December 5, 2016


'Georgia Peach' is a hand felted hat made to re-create an Edwardian style cloche with a wide brim.  I used beautifullly soft merino wool and Nuno felted a silk scarf right onto the wool to create a patterned band with a tiny ruffle at the top.  The feathers add a very Edwardian finishing touch and since it was hard to decide which colour feather worked best I chose to add them both!  The model is my adorable niece Emily who was visiting me in October. She is a Southern Belle and spent considerable time durning our photo shoot throwing fall leaves in the air!  Something she doesn't usually get to do at home!  

'Lacey' is wet felted using a cafe au lait colour merino wool roving.  The vintage lace is Nuno felted right into the wool and looks like a delicate hat band.  My model Gabby always looks so pretty in any hat style I ask her to wear but I think she might really be an Edwardian girl at heart.  I love this style hat on her!

'Clementine' is made using the same process and pattern as 'Lacey' and with the last bit of the beautiful vintage lace.  I love the softness of this pale, shell pink colour combined with the cream colour of the lace.  The brim worked better turned down on this hat although it can be flipped up at the front or back (or both) if the wearer prefers.  I really like how a hat tends to take on the personality of its wearer and has a unique look becoming to each person who wears it. 

'Gingerbread' is Nuno felted with a pretty chiffon fabric that reminded me of icing on a Christmas cookie.  The red satin ribbon was the perfect addition to compliment the flowery bits of red in the pattern of the fabric. The felted flower and feather add just the right sort of Edwardian flare for this style. Hats with big brims are something a little out of the ordinary for me and I really enjoyed experimenting with new shapes and trying something different.  A brim is very flattering for many faces and ladies often ask for hats with brims.  In the new year I plan to continue this trend and play with even bigger brims on newer hats yet to come. Can't wait to get started!

'Marquee' is an Edwardian style cloche in neutral beige and brown.  When choosing colours for hats I often gravitate towards vibrant colours and have to make an effort to select neutral shades. When I do I always love the results and think I should go with neutrals more often. This hat is very simple but also flatters most faces really well.

'Rust' is made in a style that suits most people and especially those with short hair. The pleats are hand folded while the hat is being shaped on a wooden hat block. The buckle embellishment came out of my vintage button tin which was given to me by a dear friend. It was her mother-in-laws button collection and contains hundreds of buttons.  This sweet little buckle popped up as I was digging through looking for the perfect button just like it knew it belonged on this hat!

'Brownie' is made in what I call the mad hatter style but I think an Edwardian lady might have liked it!  It has a Nuno felted flower in cream with a long green stem just for fun. This hat is seamless construction made all in one piece. I used a flat top hat block to shape it and the brim can be worn folded down as well. I should have taken a photo with the brim down while I had Gabby here. Didn't even think about that until just now. 

This trilby called 'Dragonfly' is a custom hat made for a very special friend @chefaray. She chose the colours herself which look fabulous together!  The surface pattern is from a Nuno felted vintage silk scarf (like the ones my Mother wore folded in a triangle and tied under her chin in the 1950s) that melted right into the wool during the felting process.  This hat is far from Edwardian and maybe slightly hipster but will suit Amanda perfectly as she is definitely young and hip and fast becoming a well known celebrity!  Will definitely get photos of her when she gets her new hat.

An Up-cycle sweater always makes a cute and warn slouchy hat.  Hand stitched and fun to make these hats are stylish but simple and can be worn anywhere, anytime.  Definitely not Edwardian though!

Couldn't resist posting this photo of Winnie, my niece Emily's dog who also came to visit me from the south.  Winnie went Canadian shopping and got herself this perfect Roots sweater!  How cute is that?!

Here are are Emmy and Winnie resting up after a busy morning of leaf tossing, leaf chasing and picture taking. Love those girls! ️XO

November 28, 2016


'Pendragon' - Nuno felted with merino wool and silk fabric

I have acquired a treasure trove of silk scarves and fabric over the last few years which I use in my felting to create patterns and designs on the wool. The fabrics don't felt but the wool fibres do. The fabric is laid out on top of the wool just before or just after wetting out the wool. As the wool fibres attach themselves to the silk and begin to lock together during the felting process they cause the fabric to compress and ruche on the surface of the felt. The most delicate fabrics tend to melt right into the wool leaving only traces of their colours and heavier weaves leave beautifully textured surfaces and colours on the felt. This technique creates unique designs that are truly one of a kind.  In nuno felting the fabric can be used to cover selected parts of the wool or the entire surface. Several fabrics may be combined into one hat project to add various colours and design features. The final effect is always a lovely surprise. 

The red and orange butterfly embellishment is also nuno felted onto white chiffon gauze. 

'Gypsy Soul' - nuno felted silk on merino wool used to create a 'mad hatter' style hat. This one is made with seamless construction and worked into its final shape using hat blocks and hand shaping. 

'Dotty' - nuno felted silk fabric on white merino with a black brim.

This fabric is black with white polka dots which I applied over a strip of white merino wool.  I used black wool for the brim and crown of the hat. In nuno felting, as the felting happens, the wool fibres migrate through the weave of the fabric attaching it to the surface. This affects the colour of the fabric on the finished piece.  In this case the white wool created a soft cloudy effect on the black background making it appear slightly charcoal in colour. The effect would have been completely different had the fabric been applied over black wool. 

'Dalmation' - I used the same polka dot fabric on white wool making the brim and crown in white as well giving a completely different look.

'Nutmeg' - I used a silk scarf around this hat to create a spotted leopard effect. 

'Dragon Fly' - I used a very fine silk scarf that blended right into the wool leaving only the impression of its colour on the surface of the wool. The texture is smooth and the pattern looks like it was printed on. 
Here you can see the effects created by using different colour wool underneath the silk fabric and how it affects the final outcome of the design.

I have had a busy fall teaching hat felting workshops to many enthusiastic and hard working felters. Some of my students are experienced felters wanting to learn hat making techniques and others are beginning felters who follow a steep learning curve as they learn both felting and millinery techniques at the same time. New felters often come to workshops with various expectations which may not be exactly what they experience in the class. After spending a full day designing, creating, rolling, shaping and styling their own unique hat they leave (usually very tired) with a new found respect for the felting process and a beautiful, completed (but damp) hat. Creating a felted hat by hand is always a magical experience that leaves a lasting impression on the maker.  There is that ... and hats, generally speaking, just make people happy.  I love it that about them (hats and people!).

Knitted fingerless gloves using gorgeous Noro silk garden yarn! 

There is usually some sort of knitting going on in between felting projects these days. I love that knitting is portable and I can do it anywhere. It seems I can't stand to have idle hands. 

The yarn is Puffin by Quince and Co.

Here I used Manos Maxima - a lovely soft hand dyed merino wool.

Greenie Beanie with a fab flower!

This hat is knitted with angora and fun fur and then felted in the washing machine. 

There is more to come very soon as I prepare for Busy Hands! This wonderful annual local artisan show and sale takes place on December 10th and 11th, 2016 in Wellington Ontario.  www.BusyHands2016/