Saturday, July 28, 2012

Felting Frenzy!

 Started off the week with a fun trip to Stony Mountain Fibers with the hubby to purchase, weigh, package & price up all the merino wool  I was so happy to have help! It was no small task to select colors and then package it all up. I will be taking with me to West Va next week.

I have been felting all week in preparation for teaching a week long class at Augusta Heritage Center in Elkins, West Va.

Check out the Joy Of Felting in the craft class section! This will be a kind of intro to felt making class where students will explore wet felting as well as needle felting.

My latest "little" project is a nifty Ipod or Cell phone cover. These can be made with about 1/2oz of wool and are a nice way to teach felting over a resist pattern while creating a useful handy item at the same time.

I have been enjoying laying out thin layers of a rainbow assortment of fibers creating "rainbow" sheets of wool fabric and I am waiting to decide what or how to use them.

photos posted later today!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

My First Felt Hat!

I made my first felt hat yesterday!

Using the "Dapper Flapper" pattern from Gillian Harris' book - complete feltmaking! 
 Mine was not so dapper, however! I think I may have enlarged the pattern incorrectly. I used some lovely coral colored merino along with some varigated merino I acquired from Stony Mountain Fibers. The hat fits fine... but it was long ( like I could have pulled it down over my face well beyond my I trimmed it and rolled up the brim.

 This is when I wish I had a "smart phone" and I can just take a pic & upload it... but my phone is not that smart, so I have to use the camera & then upload to computer and then post here...
So I will have pics up in a day or so
 Going back to the drawing board and felt another today and maybe make some modifications on my design.

 The miracle chick is doing well & holding his own  and runnning out the the pen with the big girls (hens) I am thinking of him as a "he" but really hoping he's a she. I do NOT need another rooster. :)

 and, today,  I have over 500 page views!! Whoo hoo!!! thanks folks

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

the miracle chick

I have a hen that has been determined to hatch out some chicks this summer. She is a lovely Blue Splash Maran which is a French breed.  She is big,white, fluffy, with pretty grey blue flecks throughout her feathers. We call her Blanche.  She started sitting this spring and ended up with two chicks that quickly dissapeared. What happened to them is a mystery, but it seems something got into the hen house and carried them off or ate them :(

Next morning, Blanche was back on some new eggs, seeminly more determined. It takes 21 days from egg to chick... well after the 25th or 26th day and still nothing happening, we took the eggs out from under her so she would at least get up and eat something.
Undeterred, she was back on her "nest" the following morning!  ... determined to hatch out a little fluffy bundle of love.

As I was was headed out of town for 4th of July; hubby marked the eggs (so we could get them from getting mixed up with the ones the other hens were laying) and we began the twenty-one day countdown. Much to our amazement after about 14 days a fluffy chick appeared!! She has left the other five eggs and is busily protecting and seemingly happily hanging out with her miracle chick.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Wool Washing

The other day I was given a bunch of lovely unwashed wool~ a blend of Finn, Romney and Tunis and I don't know what else. Today I am experimenting by washing some of it by hand. It takes such a LOT of HOT HOT water and rinsing and transferring from tub to tub with a soapy mixture of Dawn dish liquid.
 I have also found directions for washing it in the machine and may try that  later today.

Wool washing part two...
after three 'washes" in hot soapy dawn detergent water and countless rinses I have some soggy mostly clean wool. It still needs carding ( i don't own carding combs). And ther is still quite a lot of debris in it which, i discovered, will only come out by picking it and carding it.

This was far more labor intensive than I imagined and am even more motvated to try the washing machine technique.