I have now had Christmas part 1 as my daughter and her fiancé came down for the weekend. I had been avoiding going out unless necessary in order to be covid free in order to be with my daughter who I haven’t seen since June. She only lives in London! It has been a hectic two years for her as she started her MBA when covid hit, but she has her degree now and a new job, so hopefully seeing each other will be more of a regular event. Keeping fingers crossed. We are currently in a sort of semi-lockdown and back to wearing masks again.
I had to finish all of my projects and clean the house prior to this visit, and so now I am left to relax and focus on things that I want to do. I have been looking at an empty loom for a couple of weeks now, but have not been in a hurry to weave anything. I have some yarn on the wheel, but also in no hurry to finish spinning it. I believe it is time to regroup and think about what is really important to me and only do what I want and not what I think I should.
I haven’t watched any felting videos on YouTube for some time and decided to do a catch up. The Russian ladies are all making Tiger themed items for the New Year. Last year it was mice or rats. I think it has something to do with the Chinese New Year, but not certain as the translation can be a bit wacky. Anyway, the projects are free and look like fun. I also came across a video from Natasha Smart Textiles that she shared on Instagram on how to wet felt a Christmas Wreath. I no longer have a wreath and thought that would be interesting to watch. After watching, I decided to make one.
These are the yarns and fibers I used to make a wreath. I already had some merino batt that I purchased from DHG Italy before Brexit. I don’t know where Natasha gets her Finn wool batts from, but I do know that Wingham sell Scandinavian batts that I had purchased for vessel making as World of Wool no longer sells merino batts in colors. All of the eyelash yarn and white mohair yarn came from charity shops as well as the sparkly cone. I like to buy novelty yarns from charity shops when I can as I won’t go out of my way to buy them. The sari silk is from WOW as is the pink mohair boucle yarn, and the pink and the white glitzy roving. I didn’t have tinsel yarn (but now I do!) but the eyelash yarn is a good substitute. I don’t have process photos as I wasn’t sure how this was going to turn out. In any event, you can watch the video. I had a 9 inch embroidery hoop, so I laid out 40cm of batt instead of 50cm. I used the hoop to measure the size of the wreath for the fiber layout as I expected it would shrink.
In the end, I used a 10 inch hoop I managed to find which was a better fit. I did not iron the felt as I quite like the texture. I was initially going to add some beads onto the wreath, but decided to pull out some fibers instead.
There is a fair amount of sparkle here due to the glitzy roving on the top. The eyelash yarn did not felt but was trapped by the glitzy merino. I got a sharp pointed set of craft tweezers and spent about an hour picking out fluffy bits for texture for the wreath.
Once I was happy with that I cut the felt to fit the hoop and glued the felt to it as in the video. I then put a ribbon at the top to hang it from my window and glued a bow to the wreath. The bow is rather stiff and is all that I could find. I had to glue the tails down.
Here we are, all finished and hanging from the window in time for Christmas part 2.
This was fun to make and didn’t take very long. I did cheat and used the sander to speed things up to get everything to grip together before rolling it. I sanded on both sides after rubbing on the wreath side for about 10 minutes with a felting tool. There are just a few things I would do differently next time. Firstly, I would not use the sari silk. You can’t even see it underneath all of the yarn so I think that is a complete waste of sari silk. I would rather use glitzy instead and make it wider than where I will lay the yarn so that there is more shine around the edges. I used some fuzzy pink yarn, but I wouldn’t use that again as it really didn’t make much of a difference or add value to the finished product. I also wouldn’t use viscose as you can’t see it under all of the yarns. I bought some King Cole Tinsel Chunky yarn for the next wreath or Christmas project I may make. I saw a snowman, penguin and hedgehog knitted with this yarn in my haberdashers. They were very cute. Because eyelash and tinsel yarn won’t felt, it is easy to pick out bits if you want more texture for your wreath. I am also not sure it is necessary to use as much yarn as in the video. If you don’t have glittery yarn, then adding Angelina for extra sparkle is ok if you have it, or you can wait until after Christmas and see what you can score in the charity shops. It is actually better for the environment to purchase pre-loved synthetic yarns than to purchase new. I really had fun making this wreath and recommend having a go.
I also made a small decoration from a wet felted sample with yarn I made ages ago.
Here is the sample I made this from. You can see it in the center top row below. I wrote a blog post about it here. This was also inspired by Natasha Smart.
I happened to have a 4 inch embroidery hoop that I picked up at a charity shop. Actually, all of my hoops were from charity shops, but I have also now ordered some more in various sizes off of eBay as I haven’t seen any in the shops for a very long time. I had all of these samples above that I didn’t know what to do with, but putting them in a hoop is a nice idea. They can also be used as mug rugs, which is a thing in the USA (google it). They are a little wider and longer than a coaster so it can fit your mug of coffee and a small cake or biscuit (or two). The woven mug rugs actually look like mini rugs with the fringe on each end. Kromski has a tutorial each month on making them. I am starting to digress now. I will show you how things turn out once my hoops arrive. They should make nice gifts and items for the Christmas tree.
I want to thank everyone for reading my posts this year. It has been another challenging one all around. Please stay safe and healthy and I hope you all manage to enjoy the holiday season.