabric are now solid, and  the details tie it all together.
 Close up of the seam between dark and light silk.