Baa-me Kniits

Hello and thank you for visiting.....

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Softie Swap

Woo Hoo!! Look at the softie that I received in the post last week from my swap partner...




I took part in the Softie Swap organised by the Clip Cafe and Harriet made me this gorgeous little owl. Isn't she a beauty! Such a lot of work and so nicely made. Well done Harriet, I love her!

And now that Harriet has received my softie I can reveal it to you....





100% wool, all needle felted and she even has a little bell inside....




Pink toes....




Harriet has a little fella who is under one years old so I wanted my softie to be child safe....




Small enough to be just right in a little hand as well :-) Hope she fits in well Harriet, I enjoyed making her and thanks Vanessa for organising a fun swap!






Any ideas as to what this is????? The boys noticed it on the way home from the bus stop on Thursday....





ANTS!!!! Looks like we may be getting a lot of rain soon! Can you see them all over the ground, must be a giant ants nest under there!!!



Friday, October 29, 2010

TGIF



Its Favourite Things Friday and I have to tell you my FAVOURITE Flower is.....






The Gardenia! LOVE it! That scent is just divine....



I have been playing around with this brilliant tutorial over at Fox's Lane. Kate uses her ric-rac on her gorgeous dresses she makes for girls and I have always loved it and thought it was really hard....





but look, I have done it....only about another 3 metres to go for the project I have in mind!


I have been doing some more needle felting and thought you would like to see this one. I made this for a friends birthday. It is Millaa Millaa Falls, a special place for both her and myself and both our wedding photos were taken there.





Want to see some more creativity today? Pop over to Natural Suburbia for Creative Friday.

Have a great weekend,



Wednesday, October 27, 2010

My Creative Space


A bit of colour always cheers things up....





Thank you everyone for all your lovely comments about Hamish. It was very cathartic to share his pictures and our memories, thank you for sharing.

Now pop over to Kirsty's and see who else is playing along this week.


Sunday, October 24, 2010

Hamish


We lost our little mate Hamish yesterday, we will miss him very much....






miss him sitting on my chair and not leaving any room for me when I'm blogging....
miss him ripping up boxes and paper....


miss the 'hairy crocoldile' lying in wait....






miss him teasing the dogs....





Miss his funny sleeping positions....





miss him hanging around....






miss his companionship....




miss having to wait to use the toilet....





Most of all I will miss your solid presence. Blessings my little man and rest peacefully.....we love you and miss you xx

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I am an Urban Guerrilla!


This weekend is the 30th Tablelands Folk Festival!

Every year someone decorates the 'bikini tree' at the beginning of the village of Yungaburra SO....







This year I decided it would be me!!



Monday, October 18, 2010

It's a Menagerie here....


This made me laugh because it is like this at my house sometimes. Aren't animals such a great source of amusement!




Friday, October 15, 2010

Needle Felting Tutorial Part 2 The Basics

**As this is Favourite things Friday and Creative Friday I saved the tutorial until today as FELT is one of my favourite things....for links for this fun go to the end of my post.


Are you Ready???? Lets get started :-)

Lots of photos so get a cuppa and get comfy!!

My Photos are for making the basic shape by needle felting and also for adding the picture but you can start with something that is already the shape you want and embellish that if you wish. ie: a wool sweater, bag, hat, socks, anything. You are only limited by your imagination!! You MUST use a natural fibre though, synthetics will not felt.

FELTING NEEDLES
Felting needles have a star-shaped point and a barbed or
notched shaft. They’re available in a variety of sizes ranging from
32 to 42 gauge—the higher the gauge number, the finer the needle.
A medium 36 gauge needle is perfect for your first project. Individual felting needles, however, are fairly FRAGILE. It’s not uncommon to break one or more as you learn
to gauge the amount of pressure needed. It’s a good idea to have
several on hand.




Some nice colours for drawing my picture....



As much clean and 'carded' wool (Roving/tops) as you need to make your shape. Remember the felting process shrinks the wool so use a fair bit to start and then adjust as you go.....





BASIC TECHNIQUE
Place your wool/Roving/tops on your foam block. **** see below.

With your felting needle perpendicular to the table, gently
poke the roving repeatedly. Continue to poke the roving until it has begun to felt, meshing and melting together. You can add more roving to the shape to get the size you want.

You DON'T need to use much force: A gentle, repetitive poking motion is ideal, (about a gazillion times is average).


MOISTURE ****

I RARELY use moisture with needle felting but you can. Adding hot, soapy water not only speeds up the felting process but also produces a smoother piece of fabric. ( I think it is a matter of personal preference here, try it and see how you like it).
Use one cup of very hot water with two to three drops of soap. You can use anything from dishwashing soap to commercial wool washes. The soap alters the pH level of the
water—which, like the hot water itself, helps the fiber cuticle open and expand and helps transform your roving into felted fabric. Thats why we rinse with vinegar after machine felting, to restore the natural PH to the wool.

****Immerse a kitchen sponge in hot water and drizzle the water onto the roving surface to dampen it. ****




My basic shape....






This is where the fun starts....lets add the colour! To cover the back of my piece I have spread out a layer of green roving just a bit bigger than my base....





Carefully turn it over....




and start needle felting the colour to the base....




