The Complete Photo Guide to Felting Book Review

Blogged under Good Books by Tammy on Wednesday 29 August 2012 at 9:48 am

Creative Publishing International sent me a copy of a new book from its Complete Photo Guide series. This one is all about felting; The Complete Photo Guide to Felting is written by Ruth Lane, and like the other books in this series is a techniques-based versus a project-based book. It retails for $24.99 US/$27.00 CAN/$16.99 UK and comes as a soft paperback with 264 pages and 500 full-color photographs.

As the title suggests, it is all about felt and not just making it. This text is a comprehensive guide to the story of felt including the history of wool and felt; the process of cleaning raw fleece to be used to make felt; and then lots of different techniques for creating and working with felt such as wet felting (which most people are probably a little familiar with), needle felting, and Nuno or laminate felting. Since it really focuses on the methods of felting, don’t expect a how to make x, y, z project in this book. While there are lots of project ideas throughout, the basis of this book is designed to help someone who wants to learn methodology over just how to make a felt bear, for example.

If you are okay within reading in-depth information and like the combination of using visuals (as in lots and lots of photographs) to learn all there is to know about working with and making felt, then this technical book is a wonderful resource. Like much of crafting, felting is not an exact science, but the information in this book would be really useful for someone who wants to dig in and experiment with the possibilities that wool can provide when it comes to felting.

Florida Yarn

Blogged under Crafty Products by Tammy on Monday 27 August 2012 at 6:17 am

Yes, believe it or not, some yarn is made in Florida. Of course, I’m not talking about wool yarn because there are pretty much zero sheep down here, but there are a few alpaca farms in this state and with some surfing around, I managed to find a semi-local, a few hours away from me, alpaca farm that also sells some fiber. It is called Woodland Hills and is located in Brooksville, Florida, and it has a small Etsy shop with a little yarn and some fibers available for spinning too.

Why the hunt for local yarn? This was a challenge put out by The Fat Squirrel Speaks podcast, and at first, I just blew it off as something that I could not do. But then I remembered reading on a Ravelry forum about how there were alpaca farms in Florida, not a ton but more than I would have though. With some help from Google and some links she included in a forum post, I finally found a few places where I could acquire Florida yarn. Eventually, I settled on a skein of gray fingering weight yarn from Woodland Hills that is made of 80% alpaca/angora and 20% acrylic. To top it off, a little swag was included in my purchase, more alpaca yarn! So I really have two skeins of Florida yarn.

My next step is to figure out what to make for the local yarn knit along hosted by The Fat Squirrel Speaks. It starts up on September 1st and runs through October 14th, so it will have to be something easy and quick. I may even make a little amigurumi monster with the rainbow colored yarn.

Craft Link Time

Blogged under Around the Web by Tammy on Sunday 26 August 2012 at 1:12 pm

It is a rainy drizzling day down here in Florida, perfect for surfing the web and gleaning some crafty goodness.

June is seeing stars, and making them… and now she’s sharing her pattern so you can too.

Aileen’s Musings
Aileen offers you a freebie word sheet for you to download and use in your art!

Carmi’s Art/Life World
Carmi has a free give-a-way for software she used to make miniature scrapbook layouts in resin.

Learn how to crochet food, from pancakes to a sandwich with lettuce and tomato. These crochet food patterns are great for making play food for kids (or adults)!

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at our crafty world
This week at Craftside there is a knit wrap pattern, 4 different times of day cloud color combos, drawing style inspirations, and the archetypes of fermentation from the new book Real Food Fermentation.

Crocheted Pumpkins
Cherie takes a break from making glass sculptures to create these fun little crocheted pumpkins instead.

Eileen – The Artful Crafter
Start your sewing machines, ladies. September is National Sewing Month.

Mixed Media Artist
Did you know you can make sidewalk chalk for your kids…or for yourself? Easy peasy!

On My Hooks and Needles

Blogged under Projects in Progress by Tammy on Wednesday 22 August 2012 at 8:58 am

School is starting back for fall, so my summer productivity when it comes to my fiber fun will probably start to slow down considerably. I have a few projects I’ve really wanted to start, but before I do, I have the following to finish. I just can’t stand not finishing something, and if I have too much started, I start to lose focus and actually get a little anxious.

First, I have another knitted wash cloth. This one I’m doing all in purl stitch, and it is a little holy here and there, but I’m keeping at it. Since taking this photo, I’ve made more progress. I’m a little past the halfway point. I definitely like knit better than purl stitch, and my purl gauge is really super loose.

