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Archive for 'Accessories'

Felt Floral Scarf

Perfect for Spring!

We can feel that Spring buzz in the air….the time for fresh colours and flowers and pretty things! While most of us may still be yearning for the return of our flowers in the garden, this scarf can brighten the transition from Winter to Spring!

A great project and tutorial by Amy  at Watch Me Daddy

Posted by Living Crafts on Mar 3, 2013 10:00 AM | No Comments

Pencil Roving Felted Shawl

In the Fall 2011 issue of Living Crafts, we shared some beautiful resources for Pencil Rovings and some projects for inspiration on how to use them.  Here is another wonderful project that uses pencil rovings in feltmaking to create a delicate, lightweight, perfect- for-Spring shawl. 

One of the great advantages of using pencil roving is the ease with which we can draw out refined patterns, words or shapes. Pencil rovings speed up our layout time, allowing us to complete a complex looking project more quickly and easily.  Our Scribbles Nuno Felt Shawl plays with this quality, creating a beautiful, random pattern in a lightweight, lovely to wear felt shawl.


36 x 30 inch silk gauze or chiffon

1.5 ounces Hampton Artistic Yarns pencil roving, shown in twilight colorway

dish soap

warm water

2  lengths of bubble wrap, each 36 inches by 80 inches

1 length of plastic sheeting, like a plastic drop cloth, 36 inches x 80 inches

pool noodle or pvc pipe 36 inches long


Lay out the plastic sheeting on your work surface. Lay out one piece of bubble wrap on top, bubble side up.

Cut the silk length in half, diagonally, into two triangles.

Place the short edge of each triangle together, overlapping slightly.

To help the fibers move more easily through the silk, we will draft the pencil rovings. This means gently pulling and opening up the wool fibers. We can do this ahead of time, drafting the entire length of pencil roving by holding the fibers with our thumbs, about 6-10 inches apart and gently pulling until we feel the fibers release, but not come apart. We can also draft the fibers as we work, stretching them out as we “draw” with the wool on the silk. Outline all the way around the edges with a single strip of pencil roving and connect along the middle where the two silk triangles join, with two strips. This will felt the two silk pieces together and create a nice finished edge to our shawl.

“Scribble” a random pattern of loops working over the entire surface of the shawl. The beautiful dyeing of the pencil rovings will create their own patterning.  Try to work fluidly, working from one side to the other and back. Have some of the scribbled loops touch or even overlap the outside edges of the shawl.

Mix about 1 teaspoon of dish soap with 1 quart of warm (not hot) water. Apply this mixture evenly over the surface of the entire shawl using a watering can, a plastic sports bottle or by pouring the water through a colander. We want to lightly water the surface, without moving our wool designs; just enough for the fibers to be wet, but not sitting in a pool of water.

Cover the shawl with the second piece of bubble wrap and press down with your hands. This flattens the wool fibers, bringing them into closer contact with the silk, and distributes the water and soap mixture. Press down on each section of the shawl 10-15 times to thoroughly wet out the fibers, before moving on to the next section. Work over the whole shawl in this way.

Lift the bubble wrap and check that all the fibers are flat and wet.

Replace the top layer of bubble wrap, and roll up all the layers, including the plastic sheet, around a pool noodle or length of pvc pipe. Roll applying steady gentle pressure for 3-5 minutes.  Open up felt and check surface for even wetness. Apply more soap/water solution as necessary. We all have different felting rhythms, so you may roll up tightly and roll vigorously for 10-15 minutes total, or roll more gently for 30-45 minutes. Periodically open the roll, check the felt surface and re-roll.  Check by rubbing your finger over the surface to see how much the fibres are moving, or by pinching to see how much the fibres lift. Once your fibers have started to move through the silk, and you can feel that they are attached well, you can roll without the pool noodle inside and alternate the rolling with tossing the balled up shawl down onto your open bubble wrap. This really helps to shrink the wool felt.  Continue until the wool is quite well fulled, and feels firm.

Remove from roll and rinse well under warm water, to finish the fulling and remove any soapy residue. Lay flat to dry, or run through the spin cycle on your washing machine and steam dry with your iron. This gives the wool felt a tight smooth finish.

Fiona Duthie

Fiona Duthie is a regular contributor to Living Crafts.

