Monday, January 30, 2006

Felted Teacosy2

Felted Teacosy2
Originally uploaded by Maureen1.
Finally, here is a picture of the completed teacosy after a second felting. I have embellished it with buttons I acquired at the retreat in Nowra, and topped it with a felted isacord bow. Doesn't it look glamorous? It was soon snaffled up by eldest daughter to keep her teapot warm in cold old Melbourne.

Saturday, January 28, 2006


I survived my Mum's funeral and seem to have come through the other side; my brain is functioning again and my interest in textiles is resurgent.

I found this link to a knitted tote which is later felted. Thanks to Sophie I think I may have inserted this link properly, but here it is again just in case:
Note that the tote is knitted in a wool with a percentage of nylon in its make-up.

I have finished the teacosy; after felting it in the washing machine a second time it felted satisfactorily and is a better size altogether. I stitched on buttons and a length of felted isacord as a bow on the top. Immediately snaffled by eldest daughter, but I will get it back for a few minutes to photograph, it is really funky and should keep any teapot toasty warm whatever the temperature.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

All the things

you didn't want to know about funerals. My mother died early on Tuesday morning and I have been arranging the funeral as well as clearing out the back bedroom for my eldest daughter who is flying in tomorrow morning. I am feeling much better now it is all over, sitting at my mother's bedside waiting for the inevitable to happen just tore me apart. She was 94 and had had a good life, done most of the things she wanted to do and just plain wore out. So bear with me until I get my life back on track, please. It most certainly is true to say that death is a great emotional trauma in your life, plus afterwards you are run off your feet doing all the necessary things.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

6 x 4 January

6 x 4 January
Originally uploaded by Maureen1.
My Mum is sleeping her life away in a nursing home. I spent a lot of time with her yesterday and was very upset. Could not sleep last night so got up and made this little collage flower. Hand painted fabric, watercolour crayons on watercolour paper.

Saturday, January 21, 2006


Trying to use the little link icon to create the link does not work for me. I have turned on the thingie at on the settings page to say I want to show links, anyway, here you go, here is the link I mentioned in my last entry:

Postcard Challenge

I have been browsing round the blogs I have listed on bloglines and came across this postcard challenge, sort of like a journal postcard thing. So since I have been making a few postcards and atc's lately I decided to join. Partly because I like the idea of the challenge, but also because I need some sort of challenge to help my brain work more creatively. You can find details about the postcard challenge on sharonb's blog:

Art Quilts and more

Cybthia St. Morgan has a wonderful site showing her dyed fabrics, art quilts, wearables and more. Well worth a visit:

I can't seem to get blogger to do links properly - always something new to learn!

Yellow Hibiscus1

Yellow Hibiscus1
Originally uploaded by Maureen1.
Here is another flower, slightly paler colouration this time, but so pretty.

Yellow Hibiscus

Yellow Hibiscus
Originally uploaded by Maureen1.
My mother is very ill and I don't have the emotional stability to sit and sew for long periods of time. I wanted to take pictures of these hibiscus from my garden for later inspiration. I love to see the amazing colours in this 'yellow' flower and how it shades from yellow through pink to a deeper pink/red in the centre.

These shrubs were planted to hide the fence, but I have had some horrid bug attacking the leaves which has left the plants a little bare, but thankfully still producing flowers to draw the eye away from the fence.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Felting yet again

I had to buy a metre of wool fabric or an old blanket for the Glenys Mann workshop I am doing early next month. Today I scored a piece of really tatty old blanket for $1.50 in an op shop. Heaps better than buying a metre of wool fabric! So I threw it, together with the teacosy, into the washer with hot soapy water to soak and then wash. I am happy to say that it has felted to quite a respectable size now, sitting on top of a round bowl to shape it at present. When it dries I can play at embellishing it with beads and ribbon bows. I think I will also make a small hem at the bottom of it and run a narrow piece of elastic around it as it sort of flares at the bottom and I think it would be snugger around a teapot if it was narrower here.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Waterloo Quilt Festival

Well, I've done it, I've booked a holiday in Canada. I am going to Waterloo Quilt Festival with a group of online friends, the link to the festival is here:

I have a few more days in Toronto to visit another friend then flying to Calgary to take a train over the Rockies to Vancouver. A real dream trip, I have wanted to visit Canada for ever.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Felted teacosy

Felted teacosy
Originally uploaded by Maureen1.
My daughter decided this was a Rastafarian hat and plonked it on her Border Collie to see if he approved of this life view. Definitely did not as he vigorously removed his very unbecoming headgear. Most certainly it is a teacosy for a very large teapot, I only hope it will felt up smaller next time I wash it.

close up of felting

Originally uploaded by Maureen1.
As you can see, the knitting did felt, but the teacosy is rather on the large side so I am going to have another go at felting it before embellishing with buttons and ribbons.

