Friday, March 4, 2011

Learning from Mistakes

It's never fun to have to throw out a messed-up felting project (at least with knitting, you can unravel the yarn!), but I suppose I can say that it's how one improves. Last week one day I had a block of time to make the first of Mirian's slippers. I chose her favorite colors and decided to make them slightly thicker and to use only wool, no alpaca. The alpaca in mine feels incredibly soft, however it is not holding in the rest of the felt very well. Although I love alpaca, it's not well-suited for felting that will take a lot of hard wear.

I traced a pattern for the resist and made it larger to account for shrinkage.... but not enough shrinkage! I guess that using more merino (which shrinks a lot) and not using alpaca (which barely shrinks) made it shrink significantly more. After trying to make this fit Mirian's foot (it felt like I was trying to get Cinderella's stepsister's foot into the glass slipper!), I gave up and started over.
The new slippers made from a larger resist turned out great! I had hoped to photograph them with the leather already sewn on, but I've not been able to whittle out even that little bit of time this week.
I did do a bit of dyeing, carding and spinning this past week, just wish I could have done more!
A friend told me that alpaca couldn't be spun into coils, one had to use merino, so of course I had to try- I love the result.
I'm off to the Southern Select Alpaca Show in Tennessee this weekend, then I'm chaperoning my son's choir trip to Orlando for 5 days! I'm beginning to forsee a time when our daughter will be back in school next year and I'll have larger blocks of time for fiber work again, trying hard not to wish the time away!
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16 comments:

Kaylen said...

Oh I love those slippers! AND the coils...and all the colors... :) Good luck at the show!

Dutch Hollow Acres said...

Bummer the first slippers didn't work out but bravo on the 2nd pair! They look great.

Deb W said...

That luscious dyed fleece is very inspiring.....good thing, the Kentucky Sheep and fibef Festival is only 11 weeks away!

Dianne@sheepdreams said...

Wow! Wish I had little feet because those slippers are fabulous! Love all the colors you are working with these days.

AllyB said...

I looooooove your handspun. Great colors and the finished yarn looks like so much fun. Happy Fiber Arts Friday!

Unforth said...

The slippers turned out awesome! Redoing is never easy but it's worth it!!

Spinster Beth said...

Oooh have fun at the alpaca show! Lovely spun yarn, too :-)

fiberdance said...

I just love your slippers-I want to make some like that-do you have a pattern or tutorial on how to make them?

WonderWhyGal said...

The slippers and the yarn are fabulous!

I love the coils! I wonder if people just are intimidated by Alpaca or just don't understand it...you obviously understand the fiber and the technique.

Happy Fiber Arts Friday!

Tamara said...

I love the spun coils. And the slippers are beautiful.

Wooly Knits n Bits said...

I love your work, those felted slippers are really beautiful! If only I could take a course to learn how to do those!
Are you willing to take a student?
;o)

Kathryn Ray said...

If the too small slippers don't find a home near you, perhaps they can come live with me. I have a very small foot. ;-)

Andy and Deb said...

I would absolutely love to learn how to make those coils...and create with them! The colours are gorgeous!!

Loco Lindy said...

Thanks for all of the kind words! I may try to schedule a slipper class later this spring but my schedule is getting a bit crazy! If I can't figure out a class, I'll at least try to put a tutorial up. Making the coils is a LOT of fun and not all that difficult to learn, there are some classes on art yarns "out there." Have a great week, everyone!

tonya said...

Your slippers turned out wonderful! So colorful :) love them!

thecrazysheeplady said...

Those slippers are gorgeous! Let me know if you have time to do a class...and if I have time... Sigh. Maybe winter?