Monday, 15 October 2012

Bad Birdie!

Oops, it's been ages since I updated this blog.  I can't promise I'll get any better but I promise I'll try!

So what's been going on in the world of the crafty birds?  Well we've been working like trojans the past few months, getting ready for the Cardiff City Crafty & Hobby show.  It went really well and we'll definitely be back in May 2014.  I've decided to take a step back from the jewellery making as it's really, really hard to make a living from my woven stuff, I can't unfortunately charge what the pieces are really worth, given the current economic climate.  So for now, it's commission only pieces and I'm moving on and concentrating on my obsession with handbags.  For someone who was never going to sew I seem to have caught the bug :-)  I absolutely love making them, at the minute I'm making a lot of fabric ones, but I'm also experimenting with felting.

So today's experiment involved knitting two pieces, 32 stitches by 60 rows on the knitting machine.  The first piece was wet felted, rolled 50 times vertically, 50 times horizontally, 4 times in total.  It was then shoved under a hot tap, then the cold four times and thrown into the tumble dryer.  After 5 minutes it was shocked under the hot and cold tap and put back in dryer for 5 minutes.  This was then repeated with a ten minute spell in the dryer.  Following that I put it back under the hot tap, added a little hand soap, rinsed with cold and then 40 minutes in the dryer.  Phew!  After all that it had shrunk from 17cm x 19cm to 12cm x 14cm which is great but sadly it just hadn't felted enough in that the stitches were still quite visible.  So the second piece has been put in the washing machine on a quick wash programme, mini load at 70 degrees with three towels.  The results to be announced later!

I've also been having a go at some wedding tiaras and hair combs, not sure where I'll go with it, one thing's for sure my fingers seriously need to harden up!

Crafty bird No.2 has been busy designing her first original LindiBears teddy bear and very cute it is too!

Well that's it for now, I'll report back later with the results of the washing machine felting.........

So the results are in..... although I have less control over the shaping of it as it felts, the washing machine wins.  The original piece was 17x19cm, it's now 12x7.5, strangely it's shrunk more vertically than horizontally, I always thought it was supposed to be the other way around?  One thing I have discovered when machine felting is that the seams always end up really clumpy if I sew it together first, so my plan is to knit up a square, felt it down and then cut it into the shape I want and sew it, not ideal, would much prefer a seamless look to it, I may try needle felting the seam down slightly, if it doesn't work then I've not lost a great deal!

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