Tiger Tiger

February 26, 2016 § Leave a comment

Ever since I started making hats, I have wanted to make a tiger hat. Tigers are beautiful, striking animals, and I think one would look good in felt

So today I made the base of a tiger hat!

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Still needs ears of course. I managed to take some photos of the process this time too!

Like all my hats, it began with a flat resist made from thin packing foam

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The first thing I did was lay wool around the edge of the resist, so that it overlapped with the edge.

Then I lay down the first layer of wool. The overlapped edges were then folder into the other side of the resist. I then repeated that process until I had built up three layers on each side. Each layer was sprinkled with soapy water and then rubbed with bubble wrap so that the wool lay flat.

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On the third layer of wool on each side I put a layer of tiger colours – all hand dyed with food colouring! I dyed the wool last night in my kitchen.

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The last thing I did was add the stripes, and then I rolled the whole thing in bubble wrap for a long time, removed the resist and then shaped it into a head shape!

It was a lot of hard physical work, and made more work for myself than necessary by using a different breed of wool for the inside layer.

Most of the hat is made from Oxford Down, but I realised I did not have enough to complete the whole thing. So I put a layer of blue texel in the middle. The Oxford Down felted much faster and better than the blue texel, and there was a moment when I thought the whole thing might fall apart.

I managed to save it with a lot of vigorous felting, but I would warn anyone else making hats this way to avoid mixing your wools unless you really know what you are doing! It was very nearly a disaster!

Crisis averted though, it actually turned out very well!

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I will put ears on once it is dry. I am also going to add a button, so it can be buttoned up at the front. I remember to add a button during the wet felting process!

It may actually turn out to be my favourite hat so far!

Warm hats…

February 19, 2016 § Leave a comment

… For cold weather!

It’s February, and February is cold and miserable because everyone is just waiting for spring.

One good thing about cold weather is hats. I’ve made a few simple hoods with animal ears, which are nice and warm for the winter!

I’m trying to only use hand processed fleece for my hats, and I managed it with these two.

The first is made of the blue texel I was washing in my last post.

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It was supposed to be a wolf, but the ears came out a bit big. Still, its fun and warm. I managed to attach the ears entirely with needle felting, which is nice!

The next is made from some charollais and Shetland, and has more manageable ears.

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I don’t usually take photos of myself, but I’m not sure how else to photograph a hat when no one else is around. I suppose one of my cats could wear it!

Both hats are for sale in my etsy shop if you fancy one of your own!

I’m thinking a tiger hat might be fun for my next project.

The only time I clean the bathroom…

February 4, 2016 § 2 Comments

…Is when I wash fleece.

I have bag loads of raw fleece in the shed. I haven’t really been washing much because its cold and rainy and I have nowhere to dry the stuff. But recently I have been throwing caution to the wind, because for the projects I want to work on, I just need more wool! And I want to use wool I have processed myself because I think that is better.

Today I washed some blue texel. Its a beauty of a fleece, so many different colours – shades of grey and brown. I washed it in the bath and bathroom sink, and made a horrible smelly mess which forced me to clean the bathroom (it needed it before I washed the fleece).

It felt like I was making blue texel soup!

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The fleece is now drying in our spare room. Hopefully the cats won’t eat it. They were far too interested!

When its dry I shall card it and make something, I don’t know what yet, but I’m sure it will be something unexpected.

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Like this fellow, guarding a box of cleaned and carded black shetland in my studio!

Procrastination is an Art.

February 3, 2016 § Leave a comment

I don’t know if I mentioned, but I’m doing a Masters. I am currently trying to write my final dissertation type thing (its not officially a dissertation, but something like that)

Its a Masters in Theatre Design, so I am reading lots of books about theatre design etc. I am also procrastinating a lot in many different ways.

Felting is one of those ways, I am also writing a novel…

The dissertation is getting written slowly but surely, and the washing up and cleaning is also getting done more than usual!

This week I have been making felt badges. I’m making animal-head ones as I haven’t made any of them in a while and they are fun and simple to do.

Have a look for yourself!

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I am also planning on making a leopard, another tiger and lots of other lovely animals!

All will be available soon in some form or other in my etsy shop.

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