November 16, 2012


'Butter Rose' ~ wet felted with merino wool, hand
stitched & embellished with sari silk rose bud

'Butter Rose' ~ top 

I love working with natural fibres because they feel so beautiful to the touch. Wool, alpaca, silk and soy are a few of my favorite raw materials. They are renewable, reusable and sustainable and good for our planet.  They breath when we wear them, repel water and keep us warm.  Wool is one of the most versatile fibres because it can be dyed, spun, knitted, woven and felted into wonderful, wearable fabric creations. 

These lovely little spring lambs (all grown up by now!) are from Prince Edward County's Nyman Farms.  This photo was taken before these pristine little creatures started running and jumping all over the place, getting just as dirty as the Mum standing behind them. Wool is actually quite filthy when sheared and requires a thorough washing before combing, carding and dyeing.

Because of time constraints I buy my fibres for felting already prepared and ready to work with. My preference is merino for felting with a fairly fine micron count (19 to 22). Blue Face Leicester and Border Leicester have felted very nicely for me as well.  Gotland is much less fine but it makes very sturdy bags. I find corriedale felts well but because it has a higher micron count than merino the finished product can appear to be 'hairy' which is not a good outcome if you are expecting lovely smooth felt.

When it comes to knitting, it's true, natural fibres are more expensive than man made but the outcome is so much nicer....especially after all the effort that goes into the hand making.  Man made fibres just don't feel, wear or look the same as wool and they definitely do not felt!  I know they have a the laundry hampers of those who must jam every wearable garment they own into the washing machine and (god forbid) the dryer!...but how sad to never experience the joys of hand soaking, shaping, blocking and slow drying a beautiful, pure wool thing...ever.

On the bright side, it's the washing machine people who drop off all those lovely pure wool sweaters that do felt... ("oops, it's four sizes smaller") at the thrift shop that I and many other fibre fanatics like to cut and sew into new, up-cycled, pretty things.

Leslie in 'Butter Rose'

Spring lambs ~ Nyman Farms

'Blue Skies' ~ wet felted in 2 pieces and stitched

'Acorn Brown' ~ wet felted in 2 pieces and stitched

Leslie in 'Acorn Brown'

'Acorn Brown' ~ top

Purple pairs of ruffled wristlets ~ hand knit merino & silk

Fall colours fingerless gloves ~ hand knit

Water & sky fingerless gloves ~ knitted

'Puck' pleated cloche ~ hand knit & felted
& embriodered


'Puck' ~ top

Amanda's fingerless gloves ~ hand knit Noro yarn


'French Country' beanie ~ hand knit
extra fine merino


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