I’m also working on a shawl. I started this back in early July and almost frogged it a few time because I wasn’t falling in love with it, but after making more progress on it, I’m starting to like how it is coming out. I’m using The Windsor Lace Wrap pattern, Chroma yarn fingering weight in a colorway called Fossil, and a G hook.

Next is a pair of fingerless gloves I’m making as a gift for a friend who loves red. I really hope to get these finished this week because I have tons more of these to make for holiday gifts. I may even give these to her early. I’m using an F size hook and a KnitPicks sock yarn called Cochineal Felici.

Finally, this afghan is also going to be a gift. It is my evening crochet project because there is no pattern to read, just all double crochet. I’m holding two strands together of Bernat Baby Soft purple yarn and an N size hook. I plan to alternate with sections of yellow yarn as well. I’m trying to use up some of my baby yarn stash. For some reason, I have a ton of purple.

Craft Wars Finale!

Blogged under CFEs/Contests,Shows by Tammy on Tuesday 21 August 2012 at 9:07 am

Tuesday 8/21/12 is the finale episode of TLC’s new show Craft Wars airing at 8pm eastern time/7pm central. Make sure you don’t miss it! This week’s competition theme is food and wine. Hmmm…I wonder what she’s making in the photo above.

Also, since this is the last show of the season, this also means the last chance to try to win the Craft Wars Twitter contest. You can read all the rules and regulations here. The nutshell version is that each Wednesday following a premiere of Craft Wars they will host a Twitter trivia contest beginning at 12PM ET. Be the fifth person to answer a trivia question about the latest episode correctly and you could win a pop craft from the show AND a personal tweet from Tori Spelling!

I can’t believe that this is the last show already! Please crafters, make sure you watch tonight and show your support so we can see this crafting show return and hopefully more craft shows as well. It’s about time we crafters had some representation on cable again.

A Few Yarn Related Acquisitions

Blogged under My Crafty News by Tammy on Monday 20 August 2012 at 6:30 am

It is pretty rare that I buy yarn without a project in mind, but I have been drooling over this skein from Desert Vista Dyeworks called Happy Birthday Cupcake. It is self-striping fingering weight, and I love the color combination of pinks, browns, blues, and greens. I finally caved and bought a skein because Knitabulls Podcast viewers were offered a 20% code (obviously go to her podcast to get it) for the month of August, which meant I saved a few dollars. All of these yarns are hand-dyed to order, so it took a little while for it arrive in the mail, but finally, I got it the other day. Yeah! I am not really sure what I’ll do with it, maybe fingerless gloves or a little shawlette or scarf?

Here is another new skein in my stash, also fingering weight. This one, again, I have no clue what I will make with it, and in fact, normally the colors are not really my first choice. However, in person I love the softness and the colors are growing on me. I purchased it after watching an episode of the Knit Me Happy Podcast. She was selling this specific colorway, called Munchkin, in her Etsy shop as a way to help pay for the medical care of one of her cats, Munchkin, who was very ill. She was even offering a discount, so how could I not buy this yarn, seriously?

Finally, I saw that Knit Picks is now caring Harmony crochet hooks. I have been curious about these, and as it happens, I had a $5 credit owed to me by Knit Picks because of screwing up my last yarn order. I didn’t have anything but an email from them about the $5 credit, nothing listed in my account. I was told to just remind them on my next order, but I ordered more than enough yarn last time that I didn’t see my buying anything from them in awhile and was concerned that I’d forget about the credit. The size G hook (a size I use a fair amount) was only $5.79, so I figured I’d use up my credit and get a deal on one of these hooks. It is definitely pretty. I need some time to give it a good test run before I decide what I think about Harmony hooks in general.

That’s it, just a few items. I see so many amazing craft products on-line every day that I could really get into trouble if I didn’t have some self-restraint.

It’s Craft Link Day!

Blogged under Around the Web by Tammy on Sunday 19 August 2012 at 8:48 am

Taking a bird from my journal page to one nesting in my tree..and the pattern for you to make your own!.

Eileen – The Artful Crafter
Eileen shares an August-themed envelope for her hubby’s birthday, along with how to make custom envelopes the easy way and the hard way.

Evergreen Glass Sculpture
Cherie makes a green glass sculpture with some pieces she has on hand.

Mixed Media Artist
Cyndi decided to make a test piece out of felt before committing some of her hand-painted fabrics to the project. And it turns out that she likes the test piece pretty much the way it is!

Resin Crafts!
Carmi has a brief post showing you how she dries flower for her resin pouring projects.

