5.31.2011

Wet Felting a Killer Rabbit

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I have felted purses and bags before, but that was the extent of my felting journey. I saw Claudia on The Knitting Blog by Mr. Puffy the Dog blog felt an adorable bunny and knew I had to try it. With the help of instructions from The Daily Felt, and some You Tube Videos (I like this one by Brookelynn Morris), I was off.

Wet Felting with a resist, to make a 3D item.

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I cut this shape out of some packing material to use as my resist. This will be placed in the middle. I’ll layer pieces on the top and bottom, wet felt and then cut them apart to stuff it. Sounds easy? Let’s see if it is….

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I need some bubble wrap, use it bubble side towards your felting, If it is not wide enough, you can duct tape it together to make it wider, (duct tape on the smooth side)

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Follow the instructions on the Felting lessons site

1-Very warm water, and quite a bit of soap, work this into the bunny, on both sides, until the “pinch test” does not produce fibers. (see video)

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OK not looking very bunny like here, more like a blue blob.

2. Fulling- Strengthens the felt

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3. Rinsing the felt

And then drying and stuffing your creature, I needle felted the opening together.

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I cut the eyes and teeth out of felt and then needle felted it on. This bunny reminds me of the Monty Python and the Holy Grail movie with the Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog.

 

run away

In the film, King Arthur's Knights of the Round Table are led to the Cave of Caerbannog by Tim the Enchanter, and find that they must face down both the Rabbit and the Black Beast. The Cave of Caerbannog ("caer bannog" being Welsh for "turreted castle") is the home of the Legendary Black Beast of Aaaaarrrrrggggghhhhh. This is guarded by a monster which is initially unknown. King Arthur and his knights are led to the cave by Tim the Enchanter, and find that they must face down its guardian beast. Tim verbally paints a picture of a terrible monster with "nasty, big, pointy teeth!", so terrifying that Sir Robin soils his armour. When the guardian appears to be an innocuous white rabbit,surrounded by the bones of the fallen. Very scary!! LOL

For those of you not interested in Killer Rabbits, try a coin purse, or I like the following link to a felted beret below!

Have fun!

Interested in trying a felted beret? Take a look at this video by Threadbanger

Also see this site from Terry Feltinglessons.com, she has felting info, and projects, lots of videos also to help you out! Thanks Terry!

5.30.2011

Celebrate Memorial Day

memorial day

Check out the story that goes with this famous photo

Raising_the_Flag_outline

And the men in the photo.

Featured Etsy Blogger

This month’s Etsy Blogger is NajoDogz by Nancy Richardson.

NanjoDogz features polymer clay Pandora beads, sculpture, pendants, tiles, beads and more with our main concentration on the dog in various breeds. Although our main focus is on dog related creations, we also create various other critter beads. We have a variety of whimsical and unique items.

Beagle Polymer Clay Dog Pandora Bead / Charm $28.00

beagle

Australian Shepherd Pandora Polymer Clay Dog Bead – Charm $28.00

a shepherd

Don’t see your dog? She also does custom orders! (below from her shop policies)

Custom Orders: If you see anything in our shop that you would like in a specific breed just let us know and we'll be happy to create a piece for you. Please note: There is an additional charge for custom orders.
Charity: A percentage of proceeds to my favorite animal charities including HSUS, Anti-Cruelty Society, Illinois Doberman Rescue.

She blogs here

5.28.2011

Tie Dyeing Onesies

I bought a package of white Onesies and decided to tiedye them for a baby present. A fun summer gift for any little one!

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Drying on the line.

Materials:

-package of Onesis (I found mine at Joann’s, all ready to dye)

-acid based dyes, or if you are a first timer, there are tie dyeing kits that are cheap, see WalMart

-plastic bins, and metal spoon

-rubber bands or string to tie, I used rubber bands

1- I looked here to see some different folding techniques for dyeing for my Onesies. The ones I chose were; (From left to right

1-The Bunching, green, bunched up and I used about 5 rubber bands to secure it all.

2- I used a combo of a small spiral in the middle and pleats on the top and bottom from side to side, turquoise, one rubber band in the middle and one one the pleated top, one on the pleated bottom

3- The Spiral, used on the middle blue one, about 5 or 6 rubber bands to secure it all, placed in all different directions.

4- Pleats, the turquoise is pleats folded from bottom to top, secured with two rubber bands on each side.

5- Pleats, the green pleats folded from side to side, and secured with three rubber bands, each side and one in the middle.

I then soaked them in water for about 30 min to totally saturate them.

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Prepare your chosen dye according to your instructions.

Place your tied items in, for the recommended time on your dye package.

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I decided to dye some organic cotton yarn while I had some dye mixed up.

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Remove and rinse, rinse, rinse, then I untied and rinsed some more, Then I added soap and agitated by hand and rinsed until the water ran clean. I hung these up to dry on the line.

When dry, Place these in the dryer to help “set” the dye.

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I had so much fun doing this, I would try some of the other tying methods on larger shirts.