In her studio on Salt Spring Island, BC, she creates in a bountiful beauty of color, wool, and texture, inspired by the natural world. Fiona designs fine feltwork, felting and knitting patterns, gives workshops in natural craft, and runs her hand dyed, artisan fibre company, Kattikloo. You can read more about her fibers, projects and creative living at and on Facebook.

Posted by Fiona Duthie on Apr 10, 2012 02:19 PM | 20 Comments

Book Review

When I first learned to knit, I started with Brown Sheep yarn. My first project was a small knitted square with golden yarn from Brown Sheep, which magically turned into a chicken. This chicken soon found other friends, a pig, a horse, another horse, a kitten, a mouse, and so on, all knitted with Brown Sheep yarn. Most of the patterns I used were from Toymaking with Children by Freya Jaffke. Freya Jaffke’s books are all a treasure and a valuable collection for parents and educators both.

Phoebe's Sweater Just a few months ago, I received this wonderful children’s storybook, written by Joanna Johnson and beautifully illustrated by her husband Eric Johnson, and towards the end I found knitting patterns for Phoebe’s Sweater and Phoebe Mouse from the story’s characters. I loved the idea of knitting something for a child to match the characters from a book. Phoebe’s Sweater was reviewed in the Fall 2010 issue of Living Crafts magazine: “This delightful story is about a child adjusting to the idea of a new sibling, and the assurance she receives from her parents about how much they love and cherish her. Her mother knits her a sweater while still pregnant with the baby. At the end of the book there are instructions for Phoebe the mouse, a child’s cardigan, matching with a doll cardigan, which, in the story, Phoebe the mouse wears. This book is a treasure for both the illustrated story, as well as the beautiful me-and-my-doll cardigan pattern.” Knitting Scene The charming illustrations do not disappoint – they provide rich detail.

Star Scene

And the eager imagination of a young child will find much to consider. Phoebe's Sweater Phoebe’s Sweater is a seamless knit that comes together very quickly in bulky weight superwash yarn.

Girl's Sweater

Instructions include a pattern for this sweet seamless doll and a matching doll sweater, too! Now, I am thrilled to have received Joanna and Eric’s second book, Freddie’s Blanket, which is just as charming.

Freddies Blanket

The Johnson’s new book follows a similar idea of including knitting patterns with a storybook (much like Living Crafts’ Craft a Story column), but introduces a new family of characters and unfolds the tale of a young boy who has trouble staying in his own bed at night. A certain hand knit blanket is always at his side! Cradle The illustrations are just as lovely as in the first book. Farmer's Market And offer much for children and parents to talk about while reading together. Baby Five new knitting patterns accompany the story, including the darling Baby Envelope Blanket. Little boy in coveralls Also, the cute knitted coveralls even have a pattern for a toy knitted hammer! Freddie And of course, there is another adorable seamless toy. There is also a pattern for Freddie’s sister, May, in a sweet violet dress.

Signed Books and Yarn Giveaway

Knitting Kit and Books Today we are offering a very special gift from Joanna and Eric at Slate Falls Press, and from our friends at Brown Sheep Company. Included in the giveaway are a copy of each of these two books, signed by the author and illustrator, as well as a generous collection of Brown Sheep Company yarn. There are 11 skeins of Lamb’s Pride Superwash Bulky, in Mint Cream, which is enough to knit the largest size Phoebe’s Sweater as well as the matching doll sweater. Also, the winner will receive 4 skeins of Serendipity Tweed in Colorado Columbine, which is enough to knit the largest size Freddie’s Coveralls as well as the matching toy coveralls. This wonderful giveaway is valued at $180.00. Just leave a comment to this post to enter the Giveaway. Comments will be open until Sunday (January 30, 2011) 8 p.m. EST.

And the winner is…


  Rayleen    2011/01/30 at 10:04 am
   I love the books with patterns – what a neat idea and one I’m sure that my        grand-daughters would love.

Posted by Living Crafts on Jan 28, 2011 02:19 PM | 908 Comments

Shawl of Many Colors for Girls

I found this beautiful shawl on WeeFolkArt, with the article leading you to a free pattern.

Posted by Living Crafts on Jan 17, 2011 02:41 PM | 1 Comment

Berroco Shoal

Nice shawl pattern from Berroco, posted on WEBS Yarn Store blog. Click here to download free pattern. Skill level is Easy.

Posted by Living Crafts on Dec 30, 2010 07:17 AM | No Comments


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