Friday, December 31, 2010

Russian Felt Artist, Tatiana Agapcheva

 I came upon some lovely and interesting felted objects of adornment by a Russian Artist, who has an etsy shop, her etsy shop 
thought that you might find them inspiring!

gorgeous, arent they!!!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

2010 is going fast

It's the night before the night before the new year.  I have thoroughly enjoyed the last few days of this old year.  I like the colors of Christmas and winter. 
Lots of white snow, and sparkles--when the sun shines on it...
The red and green of the decorations and the Christmas tree--- just like the little paper horses from Dalarna.

 I was looking through some of my photos and made a couple of collages of some taken this past year:

The one below shows some of the items I made with needles, scissors, glue, and threads...

And, speaking of sparkles,  I'd better find a bottle of bubbly tomorrow to welcome in the new year with!!
How will you mark the occasion???  Do tell!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Felt Artist

I came across the web-site of  Jen Talbot, who uses felt a lot in her work designing rooms and decorative objects.  This is a nice bedroom addition:

 She seems to do a lot of children's rooms.
 I love the picture of the birds on the wall, how it's a collage of little birds,
This is where you can find her blog:  here

Monday, December 27, 2010

Quick Recap of Christmas

 I hope you had a nice relaxing Christmas!  I enjoyed myself, in our sort of low-key way.  We usually decorate the tree on Christmas Eve, and this was done by my youngest daughter and her friend.  They did a wonderful job, and the tree looked great! 
Some of my favorite decorations are those birds that clip on:
 Later, I found 2 more boxes of decorations upstairs! Oops.  Well, it didn't matter, the tree looked fine. 

 We ran a bit low on wrapping paper of the traditional sort, but found some other paper that worked quite well too!
And some people found interesting things in their Christmas stockings: Kinder eggs, soap, chocolates, and even a Kinder Santa!

 My big gift this year was a Kitchen Aid mixer!! Hooray! I have been looking at them for a couple of years, debating whether to get one, and so this was very exciting!! I immediately put it to use in making some bread!!
 I had fondly imagined some of us sitting around the table having fun making collages and scrapbooking, but the Wii proved to be more alluring to some than a gluestick.. However, I doggedly spread out my stuff and spent an hour or two cutting and gluing:
 I could only think of vases of flowers to make.  Very unimaginative, I think they are my default setting. 
a vase full of "balloon flowers"
 I still have this little lady cut out and am contemplating where she might go,
 I love Christmas!!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve!

 Christmas Eve is my favorite day in the whole season.  I like the sense of waiting for something to happen, and feeling snug inside while it's winter outside.  The days have just begun to lengthen again.  I'm not a morning person, and I really like the evening-times, and Christmas Eve is all about the night-time. 
These images are of Mary and Jesus, which I really like.
Maiolica tile from Deruta, Italy
Hand-written icon made in Greece

small icon, an excerpt from some larger painting, from Rome
nice icon, with embossed metal covering

another small icon from Rome
triptych and another small icon from Rome

Another hand-made maiolica tile from Deruta, Italy, another painter
third maiolica tile from Deruta, same artist as the one at the top of the post.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Slipper Pattern--Knit and Felted

This is a pattern for knitting slippers that are very easy.  They are knit large and then washed in hot water in the washing machine so that they felt.
It is a variation on a slipper pattern that I made before. It is similar to the French Press Felted Slippers, but made entirely differently, so I hope that it is not too close!
 So without any more ado, this is what you do:
A Periwinkle Pattern by Michelle Harris, 2010

Size:  women’s foot size medium, about 9-1/2" long.  If it is too big, you can wash it again to shrink it more.
Size will vary according to how much your yarn felts up when washed, and even whether you wash it once, or twice.

Yarn:    Swedish Matt-Garn,  2 skeins, 100 g (110 m per skein) or any number of colors that total 160 grams, Similar yarns include Cascade 220 or other DK weights in 100% wool do not get super-wash wool, it will not felt.
    If your yarn is a bit thinner, you will get a finer gauge, and the slippers will be a bit smaller.
    You’ll also need 2 large buttons (for decoration)

Needles: 6mm or 6.5mm straight knitting needles
Gauge:  11-½ st =4 inches with Matt-Garn, 12 st = 4 inches using finer yarn, makes a smaller slipper

The project is worked using 2 strands of yarn held together. You can choose 2 threads of the same color, 2 different colors, or you can keep one color constant while shifting colors on the second thread.
  How to add new threads:   To prevent lumps when adding new colors, and so that you don‘t have lots of ends to weave in later, you can splice the old and new threads. This is easiest if the end of the thread has been pulled off rather than cut .   When you have about 2 inches (5 cm) of yarn left on one of the pieces, take your new thread, and twist the wispy pieces together, twining them to make a single thread and then try to twist them together with your ongoing thread.  This is simpler than it sounds, just try it!

