Tag Archives: needle felting

To cover a house plant’s pot!

Warning – Lots of pictures!

I have a tree in my house!   I’ve had this tree for over 20 years!  It is a ficus, which is tropical (at least compared to Minnesota!), so it can visit the great outdoors in the summer, but spends winters inside!  Over the years it has been re-potted into bigger and bigger pots and now weighs nearly 100 pounds.  When we moved last fall, we finally built a dolly just for my tree so it can roll around on the tile floor.  But the big, green, plastic pot is rather ugly.

potted tree

My tree’s pot – functional, but ugly.

After years of being outside in the summer sun, the plastic is faded and scuffed.  It needed a dress!  So I put on my creative hat and went to work at my FeltLOOM.

Felt around pot

Felt wrapping the pot

After measurements of the pot, I felted a rectangle made of 50% alpaca / 50% wool – the same fiber as I use for felted insoles.  The rectangle measured about 75″ long and 30″ high.  It is much thicker on the top than on the bottom, for reasons you will soon understand.

paper clips around bottom

Calculating the shape

Using big paper clamps, I estimated the shaping that would be needed around the bottom of the pot.  I marked these with a grease pencil on the back side of the felt.

blue accent fabric

Teal blue

red fabric

Or red fabric

I went to my fabric stash to find some bright teal fabric, but I didn’t have any bright teal.  I found a darker teal and a bright red.  This is just lightweight cotton/poly fabric.  After some Facebook voting, the red won.  I sewed two strips together to get a piece long enough to go the length of the felt.  I pressed under the long edges of the fabric.

fiber sunflower

Sunflower of fiber

I found some black alpaca fiber from one of my alpacas and some dyed yellow alpaca fiber and loosely felted this partial sunflower.

sunflower divided for darts

Sunflower divided

I cut the sunflower so it would not cover where the darts would be that I marked for the shaping.

sunflower, fabric and yarn getting felted

Felting the piece

At the same time, I put the red fabric strip and two pieces of bulky alpaca yarn that matched the sunflower yellow on the felt piece and ran the entire thing through the FeltLOOM.

flat piece felted

Felting done

Everything is felted in place.

close up of a sewn dart

Close up of a dart

On my sewing machine, I made the darts that I marked out earlier.

Darts add the shaping

Darts all around

Six darts around the bottom, give it the shape needed to fit around the plastic pot.  These were really thick near the point of the darts, but my old sewing machine did the job with some protesting.  I was sure glad I had made the felt thinner near the bottom. I didn’t cut open the darts as they add stability on the bottom.

missed spots from the darts

Mismatch on the darts

The darts didn’t match up with felted sunflower exactly, so I hand needle-felted some additional fiber onto the bare spots to complete the sunflower.   At this point the darts would have been way too thick for the FeltLOOM to handle.

felted front with sunflower

Sunflower on front

Bare spots are filled in.

added grommets on the back edges

Grommets added

I sewed under the ends of the fabric and yarn, then added a row of big grommets near the edges.

yarn ties the grommets together

Yarn closures

I used some of the yellow yarn to tie the edges together using the grommet holes.

tree pot dressed up pretty

Ready for show!

And there it is.  My tree has a lovely new dress to wear during its winter time indoors.  And it is easy to take off when the tree goes out on the porch for the summer.

This was a fun project that added a nice pop of color in the kitchen/entry way.

The making of a felting kit – part 1

The consensus was to go with the fawn alpaca fiber for the felting kit.  I think it will work the best.   The way to show definition is by needle felting an indention where a line would be drawn – for instance to separate the tail from the body.  These indented areas show up best in lighter colors.  

And so the process of creating the kit began.

washing fiber

Into the suds

 

The fawn for the alpaca will be the natural color of our alpaca Annie M.  I washed a bag of her fiber.  After three washes, a rinse and a spin, it was ready to be dried.

fiber drying

Wet fiber

I spread it out on the drying rack with a sheet under it and a ceiling fan over it to blow it gently dry.   Then I went to dyeing pot.

yellow fiber

Bright as the sun

I dyed some white roving from Araucano into this yellow/orange for the sun.

blue fiber

Fluffy blue clouds

I tied some little bundles of roving and dyed them blue.  The ties kept the dye from penetrating evenly, so there will be fluffy blue clouds.

green fiber

Green as grass

A wee of green is needed for a few tufts of grass.  Once the fiber was all dry, I was able to needle felt the picture.

felted picture

Pretty as a picture

A photo of the completed picture will be used for the packaging of the kit, so I get to create each design.

bags of fiber

Bags of fiber

This is an overhead view of the little bags of fiber that will go in each kit. But there is still more to do before the kits are ready for sale.  Come back for Part 2!

