While the baby sleeps… a post: “What Do Felters Want?”


The answers to this question, “What do felters want?” are — of course — as varied as the many felters out there in the fiber-obsessed dimension of reality.


We want a time warp, to do this very slow and often tedious art form; gorgeous and varied fibers to use; a stream of new information and updated techniques; inspiration…




Those of us who do some kind of art — which is MOST of us, if we include creative home-making, and creative-teaching/music-making/parenting/dancing/gardening — tend a kind of fire. It seems to me that what we call “depression” is really a state of having one’s fire go out. So how do we tend our creative fire?

We gather kindling:


We create some heat:


We get a fire going:

Rhapsody Rose Felted Corsage Pins

"Rhapsody Rose" Lilac Scarf

And tend the fire:

A lot of dots in progressQuick sketch of Cooper's Hawk for felted collar

Those of us who start our day STOKED are among the fortunate ones. It’s our own responsibility to tend our own fire, no one else’s. If you want to bring more of this creative fire into your life, then spend effort, resources and time supporting the arts. Spend time WITH artists and the arts, with creative and motivated folks who help you feel alive and motivated. Become one of those people!

Published in: on January 15, 2014 at 5:37 pm  Leave a Comment  

Opalescent Batt:

Layers of merino, silk, camel, recycled sari silk, cashmere and yak combine for a lofty, shimmering batt. I’ve worked with camel fibers, in wet felting. These short-stapled fibers felt into rippled, glowing texture, like sand dunes sculpted by wind. Cashmere is so flyaway, it’s difficult to corral in laying out fibers for wet felting, as if some wild energy from the goats that yield this exquisite fiber is bringing static into the mix. Yak is also a short fiber, easier to felt with when it’s combined with longer staple fibers such as merino and silk. I’m hoping that by creating these blended batts that contain abundant merino with an extravagant mix of luxury fibers, the resulting roving will be a cinch to felt. We shall see…



Published in: on January 15, 2014 at 3:51 pm  Leave a Comment  

Experimenting with Carding Art Batts on My Louet Classic Drum Carder

Three images from a mostly merino and silk batt, with the addition of some hand-dyed wool fibers that included some very soft mohair, which I purchased at last year’s event “For the Love of Fiber” — a mini-fiber fest with fiber sales and demos, sponsored by the Centre County (PA) Knitters Guild, and which will be held this year on Saturday, February 15, 10:30 – 5:00, at General Potter’s Farm in Spring Mills, in the beautifully-elegant, big old barn. Serendipitously, February is “fiber focus month” at The Gallery Shop in Lemont, PA — the atrium area will be warmed with lots of fiber art for sale!

The theme guiding my selection of fibers for this batt was the iridescent shimmer of feathers on a starling. I embedded different tones and fibers throughout, to create a deeply-textured batt with striations of silk and merino throughout. So far, my art yarn batts have all been good for spinning: the fiber is delightful to spin, and every inch of the resulting yarn is interesting, full of nuanced color and texture. Next, I’ll do some felting with these same batts, to see how the fibers work for wet felting. How will all of these striations look when used to make cobweb felt? How will they mesh in a three-layer traditionally wet-felted scarf? How will they work in nuno felting? Once I’m certain that these batts are not just pretty to look at, but are great fibers for both spinning AND felting, I’ll hope to offer some for sale…




Published in: on January 15, 2014 at 3:38 pm  Leave a Comment