Thursday, September 30, 2010
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
OK this is the fun part! I love the transformation from a nicely knitted or crochet item into a beautiful, thickly felted, very touchable, desirable object :-)
Gather your supplies:
Towels, Detergent, this can be any eco friendly wash or if you are using really special wool use wool wash or any pure soap flakes. Item to be felted and in this case because it is for my phone and I don't want to get my phone wet, a template of the size you need the finished product to end up.
It is also a good idea to put the item to be felted into a wash bag. Little bits of wool will 'pill' as you are felting and you don't want those to end up inside the machine.
An old sheet or an old pair of jeans to add into the machine with the item to be felted to help add friction during the agitation. I am using an old sheet.
My template is made from cardboard, anything that will stand up to a bit of damp will do....
Item to be felted (the phone cosy), put into a wash bag and an old sheet for friction, all added into the machine.
Washing machine.....now here is the crunch part. It must be a machine that you can stop in mid cycle and re-program back to the wash cycle. Mine is a top loader with the old fashioned 'twisty knob' dial so it can be stopped anywhere in the cycle and restarted without any complications. A front loader will not work unless you want water all over the floor!
Fill the machine on its lowest setting with HOT water.
Add about a teaspoon of detergent or soap flakes, you don't need much, it is just to make it a bit slippery.....not bubbles all over the laundry :-)
Pop in the item to be felted in its wash bag and the old sheet or jeans and start the washing cycle onto fast agitation if the machine does that, if not any wash cycle will do. You want to simulate the rubbing part of the felting process.
Wash for 5 minutes and then stop the machine, carefully get out your washbag (that water is hot so tongs will help) and check to see if the felting process has started.
This photo is after 5 minutes. The wool feels soft and 'relaxed' not firm like it is when you have finished crocheting it. Heat and friction make the felt.
Put it back into the machine and continue the wash cycle.
From here on in you need to check about every 2 or 3 minutes as all wool felts at a different rate. Some fast and some slow.
This is after another 5 minutes. I have my template close by to help check for the right size.
These photos show how my phone cosy seemed to be felting more widthways and not lengthways, the one I did the other day was the opposite and it was the same brand of wool so you just can't predict how it is going to go. I have stretched the phone cosy back out width-wise a few times to help it felt more evenly.
Wool is fairly malleable so you can give it a good pull and stretch it back to the original shape if you feel it is not felting how you would like it to....That is one of the beautiful things about wool!
When you have it to the size you want or it won't felt any more, my phone cosy took about 25 minutes, you need to stop the felting process and take the wool back to its natural PH state.
Fill the sink with some lukewarm water,
add a dash of white vinegar ( this neutralises the wool ) and rinse well.
OK there you have it.....a felted phone cosy. It needs to be put in a warm, dry place to dry out.
Wrap it in a towel to absorb the moisture and change regularly. An airing cupboard is perfect if you have one. It has been really humid up here in the tropics so my cosy was still damp this evening after days of drying on the front porch. I ended up putting the oven on very LOW and my cosy on a tray lined with a towel and leaving it in the oven with the door open for a few hours. If you do this don't leave it unatteded as wool does BURN.....I know from experience!!
Now you know how to felt in the machine the possibilities are endless! Enjoy :-)
Anyone want me to continue the tutorial with the needle felting for embelishment???
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Look how much better our beautiful boy is....
Ebony and 'Tadpole'
Tadpole was given to myself and Ebony, my horse riding partner, because he needed lots of TLC. He had a bad fungal infection in his front hooves and it had made him lame. His tendons and ligaments were also strained from the effort of walking on his sore feet.
I have been cleaning out his feet daily and treating the fungal infection. The farrier has visited numerous times and just recently Tadpole was treated to a Bowen Therapy Massage and some Acupuncture.
After spending the first two weeks with us lying down to get relief from the pain in his legs, he has been slowly improving. After the last farrier visit he was well enough for the massage and some Acupuncture.
He could have had those treatments before but the benefits would not have been very long lasting as his feet were still a mess.
He has been resting, eating and playing with his stable mates (no matter how much I try to stop him, and I can't really separate them as he would just hang on the fence) and we have been spending time getting to know him.
Yesterday Ebony put those nice big boots on Tadpole and took him out for a little walk, some fresh air and a change of scenery.
