March 10, 2016 § Leave a comment
I have a few wool related things I have been doing lately.
I have been needle felting, and dyeing and carding.
Today I carded wool for about four hours. I had several colours that I had dyed yesterday, and then a lot of undyed white.
I’m planning on making some kind of lizard hat, so this is in preparation for that.
Annoyingly, I’m not quite sure what breed of wool this is. It’s from the batch of for fleeces I got from a farmer in Devon. He said the sheep were Oxford down and mule, but I have used mule before and I thought it was coarser than this. And it didn’t seem the same as the other fleece I was using, which I assumed was Oxford down. But maybe I was wrong.
It’s lovely wool anyhow. Nice and soft. I shall do some experiments to see how well it wet felts, and then I shall make some hats out of it!
Here’s all my hand dyed wool. The orange already made the tiger hat, and I might make a leopard out of the yellow. Lots to do!
And then, following the experiment from my previous post, I decided to needle felt a face onto the strange thing I had created.
And this little monster was born. He’s amusing, but I’m not sure of his purpose right now. My cat seemed to like him though.
March 3, 2016 § 3 Comments
… But that doesn’t mean you should give up.
Today I made this –
This was an experiment that turned out well.
I had seen pictures of other people’s felt, where 3D parts had been added on during the wet felting process. How do they do that? I thought to myself. So I did an experiment.
The spikes I made separately, leaving little tufts at the end, which I attached to the main body before the whole thing was properly felted.
The first time I tried this it went terribly wrong
None of the spikes attached well, and the whole thing was a floppy shameful mess. However, I was determined that it would work, so I tried again.
In the second attempt I left longer tufts on the spikes, and rubbed the join with soap and bubble wrap before rolling the whole thing a lot.
And that time it worked! Woo!
I’m not sure if I will actually do anything with this. I wanted to test the method before using it in a hat, without wasting to much wool for experimenting, so I made something small first.
I may well turn it into a monster!
We shall see!
March 1, 2016 § Leave a comment
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!
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
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Like this fellow, guarding a box of cleaned and carded black shetland in my studio!
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!
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.