Nuno felting today!

I’ve been to the library, discovered I’ve won some gorgeous hand spun from my buddy Heather, run a wash, stocked up on brown soda bread and milk as well as 100 dressmakers pins this morning (more in a minute) and now I’m ready for a FULL DAY felting and possibly dying too, woo hoo!  I still need to catch up on emails, paperwork and many more other household tasks left over from the manic last weeks but for today that is it, no more procrastinating but rather creating and playing with fibre!!!

Nuno texture and merging colours

On Friday I shared with Gerda an experiment in nuno felting using a technique I hope to offer in workshops this Autumn.  Basically it involves using a tumble dryer for some of the steps therefore meaning that anyone with physical limitations or a tendency to get tired rubbing and rolling will have this stage of the process either eliminated altogether or cut down to no more than ten minutes in total!  Chrissie and I will be publishing a new book prior to Christmas (click here to check out a preview of our first book From Felt to Friendship if you are interested in what we have been up to so far) and this time concentrate on simple ideas for designing and felting your own clothing with a view to flattering your personal shape, not that ‘perfect’ shape we all aspire to but most of us never achieve!!!

Anyway, back to Friday and the nuno top I made.  Working in white ponge silk and undyed 26 micron I laid out a front and back side of my top basing the design on a scaled up version of a favourite wardrobe staple.  By using only white raw materials for the main layout area I was able to lay out the fibres really quickly, get on to the felting, piece my top together (thanks Gerda, you kept me sane, bought more much needed pins this morning!) and then have great fun dying using Horst’s wonderfully simple method of achieving graduating colours with no stress at all.  Having the correct equipment now for my studio and working with Horst again over the course of our large felt garment workshop as well as observing friends Jan Durham, Dawn Edwards and Sharon Costello from The Tin Thimble in action during my US trip has given me the confidence to set up my dying station in the kitchen and just ‘get on with it’ myself.

My plan for the next few days is to felt and dye at least two pieces to be used for the fashion show at Felt in Focus next week, I leave for Copenhagen on Friday so I’m off now to get started!!!  Thanks Cristina for house sitting while I will be away, Rex will be thrilled.


Just in the door …..

I have just arrived in the door after several of the busiest days of my life.  Alan’s father Des passed away peacefully in the early hours of Saturday morning and as a result I had to work round the clock at the Sheep and Wool Festival and then drive for 5 hours in order to get to his parent’s house late on Sunday evening.  A massive crowd of relatives, friends and local business people attended the funeral on Monday and then yesterday was spent with Alan’s family before I headed home today via Dublin.  I needed to stop there in order to pick up a few supplies for Horst’s workshop, needless to say I didn’t get what I wanted but I am so tired now I have just put off searching locally until I get a bit of a rest and actually manage to unpack my bag from the US.  Yes, it did arrive on Thursday as the airport officials said it would but because of setting up my workshop space, the Presentation School’s work and three of Horst’s garments I did not have even ONE MINUTE to spare.  Tomorrow I promise a few pictures from the weekend and also to answer any outstanding emails, for tonight however, good night!

Home, pics, links, Sheep and Wool Festival, the new June Wikio rankings and THANKS!!!

I arrived home safely yesterday afternoon but my luggage stayed in Atlanta, maybe it was trying to tell me something!!!  Customs at the airport had already been informed that it was not on my flight so although it does mean I don’t have it back until sometime tomorrow afternoon at least the bag was traced and is now waiting for a courier to collect it from the airport in Dublin.  This does give me a little ‘free’ time to catch up with everything here at Clasheen, please be patient however if you are waiting for an email response or something like that because it will definitely take a week or so to get back to ‘normal’ here!  Writing is short and staccato like today, here are the highlights …..

    • Pictures from the wonderful Lexington workshops are uploading to Flickr as I write this post, I will need to edit them somewhat but if you can’t wait to see the beautiful felt created head on over to the relevant set and have a look!  You can also head on over and visit the Loco Life of Lindy if you are interested in reading about Jan and I visiting Lindy and Paul Huber’s beautiful Seldom Scene Farm on Sunday, I won’t spoil the fun but INTERESTING things happened ……….
    • I need to update my links here to reflect the varied and inspirational blogs that I follow.  Most are felt and fibre related and because I view them through Google Reader I have to copy and paste each URL individually and add them to my sidebar.  At the moment I am thinking to have a totally seperate page for all of them, this would tidy up the front page of my site and I would be able to divide them into catagories easier, what do you think?
    • Still link related I am going to write a post over the next few days linking to the websites and blogs of all the participants from the three different US workshop venues, some wonderful fibre related businesses for you all to drool over and order from!!!
    • Don’t forget the first time anyone gets a chance to view Horst’s amazing couture garments outside of USA will be at this weekend’s Sheep and Wool Festival in Kilkenny.  There will also be an exhibition of the incredible work from the girls in 6th class Presentation School Kilkenny (you remember the CRAFTed project I was involved in?) and I will be teaching 4 felting workshops over Saturday and Sunday.  Please call in and say hello!
    • The June Wikio rankings are just about to be announced and I am delighted to remain at no 5 in the top 20 UK and Irish knitting blogs, here is a sneak preview at the list …..
1 ysolda
2 pennies per hour of pleasure
3 needled
4 Daisie Days
5 Clasheen by Nicola Brown
6 Confessions of a YarnAddict
7 The Woolly Adventures of a Knitting Kitty
8 Eskimimi Knits
9 Art Yarn
10 Little Cotton Rabbits
11 slippedstitch
12 Wendy Knits
13 The Yarn Yard Blog
14 mooncalfmakes
16 fourth edition
17 All things Socktopus!
18 Purlpower
19 glittyknittykitty
20 Lixie Knits It

