Friday, May 18, 2012

New Blog

I have set up a new blog for writing about my life and the dogs. This blog will remain as stuff about weaving, spinning, and general creating. I'll be posting more tutorials here as I write them, and the other blog, Lana and the Gang, will be for everything else. I'm pretty pleased with the new blog so stop by and check it out.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Beginning Wet Felting - Making "Snakes"

  Wet felting is the traditional way to make felt. It originated so long ago in ancient history that no one really knows how it started. Here’s a simple way to get the feel of felting.

For some reason, I dislike felting balls with the wet felting method. A lot of people like it, but I don't. I needle-felt them. But I do wet felt "snakes" that I use for various purposes including handles for my felted bags. It's a great beginner project since you can feel the skin develop on the wool. It's a great one to do with kids as well.

You'll need some hot water. Doesn't have to be so hot it burns, but very warm.
Some soap. I use glycerin hand soap that I make. I don't find that dish soap is very effective.
Some carded wool or roving. Pull off a piece to length and a little bigger than the finished piece. You'll get a feel for it with practice.
A towel.

Lay out your towel. You'll use it to roll the roving.
Dip the roving in the hot water, squeeze out the excess and rub just a bit of the soap on it. You don't want it too soapy but a little helps the water to penetrate the wool.
Lay the roving on the towel. You can twist it to make it a little easier to work. Gently start to roll it. Barely touch it at first, just enough to get it to roll. You will start to feel a skin develop as the wool felts. You can use more pressure as it hardens. Once it feels really hard, you can wad it up and roll it like a ball in your hand. This is the FULLING process. If it's really felted, it won't try to stick together much at all. Rinse with cool water with a splash of vinegar to remove the soap. Continue fulling until it feels about as hard as it's going to get. Pull it gently to straighten it and hang to dry.
If you want to make a circle, or to join pieces to make a longer one, leave tufts on the ends dry. After felting the snake, join the dry tufted ends together and gently felt that section.
Have fun and go ahead, try to felt those darn balls....

Disclaimer: There is no one right way to felt. You will find plenty of instructions that will differ from mine. This is the way I do it. Try other methods and see which you like best.
© Lana Pettey 2009

Saturday, May 12, 2012

New Blog for Me and Dog Stories

I've created a new blog dedicated to my dogs and me. I've left some here, but this blog will be about art and crafts. My struggle to create, so to speak.

For stories about the rest of my life, go to HERE.

Friday, May 4, 2012

The NH to TX Saga

First day -
I didn’t get very far, but we didn’t get on the road until .
The tires on the camper got changed ok, but the truck needed some attention too.
The speed sensor rusted away and the results were scaring me.
So we only got as farm as Bennington Vt. By I was bleary eyed and pulled off into a business strip and what should my wandering eyes behold but a Wal-Mart. And, yes, it was one that allowed overnight parking. The courtesy lady told me where to park and I pulled over and pretty much fell into bed. It was a cold night, windy and traffic noise but I slept and dreamed of an elf that was sort of like Elmer Fudd.

Another night - another Wal-Mart. I’ve said goodbye to the White Mountains, waved to the Green Mountains, crawled through the Berkshires, and Poconos. Finally in Ohio, I made good time on the flat land. We crossed the Hudson; it’s been a long time since I’ve been on a bridge that long crossing a river that wide! Holy Cow. Then the Susquehanna, the Ohio and assorted other rivers.

Pennsylvania has more road-kill laying around than any place I’ve ever been except Mexico. I drove into a town where there was a young deer laying in the gutter. Do they hit more animals there or just don’t believe in cleaning up their roads? Kentucky is the prettiest place. I know I’m headed south. I got “mam’ed” today.

Last night stopped at a truck stop. It was hairy parking in a lot crammed cheek by jowl with big rigs and when they idle, they idle for HOURS. Finally fell asleep anyway. I had to get up twice to clean the floor. Doc was seriously ill. He seems ok but I’m not feeding him today. Moss is doing fine.

Minor repair needed. I stopped to let dogs out and found that one of my chains to the camper was broken. I spotted Roger’s Muffler and full service and trundled on over. The guys not only got my chain repaired, but sympathized about my money situation and went out of their way to keep it cheap for me. This was in Winchester, Kentucky. I must remember to list them on the car talk web site too.

Doc is fine today. Moss is a touch under the weather now, but not as bad as Doc was. I think it’s the cheap food I gave them. It all got wet anyway so I’ll probably have to dump it.

We made it all the way across Tennessee and crossed the mighty Mississippi. I never realized Arkansas was so flat. I saw something I haven’t seen in YEARS. A sun sinking, not behind a mountain or to the other side of a hill, but below the horizon! And it’s getting hotter. Girls in their very short shorts. Camped in Wal-Mart of Lonoke AK. I think we gained an hour. I noticed it was still really light at .  We must have crossed a time zone somewhere. Driving has become a blur, I don’t even remember where we started this morning. Lots of birds, lots of cardinals and air in KY and TN perfumed with flowers.
Should make TX tomorrow but don’t know if I’ll have the money until Friday to pay for a camp site. I’m trying my best, but I have to buy gas or won’t get there anyway….