Remembering my first felting lesson

In 2008 when I moved to Rotterdam I joined the local Stitch and Bitch group of knitters.  There I found lots of knitting friends and I also found felters, weavers and spinners. I am not sure exactly when it was but I remember being giving the options of learning to spin or to felt.  I chose felting.  Looking back that was a pretty momentous decision. The lady that taught me to felt , Els , has become a really wonderful friend.  In a few weeks I will leave the Netherlands and move back to the UK , although I am really looking forward to this move,  there are things I will miss and seeing Els on a regular basis is one of them.

As my move approached I felt (no pun intended) that I should give Els a piece of felt as a thankyou for changing my life in so many ways.  I then discovered that Els , translated into English from Dutch was alder . Fantastic. Alder cones are a wonderful natural dye .  So I have made Els her own piece of felt dyed with Els , with lots of love and many many thanks. 

Here it is after felting, Blue faced Leicester in two natural shades plus loads of silk and cotton fibres , both felted in and machine and hand stitched.

  

And after dyeing

  
I hope Els will add to to her wonderful eclectic collection of textiles and sometimes remember the day at her house when she taught me to  make my first felt flower.   

A Radical Decision

Back  in June at  a workshop with Jeanette Appleton I made a reasonably large piece of felt inspired by lichen covered rocks.  Ever since then I have looked at this piece , thinking what an earth should I do now with you ???? 

 I eventually decided that something about it did not really work and maybe I should just use parts of it!  Eventually I made a mask out of brown paper thinking maybe make it into a three part piece.  I liked the effect even though it was not choosing my favorite parts with this simple mask. 

 

 So I thought how about choose three parts , and make them into a large felt piece.   The more I thought about this the more I liked it . So a made the radical decision to cut my favorite parts out of this large felt piece and reconstruct it.

I faffed around for ages choosing this size of the cuts and then the spacing and the size of the piece to put them in. Then I made another large felt piece using the dark brown Masham that was incorporated in the original piece , plus some orange merino to lift  it a bit.  Then with my template I cut up both pieces with my rotary cutter.  No way back now ! 

 I stitched them  together invisibly and then used iron on interfacing to make a robust join.
Does it work ?  Well I think it does.  It is far more dramatic and .. …..  

 

….and maybe it just needs a little bit of stitching. 

Leyburn Exhibition

I belong to a cooperative called ‘Box of Beatiful things ‘ made up from the students and staff of ArtyBird Carnforth and yesterday we set up our latest exhibition in Leyburn , Yorkshire.  It’s at TOSH , The Old School House and our exhibition is in a lovely airy room on the first floor.  
  
 It was the first time I had ever helped set up an exhibition and Chris, Jo, Chris and I had great fun choosing  what pieces went well together and which walls to put them on.  We had a hanging system which was great but there was lots of  climbing up and down stepladders trying to position the pieces and make sure they were level.

  
 In addition to all the pictures and wall hangings we had bowls and cushions , lamp shades and cards , lit pictures and brooches , a feast of wonderful work .  We even had some visitors , fellow felt students whilst we were still setting up.

  
 We were all really pleased with the final effect , if you are in the area pop in for a visit. 

Here’s a sneak preview 

   
 

   

  

 I hope you are able to visit.