Thursday, May 14, 2015


Raising sheep, I had up close and personal contact with them.  I even made trips to University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri to learn to shear them.  I learned to process their wool and to spin the wool.  I never learned to crochet or knit.  There was so much to do around the farm I really never had sit down time.  My sheep are gone now and I still don't have extra time.

I wonder when I took care of the sheep, goats, cows, and chickens.  I certainly couldn't fit them into my routine now.  Above you see my homage to  my sheep, a wool table runner.

I am making it to use with my "Rossetti Spring Violet" China.  I may change my mind and use it for a dresser scarf in the guest bedroom which is decorated in Violets.

The runner is 14 X 68 inches long, before I decide if there is to be borders. 

My "Wool" interest was sparked when we had a guild member show off her wonderful "objet d'arts".  This accompanied an inspiring talk about using felted wool.  

Felted wool is not wool felt.  It is spun wool which has been woven and then "shrunk" till it is felted.  Wool felt is when the roving is carded into a batt and then the batts are counter stacked and then "mistreated" into felt (You can google and get the technique for making felt).  You can also google and find out how to "Felt wool".  

I was inspired to run home and see what my closet held that I could reclaim and use in my craft.  I had so much fun cleaning the closet.  Not finding enough wool clothes I had an excuse to run to the resale shop and see what I could find hiding on the clothes racks.

Next came the trial and error of felting.  I have a front loader which makes the task a little more difficult.  Then there is wool which just won't felt (I  had this problem with some 100% wool garments).  This surprised me greatly.  You see the wool experiences I had, taught me how easy it is to felt wool.  When you clean the wool of debris and oils you have to handle it gently and make sure there are no drastic changes in water temperatures (I am sure there is somewhere in the net which tells you how to clean raw wool).  If you are interested in making felted wool appliqued items please let your fingers do the googling.

A hint:  don't get so excited you forget the main project rule.  "Plan on paper first"!  If you look at the above basic runner you will see that the elements on the right are closer together than the elements on the left.  I was so enthralled and wanting to get started that I began cutting and appliqueing without measuring how much area I had for the unit I had designed.  I had no idea how many repeats I could fit on the base cloth.  When I got to the last 4 I realized I was going to run out of room.
I knew I wanted one of the elements to go across the end.
To do that I was going to have squeeze the last units close together.

I am so pleased.  I found the discrepancy doesn't phase me (which is unusual because seams which do not nest properly cause me distress).   Spread out on the table with tasty bowls of food on it, I don't think others will notice my "miss planning".

 I worked on this applique while I have been watching the Baseball Cardinals win and loose.  Everything about the project was a pleasure.  The deconstructing and felting the clothing, the hunt for more items at the resale shop, the designing of the applique and then deciding which fabrics to use, the stitching down of the appliques, etc.  The ease using and forgiveness of the wool.  This has been a great first experience.  I can't wait to "plan" my next wool project, first this one needs borders and backing (with felted edges I don't think I will need to bind it.  It won't ravel.)

If you've been afraid of Applique this would be an excellent place to start.  There is no needle turn expertise needed, your stitches nestle right down in the fibers of the wool, not being able to be seen by anyone looking for perfection.  (After I basted my elements down I blanket stitched them, it gives a more primitive country feel to the runner).

Are you ready for an adventure?  Head out to the resale shops on a treasure hunt.  Use the treasures you find there to make something you will treasure.

Other blogs by me:
Where I have stories of my cats and other pets
a blog about my courtship with my husband,
and a blog about my most embarrassing moment.
A "Soap box" blog where I do air my opinions.

blogs about the wildflowers on our farm
Organic methods we use, some cooking and some poetry,
blogs about Seed sprouting, insects, and garden pictures
Blog about an endangered beneficial beetle

Blogs about our pair of pitbulls.

All recipes, pictures, and writings are my own.
I give credit for items which belong to other people in my blogs .
Please do not copy without permission 

No comments: