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Hello everyone ๐Ÿ™‚

Well the daffodils are out, the clocks have gone back…it must be spring!!

Another part of spring is Mothers Day.ย  This year I made her a bouquet ofย  poseable felted flowers and a needle felted sheep.

Here are some pics:

View 1

View 1

View 2

View 2

View 3

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View 5

View 5

Ideally I would have taken pictures of each individual flower for my reference, and one of the sheep but oh well, I should be able to at the end of April when I’ll be staying with my Mum for Wonderwool ๐Ÿ™‚

The flowers were made in a variety of ways but have the same base structure. What I mean by this is that:

1. The stems were all created by making a cord/rope around some relatively tough craft wire which I have from my jewellery making. To be honest this was very tricky. I was able to make a nice tight rope and leave one ‘brush’ end dry (to attach the stem to the flower)ย  but the other end suffered because, despite being ‘folded’ so not pointy or sharp it kept poking through the non brush end and slipping down. I remedied this by needle felting when dry but it’s a technique I need to perfect.

2. The flowers consist of (with varying degrees of decoration using complimetary colours in different patterns):

i) Shaped single layer pieces of felt, some of which had we felted balls needle felted to the centre.

ii) Individually felted petals all with dry brush ends. These ends then felted together and into the brush end of the stem.

iii) Multiple layers of shaped (ie rounded etc) felt needle felted together (with or without wet felted ball attached with felting needle to the centre).

All the flowers were attached to stems by wet felting the brush end onto the flower. The flowers were laid face down onto my work space, and I held the stem vertically over the centre with one hand whilst felting and fulling with the other. When it was sufficiently well held together I gently turned the whole thing the right way up and rolled between my hands as I would for a cord near the end stages.

Conclusion:

This was an excellent experiment to do! I’m very pleased that I’ve managed to make a technique I conjured up myself (clever me ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) work this well. I would like to try using pipe cleaners instead of craft wire for the stems but they seem to be hard to find! I’m hoping this will help prevent the wool from slipping over the wire and allowing it to slip out of the supposedly enclosed end.

They do stand up on their own, despite being quite long. Yay! As well as being able to bend the stems, the petals are also poseable to a degree, so you can make the flowers look more or less open.ย  The opportunity to experiment so widely and freely with flower design and techniques was fanastic, I’ve loved making them since I started making felt and I’ve learnt some new techniques and tips for them.

I realise that it can often be difficult to understand written explanations unless you’re aware of the feltmaking processes so I will try my very best to photograph my projects as I go from step to step for anyone reading.

Finally, a belated wish to any Mother reading that she had a wonderful day on Mothering Sunday. You’re all wonderful ๐Ÿ™‚

I haven’t posted for a while, but I have done some playing.

I did a couple of experimental pieces – one using silk cocoons and using wensleydale differently and one where I trapped small squares of fabric, yarn, beads and feathers (the feathers didn’t work at all!). But they are for a different post really as I haven’t photographed them yet.
So on to the point…

Flower necklace

Close Up

Necklace Without Flower

Flower Brooch

The first rope I made was too small to fit over my head if I made it continuous, so I left it as a single length. Then I made a continuous rope that was big enough. It looked a bit plain and I wanted to make use of my earlier mistake so I felted it onto the second rope. The effect this gave was lovely I think – 1/3 of it is 1 stranded and 2/3 is 2 stranded. It’s something I might not have thought of if I hadn’t made the error. Felt, how I love you!

Then I made some individual layers for my flower. I think the wool was corriedale. I got them to pre-felt stage but they looked a bit boring so I added some whisps of white merino to about half of them. Towards the end of the process I started trying to give them a bit of shape. I also made a merino ball to use in the center to tie in with the colour of the necklace.
Then I needle felted the layers together. I worked at this for quite a long time to ensure it was strong and to give the petals a bit more shape. I also needle felted in the ball to the centre.
Next came sewing on a pin to the back. I eventually got this right after first sewing the wrong side of the pin down, d’oh!

The result: Flower necklace with detachable corsage. I love it ๐Ÿ™‚

I think I’ve mentioned my Mum’s knitted handbags a few times…well I’ve finally got round to taking some photos…

Noro Bag

Noro Bag

Noro Bag 2

Noro Bag 2

Noro Bag 3

Noro Bag 3

This is the bag my Mum is using as her handbag at the moment, and I have to say is definitely my favourite – it’s gorgeous! It was knitted in Noro Blossom yarn and has a felt lining, inside pockets and flower that I wet felted for her (with the exception of the center of the flower which is needle felted).ย  I was a bit annoyed as in my opinion I hadn’t felted my parts well enough, although she’s very happy with it. I will know for the future though.