About Family Crafts
Will you play along with the current craft challenge? Create a pencil holder or two and decorate your pens and pencils and then submit your projects.

Aileen’s Musings
It’s back to school, and Aileen offers you a set of freebie bookmarks for you to save, print, and color!

Carmi’s Art/Life World
Carmi has redeemed her pincushion making reputation with a new design!

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world
This week at Craftside there are patterns, tutorials, and techniques galore as we celebrate the back to school season! Pop on over to read all the great knitting and stitching ideas and inspiration we have from a whole bunch of our latest books!

Felted Feathered Friends Book Review

Blogged under Good Books by Tammy on Wednesday 15 August 2012 at 3:36 pm

Felted Feathered Friends: Techniques and Projects for Needle-Felted Birds by Laurie Sharp was published in July 2012 by Creative Publishing International. It is a 264 page hardcover book with 500 color photographs. The book’s retail price is $19.99 US, $21.99 Canadian, and L14.99 UK. It includes 20 needle-felting projects, all of which produce surprisingly life-like felted birds. From the beak to the birds’ legs, it covers everything you need to know to make each project.

I have seen needle-felting demonstrated before but really didn’t know much about it until I read through this book. One aspect that really surprised me was the small number of tools and materials that are required. It is really low-tech. Basically, to get started you just need three items: a felting needle, wool (aka roving), and a foam pad. Along with discussing these few items, the first section of the book covers the techniques, which again aren’t a huge list of techniques you need to know how to do.

Though the techniques section does include color photos of the process, each project also has a lot of photographs as well, and of course, step by step instructions and a list of materials you need (which again are very basic). The projects are organized from beginning level to more advanced level so that a novice can start with the first project and work his/her way through the book to the more difficult projects. Even if you aren’t a bird lover, you will have to admit that many of the birds are very lifelike and some are just totally cute like the peacock and flamingo.

If you have ever wanted to try needle-felting or just wanted a fiber hobby that is low-tech, this book is a good introduction to a fascinating pastime. Plus,  all of the projects are so small you won’t be investing a ton of money or time in making any of them.

Back to the Pointy Sticks – Wash Cloths This Time

Blogged under crochet and knitting by Tammy on Tuesday 14 August 2012 at 8:34 am

After my scarf from hell incident, I needed to get myself back up on the knitting horse. This time, I opted for a smaller project, a wash cloth made with recycled cotton yarn. This idea actually came to me when I was talking with someone on Ravelry about how I struggle with knitting still. She suggested making small squares so I could practice various stitch patterns but not take on a huge project. Then I could stitch the squares together at some point and make a blanket if I had enough. I took this idea and instead decided to make wash clothes as holiday gifts for people that I’m either not sure exactly what to make for them or who are not totally yarn worthy. I already have some really nice recycled cotton yarn in my stash, so this also counts as de-stashing too.

I plan to make at least two wash cloths for each recipient, fold them (as pictured), put a piece of nice soap on top, and then tie them together with some holiday ribbon (which I also have already in my stash). This first wash cloth is all knit stitch. I’ve already cast on for the next one and plan to do it all in purl stitch. So far, I have two people that I plan to make these for, so that means I need at least four. I’m so grateful that she gave me this idea because it keeps me knitting, and I get some immediate gratification too.

Weekly Craft Links

Blogged under Around the Web by Tammy on Sunday 12 August 2012 at 5:32 pm

Hope you had a chillin’ weekend. If not, here are some crafting links to enjoy at your leisure.

Lindsay Sews
A modern quilt guild shows how they pulled off an inexpensive and festive outdoor quilt show. Visit Lindsay’s blog for some beautiful community quilting inspiration.

Mixed Media Artist
Cyndi shares her favorite method for giving a photo a sepia look…and then printing it out on fabric!

Carmi’s Art/Life World
This week Carmi shares her cursed hexagon sewing project.

Craft Buds
Pinterest is a visual playground for crafters and DIY lovers, but there’s always something new to learn. Check out our top Pinterest Tips for craft bloggers and handmade business owners!

From rummaging tools to craft store discounts, these Top 10 iPhone and iPad craft apps offer something unique to help fuel your crafting fire.

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world
This week at Craftside there are a tutorials on how to paint with pencil, make patterns with letter stamps in metal, and sew two tone doll arms.

Eileen – The Artful Crafter
Eileen missed the blog hop this year but went ahead and made blue jeans themed bracelets for the 7k Bracelets of Hope Campaign anyway. Note to self: watch for blog hop notice in January next year!

Green Solar Light Glass Sculptures
Cherie makes glass sculptures with lights for the garden.

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