Red hibiscus

Red hibiscus
Originally uploaded by Maureen1.
Most of my hibiscus folded up their petals and closed up shop after our day of rain on Thursday. This one, not one of my cherished later variety types, is still blooming despite lack of everything that makes life worth living for hibiscus. It is so beautiful I can see I must mend my ways and give it some tlc!

Felting again

The teacosy is finished, ends sewn in, felted. I fished it out of the washing machine after the wash had finished and it hadn't felted! Then I remembered changes of temperature also help felt wool, so I switched the rinse to 'cold' and when the machine had finished it had felted, hadn't shrunk as much as I had hoped, but definitely felted. I'll take some photos today for you to see.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Felting hand knitteds

Someone asked me how I intend to felt the teacosy. Firstly you need to use woollen yarn, not a man made yarn. The wool should not have any treatment that makes it ok to machine wash in case it inhibits the felting. Then you need to knit the article with much larger needles than is usual - for double knitting wool (sport wool in USA) you need about a 6mm needle. When finished and sewn up, soak article in hot water and a squeeze of mild detergent (synthrapol if you have it) for half an hour. Then throw in the washing machine on hot with a couple of pairs of old jeans in case the colour runs. Check for size now and then in case the shrinkage is too much. You need heat and agitation to felt wool, heat alone does not do it.

I don't think this is a very precise art, so I would not make anything where size is important, but for felted scarves or tea cosies it is an ideal thing to do.

Many years ago my Mum went on a holiday on a Norwegian mail boat right up to the Artic circle. This was the last trip of the season before winter set in, and no more tourists were taken on the trip. The stewardess on the boat was frantically knitting mittens for the crew in her spare time, she knitted these mittens on 5 needles and when finished threw them in the washing machine on hot. Of course most of the ladies on the boat wanted to make some of these, so my Mum copied out the pattern, got some needles and some wool and made a pair. She gave them to my son who was doing the Ten Tor walk on Dartmoor with his school. This was a winter thing and was very cold up on the moor. He loved his mittens, made his hands so hot that he shared them round with his team.

Oh, I got the pattern for the teacosy from a little Vogue book called 'Vogue Knitting - Felting. On The Go!'

Teacosies and rain

It rained all day yesterday, a bit depressing, so I turned on the lights, put the TV on and sat down to finish knitting my tea cosy. Before I felt it I have about 300 ends to sew in from the stripes, plus have to graft the edges, being sure to leave a hole for the spout. I have been wondering if a fringed tea cosy would be nice, you know, a felted fringe. But reason takes over and I am just off to look for my wool sewing needle and scissors and a spare 2 or 3 hours to get those ends sewn in.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Collage cards

Collage cards
Originally uploaded by Maureen1.
I was all inspired by some collage sites I visited yesterday and nothing would do but I play with paper and fabric and glue. Of course I had no card to hand, so used a couple of cut out cards I had to hand. The butterfly needs some antennae and I also need to work out a way to define the upper from the lower wings. Think I went a bit overboard with the week in front of the fish too.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006


Originally uploaded by Maureen1.
I was given a bag of circa 1930s scraps of fabric, mainly narrow strips. It took me a while to decide what to do, but decided one of these stoles would be rather a fun thing to make. There is a mixture of fabric, rayons and cottons.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Dye Forum

To those people who are interested in dyeing, Paula Burch has started a new Dye Forum. I think already it is a real asset with several questions about dyeing being answered in an informative and accurate manner. Paula Burch has to have the best pages on the web about dyeing that I have ever seen, but the Forum is great because you can ask questions about things that are not going right, or are puzzling you and hope to get them answered. The Dye Forum is at:

Sunday, January 08, 2006

It has been so hot recently I have not been doing much sewing. Instead I have been collecting ideas and making flow charts for the workshop I am taking with Glenys Mann. The workshop is called 'Message Bearers and the Environment'. I think I need to paint some of my visual journal pages in different colours to see if this gives me any leads on the environments in which I live. I find environment can mean day to day life, holiday life and places with which for some reason you find a deep affinity. I need to do this so I can take a selection of fabrics with me with a colour theme in mind. Taking all my stash to the workshop is not even a remote possibility!

