Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The PFOS Report

Suzanne just spent time at the Pocket Full of Stitches retreat. Want to know more?

Here is the shop posting about the retreat Suzanne mentioned above.  Looks like a really fun Texas time!  I wonder how many pounds they all put on with that fabulous food!

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© Copyright September 24, 2014 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Amy Does Halloween (and more)

The October-November 2014 issue of Amy's shop newsletter is now online!  Read about sales, new books, the latest rumors, new threads and new magnets to corral your needles and more, including an explanation of Amy's Book Club for 2015.

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© Copyright September 30, 2014 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Live Streaming the Muncaster Castle Embroidery Tour Tomorrow UPDATED

Philippa Trunbull of The Crewel Work Company does tours of British embroidery each year but this year is going to be special. Tomorrow, October 1, Philippa is going to live stream her visit to the embroideries of Muncaster Castle in England's Lake District.  Here are the times and a few details including a link to a history of the Pennington family and their castle.

Mary Corbet promises more information today.  I'll post the link here when it publishes.  Stay tuned and set your clocks for tomorrow!  UPDATE:  Here's the link to the streaming video for tomorrow.

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© Copyright September 28, 2014 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Where to Find HP Designs

The interview with Frank Hyatt has prompted lots of questions about where to find HP Designs canvases. Of course you should start with Frank's HP Design website which has the leftover stock of designs that weren't picked up elsewhere.

Frank also has an eBay store which has some real bargains.  Search eBay for the seller hpdesigns to see what temptations Frank has ready for purchase.

Julia's Needleworks has quite a few of Frank's beauties for sale, especially among the classic African and floral areas Frank did so well.

Amanda Lawford went for the classics, particularly the Asian and flower patterns and the animals with oriental rug borders.  She also picked up some of the lacquer boxes (second link).

Barbara Russell also chose animals and Asian designs but her website doesn't have the HP Designs pieces in one section.  You'll have to browse to find them, which is no problem.  Barbara's site is a delight to explore.

I hope you find one of Frank's beauties to stitch and treasure.  Thanks again, HP Designs!  It was great while it lasted.

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© Copyright September 29, 2014 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Monday, September 29, 2014

How to Needle Felt a Tiger's Tail

Things have been hectic in Chilly Hollow in August and September, what with Destination Dallas deadlines, a vacation, and more. So I am late talking about needle felting on needlepoint canvas. Sorry!

But I knew you'd wait patiently just to find out how one needle felts a needlepoint canvas.  I'm using my coaster sized Timeless Tiger from Leigh Designs' new Imari series to explore needle felting and then report back to you.  I'm doing this as a model for Leigh so there will eventually be a stitch guide that has full instructions for this particular piece.  The things I've learned while working this piece will work for any canvas you want to needle felt, though.

If you've not read my previous articles on needle felting, they are collected here.

I used a single felting needle and the foam type felting block.  I took my canvas off stretcher bars but you don't have to do that.  I thought it would be easier to reach the various parts of the tiger if the bars weren't in the way.

Holding the Roving in Position

I started with the tail.  This is a narrow, curving area so I used a single needle since the multiple needle felting tools won't work here.  To needle felt, pinch off a small amount of the wool roving.  By small, I mean a nickel -ized piece that is thin enough you can see through it.  It will be wider than the tail but that's ok.  Just fold it in half to make it approximately the right width. Hold it in place with the fingers of one hand while you needle felt it with the other.   I started at the outside edge of the design but where you start doesn't really matter.  Lay the wool roving on the tail and poke it with the needle into the center of the tail, moving up and down perpendicular to the canvas.  (Holding the felting needle at an angle makes it easier to break.)  Remember to watch what you are doing so you don't poke your fingers with the needle!

Afraid of splitting your needlepoint canvas threads?  Don't be.  Practice poking the roving first with a regular tapestry needle.  You will notice that if you hit a thread, the needle will slide down into a hole.  This also happens with the barbed and sharp felting needle as long as you are not whaling the tar out of your canvas.  In other words, take your time.  Speed is not your friend here.

After you think your wool roving is stuck to the canvas somewhat, pinch off another bit of wool roving.  Fold it to fit and lay it on the tail, making sure it overlaps the first piece of roving.  Now use the felting needle again.  Once the second piece is felted, you can start to move the needle nearer the edge of the tail.  At this point, you can angle the needle and poke the wisps that are laying over the tail margin into the tail area.  Go slowly.  

Repeat this process up and down the tail, adding another pinch of wool roving as needed.  This will take far longer than basketweaving the tail but I think of it as doing background.  It takes time but is worth the effort.  To check that the wool roving is secure, flip the canvas over.  You will see the fuzz on the back side.  Like this--

Wool Roving on the Back Side
When you are happy with the look of the tail, check to see if there are any wisps of roving sticking up or out.  Poke those into position with the needle felting tool or trim them with sharp scissors.  You can use the needle to push down into the edge of the tail at an angle which helps secure it but go slowly as angled pokes are more likely to break the needle.

The final step is to stem stitch the stripes on top of the wool roving using a sharp needle.  It's really just like stem stitching on top of an already stitched area.  The sharp needle helps the thread go through the wool roving smoothly.

Next time I'll talk about needle felting the tiger's back and starting his face.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
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© Copyright September 26, 2014 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.