Saturday, 31 October 2015

Down time..

And then everything went pear shaped!  (If you are not familiar with that saying it means things went wrong).  Mom's dementia took a turn for the worse and as she is still at home it was doubly hard.  I spent a lot of time at my parents home, and even when not there my mind was whirling... 

Again I was looking at fibre and just not feeling it.. preferring to do housework than felt.. WHAT?!  That's just wrong..

But knowing myself, I know that trying to push through and felt anyway (which is usually the best medicine for me) could be detrimental and lead to this block becoming a real issue, as it did in the summer.  SO, I needed something that would keep my hands busy and calm my mind, but be no more taxing than putting things together which pleased my eye.  I decided to crochet a thick blanket for my son.. to keep in his car and take along on adventures and camping trips and what have you.

I have a big box full of yarn.. so great I could destash at the same time!

Using three strands of yarn.. 1 aran and 2 double knit and a 10mm hook
I really enjoyed working on this.. just putting colours together, working row after row of plain double crochet.  

Infact I enjoyed it that much, and as I still had quite a bit of yarn left, I decided to do a second - this one will be for Rachael.

They're approx 4'6" x 5' really snuggly and warm.
Some of the yarn used was passed on to me by my Nan, and I
recognise some of it from childhood cardigans and jumpers :)
I'm glad to say things have settled with Mom this past week, she's on meds which seem to be helping. And so things have been better with me.. I've been at home and actually felting again :)

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Season of the Witch..

With Halloween approaching fast I had to make some witches hats :)  And for the first time ever (no idea why I haven't done before) I made WHITE witches hats..

The first one:
in the making :)
 This 1st one is now with my dear friend Jane - who's been fancying a felted witches hat for ages.. turns out she just couldn't resist a white one :)

The second hat:
Wider in the brim
And yet another selfie :)
As you can tell there hasn't been anyone around to help with pics lately..
This 2nd one has gone to it's new home in Devon.. bound for a spooky ball at a castle this All Hallows Eve. I'm hoping I get a photo of the wearer in her full costume.. I do love to see them being worn by new owners :)

Sunday, 25 October 2015

More Fungi..

More photos than words today..

The second 'fungi scarf' was a little shorter.. and bolder :)

I don't have a photo of this one 'on' yet.. and the weathers too dull this morning to take one.  It does look pretty round the neck though :)

The third was autumn coloured.. I was working with the fibre shades I had to hand.

This was the fungal inspiration..
I now know this is turkey tail fungus - thank you Kerry :)
Laying out the layers with bubble wrap between 
Wetted and carefully rubbing..
forgot to take progress pics after this :)
Close-up of finished ruffles
I love seeing them rolled up like this :)
Another terrible selfie!
This is a pretty long one.. it loops round the neck 3 times
This one seemed to take aaaages.. I was so glad when it was finished!

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Lovely Fungi :)

At the start of October I was still full of enthusiasm and energy for felting!  And since September was all about animals I felt like carrying on being inspired by nature.. this time flora rather than fauna :)

I found images of the most beautiful fungi on Pinterest..

Turkey tail fungus (thank you Kerry for the name :)
I love the colours, pretty bands and rounded ruffling shape..
I've made berets with ruffles on in the past.. and a few years ago made cushion covers shaped like flowers with ruffling petals.  I decided to try a scarf using the same technique for ruffles as I had in the past..
Laid out fibre layers separated by bubble wrap 
(apart from a thin strip along one long edge
- where I wanted the layers to be joined)
Wetted and carefully rubbed
After lots of rubbing and rolling.. when it was holding together well.
Using my painters tray 'washer board' to firm up the ruffles
After rinsing and a gentle spin I stretched and formed the ruffles
- leaving it in position to dry
Unfortunately I had to take the photo myself and it isn't very good -
But you get the idea :)
Really happy with the shape and how the ruffles turned out.. and I like the colour.  It doesn't have the coloured band effect of the fungus though, my fibre colours went together too well for that; they've blended into a subtle variegation from light to dark.. which is fine - but next time I was a bit braver :)

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Under the Beech Tree - October

Another month has flown by...   And for me September was much more pleasant, I'm getting back to my usual self - got a nice amount of felting done - and I'm FEELING the felting mojo still :)  October is off to a good start!

If you look closely some of the leaves are starting to turn.. 

I usually take photos of this tree in the morning.. this was taken in the afternoon,
notice how the light is different..?
We are seeing the squirrels a lot more now.. performing amazing acrobatics in the tree tops :)  They leap across an at least 6 foot span between this tree and it's neighbouring birch.  We're still getting lots of beautiful warm sunshine - a real treat this late in the year.  But there's a definite chill to the air, mornings mostly begin misty then a gorgeous golden glow creeps across as the sun comes up :) That's one of the things  I love about Autumn.. the light quality - apart from when it's dull, rainy weather of course.

Gemstone - Opal
Flower - Calendular

Anglo-Saxons called this Wyn Monath - Wine making month :)

Of course the main event in October is Halloween / All Hallows / Samhain. Whatever you call it, the origins of festivities on this particular day are ancient. There's absolutely masses of information about the history and evolution online.. so I'm not going to go on about it here.  But if you are not familiar with how Samhain became Halloween it's well worth half hour googling and reading.. it's very interesting!

What I will mention is the dates relevance in the Celtic country calender. Samhain was the first day of winter.  Crops like barley and oats, turnips and apples should of been gathered by now. It was thought that faeries would ruin it if left in the fields, same with berries in the hedgerows.   

Samhain was the date the livestock would be brought in from summer pastures.. any beasts which were to be kept through the winter went to winter quarters.  The rest were slaughtered and preserved. This practice continued well past the end of the celtic period, and the evolution from Samhain to Halloween. It's only really modern farming that'll of had an effect on this ancient wisdom - obviously I'm not thinking of faeries ruining things but rather the effects of our weather:) 

The more recent Christian version of the earlier pagan belief is; 
'Don't pick blackberries after Michaelmass, on this day the devil puts his foot (or spits on) on blackberries'.  

Michaelmass Day is 10th October and is the day the Christian calender celebrates Archangel Michael's defeating Lucifer, it says when Lucifer was tossed out of Heaven he landed in a thorny blackberry bush - which he duly cursed and spat on. 

Anyway.. Enjoy :) xx

Thursday, 1 October 2015

More September makes...

And then feathers joined fur and prickles :)  Time to make another set of retro wall ducks!  

Laying out..

Close-up of the smallest
They have flown over to my Etsy shop :)
I wonder where they will find their home..
Not sure if I ever told you, but the first set (made in 2014) were brought by Google for one of their meeting rooms :)

Anyhoo.. that's all my September critters