---Slipper is worked back and forth on 2 straight needles.
--- “knit 2 into the same stitch” is an increase. Knit into the front of the stitch, but don’t pull it off, knit into the back of the stitch and then pull it off,
---knit both slippers the same, but when sewing together, just make sure the straps face different directions.

Cast on 20 stitches
 Knit one row.
Row 2: Knit to the last 5 stitches, knit into the front and back of these 5 stitches so that you now have 25 stitches.  This will round the end, it is the TOE end.
Knit 4 rows in garter stitch
Increase Row:  From the heel end, Knit 2, *Purl 2, K2 in next stitch,* until 6 stitches remain.  Place marker, Knit the last 6 stitches.
      The 2 stitches at the heel end of the row, and the 6 at the toe end will be knit in garter stitch (knit on every row) while the stitches between are a knit2, purl2 rib.
     Continue in pattern until the piece measures 18 cm.

With the toe end facing, knit 6 stitches, *K2, P2 together*, repeat from * to * until 2 stitches remain,  k2
Knit all stitches for 4 rows
 From the toe end, decrease 5 stitches by K2 together on the first 10 stitches, then finish knitting the row Loosely bind off all stitches.  Cut yarn, leaving a 12” tail to sew seam with.
Fold each slipper in half and sew together the ends.

these are the pieces you will have before sewing together
this is what it looks like when you sew the end seams.  the toe end is shown at the right side.
Make 2 straps:  these are both knit the same way.
Cast on 9 stitches
Knit 7 rows in stockinette stitch (Knit on front, purl on back)
Row 8, P2 together, purl until the last 2 stitches, purl 2 together.
continue in stockinette stitch.
Row 15: K2 together, K3, K2 together
Row 16, purl
Row 17 K2 together, K1, K2 together
Bind Off.

Place slippers side by side and make sure that the straps point in opposite directions. Place the strap over the  slipper and determine where you want it to fasten down.  Stitch through both layers to hold it in place on the wide side.  Leave the small end which points to the outside of the foot loose, but weave in the tail end of the thread. 

Felt the slipper
Before felting, the slippers will look something like this:

To felt them, just put them through a hot/cold cycle in the washing machine with some detergent and other stuff to make up a full load.  I use a front loader, so I can't stop it to check what's happening.  Front loaders usually don't felt as completely as top loaders because they have less agitation, so I usually have to put them through 2 wash loads.
When you remove them after the spin cycle, they should feel a lot tighter.  You can do some shaping by pushing or pulling, or just putting them on your foot to get them to mold to the right shape.  (Take them off) and let them dry.
Find 2 nice buttons that look nice with the color of wool you have used.  Sew the buttons to the straps, going through all layers to hold the strap in place.  You might want to put the slipper on your foot to determine the placement.
You can see that one of mine might need to be resewn, since it went a bit wonky,
It is easy to make the slipper bigger or smaller by adding/removing stitches, or using a different size of needles or yarn.  The good thing is that they are quite quick to make, you could easily knit a slipper in an evening or less.
Keep those toes warm!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Frosty day

I came home from the cabin today

 It was so pretty with all the frost, and the whiteness

 I did get my selvedge wall hanging quilted.
 Hope you're having a nice weekend!

Friday, December 17, 2010

More Felty Loveliness

For some reason, I thought that I had already written about this topic.  But whatever, you can never have too much felt loveliness! 
I phoned in to the shop --Periwinkle South, as it were.  (Since I am north at the moment).  Deb and Patti are awash in felt balls.. 
They have unpacked our recently arrived shipment that I ordered from the folks in St.Louis, via Houston at Quilt Market. 
Now they are trying to make a nice display at the shop. 
When I ordered the stuff, I did Not sit down and say, please send  3 of this and 6 of that... NO.  I said to the lovely lady.  "I would like an order in the amount of X,  could you please send us what you think would be a good selection for that amount?"  She said, "Sure".  And that was that..
Except, I wanted to hang around their booth!! 
It was so colorful and inviting....

Nice little felt balls with acorn tops... wouldn't they be lovely in a bowl on the coffee table?

 This is a jewellery board..  It has brooches, and necklaces, and even earrings! 

Yes, I did get a pair of earrings to take home.  Mine are light blue.
 Don't they blend well with glass beads, and with other kinds of flat felt and stitching?
 And here we see a version of a Christmas tree!

 And why not make a felt picture to put up in a child's room, or anywhere you'd like a splash of color and softness?
 Those things on the bottom are pin cushion on spools.  I think I need one of those.
 You can see how happy people can get when surrounded by felt!

So now you can see why I call it felt-love. 

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