Ranking made by Wikio

Finally but certainly not last, THANKS A MILLION TIMES to Emma, Sharon, Dawn and Jan (plus all your significant others!) for opening up your homes to me and organising the various legs of my workshop schedual, thanks to all the workshop participants for your enthusiasm and creativity not to mention wonderful felting ability, thanks to everyone who shared their stash with me and gave me wonderful fibre and embellishments to try out in the comfort of Clasheen, thanks to everyone who bought our new book with them for me to sign (obviously a new experience for me!), thanks to all my old and new friends who visited with me during the course of my working holiday and helped to make my stay in CA, MI and KY such an amazing experience, as always you are the best!!!

Having a fun time in KY!

I sit here trying to write about the marvellous time I’m having here with Jan and all the KY ladies but for some reason this iPad is behaving funnily and I can’t actually read a word that I am writing. Hopefully I don’t have too many spelling and grammer mistakes, the screen is blank for some reason so please bear with me.

Yesterday’s second workshop saw the creation of some AMAZING felt pieces, congratulations to both the experiened felters and the newbies, your work was awsome!!!

Today Jan and I spent a really fun and action packed day with Lindy Huber from Seldom Scene Farm (will link when I can see what Iam doing!) llamas, alpaca, sun, wine, friends and good food, brilliant thanks Lindy!

now i want to help jan lay out a bag and th en i need to juggle my packing and try to sort out a few things tonight in order to have a stress free journey home tomorow. as soon as i get home i promise to upload


Os of photos and wrilte l

Poperly about the en of my. Stay here, until then, adieu.

Excellent first workshop in Lexington!

After a VERY eventful time of it getting from Grand Rapids to Lexington via Detroit (rain, lightening, tornado warnings so change to flight path and very bumpy flight) I finally arrived safely and happy to get my feet on stable ground once more.  Jan, Bruce and son Kevin live in a really nice green area only ten minutes drive from the airport (just as well since I was so delayed!) and the church, where our workshops are taking place is about 500m from the house, another perfect set up!

Yesterday we had the larger of the two workshops, 11 participants many of whom had extremely limited felting experience, 1 day mostly!  It could have been a stressful experience for all concerned but instead everyone relaxed, concentrated and produced really amazing pieces, an iPad cover, three large bags underway, four flat pieces of felt (two being stitched into purses overnight) and two beautiful large nuno scarves/wraps underway too.  The less experienced felters who made the flat felt pieces are mainly nuno felting or making small vessels today and the experienced and more experienced felters making larger pieces from yesterday are continuing to work on theirs so I am really hoping to have good pictures at the end of the day and share with you all the beautiful pieces made here in KY.

On the felt workshop trail once more …..

I was really sad to say goodbye to Dawn and her wonderful family this morning, we spent such a special and fun time together time over the past week that the time just seemed to rush by and I can’t believe I am already en route to Lexington. At the moment I have been delayed for at least an hour at Detroit airport, a raging thunder and lightening storm means no passengers may either embark or disembark from any aircraft, all is at a standstill here! Hopefully it will pass shortly and then I will once more prepare to meet organiser and host for the KY leg of workshops, Jan Durham. Watch out Jan, here I come!

Wonderful Loomis and Plainwell workshop pictures up on Flickr!

WOW, looking back over the pictures from our workshops at The Tin Thimble and Plainwell it is amazing how many beautiful, artist and fantastic pieces were felted over the course of these first 4 workshops!!!  I still need to title the images but for those of you just hopping to have a look Loomis pics are here and Plainwell pics are here.  Enjoy!

A few pictures from Loomis!

Meridee, Lisa and Carole all working away!

Here are a few pictures from the workshops at Loomis, more to follow as I get time to upload the wonderful results …..

Laura with her bag laid out and ready to felt

……. and the last picture for today, Meridee’s bag with all the attachments laid out and ready to start the felting process.

Meridee's bag


En route to Michigan and Loomis update

My wonderful time at The Tin Thimble has come to an end and I am now sitting at the boarding gate waiting to catch the red eye to Grand Rapids via Minneapolis! The last week with Sharon, Emma, Mark, Lisa and Claire has been fantastic, really a lot like returning home only WETTER and WINDIER this time believe it or not!!! All the participants at both the workshops felted beautiful creations, bags, scarves, shaggy neck pieces, nuno mosaic wraps, wall hangings and yardage for clothing. I did get to take some photos between helping everyone so hopefully I will get to share some if these when I have a chance to blog from Dawn’s. My bags are full of wonderful hand dyed Colonial wool (The softest variety of Corridale I believe), firestar, silk fabric, silk hankies, vintage linen and a lovely little uocycled vinyl billfold, all fab products I just couldn’t resist from Emma and Sharon’s wonderful selection! I’m not sure who is more excited that I am finally on the journey to MI but sometime within the next ten hours I will be thrilled to be greeted at GR by Dawn!