My finished felt slippers and textile trials in our extreme weather conditions!

With the cold weather continuing and more snow forecast I made myself finish my felt slippers this afternoon. 

The finished felt slippers with latex soles

I had painted four (I think!) layers of latex on the soles allowing 24 hours between each coat, this has given an excellent ‘sticky’ sole which is both waterproof and slip resistant.  My friend Sheila Ahern from Feltmakers Ireland has a really great tip for colouring the latex, add some food colouring in the appropriate colour as you paint on the soles!  It was too late for me this time but I will definitely consider it again especially if I make slippers in dyed wool as opposed to natural colours.  As per usual I had been putting off stitching the backs of each heel AGAIN but finally all all the agonising is over and now I will be wearing these beauties tonight in front of my wood burning stove!

I still have no water here and as you can see from this photo am reduced to melting snow on top of the range if I want a cup of tea or a coffee. 

Melting snow on the range

Luckily I do have heat again so things are not as bad as they were a week or so ago but no water at all now bar melting snow means no felting until my supply resumes.  As a result, I am trying to finish off little projects that have been lurking in my conscience and during my enforced absence from felting I have also vowed to get to grips with my Ashford Knitters Loom!  This frustrating but beguiling piece of kit has had me cursing and frustrated endless times over the last afternoon and this morning.  I actually bought the loom from Stephanie at The Yarn Room with money that I earned teaching felting at one of the ‘Pick Up Your Needles’ sessions at the Courthouse Arts Centre in Tinahely, Co. Wicklow.  My thought process went something along the lines of occasionally (when I have NO water!) it is good to experiment in another textile discipline and sometimes in the future (when I master the blooming thing!) it might be interesting to combine some weaving with some felting.  Knowing as you must by now how incredibly difficult I find little fiddly things to master it is a testament to my not so great patience that I actually managed to warp the loom at all. 

Warping the loom

To be totally fair to Ashford, these Knitters Looms are excellent to work with and the included instructions are very clear and simple to follow.  I’m not going to bore you with all my selvedge difficulties, suffice to say that I found it totally impossible to get an even edge!  I know that it is my first scarf but really, it was amazingly frustrating not to even think that I was improving as the weaving progressed and the scarf got longer.  Early in the process I determined to sell the loom but as things went on I started dreaming of loads of lovely felt projects enhanced by a small piece of my very own woven fabric! 

Warm woven scarf

Time will tell whether I continue with my weaving but for the moment I have a very warm (all be it an extremely badly woven) scarf to keep me warm during this cold weather and a head full of ideas for future felt and fabric collaborations.

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9 thoughts on “My finished felt slippers and textile trials in our extreme weather conditions!

  1. Slippers look great! Keep warm… we are waterless and central heat less, but our wood burner is keeping the house reasonably toasty. Hope things improve in time for your visit here at the end of January!

  2. It doesn’t look badly woven from the picture at all. Maybe you are being too critical??? It’s a great first attempt anyway. I don’t think mine would look nearly as good!

  3. Your slippers look great…and your scarf looks wonderful…I have been meaning to try out my small tabletop loom perhaps you have inspired me.. I must confess though I have not got alot of patience for the warping etc..Do hope you get h20 soon. You really have had a time of it lately. Dare I say we are a balmy 7 degrees out here on the Westcoast of Canada 🙂
    Your blog is always so inspiring, even without water !!thank you.

  4. Lovely slippers, looks very cosy.

    The scarf is great, whatchatalkin’ about woman? Love the colours. I fancy a go on that loom myself but really can’t invest in another craft at the mo. I will sometime, tho’, that’s for sure.

    We had no water for 3 days but finally thawed the pipes out this morning. Had to take the bathroom panelling apart to access some pipes but it was worth it. Takes a lotta snow to flush the loo!

  5. I think your woven scarf is great. You may want to contact Loretta Oliver who is a master at combining weaving and felting. She teaches it and has published it in Handwoven magazine Nov/Dec issue 2003.

    I have the same desire as you because the 2 mediums blend so well together.
    Love your blog.

  6. Oi Nicola, sou brasileira e amo o seu trabalho. Aqui não temos, talvez devido ao clima. Faço tecelagem há anos e vou experimentar com felting. Você vai adoraro tear. Veja o meu.

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