30 November 2010

cowl necklace

Started this cherry red cowl necklace inspired by raveler, Adrienne Krey. She knitted hers. That's why I say inspired. I crocheted mine and changed it a little bit. I thought it looked interesting and would make a great spring necklace as it won't be as warm as a scarf but will keep my neck a little warmer than none. I finished it last night and wore it for the first time today--the last day of spring. Ha ha.

It's crocheted from one ongoing strand from leftover BWM Classic Cherry. I made the neck patch holey on mine to let a little more air in. It has five eye-shaped strands each one shorter than the next. It makes for an interesting burst of colour and it's so light to wear.

20 November 2010

first felting

Back in July I went to the Bendigo Sheep and Wool Show. I ended up buying a bag full of fibre. Unspun stuff. Do you remember? Well the plan was to have a go at felting and since Saturday started a beautiful week of warm weather I decided to finally pull it out and have a go.
Researching the how-to for wet felting while I ate lunch and indulged in a chai latte.

After watching a tutorial, I laid out my bubble wrap and got started. I laid out two layers of the grey icelandic top. It was cheapest of the stuff I bought so it seemed wise to start with. However, I didn't want to make something pointless so of course I start with something not so simple for my first time. That's me for ya. :P The basic idea was a scarf. I meant to make it thinner but I miscalculated on how much it would shrink. I made it a little longer than the table. So that provided the first awkwardness. I then used some Garments and Gadgets Rainbow fibre to do simple squares as a feature. Being a scarf I decided to put them on both sides so had to flip the unfelted fibre mat providing awkwardness number two. This created a little bodge area I'll show you later. So I finally got it all laid out.

Next I dropped on a bit of hand soap randomly and poured on a bit of warm water then rolled it up. Rolling and squishing it with my fingers rubbed the fibres together inside. Enough of this and it matts together. When it's sufficiently felted you start the fulling process.

Fulling involves chucking the felted piece on the table over and over. Nice for some aggression release. If you have pent up aggression. Not common for me. I just had fun tossing it.

Then you stretch out the piece and rub all the areas over a bumpy surface. I just used the bubble wrap as my bumpy surface. This creates further shrinkage and also allows you to shape it a bit. Depending on the direction you rub it.

Ok, what next. Um, ... might just check the tutorial again. Ok, I admit I actually did those last two steps the other way around. I rubbed and then tossed. The tutorial said to do it the way I've listed it here. :) Oh well. Next time...

I then rinsed out the soap in warm water. Since my felt had gone cold the sudden temperature change creates further shrinkage/fulling or something. Then I made my part Felting Finish and Wool Wash concoction and saturated my felt in allowing it to soak in all the mix goodness. Then I wrung it and hung it on the line to dry.

When it was dry I steam ironed it flat and then trimmed the tacky edges. They really weren't very straight at all and cutting it neatened them up beautifully. You see, when I laid out the fibres and then tried to roll it, some of it stuck out the edges. I need to make sure I leave enough bubble wrap room around the edges so all the fibre felts properly.
Wa-lah! My first finished felted piece. A bit-too-short scarf. Ha ha. That grey icelandic top is a bit rough and scratchy too. It has such long rough fibres like course hair. It was the cheaper stuff though. First tries really are more of an experiment.

I do need to practice. There certainly is technique to it. I had a number of areas that are quite see-through when you hold them up to the light. Here's my bodge job. When I flipped it before felting this part moved a bit and I didn't re-lay it. Just kinda shoved it back together. So this area is particularly bad with the see-throughness. A bit of pulling and I reckon it would quite easily separate.

So of course I had to try again with some better quality stuff. I decided this while the grey scarf was drying on the line. Pulled out the purplish fibre from Garments and Gadgets that was given to me for my birthday and tried some simple squares. After a few more felting searches online, I laid these ones with thinner whisps of fibre and did four layers being cautious of the edges. They turned out much better. The fibres are finer and softer. Think I'll make some more of these and sew them together somehow. Oh, I did these squares in the right order too...with the fulling. Don't know that it made a difference.

16 November 2010

how to order your dragon

Remember I made a purple dragon for a softie swap five months ago? Well, I finally Facebooked the pictures the other week and one of my friends commented on it asking how much it would cost to make her one. After naming a price and assuring her it would mostly likely be a little different as I didn't use a pattern, she agreed and requested one in green. The little blighter is fully formed now, except for his firebreathing skills, and had his photo shoot today while taking his first flight.

09 November 2010

ripple scarf

As I was working away on my Ripple Afghan I would think, "This would make a nice simple scarf. I must make one when I'm done here." So I did.

This ripple scarf is crocheted from stuff I had. Cleckheaton pink, some left over BWM Mongolian (from the afghan), Sean Sheep light pink stuff I had still and the multicolour is BWM Luxury that was overdyed by my sister. It's all just the simple zigzag pattern with some little shell shapes on the ends to neaten it all up. It's now nicely folded and put aside waiting to head off to a future birthday girl.

06 November 2010


I love variety. My craftyness is satisfiably varied which means I'm enjoying every moment. With Zach's quilt nicely started, I've decided to put it aside for a while and work on some other things that need to be done sooner.Here's a new dragon that's underway. I FBed photos of my purple one and had a friend request one in green. So I'm currently working on this order. Shouldn't keep my customer waiting too long.
I am delighted to be not only attending but also participating as a bridesmaid in my friend's wedding in GERMANY next June!! What a treat! I'm so happy I get to share this time with her and feel so privilleged to be asked to be a part of it all. This is my contribution from afar. She asked me to make the ring cushion and I plan to send it with her birthday/Christmas present in December. I love the fat embroidered ribbon. I was roaming Lincraft for ideas when I found this and got totally inspired. It's successfully underway and I shall do some more today.
And I'm still working on some designs that I'm gonna send into Phoenix Trading (a card company) to see if they want to buy some of my work. I had another burst of ideas so I've been getting them underway. I must soon send some in. No hope if I don't.

Ok, it's too lovely a day to sit here on my computer. I'm going back to crafting before implementing some of my other ideas for the day.