Monday, 13 July 2015

Felt making

A little while ago I got the chance to have a go at felt making. I wasn't too impressed with my efforts and I didn't keep the results. Recently though, a friend gave me some wool and lent me her carding brushes. She had already washed the wool but there were still a few bits of twig and stuff in it. This was the wool before I carded it.

Picture of clump of washed but uncarded white sheep's wool

I made a small piece of felt over the course of one evening. This is the piece; it's about the size of my hand.

Picture of small piece of white hand made felt on white background

It doesn't look too bad above but when it's on a black background you can see how thin it is and how I haven't really felted it enough. (It is the same piece, even though for some reason it looks a different shape.)
Picture of small piece of white hand made felt on black background with some gaps showing

I don't think it was entirely my fault. I think some of the wool may have been 'double clipped', meaning the strands were quite short in places. Also, my friends thinks she may have washed it too vigorously and it had started to felt during the washing process. Even so, I think most of the problem was lack of patience, so the following evening I tried again only this time I felted a pebble.

Picture of pebble enclosed in white hand-made felt

It's still a bit 'hairy' but it was much easier to do and the felt feels much thicker. I was really pleased with it until my family kept asking me what it was for... I don't really have an answer for that.

I've now dyed some of the wool pink so my next plan is to do a multi-coloured piece. Watch this space.

More button finds

I found two new sources of buttons this week. The first was in an old church that has been converted to an antiques market. One of the stalls has an old fashioned sweet vending machine a bit like this one... 

But instead of sweets it was full of buttons. For 20p I got a whole handful of buttons - 20 buttons in fact, although I think that was just coincidence.  Here they are ...

And the best one...

Then, as I was photographing these, my husband reminded me of the button tin which used to belong to his mother and which has been sitting for several years in a wooden box under the table in the living room. I can't believe I hadn't thought of it. So I got out the tin which is rather lovely itself...

There were 575 buttons inside. Yes, I counted them. Most of them are white or grey shirt buttons but there are quite a few others, though not much variety in terms of colour. She had two sons which I guess explains the absence of much pink or other pretty colours.

And here are a few of the more unusual ones.

Strictly speaking then, I should have enough buttons to be getting on with for a while. Yeah, right.