November 28, 2016

NUNO FELTING HATS




'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 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/FaceBook.com





September 10, 2016

LEAVING SUMMER BEHIND







This hat is one of my newest and I love this beautiful blue colour. I called it 'Water' because it looks like watercolour paint brushed on textured paper. I used a Nuno felting technique by laying a blue vintage silk chiffon Scarf on to natural colour merino wool fibres.  It's almost iridescent when the light catches it.  Now listed in my Etsy shop







It's been a busy, dry and hot summer and difficult to find as much time for felting as I would like.  
My felting workshops have been going well and I always have the loveliest students.  
September 17th is a slipper felting workshop at Rosehaven Yarn Shop which I am looking forward to.  There is even one spot still available for last minute sign up.  Just call the shop at 613-476-9092 to register!  

This summer I have had some of my hats for sale at The Local Store here in Prince Edward County and that has been great for sales!  If you are in this area they will be open until Thanksgiving and longer if the weather is nice. So many beautiful things for sale there all from local artisans and artists.












I couldn't resist calling this hat 'Dalmation' like those lovely dogs I used to see at the fire station when I was little!  It is Nuno felted using black silk chiffon fabric with white polka dots (that I bought last February in Barbados at the fabulous Abbotts!) on natural coloured merino wool fibres. The dots were round and symmetrical on the fabric but when it attached to the felted wool they became distorted looking more like little pebbles.  I love how thicker, heavier fabrics ruche into the felting wool whereas thinner, finer fabrics just melt into the wool leaving only a colour imprint on the surface. 

This hat is listed in my Etsy shop and comes with two interchangeable flowers that pin onto the hat separately, or the red rose bud can be nestled inside the centre of the black flower for a pop of colour.  The hat has a hand sewn side seam and a hand folded pleat at the crown. 

























'Purple Rain' is something a little different for me.  I Nuno felted a flat piece of felt by laying wool on hand dyed natural cotton fabric. This made a very thin, light and supple piece of felt. After the felting process I cut the fabric into a pattern for a slouchy hat and hand sewed the seams.  This created a soft and malleable slouch hat that can be pushed around into various shapes on the head. The outer surface of the hat is wool but inside is a lovely pale pinkish-mauve cotton which has ruched into a textured delight. It's soft on both sides and very comfortable to wear.  It's also a very warm and cozy hat while being light as a feather. 




























'Rosy' is a little sculptured headpiece that is destined for someone very unique and special. I don't know who yet but Rosy is listed on Etsy and is calling out to who ever that creative individual might be! I love the wide folded up brim and find this style (which I call a brimmed beanie) looks amazing on people with short hair. The ones who always say that hats don't suit them!  Of course it also looks lovely on people with long hair as can seen here on my adorable model Gabby! 





























'Flame' is made in a lovely orangey-red colour that seemed destined for a red head.  In fact it is on its way to a very patient Hayley who is pictured below looking beautiful (with her red hair) wearing it against a very plain background.  Hayley works with me at Rosehaven Yarn Store in Picton and noticed the hat as I was showing it to some of my hat felting students a few weeks ago.  She popped it on, I grabbed a (few not very well lit) shots and she decided that Flame needed to go home with her.  She said she would wait as I still needed to sew the tag inside. It's all done now and ready for her to take home.  Thanks Hayley!






















The lovely Hayley wearing her new hat 'Flame'.  It's perfectly suited to her in every way!
































This summer just for fun and something different I decided to make slouchy hats using up bits and pieces from the many lovely old cashmere and merino felted sweaters I have been collecting over the years from various vintage shops.  These have been hot sellers as slouch is the in thing right now!  This one just got stitched together, embroidered and embellished with a vintage button and is ready to go. It's the ultimate in casual comfort and warmth and sure looks cute on Gabby. 



















Below are little bits of knitting that travel with me as I always need to have something to do with my hands! They get picked up and put down many times before each pair is finished. These are various styles of fingerless gloves, wrist warmers and wristlets that are a wardrobe staple in a cold winter climate like ours. If your pulse points are warm it helps your whole body to stay warm. They can be a fashion statement as well in all these lovely variegated colours of wool, silk and alpaca blended yarn.