Add
additional roving, if needed,
into the base
for desired coverage.



I have jumped ahead to show you the finished back of my brooch, you can see after using different size needles that the finish is quite even and smooth.




Add some more colour and let your imagination run wild....








Reposition and tease the roving into place with the tip of the needle (or a pair of tweezers) as you work. It is just like drawing!!
As often as necessary, catch a portion of your roving with the felting needle and pull and poke it into the desired position.
In the beginning stages, if you decide you don’t like the shape
you can simply simply pull the partially felted roving free and begin again.
However there is a point of no return so check your progress frequently in the initial stages, so you can correct mistakes while that’s still possible.






WHEN IS IT DONE?
During the needle-felting process, the roving fibers are pushed
down through the surface of your project with your
needle, permanently attaching the roving . If you have a fairly thin project or are appliquéing a knitted or crocheted item then look at the opposite side of your swatch: When you see some of your roving coming through on the wrong side, your work is probably sufficiently felted to be secure. At this point,
you can smooth out the surface of your design by changing to a finer gauge needle. Working with a smaller (higher gauge) needle will help refine the overall appearance.





TA DAH!!!

A Rose bud brooch. I have deliberately made the finishing touches less felted than the rest of the brooch for the contrast in texture. Play around and have some fun with the different textures and shapes you can make....




HERE is a bit of trivia for you....
The felting needles used today were adapted from industrial
or commercial use. Machine-made felt fabric is used in products ranging from air filters for your car or furnace to tennis ball covers and is typically referred to as needle-punch felt. Machines that hold hundreds of thousands of needles create a sheet of solid fabric by punching the needles repeatedly through a mass of wool or synthetic material.

I hope that wasn't to overwhelming?? If you have any questions please contact me by email, I am more than happy to help out.



For a great wealth if information and some great projects have a look at the Interweave site.
Information and products on all types of felting and fulling, including needle-felting, visit interweavefelt Disclaimer....I absolve myself from all responsibility for any purchases you may make at this site :-)

Right I'm off for a cuppa and to put my feet up....




Have a great weekend,

Jen xx

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

My Creative Space

Just a sneak peek.....






All ready to be packed up and sent to my Softie Swap partner.

More creative spaces over here at Kirsty's :-)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Needle Felting Tutorial Part 1 Supplies


I am going to do my tutorial in a few instalments as there are a lot of photos and I think it will be easier if I break the steps up for you.



What is needle felting???

Simply put Needle felting is colouring in or drawing with wool. Wool is amazing and it is a real joy to discover what can be accomplished with this natural fibre. We know from my machine felting tutorial that wool, hot water and a lot of friction will change the shape and density of a wool item.

Needle felting can be used to achieve the same effect. As it is quite labour intensive it is usually used for smaller creations but is not unusual for some artists to get really carried away with the practice.

Be warned.... It can be very addictive!


Needle felting like it is described uses a VERY SHARP barbed needle to push the wool fibres together into a matt. If you keep pushing the needle into the wool sculpture or picture repeatedly you will compress the fibres and matt them together just like the hot water and friction does with machine felting, however Needle felting gives you much more control over the outcome of the shape you are felting or drawing.



The needles used for felting are quite long and sharp so you will need something to create a resistance behind your creation. High density foam is usually used to start with but you can purchase blocks of bristles from craft shops which have the same effect. I prefer the foam because that is what I have always used. I usually just use a small rectangular block, about 15cm x 6cm x 5cm. Using a small block allows you to manoeuvre the block around instead of continually having to move the wool which makes it a bit easier in the beginning stages.






High Density foam block and Felting Needles in 3 sizes.



40g = Extra Fine, 38g = Fine, and 36g = Medium





This photo shows the barbs at the end of the needle. The barbs face all the same direction and help push the wool onto itself. When the needle is pushed down the wool is compacted together and when the needle is pulled back up it comes away clean and doesn't bring any wool with it.

That is the simple principle of Needle Felting, just keep up that repetition using gradually smaller and smaller gauges of needle size and you will create felt!



I have here some washed fleece that was gifted to me by a friend so I am using a small slicker brush to tease the fibres a little and remove any foreign matter from the fleece You can use any roving or tops that is available commercially or you can like me start with the raw product. It just needs to be clean.



This photo shows the fleece before and after I have 'carded' (brushed out the knots) it. If you are doing your own its a good idea to do more than you will need for your project because there is nothing worse than having to go back to this step once you are on a creative roll.



Carding my fleece with the small slicker brush. I only needed a small amount for this project so I only used the small brush. Usually I would use my large carders for a much quicker job.


I have used my un-dyed fleece for the basic foundation of my project and it is a good idea to do this if you do a lot of felting and you have the fleece as it can become expensive when you use the commercial roving or tops in large quantities.


DON'T THESE LOOK GORGEOUS THOUGH!!!



These are the colours I am using for my project. There are a multitude available and you will only be limited by your imagination :-)

Beautiful soft merino and some mixed roving amongst that. The white is baby alpaca....SO SOFT!! Mmmmmmmm......


Part 2 (coming soon) will show you how to start Needle Felting!

Ciao xx

All supplies can be bought online thru Etsy or just Google Needle felting supplies and you will find lots of choices.