Thursday, October 13, 2011

All Felt up & Knit Night

Dear Fiber Fairies,
I have been playing with fiber all week whenever I could catch a spare minute.  I have begun to stick my toe in the water in the land of Needle Felting.  What I have discovered is with all the tutorials and tips out there, there seems to be a lot that is left out.  I am using what help I can find, from all the generous fiber fairies out in webbie land, but at the same time finding there could be more.  I am going to devote my personal blog Knitsister to felting tips I come across and what I figure out on my own.  I will put pictures of my own felting on there; the good, the bad and the downright awful.  Even the gad awful I learn something from.  

These are felted using cookie cutters.  You stuff them full of fiber and punch away.  You have to really hold the cookie cutters down tightly or the fiber will force its way out from under the cookie cutter.  It will take some experience to learn just how much to put into the cookie cutter and you have to pay attention to getting enough in the detail portions of the cutter.  I saw a lot of these made up for sale at the fiber fest and what I did not like about most that I saw were just how unfinished and messy they looked.  Yet still I was intrigued to try doing it.  I found it is not a throw away method of felting, it still takes time.  I also used scissors and carefully skimmed over the surface clipping stray fibers, working very closely to the project and cleaning it up.  The edges also took extra needle felting to clean them up.  The time I took really made the difference from the more unfinished I had seen.  So these are my first two and that is what I have learned so far.  Oh, I did miss photographing a tiny cookie cutter lamb I did.  I will get that up.  I found the smaller the cutter the easier it was to loose the teeny details.

This is my first Jack O' Lantern.  It was pretty easy and I first viewed Kay from Felt Alives free tutorial but I cannot find it now.  Here is her site though.  A wonderfully talented lady.
Here is another YouTube site that makes needle felted pumpkins and shows a great technique for making roving balls in your washer too.
My Jack O' Lantern isn't perfect or the cutest, but I thought not bad for the first one.
This is my second pumpkin.  This time not a Jack O' Lantern.  I made this for my friend Laura.  I was making a mouse on another night and placed it next to the pumpkin when it was partially done and immediately I saw it should become a Cinderella vignette & decided to make the glass slipper to go with it on top.  The shoe was a finicky project, but doable.  This pumpkin I did a little different too.  I am going to walk you through my version of a pumpkin on my Knitsister blog.  I think I like my version best.  For the slipper I used regular needle felting, but when it came to giving the shoe a sharper or more refined shaping I wet felted it too.  I also used a small pair of scissors to help hollow out the inside of the shoe to help give it more shape.  I used silver paint on the inside of the shoe and on the heel to further define it.  I wish I would have taken a more close up picture of the glass slipper, but again, I will walk you through one soon on my own blog.  I also used a very fine glitter paint on the whole thing to give the appearance of fairy dust.

Here is my unfinished Toad Stool House.
This is the You Tube video that will show you how to make your own.  There are three parts and above is part one & the rest can be found there too.  The video is well done and I am taking it one further and making a whole little world revolving around the house.  In the picture is the first of several felted mushrooms to go with it and a tree trunk chair.  The spindly legs on the chair will make more sense when I felt them to a base. 

Here is my first Gnome Girl.  She is not finished & I know she looks goofy but the face is far from done.  These felted things like many projects can look pretty awful half way through, but I wanted to show you my first so far.I used pipe cleaners to start her & it is just a pain not to hit that stupid armature when you are first starting a figure with one.  I still need to put the red lips on & the black in the pupil.  I may just paint the lashes on.  Her clothing needs done and she needs little boots...and for the love of all that is holy, her coif needs some attention.
This is my first Santa.  Horrible picture I know.  He's about 6 inches tall and I decided to try some curly fiber for his beard & mustache.  I cannot go any further with him until I get some flesh color fiber.  I will retake this ones picture & repost.  Because he is larger I used an inexpensive acrylic stuffing to start the basic cone shape of his body & then started adding the natural fibers to cover this when it was about the size I wanted.  The acrylic works fine for this and is good for making the machine washed balls in the washer.
These are my two hideous snowmen.  The first ones I have made and it shows.  I only like the mittens holding the snowball on the tall one.  The little one I don't like anything on him, but I learned something from both...I learned I make ugly snowmen, LOL!

So that is all from my felting adventures so far.  Will keep you posted...even if you don't want to know.  I am just obnoxious that way. 
Knit Night!!!
Missed you Amy & Laura at knit night!  We had a new addition named Scotty at knit night.  He was making mittens on two circs and was adding thrumming.  I didn't know the technique and got to learn how to do it and it is so warm and adorable I cannot wait to try it out.  It is a technique of knitting in loose fibers, creating a heart pattern on the main side and warm fuzzies on the inside.  It is soft as a cloud on the inside of a mitten.  Carol was sewing baby bibs she sells at craft fairs and Mom To Mom sales.  They are just adorable.  Chris was crocheting on her lovely earth tone shawl that is growing at a steady rate.  Suzy was knitting up her second Christmas stocking and it is looking nice.  Ev was working on squares for her crocheted purse class she is taking.  I have to get pictures of the two adorable crochet purses she made that she just lined.  Her patience knows no bounds when making her tricky linings.  The owner Laura sat with us and taught Scotty and ate and talked.  It was fun to have her join us tonight.  Her sister Charlotte was with us for a while.  She is busy taking exams at Dental School and doing well.  We had periodic updates from Chris' phone on the Tiger game.  Congrats Tigers on a great game and a much needed win!  So lots of stories and lots of laughs and an all around great night...wish you were there!

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