Saturday, May 28, 2005

Step by step...needle felting project

The template

Oh, damn, babies, I’m here to tell you that this needle felting is a gas. Today on Sesame Street, celtic knot work.

Okay, well acknowledged fact -- I can’t draw worth a damn. Thanks to modern technology, I don’t have to, as witness by the download and print to a laser transparency for the purpose of cutting out a stencil.

Traced to the fabric

Design is now traced to a piece of felted wool. It was a very nice double knit wool suit jacket once upon a time and is now scrap. I couldn’t get anywhere with any sensible marking tools like quilting pens etc, so demonstrating my usual patience, I yelled “Screw this” loud enough to scare the cat and took at it with a fine point Sharpie. Fade that will ya?

Loose roving tacked in place

All loosey-goosey, I just laid the dyed roving more or less between the lines and tacked it with the odd jab of felting needles. I worked on the outside of the lines, making sure they were pretty much straight and then worked towards the center. There were a few places where I had to add a bit more fluff. It really compresses. Now this is just my opinion, but I think a person would be sadly disappointed with commercially dyed rovings. This is Liz’s hand dyed stuff. For all you mad central New Brunswick fibre junkies, it’s now being carried by the Singer store on York St in Fredericton -- there’s this week’s shameless plug out of the way.

Roving all felted into place

But in all honesty, it’s the variation in the roving that makes this attractive. If I was working in uniform, commercially dyed wool, there would be no depth to the piece. I’ve been able to pick and choose what I’ve got going where and I think it’s added a lot to the texture. Once I had it all felted down, I did go back and add a little here and a little there trying to blend the colours from one section to another a little more smoothly.

Final product

The final bit was outlining with thin black yarn. That’s about the biggest pain in the arse of the whole project. I put two rounds of yarn around the outside of the entire design and just one on the interior portions.

Total time from “okay, now what?” through to “Okay, that’s done.” was about 3 hours, including coffee breaks and the mandatory sitting back and looking at the ’oh isn’t that pretty’. Remember, I’m a union girl -- I built all of that stuff into the contract.

You can all expect more needle felting in the future, namely because I’m trying to pass myself off as competent this time next week and because it’s just too dead ass easy. It’s a lazy woman’s project…I can hear you all heading for the search engines now to type in “felting needles”.

Talk at you’se all laters; thanks for reading.


At 10:06 p.m., May 28, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kate, The celtic knot is way too cool! I hope you don't mind but I made a button out of your "Odd Ball Knittery" advertising logo and posted it on my blog! Thanks for the great read.

At 7:05 a.m., May 29, 2005, Blogger Kate, the Odd Ball Knitter said... you give lessons on how to do that button thing? I need to figure out all this cutting, pasting the Geek code.

At 11:06 a.m., May 29, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am self taught and still struggle. I am just a technoweenie, trying to be a technowizard!

At 12:32 p.m., May 29, 2005, Blogger Kate, the Odd Ball Knitter said...

You know the expression "the cobbler's kids have no shoes..." well, the system analyst/IT manager/software development specialist's wife has to DIY...and he bloody wonders why he has to go buy a sweater everytime he gets cold.

At 5:21 p.m., May 29, 2005, Blogger Dudleyspinner's Tie Dye Rovings said...

The celtic knotwork looks really nice.
Some folks in Boulder,Colorado, were making whole blankets of old sweaters, felted then sewn together. A good way to recycle old wool. They didn't have any cool needle felting on them though.

At 3:35 a.m., May 30, 2005, Blogger Dudleyspinner's Tie Dye Rovings said...

Kate, I have instructions for two socks on two circs available, send me you email address and I will send it. (if you don't already have it)
At least then they are both done at the same time. I had trouble mastering it, but you smarty pants will likely have no problem.

At 7:48 a.m., June 02, 2005, Blogger Liz said...

I have major tech issues trying to add a @#1$4$!!!!! button for the fiberarts ring


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