She seeketh wool and flax and worketh willingly with her hands. -Proverbs 31:13

Monday, December 26, 2011

What's Missing?

This pair of hand warmers is for my sister, but they look unfinished to me. The beads across the wrist aren't quite enough, but I haven't figured out what else to do with them. Maybe a bit of contrasting color or fabric inside peeking out either at the finger end or the wrist end? Constructive criticism is welcome!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

A Matter of Semantics

Recently, I manned a table for my husband at an event. Trying to pass the time I was beading embellishment on a felted hat. A lady stopped by because the hat caught her eye. She is a spinner, weaver, knitter and in her words, a felter. She commented on the light weight of the hat I was working on and said hers were never so soft or so light because after knitting them and putting them in the washer they grew much heavier. I commented that she wasn't actually felting, she was fulling her knitted items. She said, "Oh, that's just semantics."

But is it really? Felt, by definition, is a non-woven textile. If one twists fiber into yarn and knits it, it is a woven textile. Fulling it produces changes, but it certainly does not produce felt. I didn't argue with her, but mis-labeling a product is deceptive. Does anyone else care about the definitions that pertain to their craft?

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Cat in the Hat

Check out Cathy in the curly lamb's locks beret! I made the hat to match a messenger bag adorned with curly locks. cAthy is the proprietor (proprietress?) of Villa Capelli in Decatur, TX.

Villa Capelli

We are working on the displays at Villa Capelli in Decatur, TX. Instead of putting everything in one corner Cathy wants to place mannequins strategically around the shop. The scarves tucked in the display of necklaces and candles insert a nice pop of color.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Beaded Nuno Felted Purse

What color is this? I'd hate to have the job naming paint colors! This has some golden dijon mustard, black, and an interesting blue cast. The bling comes from an upcycled beaded skirt, the strap is an upcycled leather belt, and the closure is one of the leather attachments for a pair of men's suspenders.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Completed Floral Scarf in Retro Colors

The colors in this scarf are so happy! So many things these days are drab, but this sure isn't. Nuno felting the cotton took about a hundred eleventeen hours. I didn't think the wool would ever migrate through. The bamboo and firestar didn't help speed things up. I'm quite pleased with the end result.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Floral Print Scarf Project in 1950's Colors

I've been cutting individual elements of a print out of a thin cotton fabric and laying them on wool roving. The fabric was a blouse in what look to me like 1950's color combinations. It must be the turquoise background that reminds me of my grandmother! It needs a bit more wool between the flowers and leaves and will be ready to felt.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Nuno Felted Ombre Burnout Silk

These need to be rephotographed because the ombre silk is washed out in the bright sunlight. However, this is made from upcycled burnout ombre silk and black merino wool. The edges are slightly ruffled.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Red Clutch

I made this bag as a tote big enough for paperwork, but it wasn't talking to me. After removing the handles and folding over the top edge to reveal the bright red interior it looks a lot better. The cuts in the wool closed up quite a bit as the wool shrank.

Samuel Chase Chapter, DAR

On Friday I had the privilege of speaking at the regular meeting of the Samuel Chase Chapter of the DAR. My mom is a member of that chapter, so they introduced me as both a daughter and a Daughter with a capital D. The photos are on my mom's camera, so they aren't posted here.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Mondrian Felted Silk Scarf

I cut silk fabric into squares and rectangles in a Mondrian inspired pattern. Then I laid out the wool out on both sides where the fabric meets, orienting the fiber so the silk would pucker into a ruffle. In the photo the white square looks pale blue, but it actually pops a bit more in person.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Curly Locks Bag Revisited

Earlier this summer I made a bag with curly locks on one side and a different pattern on the back side. The more I looked at it, the more I hated having dissimilar motifs on one bag. Yesterday I felted up a piece of felt with curly lamb's wool locks and sewed on an external pocket. Now the bag has two sides that match and I am much happier with it. The upcycled leather belt strap is quite long so it can be worn cross body, and both ends of the strap have extra holes so it can be shortened if needed.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Blue and Yellow Hibiscus Flower Scarf

I bought a flowered silk skirt at a thrift shop and it has been sitting in the silk bin waiting for inspiration to strike. Finally, I decided to cut out some of the flowers in the print and nuno felt them onto a wool and tussah silk scarf. On the edges of the scarf are several of the colors in the flowers, just to make it interesting.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Flame Colors

Shades of reds and golds in this upcycled silk remind me of fire. Merino wool is nuno felted in stripes, making the silk pucker into ruffles.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Tiger, Tiger Burning Bright

Musical notes on tiger stripe bars. Merino wool, BFL, and tussah silk nuno felted onto upcycled silk.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Prefelts hanging on a poor, drought stricken honeysuckle. These will be cut into geometric shapes and worked into scarves.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Celtic Cross, Part II

The colors of the prefelt Celtic cross were dulled by the brown fibers that crept through. The embroidery delineates the design, but I missed the saturated colors from the prefelt. I decided to make another cross to put on the other side of the bag.