5.21.2011

Equine Faces and Graphite

Watching the Preakness and sketching a bit. Inspired by the moving horses.

Interesting Horse related facts:

In the state of Arizona, it is illegal for cowboys to walk through a hotel lobby wearing their spurs

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Horses younger than 4 years can concentrate for a maximum of 10-15 minutes

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A horse typically sleeps two and half to three hours a day

A zedonk is the offspring of a zebra and a donkey

Horses generally dislike the smell of pigs

I’m planning on getting back to my knitting soon! Seriously!! LOL

5.15.2011

Just Horsing Around….

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Playing around a bit with watercolor, just using black in different layers. Sumi-e style.

When we moved down here one of the nicest things was seeing horses. I grew up in the city and never saw a live horse until I went to the fair. I couldn’t believe how big they were up close.

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Maybe nothing defines the culture of Kentucky better than the state’s obsession with horses. One visit to Kentucky’s Horse Country, and the thoroughbred affection is apparent in everything from the fields of grazing horses and racetracks to horse farms & tours.

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Above is charcoal, well I’ll keep trying..LOL

So in the spirit of Kentucky and their beautiful horses I’m trying to paint them. It is hard to capture them, the movement, angles and shadows. But enjoyable.

photo_kentucky

horses001a

5.13.2011

Progression of a Craft

 

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Knitters usually have a favorite item to knit. Shawls, socks, dishcloths, toys, to name a few. Mine is sweaters. A strange item for a women who is plagued by hot flashes that scare my co workers. But if you are a knitter you will understand, when the knitting muse calls, you just answer it, no questions asked.

My first big success into knitting sweaters was when I discovered Elizabeth Zimmerman, and, suddenly, after years of odd sweaters, or frogged sweaters, I had a “sweater that actually fit”! This was the beginning of my long love affair with sweaters.

I think of my knitting phases as;

1-My FLAT period; scarves, afghans, dishcloths, basically anything flat and mindless. I was into loving the knitting, just for the knitting. Then I heard the siren of the sweater, I knitted quite a few flat, funny sweaters, that got frogged, given to anyone resembling the resulting size, and just generally huge “gauge” issues.

2-Sweater; In the round, bottom up, Yay! I discovered Elizabeth Zimmerman! I quickly finished my first sweater, which I still have and put on in the cold winter. It turned out to be a big  oversized “boyfriend” sweater, at the time I wore it over leggings. (what decade was that?? LOL) I was so excited to have a sweater that fit that I remember wearing it and sweating! It fit, I made it and I was wearing it, no matter what. (Schoolhouse Press is still in business), also her books are available at most yarn shops and of course Amazon.This period consisted of many Elizabeth Zimmerman sweaters,

3-Socks-Well say no more, who hasn’t gotten caught up in socks.  Turn your first heel and it is magikal! Fast, easy to carry, simple to lacy, cable, ribs, you name it, and you can find it on a sock, somewhere. I tired knitting them on dpns, magic loop, two at a time on one circular, and my current socks on the needle are my favorite technique, one at a time on two circulars, see Silver’s Sock Class, all free with excellent instructions for knitting socks just about any way you want!

4-Lace/Shawl period, well I guess this is more of a ambition. I have so many lace patterns and yarn for them. I tend to pick out complicated patterns and I don’t seem to have to attention span to knit them. I’m constantly making errors and frogging. If anyone has tips, let me know!!! (Short of medication) LOL, maybe someday.

5-Sweaters, I discover top down in the round sweaters! I love them! For my first one I used some of my kool aid dyed yarn, and the Incredible, custom knit Raglan Sweater pattern from By Pamela Costello, this is an excellent pattern! There are many other versions of this idea, but this is the one I came across and it really got me going! I love the seamless idea. The fact that I can try it on as I knit solves an ongoing gauge problem, I can tweak the pattern “live on the needles”.

This resulted in a quest to see who else was making patterns this way. I found these top down sweater books on amazon. I think the best ones are written in the Elizabeth Zimmerman way of percentages, or knit until you are (under the arms for example) One of my favorites is Knitting from the Top by Barbara G. Walker

What do you love to knit??

5.01.2011

Happy May Day

Wet, but pretty, I’m happy to see some bright color. May Day, marks the end of the unfarmable winter half of the year in the Northern hemisphere, and it has traditionally been an occasion for popular and often raucous celebrations.

4–10 May:

  • Between Midspring and Midsummer
  • Traditional summer begins
  • Middle of astronomical spring

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I have gotten my Iced sweater back out and looked at it. Like most knitted items that are “resting”, when I look at it, I think I can have it done fairly quickly. My main concern is my yarn yardage. I’m pretty sure I’ll run out, of course the yarn is discontinued, but I have found some on eBay! But don’t want to over buy.

I better get my needles clicking!

May your knitting needles fly as fast as dragonflies….

I am selling all of my knitting magazine back issues off in lots on Ebay, if you are interested take a look! I don’t have them all listed yet, I still have two more piles to go through. *grin*