Monday, May 23, 2011

Busy time around the Shanty

Finally got around to making a hat! I love this pattern. About 5 years ago, while I was at the Midwest Felting Symposium taking a classes from Judit Pocs, I developed a severe migraine. Ruth Walker went into the class in my place. She designed the pattern and over the next two days, we made this style hat. Truth be told, Ruth did most of the work. One day I was not even there, and the second day I was mostly "post-migraine". I think I've shared this pattern with most of my felting friends in Michigan. It is fun to make and most folks wear it well. It's been sooooo long since I've made a hat. Just felt good to make one again.

In a few hours I leave for a 4 day work shop in Wisc. where I'll be teaching nuno felt, bird pods, rug stomp, and vessels. I've been packing most of the day and trying to get some last minute dyeing done. Sometimes, great work can come out of time pressures. These silk scarves turned out so interesting. I think the participants in the workshops will have great fun with them. There were many color splits that occurred and that adds another element of interest to the silk.

There is still a good bit of packing to get done plus a load or two of laundry before I head out. I hope I can sleep tonight. I'm so looking forward to seeing my friends in Wisc. I hope that when I get home, there will be wonderful photos to share with you.

The bouquet is packed and ready to go. I am sharing one last photo, mostly because I am going to miss having her around the house. I'll probably never do another.

Happy felting and Shalom

Monday, May 16, 2011

Holly's Wedding Bouquet

Finally, here it is. I have to make a few tweaks, but for the most part, Holly's wedding bouquet is completed. My prayer is that she likes it and that their marriage is filled with loving and good memories.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Sister Pods!

Char and Sharon spent Thursday with me making felt pods. Char raises the most amazing Cormo sheep with incredible fleeces. They used the cormo for their first two layers, then began to apply the Llama and other fibers to the outer layers. I think their results are spectacular. What do you think?

Have a blessed weekend.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Mama Pod

My beloved mother returned home from her 6 month stay in sunny FLA. On her way home, she stopped here to spend three incredible days with me and Jim. It was a precious time together. We walked a lot, worked in the woods clearing dead wood, started a fire...that almost got out of control and made felt together. This is her first pod. It is made out of llama fiber. She is totally impressed with herself and I love what she did with the fibers! She is a "birder" too, so I'll be anxious to hear about who nests in her pod.
Yeah Mom! Nicely done.
Just thought I'd share it with you all here too.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Felting, Dyeing, Spinning,...OH MY!

What a day! Kelly (shown below with her new works of art) spent the day with me, felting, dyeing, eating, talking, laughing, and learning form each other.

I'd started the llama pod for an upcoming class that I'll be facilitating in Cedar Grove, WI the end of the month. I needed to make a couple of samples because the class will be using raw llama fibers. I'm accustom to raw wool, but llama does felt differently and I needed to practice. The llama felted bird pod is the finished results and will be sent off to Wisconsin Sunday. The birds were checking it out already this morning. I am concerned because the llama is such a soft felt even when felted hard. It is also not as water resistant as wool is. I may have to put a water resistant stiffener on the outside of the pod. Any thoughts on that? Got ideas?

I made this wrap this week and then decided to over dye it in hot fuchsia and purple. Love how the colors melded and played with each other. I was going to keep it for myself, but Kelly purchased it. She wears it well.

Kelly asked for private felting classes and this is the results of her wonderful labors. Love what she did.

Jone stopped by for a quick spinning lesson. I think she'll produce the lovely lumpy, bumpy yarns that she so wants to add to her incredible felts. She took my wheel home with her to practice. She is going to love spinning her own funky yarns.

Have to get ready for dinner plans and my mom arriving in town for an extended stay. It will be so good to have her here.

Happy felting and Shalom,

Monday, May 2, 2011

Color Morphing

While on my Felt Play Retreat with Pam MacGregor, she showed me how she pulls color from fiber. Trust me when I say I am not following her instructions well. I can however tell you what I did, and hopefully these photos will help explain as well.

First off, I'd made these fingerless mitts in lime green, then did an over dye with violet in a random wrapped form.

After that, I threw them into a dye pot of a raspberry colored dye and let them "cook" for about an hour.

Rinsed them thoroughly and then did a fan fold on them in a rather random fashion, then bound them into place with heavy string.


Prepared un-dye bath with RIT Color Remover, very hot solution, one full packet. (I actually could have used less but wanted to be sure that it was going to work. I think this is something that I "get better" as I move along in the process.)

Placed bound mitts into hot bath and stay close by. Color can come out very fast, so it must be closely monitored. Have tongs close by to pull out of the dye bath when the color agrees with you.

Rinse thoroughly, untie and see what you got.

If you like it, great. Maybe you'll want to tie it up in a different fashion and place it back into the un-dye bath. Maybe you'll want to re-dye and start over.

The questions have been asked about what kind of dyes I use, so I'll address that. I use whatever I can get my hands on, sometimes food coloring, along with Jacquard, Country Classics, Dharma, truly, whatever I find. I also mix them together without much concern for how it turns out. This is play...the fun is the adventure of what will happen. I have no specific goal in mind other than discovery.

I hope this is helpful. I also hope that if you have questions about how I do something that you'll feel free to ask it. I write this blog to inspire others to try it, and to hopefully show you enough of my flops and successes to encourage new felters to keep trying, keep pushing yourself. I've been making felt for 10 + years and make mistakes all the time. I've learned to turn them into "design elements" or I've released them to someone else who can see something I cannot. It's the journey that is joyous.

Enjoy your journey.

Did this help?


Sunday, May 1, 2011

Re-Dye, Over Dye, Un-dye

It is rewarding to discover and rediscover the dye pots. I'd been away from them for some time and decided to re-dye the piece I was playing with before. This piece was over dyed with olive and black, then wrapped, dye pulled out, then re-wrapped and more dye pulled out, then again, re-wrapped and more dye pulled out yet again. I think now I am very pleased with the results...and have many ideas bouncing around in my head because of it....but that is for another time.
The first photo is after the second dye over, the second photo is what I started with, which I'd played with previously.
Good Sabbath and Shalom,