Tuesday, July 28, 2009

New Arrival: "Green Apple" Sweeter Sweater

Crimson red wool is adorned by two juicy green apples on this Sweeter Sweater; one apple is sliced and ready to enjoy. This darling sweater is just as refreshing as a crisp apple on a brisk autumn day!

Now available at www.SweeterSweater.com.

Roving

Roving is raw-wool or fleece before it is made into yarn. Roving is used for wet felting and needle felting. I mainly use two different brands of roving because of color availability and texture.

Kraemer Yarns (www.kraemeryarns.com) sells really lovely roving in 32 beautiful colors. The texture of the roving is soft yet has some body making it easy to work with. Also, their roving is the same roving they spin their yarn from so you can buy yarn to use in your projects with an exact color match. The roving comes in 4 oz. bags; wonderful if you use lots of roving, but it's probably too much if you don't.

The Felted Ewe (www.thefeltedewe.com) has commercial dyed roving in 44 colors, hand dyed roving in 17 colors and a variety of natural colors; so many choices! The roving is not quite as soft as the Kraemer Yarns roving, but the fibers are nice and crimpy making it ideal for detailed work in needle felting projects. The bags are available in 1/2 oz. and 1 oz. sizes, great for a budding hobby.

There are so many brands and types of roving available; experiment, see what type you like!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Watch Out; It Bites!

The needle used for needle felting is very sharp with little barbs along the length of it. The method required is to repeatedly jab the needle into the fabric layers until they bond together.

I had been feeling pretty pleased (and in hindsight, overly self-satisfied) with my skill with the needle. I felt I could successfully multi-task while needle felting; I could visit with my husband, laugh with my sons, watch a movie, talk on the phone, what have you. That is until I stabbed the needle clean through the end of my thumb and into my middle finger.

The moral of the story: keep your eyes on your work and pay attention. Those things are sharp!

Monday, July 20, 2009

New Arrival: Blossom Pink Cashmere Water Lily Headband

This delicate blossom pink Water Lily is made of the softest cashmere. The leaves are made of hunter green lambs wool. The button center has a soft iridescent sheen. The bloom measures approximately 4” in diameter and has an alligator clip lined in white grosgrain attached to the back. The headband is soft and stretchy; perfect for infants or big girls alike. This bloom could not be sweeter clipped on the headband or used as a hair clip. Now available at www.SweeterSweater.com.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

New Arrival: Butter Cream Yellow Sunflower Headband

Made of buttery yellow lambswool and accented with a large button center; the bloom measures approximately 4" in diameter and has an alligator clip lined in tan grosgrain attached to the back. The headband is soft and stretchy making it ideal for babies and big girls alike. Perfect clipped on the headband or used as a hair clip; this cheerful yellow Sunflower will instantly brighten your day! Available now at www.SweeterSweater.com.



Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Creative Juices are Flowing...

After a brief hiatus to get my technical ducks in a row, so to speak, I am back to the business of creating. I have been working on darling little headbands for the Bonny Bloom collection. I also have several Sweeter Sweaters at various stages of completion. So, be sure to check back often to see what's new!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

So Many Sweaters, So Little Time...

When you first start hunting for the perfect sweater for your felting (or fulling) project you may be overwhelmed by the options. This feeling will quickly subside when you see that ninety percent of the sweaters are cotton and thus totally worthless and another eight percent are either hideous, smelly, stained, or worse, all three. Wow! Now you only need to pick between the remaining three sweaters! So, what to look for?

Essentially any animal fiber will felt but with different results. Merino works beautifully, it ends up soft yet sturdy. Mohair ends up with a soft "halo" of fuzziness. Lambswool and New Wool are both great for felting. Cashmere felts into the most deliciously soft fabric ever! The drawback being you will need to be sure to schedule additional time for your project to accommodate the time spent napping with your new felted cashmere"lovey". Wool blends work nicely too with the best results being with blends of 85% wool or greater.

Once you find a wool suitable for your needs you should look over the sweater very closely. Will you need the ribbing for your project; if so is is in good shape? Are there any holes in the sweater? Generally larger sizes are better so you will be sure to have enough fabric to work with once you felt the sweater. If there is a pattern on the sweater keep in mind that it will look different once it felts; which can be a great thing, or not.

The bottom line is have fun, don't be afraid to experiment, and there is no shame in using Germ-Ex!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Varieties of Wool

While madly searching for old sweaters to supply your new felting obsession, did I say obsession? I meant habit, you will come across several types of wool; here are the basics:

Merino, from the Merino sheep, is noted for its weight and fineness. It is used for fine garments and sports wear alike (think layered climbing gear).

Alpaca is the wool from Alpacas and Llamas. It is similar to sheep's wool , but generally soother and warmer. It also lacks lanolin, making it hypoallergenic.

Mohair comes from the Angora goat; the wool on an Angora goat is long and silky.

Cashmere, the most costly wool in the world, comes from the Cashmere goat in the Himalayas. It is very soft and downy.

You will also see labels marked Lambswool and New Wool. Lambswool can come from any breed of wool bearing sheep; it simply means the sheep was young, thus the wool is generally softer, while New Wool is simply wool that has not been used before.

Piece of cake, right?