Wednesday, March 28, 2007

International Feltmakers

Well, tomorrow morning I'm off to Wales to attend the annual International Feltmakers AGM. I have been so busy, that it really hasn't caught up with me that it's already tomorrow. The bag is packed. Most of it is felting supplies and comfy shoes. Lots of Ibuprofen for the achey arms and back.

Should be great fun and a fantastic learning experience. It's in Swansea at the local University. There are 5 workshops, a night at the museum on campus, movie, drinks and dancing one night, exhibit of felt that you can bring things in for, the AGM on Sunday and a dinner that you should be wearing something felt. That could be a problem. Most of the felt I make, I give away. Maybe I can make something before Saturday night? We'll see.

We had to make a name tag or badge, so that was finished and started tonight after dinner. I'm sure I'll have lots of pictures to share when I get back.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Using Resist

Last week was our monthly Felters Drop In session. Our topic was about using resist or a barrier to keep the felt from bonding to itself.

It enables you to make 3-D objects or put pockets into things. The uses are endless.

Most of the felters have made bags before, so I thought I'd try something a bit different for them.

The booties were made with a template cut from thin foam. Both are done at the same time, giving you similar sizes by the time you cut them off the resist. They take about 30 minutes to make a and you can be a creative as you want.

The beret was made with a circular resist about 1/3 larger than the finished piece. Layer front and back with fibre and decorated at will. I used some silk and a bit of yarn I had left over from spinning and dyeing it. I also made felt balls and a cord from the left over fibre and stitched it around the bottom opening of the hat. Avery really likes it, but I have to keep it for myself.

Again, this was fast and easy enough to do as a demonstration. Great results and not much time. I think the embellishing took more time than making the hat.

Friday, March 23, 2007

POM Shawl

While digging for a simple project to take to knitting on Tuesday nights, I ran across 2 balls of POM yarn that I bought last year. I also had a ball of olive green with a metallic stripe down the middle. The sample I saw was knit into a stripey skinny scarf. Fluffy, shiny, fluffy, shiny. Got about 8 inches into it and decided I really don't need another scarf. This yarn is a beginners dream/nightmare. Thankfully you could never drop a stitch with the little marshmallow balls that are spaced about 2-3 inches apart. And as you can imagine, it's a nightmare to take apart. Each ball has to be lifted from the previous loop.

I vaguely remember doing this when I knit DD a hat and scarf from it last year. The colours were like marshmallows from Lucky Charms cereal. Peachy, pinky, minty. She loved them. It was a good thing! So I forgot how knitting or ripping it really went.

I don't have a shawl in my possession. I have a wrap that I bought in Portugal, but haven't worn it since we got back. More of a chilly but warm evening wrap. Not a coat, hat, glove, long underwear kind of wrap. So I thought I'd knit one out of the yarn. Not sure how long it will go, but I'll knit it till the end. I used size 15 US needles for a lacier look. Turned out pretty good size and matches well with the new coat that I got for Christmas.
This is also the first attempt at crocheting anything other than a chain stitch border. Bit blurry, but they turned out nice. It just needed a little somethin'.

Sunday, March 11, 2007


OK, you get the picture, but here's the narration. Rebecca at An Irish Craftworkers Good Life, ran a contest. Nothing to do, don't have to flatter your way into winning, juggle or jump through hoops. I love these kind of things. She said, "Leave a comment and I will draw a winner of a piece of felt" Yippee, I love felt, I love to make felt, I love the look of felt and all the bits you can work into it. So.... I left a comment. What a great idea and low and behold, I won.
Rebecca makes beautiful felt crafts as well as the many other exciting avenues in her life.

Thanks a million. It looks amazing!! YIPPEE!!!

Monday, March 05, 2007

New Baby

Like any new mother, I'm looking at the little (13") baby and not sure what to do with it. I'm sure in time it will give me great joy, but at the moment, I'm not sure what end to pick up.

Baby MAC. What more can I say. CUTE!! And I got a really cute stripey case for it too!