Friday, January 06, 2006

Horoscope for January

I found a link to Crazy Aunt Purl's horoscopes for January.( Mine is as follows:
'VIRGO (August 23 - Sept. 22)
I have a very good Virgo friend who once told me that she's a member of the "most boring sign in the zodiac." Say it ain't so. I think there's a simmering discontent right under your skin. You feel like a big slug right now, but you're just going to have to rouse yourself out of your rut and shake a tailfeather, baby. If you try to bury your head you'll end up with car trouble, financial worries and an ulcer. Besides, your namesake planet is retrograding, and even the word "retrograde" sounds sinister, don't you agree? Make like a good Virgo and spend some time organizing your life, un-retrograding yourself. Once you start, you'll feel infinitely better.'

Well, I do have car trouble, no brake lights. Everyone else just puts a new fuse in and all is ok again. My car has a switch thingie under the brake pedal that has broken and a new one has to be ordered from the Eastern States. So far I have waited 10 days, either the post is VERY slow or they have forgotten to order this bit. And yup, I do feel Virgo is a bit of a boring sign, I try to keep my head above the edge of my rut and my tail feather is wagging furiously. But hey, retrogade is high fashion right now, sounds ok to me!

Small bags

Small bags
Originally uploaded by Maureen1.
I have been busy with these bags for most of this week. I glasses cases and one swing bag, all made from the nylon space dyed ribbon yarn I bought some time ago. I embellished with wrapped cords, stitched on with metallic thread, and corded the edge with wrapped cords again. Just have the smalled red bag to finish completely, has been sooo hot today, have been mostly lounging around under the aircon vents.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

felted teacosy

felted teacosy
Originally uploaded by Maureen1.
This is a picture of the felted tea cosy I am knitting. I found it in a little book from the library, 'Vogue Knitting - Felting - On the go'. I thought it would use up lots of my scraps of wool, but of course I don't have much wool yarn, mainly acrylic. Hence the dyed wool I showed you the other day.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Finishing off day

Just as well I haven't taken any photos today of my work as Flickr is having a hissy fit. I have been working on glasses cases and a little swing bag, couching yarns and making wrapped cords for handles and edging cord. Have buttons to attach and little finishing touches to do.

We woke up to rain this morning, most unusual for this time of year. It has been overcast and humid all day, not the best of weather. Even worse, I had to venture to the shops today or we would not have eaten. I think all the World had the same idea, plus the shelves were empty from the post Christmas rush, and fresh veggies were very difficult to find. Ah, the joys of living at the end of a very long supply line!

Monday, January 02, 2006

How much is your blog worth

I found this little quiz on Arlee's blog:
She was highly insulted to find that her blog was worth nothing! On the other hand mine is worth $1,129, although I have to admit I am not clever enough to attach the button from the quiz site to my blog. Well, I did try but it appeared several times through my blog and caused me to immediately hit the clear edits button. Gosh, I hope I don't have to go and mess with the template again!

hand dyed wool

hand dyed wool
Originally uploaded by Maureen1.
Here is a picture of the knitting wool I dyed. I am so pleased with the way it turned out, plus it was easy to do, which is a bonus.

We've been out on the river for a picnic today, plus a wander around Fremantle Markets and a stop off for a delicious iced coffee. I has been a very hot and humid day, there are storms forecast. Thankfully our weather is nowhere near as bad as that in New South Wales where there have been houses destroyed and high temperatures to fan the blazes. My heart goes out to the people battling this weather.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Dyeing Wool

Yes, I did it! Was much easier than I thought and very successful. The boring white wool I bought in the sale is now gum leaf green, orange/yellow and brown/yellow. I should have thickened the dye before putting it onto the skeined yarn as the colours ran into each other more than I had intended, but I know that bit now. The skeins are still drying on the line and until they are completely dry the colour will be a little darker than when dry, so will take a picture tomorrow and show you what I did.

Of course, I did not change into old clothes although I did wear a plastic apron. My jeans and black teeshirt are nicely embellished too! Since the dye was not fixed I am hoping it will come out of my clothes, there was no wash out at all from the wool.


May all my readers have a happy and healthy 2006 with lots of successful sewing and other craft related hobbies.

I was going to list my New Year Resolutions, but I think it will be too embarrassing as I am sure to have broken each and every one by next month at the latest. My main one is not to procrastinate. I will try, honestly!