Please meet THE ARTISAN FELTMAKER !! I have a new title to wear !
The name came from my milliner daughter, of Lotus Millinery at The Beaumont Studios, in Vancouver, B.C. She wanted a supplier of hand-made felt for her hats, and who better to turn to than Mum ? It does help that I had some simple felting/fulling experience several years ago when I was making felted slippers.
The presence of Custom Woolen Mills less than an hour’s drive from my home is an enormous boost to the ensuing projects. So far I have not had the patience to have my order posted to me, but happily take to the roads out onto the Alberta Prairie to stuff the car with bags of wool in fabulous colours (one of my favourites is Genuine Black Sheep) for both felting and knitting. Deciding where to begin is the hard part, as each choice seems irresistable.
Several basic styles have emerged from literally playing with the piles of wool. Gumdrops were the first (that humpy shape is so familiar !), followed by slightly calmer Cloches. Those morphed into floppy brimmed ones, resulting in the generic name of Floppsies. Some are floppier than others, continuing that stubborn insistence on individuality. By now I had learned a thing or two about different felting rates, the unexpected outcomes simply from the effects of the different dyes used, and the fun of adding extra bits for texture and contrast. Squishies are the latest style addition–literally being squished and squashed into intriguing shapes, and frequently decorated with a free hand and a sense of humour. If I am going to work, it might as well be fun !
I wonder if I should send her a “blank” or two instead of continuing on and creating the hat, too ? Mind you, she is a wizard at seeing possibilities in even a limp and bedraggled treasure, and with her steamer fired up can create miracles.
Judi aka The Artisan Feltmaker
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