Saturday, 26 April 2014

UPDATE to tracking supplies

I have edited the tables I was using to keep track of my supplies (deleted my figures, tidied them up a bit) and I have uploaded the Word documents to the Felting and Fiber Studio site in case anyone else might find them useful. The tables are easy to edit if you want to add or delete columns or rows, or add/delete wool breeds. At the very least it will save you typing out a list of breeds :)

For a list of commercial wool tops in different breeds, click here, and for a list of raw, scoured or washed wools and locks in different common breeds click here. Click the attachment link to open or download the Word documents.

Friday, 25 April 2014

Keeping Track of Supplies

 How do you keep track of your felting and craft supplies so you know when you're running low? Do you have a system? I don't have enough room to keep the whole amount of my wool and fibre supplies out, so I usually keep some out to use...

... and the rest 'spare' in bags (or pillow cases!) out of the way in cupboards.

This often leads to me running out of certain breeds or colours, or in some cases, ordering twice because I forget that I checked before the last time I ordered. I decided to do an inventory of all my supplies and stock this week, so I know exactly what I have, then I can try to find a way to keep a better track of it all. I thought the easiest way to do this, would be to put an old sheet down on the floor, get everything out...

... make lists ...

and weigh it all.

I had some Word documents with lists of what I usually use from the last time I tried to be better organised, so I started with those and did print outs for my supplies and also for what is 'spare'. I decided I'd start with my 'natural' wools and do the dyed wools and fibres another day. I have my natural wools split into lights and darks, and I also separate the commercial tops from the locks, scoured and carded wools. I know it sounds like a lot of messing about, but it is easier for finding what I want with limited space.

I wasn't thinking when I started with the light colours. I weighed everything first, then added to the supplies I keep out if they were getting low. But when I did the dark colours, if any of the supplies were low, I added to them before writing down the weight, so I didn't have lots of scribbled out numbers or have to do two lots of weighing :)

So, now I have huge lists with the weights of all my supplies, and spare supplies, do you have any tips or advice about how to keep track of it all better? The only thing I can think of is to weigh the supplies again after each use and also the spares each time I get more out.

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Felt Collage Book Cover

I thought I would make a new book cover from felt off-cuts that I've saved. I used a piece of interfacing cut a little bit bigger than I needed for the front and back, and started adding the pieces of felt using exaggerated stitching in contrasting colours. When it was finished, I cut it to size and made the strap and flap for closing the book and attached them with the sewing machine. Then I made the pieces for the inside sleeves, cut them to size and attached them using my sewing machine too. This is the inside front sleeve, I made it stiffer by sewing lines up and down the felt:

This is the inside back sleeve, I used strips of blue and green felt offcuts and overlapped them and added detail with the sewing machine:

After I'd attached the sleeves, I sewed blanket stitch around all the edges with sewing thread, to finish it off. This is the back of the book cover:

This is the front with the flap open:

This is the finished cover with the flap and delrin clip closed:

I'm pretty much done with flickr now, the latest changes have made it too difficult for me to use, apart from the dreadful claustrophobic 'design', the white on black messes with my eyes and causes a lot of vision problems. I'll still check there for comments etc, but all my new uploads will be on ipernity:  It's a nice site and easy to use.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Another Felt Hat

A couple of weeks ago, I posted about my first felt hat. I had a think about how I could improve on the design and resist and thought I'd give it another go. I also thought more about shaping it and blocking it to get a better shape. This time I used an upturned glass bowl with a couple of microfibre towels and bubble wrap on to finish the felting/fulling. Last time I said I'd used mt head and for some reason most people who commented on the Felting and Fiber Studio site had a vision of me with soggy soapy roving wrapped around my head frantically rubbing for hours! :) What I really meant was for pulling the hat into shape and the final fulling stage, I used my head. This was the finished hat:

As it dried, I removed the bubble-wrap and added the lid from a storage tub, this gave the top a flatter shape. I kept checking the size, and removed another towel and let it dry with just one towel and the lid over the bowl. This is the flatter top.

I increased the size of the resist slightly, but this time only used 2 layers of wool, I thought this would keep it softer, and not shrink so much. The idea worked in theory, but the amount of fulling I had to do to get the correct shrinkage caused a lot of wool migration which makes the hat look very fuzzy and the colours are dulled. This is the wool migrating through and over silk:

Yellow and red wool migrating through blue:

Wool over silk and cotton gauze:

I might shave it carefully to remove some of the fuzz. You can see the shape a bit better from underneath, and I had the narrow sides again, where the edges of the resist were, I'm working on ideas to prevent that for next time.

I mentioned in my bag post last week that I'd been looking at eyelet kits, but couldn't decide. I'm glad I couldn't, because while I was out on Friday I had a good look around a 'bargain' shop and found myself a kit for £2.50. I also found a pack of 2 rainbow luggage straps, which I'm hoping will be perfect for the drawstring channel of my Pollock bag. If not, they will be perfect for something else! I also found some woven cord too, which will be ideal for drawstrings. I got a couple of different colours of this.