More colorful yarn.

So . . . I made some more colorful yarn. This time I wanted the yarn to be super soft so it is made of fine merino wool, silk, alpaca, rose fiber, and bamboo. 

Sometimes Alpaca and bamboo and Rose fiber are not super soft but this particular fiber is SUPER soft.

Though I haven’t had time to make anything with it yet, I’ve enjoyed envisioning what I’m going to make.

I am not a master spinner by any means but I would be willing to give lessons in what I do know. If anyone is interested please contact me.

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Kids Felting

Last Christmas I helped my grandkids felt scarves for their father and grandfather. They had so much fun they were begging me to let them make scarves for themselves. I told them that I would let each of them make a scarf for themselves as their Christmas present. Well, finally I kept that promise.

With a little supervision and help, felting can be a very gratifying craft for children. Melanie and I helped her youngest two put together small scarves and the results were nothing less than wonderful.


For her youngest, Heather, Melanie helped her pull all the “chosen” colors off the shelves and open the bags and help her pull out appropriate amounts of color, and let Heather place the colors where she wanted them. Occasionally Melanie had to help her adjust for thickness. 

Once the colors were laid out and prepared for rolling, we let Heather begin the felting process by rolling the bundle herself for a while. This gave Heather the opportunity to experience the felting process for a little while.  After that Melanie finished it up.


Melanie had to resist the urge of advising on colors and placement to let the project be purely Heathers art, and as you can see from the photos below, the results were truly stunning in Heather’s reversible scarf.


As one of my workshop participants said, after a felting her first scarf, “You can’t ruin these things can you?”

I was helping Michael with his scarf. Michael was much more self-sufficient. All I had to do was show him how to pull the fibers off the roving and place them and he was on his way. He placed every fiber for his scarf himself, as well as picking out his colors and pulling them from the shelf himself. When it was time to roll the bundle for the felting process he did most of that as well.


He was so pleased with his scarf when it was finished that he couldn’t wait for it to dry thoroughly, but put it on and ran outside to play.

Below are photos of Michaels scarf.


After Heather and Michael finished their scarves, Jacob wanted to start his. I told him I was too tired but he said he didn’t need any help so I let him go ahead. He remembered how to do it pretty much, from the time we made the Christmas presents, so he just went to work.

I guided him only a little and when he had finished laying out the scarf, I helped him set up for felting.

He had to go home before he was finished so I finished up his felting easily once he was gone. Below are photos of the result!

They had so much fun it was a real joy to help them.

I would be willing to teach young children’s  workshops if a parent comes along for each child in case they need help.  

Older children, 14 and up, are capable of the entire process themselves.

If you or your children are interested In a felting Workshop please contact me.  I would be happy to set something up.

Melanie’s Creation at a Recent Felting Workshop

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Above, final layout before felting.

Melanie laying out the fibers and silk for the sky.

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Laying out the darker green in the fields for the shadows cast by the clouds.  I swear, this looks positively 3-D!

The felting process.

Above, the finished product after felting and drying.  Absolutely gorgeous!

Another wonderful workshop!

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Laura (left) holding the scarf she made at our felting workshop; and Alpacas at Marquam Hill Ranch owner, Jennifer, in matching colors (there are no coincidences).  In the background are the wall of alpaca socks and a scarf I made of merino and alpaca locks.

Yesterday we had our workshop at Alpacas at Marquam Hill Ranch store and it was SOOOO fun!!!

Laura and Jennifer both made felting projects and we had a ladies day of visiting and creating and eating yummy snacks, including some amazing gluten free, dairy free, chocolate chip and peanut butter cookies Jennifer made!

Laura chose plum and bitter chocolate colors as the background for her scarf and added lovely dyed fibers from her own Suri alpaca and from some Wensleydale fleece locks she had.  The reverse side had a combination of brown tones with white silk fiber running through, over a deep plum background.  Gorgeous combination!

Jennifer created a wall hanging of nutmeg and browns, lichen greens, rust, and whites; then on the other half of her project, she used the same colors to create felted fabric to top some throw pillows for her home.

Everyone expressed how much fun they had and I was delighted to share something I enjoy so much!

If you are interested in attending a workshop either at the ranch store or in my home, you can email me at micheleballantynedesigns@gmail.com — or call me at 407-766-2588, and we will set up a workshop.

 

Put together a Valentines confection at Alpacas at Marquam Hill Ranch yesterday.

Scarf confection… A bouquet scarf for Valentine’s Day.
Jennifer and Bill allowed me to sell my scarves at their store at Apacas at Markham Hill Ranch.
 

I laid out a pretty bouquet scarf as a demonstration at Alpacas at Marquam Hill Ranch today.

I was hoping to sell a few scarves but that didn’t happen.  I did sell one small scarf though and generated some interest in the felting class we will be holding there next month.

New flyer for the workshop at the ranch

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Jennifer, the owner of the Alpaca Ranch, suggested a flyer with more color; and my daughter Melanie suggested more photos of workshops on the flyer, so I came up with this.  I like this flyer better with the white background because the lettering is easier to read.  The flyer may not be as “pretty”, but it works.

Jennifer suggested I work on felting a scarf on Feb. 11th, while I am at her store at the ranch during her pre Valentines sale.  She had already invited me to sell my scarves there on that day.  She thought I might like to use my time to make a scarf while also demonstrating to customers what we will be doing at the workshop.  I love the idea!  If anyone wants to stop by to see the store and get in on some Valentine sales, and see my felting process at the same time, come on over to the ranch!

Working with alpaca fleece and I love the results! Workshop coming, see below . . .

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Creamy white merino and alpaca.
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With touches of alpaca along the edges and in the center of this creamy white scarf, a look of heavenly clouds is created.  The shiny white wavy lines are created with pure silk fibers.
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Here I added bits of fleece all over the underlying merino design.  The alpaca felts best when paired with a very feltable fiber like merino.
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This scarf is reversable; one side (above) having charcoal, cafe o’ lait, camel, and white underlying the white alpaca fleece.  The other side (below) has a cafe o’ lait, camel and white underlying design with white alpaca on top.

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The brooches I sell to go with the scarves.  Sometimes people buy a brooch first then design a scarf to go with the brooch they choose.

I stopped by Alpacas At Marquam Hill Ranch and met the owner, Jennifer.  I visited with her about alpacas and whether their fleeces felt or not.  She let me know that they do felt, but they felt better when mixed with an easy felting fiber such as merino wool.  We chatted and got to know each other and decided we would collaborate on a workshop!

I bought a couple small bags of fleece and she gave me another, and I went to work.  I love the results!  Now we have a workshop planned at her ranch.

Here is the flyer for our workshop together (perhaps some of you can make it):

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