Saturday, 11 December 2010

Felt Lamp Shade

Hello :)
Sorry I haven't posted recently, I just didn't have the time for felting for a while and then lacked inspiration and motivation.
I spent ages recently trying to find some nice lamp shades, but wasn't impressed with any I saw. So I just ended up buying some very plain ones. I love the way the vessel I made for my girlfriend looks when there's a tealight inside, so I decided to try to make my own shades with felt and hoped they'd look as good.
I made a piece of felt by laying out two fine layers of merino, then a fine layer of curly wools and locks (angora, wensleydale, mohair, bluefaced leicester) then a top layer of fine merino and finished off with silks, ramie and bamboo.

I made a template from the lampshade I'd bought and wanted to cover, and cut out the shape I needed from my felt. I blanket stitched around the edges, then sewed the two seems together. It fits snuggly over the top of the shade, and looks great when the light is shining through :)

For a quick guide on how to make one, visit my flickr page

Thursday, 10 June 2010


I'd been meaning to try and work out some ideas I'd had for a while, when this piece by viltalakim inspired me to start experimenting. Using strips of plastic from supermarket carrier-bags as resists, I made this piece of felt by sandwiching the resists between layers of felt and then cutting the top two layers and peeling back to reveal the felt underneath :

I used other fibres such as silk top, silk noil, soya fibre and bamboo on the layers that would show, to get the look I wanted.
Once I'd tried simple wavy cuts, I wanted to try out a few different ones. On this piece, the cuts are (from top to bottom) vertical cuts; diagonal cuts (the felt 'flaps' were then lifted up); thin slices cut off horizontally and the holes stretched; a wavy cut; a mixture of horizontal and vertical and lastly zigzags.

This burgundy piece was made the same way as the first one, but I used a resist on the back aswell, to create a channel for a dowel or similar for hanging.

It took me a while to get round to it, but a couple of days ago I used what I'd learned to make this felt danglie:

It took about 3 hours to lay out the wool tops, silk and plastic strips, and felt it. Then after a bit of a rest, the cutting and shaping took about another hour. Seemed like I'd never finish, but I'm pleased with the results

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Placemats, coasters and trivets

A few months ago, I made a placemat and coaster set from a thick piece of felt that hadn't worked out as I'd wanted it to

I was really pleased with the results, so when I was looking through all my natural coloured wools and wondering what I could make a big piece of felt for, I decided on placemats and coasters, and made two sets:

A few weeks ago, I had my 2nd attemp at using prefelt...the first being the piece that didn't work out which then became a placemat and coasters :)
Learning from the mistakes I'd made last time, I carefully laid out the pattern onto merino tops, then when the felt was made and dried, made a placemat and coaster set for my girlfriend:


I wanted to make a non slip mat, a kind of trivet for small pans, using the liquid rubber or silicone that people use on the soles of felt slippers. I couldn't find it, so thought I'd try this non slip rubber mat instead

It works really well. I had planned to machine stitch it on to make sure it's secure, but it wouldn't go through the machine :) It feels secure with blanket stitch, though.

I have a photo tutorial on flickr for how to do blanket stitch if anyone is interested

Monday, 3 May 2010

Clickable Photos

For some reason, my photos won't go to a large version when they are clicked on anymore. I've looked all through the Dashboard and settings and can't find what's gone wrong or what I can do to change this. I always use 'medium' for the picture size, so tried 'large' for my last post, but that made no difference. It seems to lose half the point of having a blog if the pictures can't be seen in detail. If anyone can help me, I'd be really grateful, thanks.
All the photos on my blog are on my flickr photostream and can be seen large and in detail on there.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Other felting fibres

I've been trying out some of my 'other' felting fibres recently, making reference samples of how they look when used a few different ways on top of merino wool tops.

For this one, I used Soya bean staple fibre, a very short and crimpy fibre. The first row is a blend of merino and carded soya bean fibre. The second row is fluffed up soya fibre layed on the top of the merino, and the third row is some of the crimpy bits, separated and layed on top of the merino.

I used black viscose top for this sample. The first row is a blend of viscose and merino, the second row is fluffed up viscose layed on top of the merino and the third row is fine wispy viscose tops layed on top of the merino.

This sample tries out carded silk carrier rods. The top row is a blend of the carrier rod 'fluff' and merino, and the bottom row is fluffy wispy bits layed out on top of the merino base.

All the different fibres added interesting texture and shininess to the felt, and the viscose made the felt feel very strong without being too stiff.

New flickr group
There's a new flickr group called Fabric and Fibre Tips and Tutorials.
Hopefully this will be a great place to find info on a variety of things, from how to wash fleeces, dyeing wool and fibres, how to sew button holes and blanket stitch, to tutorials on how to make felted hats and slippers, making fabric bookmarks and postcards or which fabrics work well for machine felting or nuno felting etc.

Come and join and add your photos or post a discussion topic linking to your tips and tutorials on your blog or website.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Spinning with a Drop Spindle

I'm working on a project at the moment with the intention of using up spare bits of yarn I've made, but I ended up having to spin up some more. I don't have any particular colour theme or look in mind, so just made some random multicoloured.

I'm not an expert by any stretch of the imagination, and mainly just spin up what yarn I need, but I often see flickr comments from people who'd love to give it a go, so I thought I would do a picture tutorial for how to use a drop spindle for spinning simple yarn if anyone is interested. You don't need any fancy equipment, you don't even need to buy a spindle, a simple one can be made using a cd or plastic cd spacer.

Some other Felting Photo Tutorials I've made:

How to make Textured Felt

Wet Felting from start to finish

Making a Wet Felted vessel using a 3D resist

Making a Wet Felted case using a flat resist

Saturday, 13 February 2010

More Vessels

Just before Christmas I made a load of vessels in an attempt at making the perfect one for my girlfriend. I was finally happy with this one: in daylight and at night with a tealight showing the locks and curls.

But this left me with a few 'reject' vessels, which were nice shapes, but hadn't turned out how I wanted. I tried needlefelting a few extra locks on one of them, then ran it through the washer with a normal load and it turned out well. So, that got me thinking about how I could transform some of the others. This next one turned out to have all but a couple of little curls all felted in, so I needlefelted on some crimped or curly wools and locks that I dyed....Angora, Wensleydale and Bluefaced Leicester. Some dyed Falkland, Icelandic, Devon and English 56s were added for texture and to secure:

I did this next one the same way as the blue one, but used raw Wensleydale, Alpaca and Angora, and washed Wensleydale, Kid Mohair, Bluefaced Leicester and a variety of white wool tops (incl. Texel, Devon, Cheviot) Then I put it in the washing machine.

Here it is before washing