Sat 25 Jul 2015
I have really been enjoying the monthly guild felting group. This month, we decided to make slippers. Good thing too, since my favorite wool Haflinger slippers gave up the ghost a while ago. I had the felt insert replaced but it was beyond hope when I wore through the toe. It had a good 20 year run. I should be happy. My replacement Acorn slippers, sadly, did not last nearly as long.
Here’s what a couple of hours of work look like. The green plastic underneath is the form I worked from. The trick to removing the form is to cut a slit that is large enough to pull the form out, but not too big since the hole will enlarge as you continue the felting process. I should also add that you need to make the slit large enough to easily put your hand in and turn it inside out as you complete the felting process. That’s why there is such a funky dog ear at the heel because I had to cut again after fighting it for a while.
I did the final fulling with the slippers on my foot so there is a definite right and left slipper. I got a nice self foot massage in the process. Bonus!
Here it is after I trimmed it once it is fully dried. As you can see, the edge where I trimmed was much fluffier than the edges that did not need trimming. This is because the edge was felted down and the body was less felted down. I want to weave a tape to cover up the cut edge to hide the inconsistent width.
The finished slippers weigh less than 2 oz. Yes, less than 2 oz of wool. I plan to wear these at the loom this winter. I don’t want to worry about wearing through the sole so I will sew on a few pieces of leather on the bottom.
Hopefully, the leather will add more weight to these slippers. Why? They are light enough each that Stormy thinks they are part of her toy collection and she carries them around. Each morning, I find them in a different part of the house than where I place them the night before.
An ICAD based on one of the slippers.
Tue 14 Jul 2015
Front view. Velcro attachment for the handlebar.
Work is trying out a new ebike program and I won the lottery to try one out for commuting. I decided it needed a new bag for the handlebar. I looked around and decided to make one of my own based on a hybrid between the Timbuk2 Colby, the Pocampo 6 Corners Bag, and some features of my own.
I made my paper pattern, picked up some cotton ticking and went for it over the Independence Day holiday.
Side view. Detachable shoulder strap.
Check out the shoulder strap! It is a John Mullarkey original. He threw down the gauntlet to see what I can make with it. I made the strap detachable so I can move it from bag to bag — especially since this is just the prototype.
Top/Inside View. Double zipper, fully lined with 2 inside pockets.
Now, having used the bag for a week or so, there are a few changes that I would like to make.
- I thought the fabric was stiff enough by itself and would not require a stabilizer. I was wrong. It’s perfect for a purse but doesn’t have enough body to hold it’s shape on the handlebar. It droops over the headlight. A stiff interfacing would help. I don’t want to use a plastic insert because I still want the softer look of a fabric bag.
- I forgot to add an inside key clip. My bike/house keys get lost into the bottom of the bag.
- I worry about the longevity of the velcro attachment to the bike. Velcro loses it’s “magic” after a while and I want the bag to last. However, I can always continue to use it as a shoulder bag.
- The attachment point was designed to be about 1.5″ below the top of the bag. Unfortunately, without the stiffener, it meant that the bag droops from that point down instead of sitting taller than the handlebars. Again, I think the stabilizer will help.
Two weeks into riding the ebike, I’ve learned a few things about using an ebike:
- Pedelec is a pedal assist. You still need to pedal for it to work. You can’t just use the battery power to coast along. I was worried that I wouldn’t get my usual workout if I used an ebike. I had been riding my bike 3 times a week before the ebike. Now, I aim for 4 days a week to make up for the battery assist.
- My average speed went from about 10 mph on my normal hybrid city bike to about 16+ mph. It did not half my commute time as I had hoped. My typical bike travel time of 40+ minutes each way (unassisted) dropped to just under 30. (Car time averages about 20 minutes.)
- I still need a shower when I get to work. It takes a lot of work to keep that pace with a 50 pound bike.
Wed 10 Jun 2015
Comments Off on Blobs
I stumbled upon Carla Sonheim‘s website earlier this week and have been completely captivated by her approach to just having fun with drawing and painting. I took a stab at it for yesterday’s index card.
It really is liberating and fun when you aren’t trying so hard at realism and just focus on the fun and whimsy.
It rained today…a rarity in drought stricken California. The fallen flowers and leaves provided ample opportunities for another one of Carla’s exercises — Blob Hunting. You know how sometimes you walk by something and think, that looks like Nixon’s nose! Or a unicorn. Or a Hippopotamus in a tutu. That’s what it feels like. Once I started looking, I couldn’t stop. I forced myself to stop at 4 blob sketches in 10 steps.
Can you tell what the blobs were originally? What do you see in them? I can’t wait to play with these later!
Mon 8 Jun 2015
Comments Off on More Felting
A group of us got together and held a mini felting group. Our first meeting was on Friday afternoon. After some show and tell and discussions, I decided to roll up my figurative sleeves and make a piece of felt for a book cover from the CNCH 2014’s Return to Sender that I never spun up.
Ginger was nice enough to provide a batt of some unknown wool as my core. On the front, I layered on the brown, teal, and pink. We then stretched 2 silk hankies over the entire face before I squiggled on some handpainted iIelandic singles/finger roving.
On the back, I layered on the chartreuse. There really wasn’t enough of it to get good coverage.
I think the original unfelted dimension was around 18-20″x30-36″. The finished dimension is 13″x24″. Much larger than I wanted. Next time, I won’t be so lackadaisical about just grabbing something and just DO it. A little more planning might have served me well here. But, it was a last minute decision and I’m glad to have done it. Otherwise, this roving would have sat stagnant in my stash forever.
Sun 31 May 2015
Guess what time of the year it is??? Index Card a Day Challenge! My kit is ready to go. How about yours?
It seems most people have moved over to the Facebook Group. I haven’t decided, but I may just stick with Flickr for now. As with last year, my recent cards will be displayed at the bottom of the right sidebar. I won’t be showcasing them in the blog itself unless I need fodder.
Want to see my cards from past years?