The handles are once again an upcycled leather belt. The trim on the top edge of the bag is silk tartan upcycled fabric.

Notice the color of the grass in the background. This August has been terribly hot and dry, even for Texas.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Celtic Cross

The inside layer of wool is white corriedale, andthe middle layer is the multi-colored BFL in Redwood Forest. I hope the colors all show through the white to make a lighter colored interior but still showing the lovely shades of blue, green and brown. The exterior is natural brown with a little blue and green carded in.

I made a length of felt out of the BFL to cut up for the design which I will felt in place. After it is felted the plan is to use the green yarn to add the detail to the Celtic cross. The template for the cross was an image from By the time the felted project is complete it may not resemble the original at all!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

A Good Read

After taking a dyeing class recently I started reading up on different pigments and dyes, and ended up reading an absolutely terrific book. Color: A Natural History of the Palette by Victoria Finlay. It's a cross between a history of pigment & dyeing and an armchair adventure. The chapters are organized by color, and off the author goes around the world in search of the traditional source.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Primary Colors

No, not the book! A red, yellow and blue scarf made from merino wool, silk sari threads, bamboo, and bombyx silk fiber. It's hard to even think about wearing a scarf now that summer has come to Texas. The best part of the heat is the scarf was dry in about 10 minutes after hanging it out on the clothesline.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Sandwiched Felt

After weeks of recuperating I am back to felting. Hooray!

This was an experiment that didn't yield the intended result. I sandwiched wool between a floral upcycled piece of organza silk and a green silk yardage from the fabric store. The floral side is heavily textured, which I like. and the green side has a much finer, tighter texture. What I didn't anticipate was how little drape the overall piece would have once completed. A smaller quantity of roving laid out in the middle might have allowed the silk to drape nicely. Aahh, tomorrow's another day, Scarlett!

Monday, May 23, 2011

When You Can't Felt, Quilt

It's been a very long week of trying not to add to my back injury. Since I can't felt, in an attempt to sit still I got out a cathedral window quilt that has been sitting in the closet for ages. It has about a zillion tiny stitches to go unless it becomes a lap robe instead of a queen size, which was my original intention. The fabrics are lovely batiks which are eye candy. It isn't technically a quilt because there is no batting, but with all of the layers of fabric it is quite heavy and doesn't need any.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Down For the Count

On Monday of this week I hurt my back. It hurts to sit, it hurts to stand, it hurts to breathe. I can't even get into my wool stash to dream! Oh well, tomorrow's another day, Scarlett.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Here are a couple of photos of my booth at The Farm Day event last weekend in Berlin, Maryland. There were sheep shearers, Appalachian cloggers with a jug band parade, weavers, spinners, blacksmiths, potters, rug hookers, pony rides, bunnies and alpacas to pet, and much more. A good time was had by all. My Mom's rug hooking group graciously allowed me to share their space, so I combined a family visit with an event. Everyone was caught a bit by surprise at how cold it was!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Upcycled Leather Belt Bag Handles

To use a leather belt for purse or tote bag handles, first assemble the tools. My favorite sources for belts are the Goodwill where they are $1.99 each, or the Genesis Thrift Shop in Dallas where they cost less than $5. I've tried lots of different kinds, and I prefer leather that is not bonded or sewn. Lots of belts are a different color on the back side. For handles I like the front and back to be the same color.

Cut the leather to length. If you don't like the holes in most belts, cut the the end off and make a shorter strap. Or punch holes the entire length of the belt to make them look intentional.

The easiest way to attach them is to use rawhide and lace it in place. The rawhide lacing makes a nice, strong junction. I would hate to have the handles fall off of something I had made.

For a rawhide lacing attachment, use a leather punch for a nice neat hole. Depending on the size of the bag, I usually either use four holes or six, but you really could lace it any way you would like. On the natural colored wool bag in the photos there are four holes in each end of the belt. Since the top of the bag is folded over, I put a slit in the top edge and sandwiched the leather in between the wool so the lacing could go through two layers of felt. It is a fairly large bag and I wanted it to have extra load bearing area. I use small scissors that have a very sharp point for poking holes in the felt. You can see the belt end peeking out of the bottom of the folded over edge in one photo.

If you don't want the lacing to show, cover it with something. On the outside of the bag I sometimes use beads threaded through the lacing. On the inside I often line the top several inches to both cover the attachment and add a contrasting color or texture.

When using belts that are woven strips of leather I poke the lacing through existing gaps instead of using a leather punch.