He loved it, and thanks to the boots he didn't limp at all....we are getting better!!
And just look at what some TLC, a rest and lots of food do for you....
What a horse, isn't he stunning! Ebony and I both had a little play with him today and then soaked his feet in Epsom Salts while he had an Acupuncture treatment. ( for those of you who don't know I was a veterinary nurse in my life b4 kids )
We both can't wait for him to be better so we can go for a real ride....sitting on him is like sitting in an armchair....so comfy!
Enough gushing about my 4 legged friends....
Are you interested in a GIVEAWAY??
Pop over to All Things Crafty and see what Georgie has for you. She is de-cluttering and having a series of giveaways so there is something for everyone.
Have you made your phone cosy??? Felting Tutorial tomorrow :-)
Saturday, September 25, 2010
Felted Phone Cosy....try saying that fast! Maybe if you say it fast you won't notice that I am attempting my first tutorial!! Now I am a newbie at this so have pity. Firstly I am going to assume that you can crochet and follow a pattern???.
I will comment underneath the photo to save any confusion and I am using US terminology.
Good, then lets start....
You will need some nice chunky yarn. Worsted weight, 10ply/12ply is perfect. This needs to be at least 80% wool as this is a pattern for a felted phone cosy. I buy this wool at Spotlight, it is called Entwine Basics and it is 60%wool, 20% Alpaca and 20% acrylic. It does take a while to felt but when it does it is lovely!
The label recommends using a 7mm knitting needle which is quite large but as I want this tight and I am crocheting the cosy so I am going to use a 4mm hook.
You can see from this photo that the yarn is quite thick compared to the hook. If you are using different yarn just adjust accordingly to get the tightness you want. I have fairly loose tension so you can play around with sizes until you are happy with the look. For felting you don't want it too loose as you will see the holes between the stitches.
Begin by chaining 14 stitches. (this cosy is for an phone which measures 11cm x 6cm x .5cm ) The cosy will shrink about 1/3 when it is felted so you can adjust the pattern to suit the phone.
One SC into second chain from the hook,
Two more SC into the same stitch,
Continue with SC down the length of the chain, 9 SC and then 3 SC into the end chain,
Continue SC down the other side of the chain and join to the first SC with a Sl St. This is the bottom of the pouch.
SC for the next round but only into the front loop of the stitch, this makes a nice edge to start the sides of the pouch. Join with a Sl St.
You can see the sharp edge this stitch has made around the bottom of the pouch, this will end up on the inside of the pouch so you won't see it.
From now on you work in a spiral so continue on around the cosy in SC and just keep going until you get to the desired length. Remember that you want it to be bigger than the phone as it will be shrunk to felt later. Generally the shrinkage is about 1/3 but that differs with different wool. You can make a swatch but this cosy is about the size of a swatch....we will just keep an eye on things when we start felting. My cosy has 30 stitches in the round.
Because you are working a spiral now it will get wider! Mine also turns itself inside out as I get to about the sixth round so the seam will be on the inside. It doesn't matter if it doesn't because you are going to felt it and it won't be visible anyway. Keep checking the width and do a SC decrease in the front or back of the cosy a few times over the length to keep the sides straight. I did three decreases over the length of my cosy which is 24 rows, so a decrease about every 6 rows or so.
This is a SC decrease....into the stitch, yarn over and pull thru,
into the next stitch, yarn over and pull thru so you have 3 loops on the hook,
yarn over and pull thru all 3 loops on the hook, this will give you a neat SC decrease. Sorry about the blurred photo, I was relying on help, I had my hands full as you can see (thanks NO 1 Son) :-)
Continue the spiral around until you have the right length,
Make the last stitch at the side and it will be a SL ST to even up the rows. This is where you will need to decide if you want a flap for the pouch or not? If you do chain 2 and SC across to the other side, Chain 2 and TURN, SC along the back again, Chain 2 and TURN,
Continue until you have the right length. I did a SC decrease on the last two rows to round of the corners a bit. SL ST across the last row to end.
I made a handle for this cosy by joining at the edge of one side, chaining until I got a good length and then SC into the chain back to the start chain. I joined it again to the other side of the pouch and then SC back along to the start. I didn't put this in the tutorial as it was totally made up on the spot and I have no idea how well it will felt?? It may even end up being to tight for the pouch...I hope not!!