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Come and Go

Come -
I got a present yesterday! Cheryl was doing a bit of weaving and had posted about it. Ooh! I really like that. White mohair and a gold and army green slub yarn. I happen to have some of this yarn that came to my house in a yarn swap. Haven't done anything with it yet, but now I have something out of it. It goes perfectly with a coat that DH got me for Christmas.
Surprised was I, when she brought it out of the bag... for me!
Go -
About the same time, I was making a felt scarf for Cheryl, funny I think. It was wool she had picked up at the Knitting and Stitching Show in November. I had made her one for a birthday gift and she asked if I could do another for Christmas.
This is sort of how it went. H-"What do you want for Christmas?" C-"Maybe another felt scarf. I'll buy the wool and you lend the skill." Ok, let's get the wool now. Ok. It may have happened that way just in my mind, but it's a murky place and things get muddled. Sorry Cheryl if I'm fabricating. Anyway, Christmas came and went and in the process of cleaning I found a bag of wool and silk. Only a slight glaze of dust. Better get going on this. So I did.
Spread out the yoga mat on the kitchen floor. Avery spies something crafty and wants to join in. She loves to felt. It's the soap bubbles that she love. After the felting was done, the yoga mat, turned into the indoor ice skating rink. Bare feet and soapy water. She was having a great time, sliding up and down the mat. What was I thinking? No camera. I have worked with silk fibre before and love the element that it adds to the felt. The way it crinkles up at a different rate than the wool, pulling it into unusual puckers. Oliver Twist of England does gorgeous dyed fibres. I mean gorgeous. Roll Around In, kind of yummy. Your eyes just can't seem to take it all in. So I was pleased at her choice.

So as the scarf was preparing to Go to Cheryl, another was preparing to Come to my house. Same day, same exchange time. Thanks for the beautiful gift.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

World Book Day

The children's school is very big on the arts and literature, as well as sports. Some time you find that it's all about sports and the other areas get left out. This year for Book Week, they brought in two illustrators and an author to draw with the kids and read them stories. Everyone was very excited and came home with signed books by the Celebrity of their choice. Our kids chose Korky Paul.

Winnie the Witch books are but a few of the many that are illustrated by him. Avery, 1st class or grade, had Korky in the room during Art and she was asked to come up and draw with him. She was thrilled. Korky is known for monsters and quirky characters, so that's what they drew. Not Avery's favourite subject, but when asked to draw, she will.

So the costume that she chose for school was Wilbur the cat from Winnie in Winter. Poor Wilbur is always getting stepped on, but never leaves the witches side. So, Avery the animal lover, wants to be the cat.

Happy World Book Day to one and all. Curl up with the book of your choice and read a bit. You could even wear a costume if the mood strikes!

Learning to Sew

Daughter Avery came home on Monday and said, "I need a costume to wear to school on Thursday. I want to be Wilbur the cat." "It's Book Day and we're dressing up as our favourite character. " WHOA!! First, who is Wilbur the cat. I thought he was a pig! Next, a cat costume in two days, due to the fact that the only 3 fabric stores in Dublin close nightly at 5:30ish and it's now 4:30. OK, breath in and out. You can do this. Let's look in the house (or closet) of Fabric I have upstairs. Certainly we can salvage something from the costume boxes in the children's rooms.

We have ninja, dalmatian, pirate, Dracula, princess-o-rama and a whole host of other sparkly items, but no cat. Keep breathing... Oh look, here's some black fabric from the ninja. We found a black shirt. Black trousers from Dracula (a bit big for the peanut) but they'll have to do. Let's start with ears. Got the black hair band. Let get sewing. "Can you teach me to sew???" Sure I can. We cut out the ears and pink insides. Stitch pink down. Then sew together the ears. Stuff and sew onto hairband. She's a cat! Now, onto the tail, must have a curl at the end. Done. "Mama, the trousers are to big. Can you make me some smaller ones?" No problem. They take longer to cut out than sew together. Basic PJ kind of pants. Done. So at 6ish this morning she was wide awake, dressed and ready to leave the house. Again, WHOA!!!
Best of all, my daughter wants to learn to sew at the same age I stared. She also started knitting Monday night!! My girl!