Archive for the ‘Felting’ Category

Felting, Morocco Edition
April 26, 2010

I’m back from Morocco and had the most amazing trip! I traveled around with 14 women from Nest and two Peace Corp Volunteers, Brian and Tim and just fell in love with the country. Everyone was unbelievably nice, I felt super safe, we saw amazing things, we danced, laughed, cried, ate, drank…it was epic! One of the highlights for me though was meeting this amazing little felter in Marrakech!

This man wet felts indoors, crouched up like that, making hats, slippers, necklaces, handbags, etc. He spoke amazing English and was happy to discuss technique. I asked him if he ever used bubble wrap to felt but he said he preferred to agitate the wool just with his fingers but that a bunch of French women had asked him the same thing!

He had a small shop filled mostly with 100s of hats! They came in all colors, some had spiney things coming out of them, they were wonderful. Had it not been 85 degrees out I might have bought one!

The day I visited he was making slippers. They were thick and looked a bit like Converse with the backs cut off. They were mostly brown with some color built in and it looked like he had a great system for cranking them out! Now I need him to come to NH and help me with the yurt!

Look how cute they are! And you feet just slide right in. I ended up buying a necklace for my mom that was big felt beads with embroidered patterns on the outside — I will be replicating that at home soon too. I told him about the yurt. I’m not sure he believed me…but I’m used to that reaction by now.

This was his little sign above his store in the local Artisana. While he wasn’t directly a part of the craft fair that our loan recipients were involved with while we were there I’m sure he got some great business from all the foot traffic. He was so sweet, I could have felted with him all day! Now, just wait for all the sheep pictures!

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Mini Yurt!
November 29, 2009

As it’s Thanksgiving my whole family’s in town and we went to MoMA yesterday to check out the Tim Burton exhibit as well as the Bauhaus one — per usual though I stuck my head into the room of cool design stuff and I’m very glad I did as I came upon this little mini-felt home by Hill Jephson Robb.

He made it for his 7 month old niece after his sister died to emulate the womb and I think it probabl does a fair job. It’s felted wool and 1.4m x 1.4mx 1.2m. It’s was awesome!

Fall Wooliness
October 20, 2009

This weekend in New York City was freezing and rainy! I had old study abroad friends staying with me from DC so we were able to stay warm in my little apartment but outside and at Crafts in Chelsea all I could think about was WOOL!

The picture above is from New Hampshire of the wool again — it just looked so Fall-y with the bush turning colors in the background — I had to share!

Yurt of Dreams
October 12, 2009

If we build it people will definitely show up…

That was what we learned this weekend at the NH Wool Arts Tour: http://www.woolartstournh.com/

We went to five of the six stops on the tour, met with Jennifer from the Mill, got some great ideas for where to source our fiber from AND learned there is a wool shortage in the area so we’re going to need to work fast!

While the weekend was intended to skirt all the wool we already have (200 lbs) that wasn’t possible to complete as we didn’t know the cut off for too dirty to clean…but fear not, we have until January/February to get it all done — I have faith that that’s plenty of time!

Thanks to everyone who is sending the Yurt Alert around the internet — I couldn’t do this without you!

Pics to come tomorrow when I’m back in New York — keep telling your friends!

Crochet by Hand
September 12, 2009

With the cord done and the system of crocheting determined I got to work. I went out on the deck and just wrangled that cord — again, be thankful that went undocumented, it was a battle. I learned that I’m going to need to start lifting weights to be able to crochet this whole thing!

Above is the finished product — it may not look like much but it proved the concept and told me how much wool I’ll need. I’ll share the math on this project soon but suffice it to say that now I know how many square feet I can make out of five pounds of fleece, a key ratio to know as I move forward.

If that’s not the face of a happy felter — I don’t know what is! For scale, I like to think I’m not huge, so this is about 2.5 feet wide, 1.5 feet tall and 9 inches thick. Now I know I can make the cord about 1/3 smaller in order to get the yurt to the thickness I want it to be meaning I can get about four square feet out of five pounds of fleece.

Cording Time
September 12, 2009

As I’ve been in New York thinking about how this project would work I’d come up with many theories on the cording aspect of it — none of which I knew would work. Everyone I spoke with agreed the cord process would be the hardest to decide upon. I did learn, the messy way, that I was unable to felt cord of any scale in my apartment but I did make a three foot long model, only partially destroying my bathroom in the process. In New Hampshire I have much more room and just about every tool or material I might need for felting.

There it is. Above is 40 feet of cording made of five pounds of wool, pre-felting. I laid it out on the tarp inside and then dragged it out through the side door — things I didn’t take into account included, the wind, the grade of the lawn, the width of the door — I’m learning!

CloseCord

Isn’t it beautiful? I laid out the fibers crossing each other for maximum felting and, in what might be considered cheating, I laid a cotton rope in the middle of the fleece when I was halfway through so that even if it didn’t felt consistently it would have the rope in the midst of it to hold onto – a great idea from the mill owner!

process

And so we felted, Courtney and I, with the old pool cover cut up into strips of industrial bubble wrap. I bought gloves that had grit in their coating to hold the plastic better, rigged the outdoor shower to pump hotwater to us (only mild injuries were recieved by my mom when a huge hornets nest was discovered in the shower) and we just went for it. We laid it out on the deck to dry, it didn’t, it started to smell so we made the gametime decision to stick it in the washing machine. We threaded the cord into 16 pairs of nylons, which we cut the feet off of and set the machine to “normal soil.” When we took it out, it was perfect.