Next up is the bucket bag which she knitted in pencil roving and then felted. It has a needle felted flower on the front but the colours on the photo aren’t truly representative (nor are those on the Noro bag pictures but they are much much better).

Bucket Bag

Bucket Bag

Bucket Bag 2

Bucket Bag 2

Flower Close Up

Flower Close Up

PLEASE NOTE THERE IS NOW A TUTORIAL FOR FELT SLIPPERS HERE: https://fortheloveoffelt.wordpress.com/2010/01/20/wet-felted-slipper-tutorial/

I’ve spent all night (and my back) on my latest project – new slippers for me ๐Ÿ™‚

They are made using dark purple merino tops and red and purple carded Finn. There are 7 or 8 layers. To be honest I lost count amid all the rubbing and rolling and laying.

I added a little purple silk top and orange/red Wensleydale to the final layer to add a bit of interest…watch this space for photos.

The day after I made the reversible wet felted bag I made a mobile phone case.

It was made using the same Corriedale tops as the handles in the bag. It was a beautiful blend of colours so has achieved a really nice effect. I felted it around a form but wanted it to be a bit ‘wobbly’ so made the bottom of the template curved.

Although I don’t believe it was necessary I felted the flap using the resist too. I only wanted it to be half the thickness of the rest of the case (in order that it would be flexible enough) so only laid half the amount of fibre.

Outside of phone case

Outside of phone case.

Phone with its case

Phone with its case - sturdy enough to prop the phone up with!

After the felt had dried I attached some pink and purple glass beads in a kind of star/flower pattern. I then added sequins with pink seed beads between the pink beads. It still needed something so I added a final sequin in the centre with a purple seed bead to hold it in place.

I then attached the popper. I didn’t go all the way through the felt. This was actually because the felt was so thick and rigid that I couldn’t turn it inside out to go all the way through. I’m glad that I did it this way and will continue to do so. My poppers always wear out way before whatever they’re holding together so I used a lot of stitches to secure them.

All in all, I like it and I think my phone does too!

I now have the promised photos of my latest felted items. The light quality isn’t great but I lost my patience and just couldn’t wait for some good weather!
Firstly, the bag! (See https://fortheloveoffelt.wordpress.com/2009/09/15/reversible-wet-felted-bag/).

Here are the handles from the Reversible Wet Felted Bag, before I’d corrected the badly felted twist.

Bag Handles

Bag handles before stitching

Here is the second part that didn’t turn out as expected, the 3 unsuccessful dots. Read the original post to find out why this happened.

Faint dots in top right of image.

Faint dots in top right of image.

Now for the more successful parts…

Dotty side of bag

Dotty side of bag

Purple side of bag

Purple side of bag

Dots as 'lining'

Dots as 'lining'

Purple side used as 'lining'

Purple side used as 'lining'

I wore it for the first time on Saturday with the dots on the outside. I was concerned that I should have put the knots of the handles on the outside so as to stay out of the way. It was fine though, and I had way more in the bag than in these pictures!

Today I’ve been busy working on my latest project of a wet felted bag. It is drying at the moment so I will upload pictures tomorrow hopefully.

I love the fact that felted bags are totally seamless. With this in mind, knowing that the only way to reinforce it would be to line it which I think would be quite tricky, I made sure it was very thick and very well felted. I have done a few other projects now so have got the feel for how thick I should make layers now. It is my first piece that is universally thick all over. Yay!

It is my first ever bag, and with that in mind I am very happy with it. I may have picked up some hints and tips for other beginner/progressing felt makers in the process though!

1. I tried making some prefelt handles in 2 different colours and then rolling them together to create a twist effect. The individual strands have felted nicely, however I think I must have felted them too much before rolling together as the 2 colours don’t want to felt together. No matter though, as I’m sure I can fix it with a bit of stitching. I will try to add photos of them at their current stage to show you what I mean.

I call it reversible as this was the idea, and I made a pattern on one side and plain colour on the other, so…

2. I hadn’t really thought it through properly and made the pattern on the ‘inside’ when making. This meant thatย ย ย  the dots that I added moved around more than I would have wanted. This does mean that they have a nice random appearance but have not kept the shape I would have liked. I would have been very happy with this though if I just wanted it as the lining pattern.

3. Also, 3 of the dots are not really that visible (I started to lay the block colour down before remembering I wanted dots so had to make spaces to fit them in – next time I’m forgetful at this first stage I’ll start again!)

I think I want to make a big felted flower to add to the bag. In fact, I think I will make 2 – one for each side. I plan to attach them to a brooch pin so I can remove/move them as I fancy.

It did take me hours and hours to get to this stage, but it’s worth it ๐Ÿ™‚ It really is a labour of love, this feltmaking business.

This is about half a year out of date but I’ve finally got my phone pictures onto the computer so thought I’d share one of my first felted pieces with you.