 

Another talented customer!

I just love to see the things that are made from my yarn and alpaca fiber.   It is amazing to see the talent of others.  Here is another offer of the proof of that statement.

Cria in white

Isn’t she adorable?   Marcia made her for me from fiber she bought from us.   She got a few ounces of several different colored animals.   I think this little cria is made from Pelasia‘s fiber. 

Her name is Pelasia

Marcia has just opened her Etsy shop.   She has several felted dogs listed already – they are very true to their breed!  Quite impressive.   Get one of her little dogs and you will have the perfect pet – no barking, no feeding required, no cleaning up and small enough to be a ‘purse dog!’

Getting ready for Shepherd’s Harvest

OR:

The great migration!  I feel like I’m moving out!  I have so much stuff to pack into our car for the trip to Shepherd’s Harvest.  I have to leave at 7 AM tomorrow to get the fleeces checked in for judging, so things have been lining up for days.  Here’s a condensed run-down:

My fleeces:  3 bagged for show, 5 bagged for sale, 1 ready to deliver for processing.

Plus 6 fleeces to bring for the show for Glacial Ridge Alpacas.

2 tote bins containing items for sale in the retail booth:  32 skeins of newly dyed yarn, a bunch more skeins of hand spun or commercial spun from my animals. felted soap, hats, scarfs, bird nesting material cages, roving, a shawl, mittens, purses, and more!

2 milk crates holding felting kits and felting refill kits

Another tote bin of miscellaneous stuff:  needle felting demo stuff, fiber arts competition entries, scale, fashion show information and everything else I think I might need!

I’ve yet to pack a suitcase for me, plus my backpack with laptop, teapot, mug, phone charger and all that stuff!  Oh – and I might have time to knit, gotta bring that!

So if you are anywhere near Lake Elmo, MN – you MUST come to Shepherd’s Harvest.  Bring your Mom.  You are sure to find a great Mother’s Day gift for her!   See you there!

The latest felting kit

The last couple weeks, I’ve been working on creating a new felting kit.  I chose a cute little bunny in a flower pot from the designs selected by my partners at Twisted Suri Alpacas.  After dyeing and stamping and all that, I got to needle felt the design.  This is the fun part!  And I am ‘required’ to do every design so I have an example to take the pictures for the packaging.  😉

Bunny #1

I asked for opinions and 3 out of 3 (4 of 4 if I include my own opinion!) were not thrilled with the bunny’s color.  So…..

Bunny #1 removed

I had carded white and black fiber together for the gray and thought I had a really nice gray roving!  I’m considering attempting to combine a bunch more and even try spinning it.  Gray yarn is so popular, but gray alpacas are rare.  (It is a bonus when good still comes out of an experiment gone awry!)  But a gray bunny was not to be.  So I tried again.

Bunny #2

This is the finished picture!   Already in our Etsy shop.   Cute and fun to make.

Another design is ready

Our second alpaca felting kit is now available in our Etsy shop.  It is a cute bear on a hot air balloon ride.

Go for a ride

Go for a ride

If you are close and would like to stop by either Hollyhock Farm or Twisted Suri Ranch, we have the kits available and ON SALE!  The kits are $15 (regular price is $20).   The refill kits are available too – on sale for $10 (regular price is $15).

I’m going to make you bit longer for the funny story – it deserves a post of its own.  Just a hint – Honie is the star!

Brand new!

Announcing:  (drum roll, please!)

Alpaca Felting Kits   (and the crowd go wild!)

I’ve been working with Roger and Gina of Twisted Suri Alpaca Ranch to develop a line of felting kits using our alpaca fiber.  I have finished our first design.  Scroll slowly and watch this little wonder develop before your eyes. 

What is it?

What is it?

A little more to see

A little more to see

Can you guess?

Can you guess?

Almost complete

Almost complete

Hello World

Hello World

Framed and ready to fly!

Framed and ready to fly!

This butterfly design will be our first felting kit.  The felting kit will include the backing (60% alpaca / 40% wool) which will be stamped with the design, hand-dyed (by me) 100% alpaca roving, alpaca yarn, a foam block to use for needle felting, 2 felting needles, complete instructions and a photo of the completed design.   Frame is not included.   We’ll also be creating refill kits which will contain everything in the felting kit except the foam and needles.  We have a hot-air balloon design, an alpaca and an iris in the works.  We have our Etsy shop  – Alpaca Felting Kits – open, but no kits posted yet.   We still need to do the accounting (blah!) to determine the price of the felting kits and refill kits.   As I get the roving dyed for each design, they’ll be available for sale. 

What do you think?   Do you like the butterfly?  Do you want to see more?