May 30, 2013


'Alba Rose' ~ wet felted merino wool

"The Maker's Hand" is an annual Prince Edward County Arts Council show where 40 selected artisans "whose work exemplifies creativity and technical excellence offer unique and beautifully crafted products to please a variety of tastes".  Artisans come from all over Ontario and Quebec to participate in this exciting and very well attended show which takes place right here in our lovey little town of Picton.  AND...what's even more exciting for me and my felting friend Carol King is that 'Cake~Tin Hats' and 'C.K. Woolies' have been accepted into the show!!!!!!  We will be sharing a booth under the umbrella name of "WOOLWORKED".  The show takes place November 1st, 2nd and 3rd, 2013.  To find out more about the PEC Arts Council and the show have a look at their website:

"The Maker's Hand" is swiftly followed in December (usually the second weekend) by "Busy Hands" which is another wonderful show and sale that Carol and I have participated in for the past four years.  "Busy Hands" also takes place in Picton but differs from "The Maker's Hand" in that it features 50, strictly local artisans.  So, it isn't an understatement to say we have work to do and that it's going to be an extremely busy summer of felting and knitting!

Here is what's been happening so far....

'Alba Rose' ~ top view

'Silk Leaves" ~ wet and nuno felted with
merino wool and silk fabric

'Silk Leaves' ~ back view

'Silk Leaves' ~ top front

The lambswool and silk fibre that I used in 'Violette' and 'Cameleon' below came from some little lambs who live on a picturesque Hastings County farm. Gilly, who lives on the farm, is a long time member of the Belleville Spinner's and Weaver's Guild. She raised those soft little lambs, hand dyed their wool, blended the fibres with silk in a ratio of 70% wool to 30% silk and then prepared them into irresistible batts.  This gave the finished hats a lovely sheen but it made them very tricky to felt!  In fact as I worked on 'Cameleon' I despaired that it might never finish felting and that all was lost.  Because silk doesn't felt and 30% is a lot, it takes some extra effort to attach it to the wool.  After switching from screening to bubble wrap in the last stages of the felting process it finally came together however it required an extra hour of elbow grease!  When it dried it was beautiful and so I subjected myself to making a second hat using another colour of Gilly's lambswool and silk.  At least I was prepared and the results are so shimmery and pretty it was worth the extra effort.  I still have one more batt left in gorgeous shades of green....and sadly Gilly and her lambs are moving to Nova Scotia in June so it may be the last one.

'Violette' ~ wet felted using merino
and Gilly's lambswool blended with silk

'Violette' ~ with the camera making it look bluish
instead of the violet it actually is above

'Violette' ~ pink inside

'Cameleon' ~ wet felted using merino
and Gilly's lambswool blended with silk

'Cameleon' ~ top view

'Cameleon' ~ blue inside!

'Peacock' ~ wet felted merino and silk

'Peacock' ~ top view

'Peacock' ~ side view

Aqua ruffled wrist warmers ~ hand knit
merino and silk

Noro wrist warmers ~ hand knit wool and silk

Assorted ruffled wrist warmers ~ hand knit
merino, soy and silk

Terra Cotta wrist warmers ~ hand knit
hand spun corriedale wool

Fingerless gloves with thumb hole ~ hand knit from my
hand spun yarn with mohair ruffle

May 8, 2013


'Melon'Cloche' ~ wet felted using merino,
unknown sheep and silk fibres

Making felt can certainly be a physically taxing activity.  Usually I feel like I've run a long race after all the rolling and throwing required just to make a single hat.  There is also much effort in the stretching and shaping that finally takes place, usually over a wooden hat form.  Often it requires a bit of wrestling with a particular piece to coax it into the shape I want to achieve.  Occasionally the hat develops its own shape which I am then obliged to work around until the hat and I agree on the outcome.  Sometimes the hat is right and I learn I must have flexible expectations! 

Featured in this post are four new hats made with pleats and flowers. I added the flowers in honour of spring since I am so happy it is finally here again. The pleats, added in the final shaping process, were a bit of a challenge to work with wet but once the hats are dry they hold their shape nicely, so, I am happy with the results. The hats were all made using the same resist pattern and yet each one is unique and quite different from the others.  A lot can depend on the type of wool fibres being used.  In this case the inside layers of the hats were made with merino and the outside layers were of unknown wool carded with lovely long silk fibres in contrasting colours.  Even so, each hat felted in a different way and one took much longer to felt than the others. 

That is the mystery of felting and why much of the learning is done by making observations while working.  It keeps me on my toes and I find it absolutely thrilling each time a lovely new hat morphs its way out of simple wool fibre that started out in a big, soapy, soggy mess.  

'Pastille'~ wet felted using merino,
unknown sheep and silk fibres

'Pastille' on the perfect model

'Plum Cloche' ~ wet felted using merino,
unknown sheep and silk fibres

'Plum Cloche'

'Rhubarb' ~ wet and nuno felted using
merino, unknown sheep and silk fibres

'Rubarb' back view

'Rubarb' on Mariah

'Rhubarb' inside

Felted flowers