So there you go...hope you can follow along? Feel free to contact me for a one-on-one if you have any questions?
I will post the second part of the tutorial about Felting the Cosy in a few days after I have done it. Then we can go onto needle felting to decorate your phone cosy if you are still following along!
Have a great weekend,
Friday, September 24, 2010
I am late today because I have been trying all day to upload my photos from my phone to the computer!!! You would think it was quite straight forward (and it is) but I had to Google for instructions on how to...
We got there eventually...
1. A Pyjama Day....
2. Boys playing quietly with Lego for hours....
3. My Favourite furbaby 'Hamish' waiting to share my chair at the kitchen table where I spent my time surfing Blogland....
Did you notice Hamish's eyes??? Today one is green and one is orange! They are supposed to both be orange....but that depends on his mood :-)
More FTF over HERE!
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
One of my good friends is moving down south so today I put the finishing touches on her going away present. She has just got a new phone and wanted a nice soft cover for it.
A bit of crochet, some felting in the machine and then some needle felting embelishment and Ta Dah....
I was tempted to keep this for myself as I was really happy with the finished deal but my friend really liked it as well, so it looks like I will have to make another one for myself!!
I am up to stage two of my Holiday Shawl....
Loving the colours and the fine sock yarn. I am usually a big yarn type of gal but this project has surprised me. I love how fine and soft this is turning out. Still a long way to go ....'Just keep Knitting, Just keep Knitting' :-)
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Who wouldn't want one of these beautiful tissue box covers for a present???
Image courtesy of The Royal Sisters....
Look here for Michelle's best tutorial on how to make one, I'm off to check out my stash right now!
Want some more lovely ideas for a Handmade Christmas?
Head over to Knicky Knacks :-)
Saturday, September 18, 2010
I wanted a project that was portable and easy, not too much thinking or too much complication which would lead to being easily miscounted. I don't really enjoy frogging my projects....
Look at the colours in this shawl, I love the drape and after seeing this one over on Knitabulous I decided it was time to give it a go myself.....
I'll keep you posted :-)
Friday, September 17, 2010
Breakfast in Bed!! (sorry about the blurry photo, the boys took it, I was still asleep)
This was my morning! Bright and early! What a lovely surprise by my two little favourite things and on the last day of term as well which is already one of my most favourite things.....they just made the day that much better! First time they have done this as well.....I think I am being buttered up for something????
No-one can top Mrs P's favourite thing this week but if you want to try pop over to Quilting in my Pyjamas.
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Wow!! How Cool is this....
Marg over at Sunshine Paradise sent me this knowing how thrilled I would be to see it, I would have loved to have seen it in real life but I would have to move to Tasmania for that :-)
The Knitted room, click the link for more information.
Friday, September 10, 2010
Todays Creative Space follows on from last week.
Local groups have been asked to participate in an exhibition that is going to be held in a few weeks to raise money for Breast Cancer. The idea was to make your own or decorate an existing Bra. The exhibition will be judged and I have chosen to enter under the 'Breast Cancer Theme'.
This is 'Grannylicious'
I really enjoyed myself making this one and NO I am not going to model it myself, :-P to those who were hoping I would..... I might find myself with Zero followers if I did that! LOL
Friday is also a day for Favourite Things,
I JUST LOVE my Guinea Fowl.....
I have a flock of six and they are so amusing to watch. Their latest trick is to fly onto the roof and then cry out in alarm at the dogs in the dog yard, consequently creating mayhem while they just sit up above and look down.....the dogs go crazy!
This week I was lucky enough to get a present in the mail....
It came all the way from South Africa from mamma4earth. When I saw this in her Etsy Shop I just had to have her....
No not these....
Look at these fabulous stamps that were on the packet, I haven't seen round stamps before, I can hear the groans as they have probably been around for ages but I am known for not being the most observant, they are new to me :-)
Isn't she adorable! And so well made! Look at that needle felting!! Linda you are a star!
And look, she matches perfectly with the Lino Print that a good friend made and had framed for me in exchange for some knitting!
For more lovely creativity head to Natural Suburbia and for more Favourite Things Friday go to Mrs P at Quilting in My Pyjamas.
Hope you all have a lovely weekend,