Thursday, February 25, 2010

Silk Carrier Rods

I went to my first ever Textile colour and stitch workshop yesterday and loved it.
I like discovering new technics especially if it involves using a waste product. These are silk Carrier Rods a 'woven waste' product of the silk winding process. They look like dried up leaves in their raw state so firstly we had to unfurl them and then dip in acrylic paint and leave to dry out. As this takes a day we were allowed to choose some already done. Second process is to carefully peal the layers apart. Each rod will give you about 3-4 paper thin layers of silk which we then
painted with a different colour mixed with Iridescent tinting medium. This gives a sheen in places. Once we had our layers we chose a colour corordinated material as the backing.
The idea is to stitch all the layers randomly using
the fancy stitches on your sewing machine and to
then overstitch by hand using different thickness
and types of embriodery thread using Cretan
stitch. I have only ever used this stitch for making solid leaves so using it to get a basket
weave effect was different. Now for the fun part
making it into something. The tutor had all hers blocked as pictures but I like making items that I can use. I have a month till the next workshop to produce my idea. Iv'e got no Mojo lurking in the cupboard but her friend Flo is about so I will just go with her. Keep watching this space to see what we come up with.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Cute enough to eat but guaranteed not to add any calories!

I had these bland colours sent in a random batch of felt and thought what can I use those for. Then as I said the colour "chocolate "it hit me. These are all fully working little pin cushions.

I just adapted the way of making them from the earlier ones. The heart has a shaped inset from cardboard instead of a bottle top.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Little pin cushions

I found this delightful tutorial for making

pin cushions from believe it or not old screw top

bottle tops from plastic ltr drinks bottles.

Just couldn't resist making something from out

of next to nothing. Yes I even used Wimpy's fur left over from the self felted picture I did of him

to make the trim on the Red crown. I had a packet of mixed felt squares that I used. They had sent me a random colour selection and included two colours that I thought were totally

bland and that I would never use. Then I had an idea!!!! Watch this space for what Alien did next.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Sew Me a Box

So here it is finally. A fabric box which was going to just be an empty shell with a front drop down flap. Now has all mod cons installed. I kind of got carried away and also did a bit of dry felting flowers as an embellishment on the top. I used the sewing machine to make the box casing and sides and hand sewed all the rest. No glue or tape Terry.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Nothing to Show.

Hi There,

Nothing to show cos I'm knee deep in material, cardboard, pins and making it up as I go along. What started out as a simple covered box has now got an interior with two tier draws and growing by the minute. Sneak preview to keep you all guessing.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Hand Warmers

During the last cold spell my hands got really cold
even inside and (NSUH) lent me his fingerless
gloves to wear but I found them quite bulky when trying to work. Whilst browing blogland I came across these freebie patterns on a lovely Italian Ladies site at hhtp:/
They are really easy to knit. Each pair only took
an evening to make. Now my hands are warm andI can still do crafting. I bought the little apple buttons on ebay and the pink ones came from my button stash. Go check her site out as she has some other gorgeous hand warmers and other quick makes on there.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

1st stage felted slipers

This is all the pieces knitted and blocked ready
to put together. They were really quick and easy
to make. I did them all in one evening. I had read
you can do it in 90 mins! I wasn't that fast.
You knit the sides and tabs using 2 strands of yarn together and the sole using 3 stands of yarn.
I found this pattern on the web.
It is by Melynda Bernardi of French Press Knits.
I purchased it and within a couple of hours I had the pattern sent to my e-mail as a PDF file.
The instructions on how to felt them are included
Most instructions for felting that I have found are expecting you to be using a top loader washing machine. Here in England we mostly have front loaders which of course you can't open
mid cycle to check on progress of felting so I
devised my own system to felt the slippers.
Here it is.
I used:
1 plastic container with a lid
washing up gloves + old pair of knitted gloves that fit inside.
washing liquid
(When using a top loader it is recommended to throw in some old shoes and tennis balls to help agitation) I compromised and used six golf balls. (We live by a golf course and we have a ready supply of them in our garden all year).
I started with the tabs first so I filled the container with water boiled from the kettle threw in the tabs, squirt of washng liquid and the golf balls and snapped on the lid.
I donned the gloves + washing up gloves and proceeded outside with the container into the garden. I should add at this point that this was about 2 weeks ago during the spell of deep snow and freezing cold so I was also suitably attired.
If the neighbours had been watching they would have seen me doing a type of war dance on the spot shaking the tub first one way then the next and up and down. (I might actually have devised a new keep fitness program).
To cut a long story shorter it worked.
Checking progress every 5 mins and 3 kettles of boiling water + one exploding golf ball ( don't ask) later the tabs were felted.
The slippers took 5 kettles of water and a considerably longer war dance.
Post script
I have now bought one of those mini washing machines ment to be for caravans. Basically a large bucket with a lid and a paddle in the bottom which sits on a base with the electical controls . You fill with hot water and plug in. It has a timer which you can set from 3mins to 15mins cycles. Ideal for the job I think. Will let you know on the next felted project. I have my eye on a felted bag with Pears decorated on the side.

Second stage of slippers

These are the knitted pieces put together.
You can see from the tabs that are already felted
how much bigger the pre felted slipers are from
the picture below. In my hurry to get the tabs felted I forgot to sew the ends in and of course the two threads felted together in a mass and I then had to carefully cut up the centre to weave in. I won't make that mistake again!

Completed Slippers

These are the finished slippers.
I used Cascade 220 in claret 8884.
The buttons came from a site that specialised
in Italian buttons. I just loved the design of them
and they match the claret colour perfectly.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Second self furred cat

This is Wrapper's brother. He is a Black/white

bi colour persian. I needed to work from a photo

on this one to get his white bits in the right place.

I'm quite pleased how the felting is turning out .

When they are all done I plan to mount in a picture frame instead of having just a photo of them.

Who knows, I might start a new craze here.

This is Guiness (aka Wimpey so called because he
is afraid of his own shaddow) in the flesh. He spent
the first four years of his life behind the
washing machine only coming out for meals and
cuddles when he thought the coast was clear.
He is a little better now and will venture out into
the garden if we are sitting out there too.