Here it is hanging in my Mum’s kitchen. The eggs were wet felted on a little sushi mat and then threaded with cotton and hung on a twig (forsythia if I remember correctly). I didn’t know how to contstuct a circle properly so tied it with some gardener’s wire!!!

Felted Easter Decoration

Felted Easter Decoration

Well, I’ve finally got round to finishing and photographing my latest project. I am pretty happy with it but would appreciate any comments/feedback as I am still learning.

Felted Tea Cosy

Felted Tea Cosy

It was made with merino tops using the wet felting technique and is 3 layers thick – the first ‘inside’ layer is white. For the flower I just wanted to see what the felt would do so layered 5 whispy petals and added a little lighter and darker purple to add interest.

Tea Cosy

A bit blurry

The handle is needle felted and has a flower detail on the top. The shape of the Cosy was inspired by a picture of gilliangladrag’s felted tea cosy kits from her website – the rest comes from my imagination.

Back of Tea Cosy

Back of Tea Cosy

I’ve learned from this project that I should check the placement of the wool more whilst rubbing but I think it can just about pass off as shabby chic (or something)! This is going to be a gift for my Mum who is the ultimate tea lover, I hope she likes it.

I was going to take some photos of the detail (handle and flower) and a decent one with the tea pot in frame but my kitten decided that she should be getting some attention and plonked herself in easy reach of the tasty wool after digging up the plant soil didn’t make me stop taking photos. What a silly lovely cat she is!

I should be in the photo!

I should be in the photo!

That’s all! Bye for now x

Hi!

I’ve started this blog so that I can document and share my creative ideas. I love felting – especially wet felting, although I have been doing various crafty things all my life. My parents are both very creative, my Mum is a wonderful knitter who has just begun to get much more adventurous which is very exciting to watch unfold. She is also an inspirational cook…I still have a lot to learn. My Dad is an inspiring artist and in a previous incarnation carpenter, to be honest I’m in awe of what he is able to produce. Would be good to see more come to think of it.

Anyway, they sent me to a Steiner school which really (I feel) contributed to a core grounding of good values and good, wholesome (!) pleasures. This school, a million times more than the state school I joined at 11 years old, really inspired me to learn, experience and develop.ย  I can’t begin to explain how much I appreciate and respect the freedom we were given as children to grow and develop at our own paces.ย  It really helped instill an appreciation for arts and creativity along with a passion for nature and learning what life has to offer us, and what we can offer too. I’ll stop there as I know I’m ranting now, sorry – back to the topic at hand.

There, I embarked upon many a wooly treat. In Class 2 we learned how to hand card and spin on both a drop spindle and a spinning wheel. Later on, after feeding the lambs etc, I also hand sheared a sheep – what an experience! We all learned how to knit, producing our very own stuffed Waldorf toys (I made a chicken and a male doll with a couple of outfits).

Then, other than cooking with my Mum and the arty subjects I took at school, my creativity dwindled somewhat. Much more recently however I decided to pick up a pair of knitting needles and see if I could remember how to knit. I was knitting away happily again very soon after. However, I am quite an impatient person and this seems to show even in my crafting. I tend to want more instant results than knitting can offer.

We’re finally getting to the point here, so wake up if I’ve bored you to slumber, hehehe.

This is when my Mum came to visit and we were looking in a local fabrics/craft shop (C&H fabrics should you live in the SE of England!) when we came across a very small 1/2 stand of felting books and equipment. My Mum suggested that I have a go so I bought this book:

I’d suggest you have a look at her website at http://www.gilliangladrag.co.uk/. Unfortunately I’ve seen some rip offs of her designs for sale on handmade crafts sites such as etsy and folksy (fantastic resources and brilliant for gifts), which is a real shame. Personally, I think it’s fair enough if you’re making for yourself but I for one would be a bit peeved if someone sold my design. For all I know though I’m on my high horse for nothing and they asked permission!

The book really got my creative juices flowing. My Mum had bought some lovely naturally dyed multicoloured roving samples not long before so I got an old sushi mat, bought myself a cheap hanky and off I went. My first projects were some felted mats/coasters which turned out nicely. I also made an easter decoration consisting of small wet felted eggs in spring colours which ended up as a hanging mobile. This turned out very well and to be honest I was chuffed so it spurred me on. From there, I’ve moved on to needlefelting too – at the start it wasn’t great, with a bit of a failed attempt at an Easter card design for my Dad but I’m getting there. I prefer to mix the 2 techniques at the moment though. Maybe one day I will be as amazing as some of the sculptural needle felters out there, but somehow I can’t see it happening. Just look at these: http://www.stephaniemetz.com/ as one example!

I know I’ve rambled on for more than long enough about myself now. Hope anyone reading is a very happy bunny.

xx