Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Felting with Dogs

There are felted sweaters on every counter top, the table is covered with pattern pieces, buttons, felting needles, inner soles, thread and wool, and I cannot see the floor for the scatter mats and sleeping dogs. I alternate food preparation for all of us with short burst of walks and craft projects now that Old Tango is here.

Kenya has adjusted to his presence in an interesting way. She doesn't even think of asking if he wants to play. She realizes he is a different species of being. But she has also become very quiet in the way she deals with her role as mom dog. Tango invariably comes into the kitchen when I am cooking and there just is not room for him to be there safely so I tell him , "Out of the kitchen," and herd him out. A few minutes later he is back but Kenya is hovering behind him. I tell her to leave and she does and I praise her. Then I tell him to leave and he obeys and gets praise too. The third time Kenya sees him heading back in she gets there first and walks him gently back out. No yippy bitching, no noise at all in fact ... just doing her job in a way that works well.

She is an amazingly adaptable girl ... and very bright.

I have finished the first of Tammy's slippers. I used a loden green sweater and cut three pieces plus the inner sole to create a slip-on that is cooler than the bootie types are. Tammy hates shoes and this is the closest thing to barefoot I could come up with. One of the top pieces laps over the other and will be secured with a very pretty piece of jewellery that goes well with the green. The inner sole is felted to the slipper sole. Right now it is a different colour from the slipper but I could felt something onto it that works better with the loden than dark red does. The problem is that the felted covering would get rubbed off by the friction of her feet. Hmmn! Need to do some more thinking about this.

This kind of work is all consuming for me. Everything takes much longer than it would take someone with inherently different skills. I have no sense of spatial relationships so going from a sole to a slipper requires an intelligence I don't have. I have to try things out and actually have the finished pieces in my hands to see what I have done wrong. I am using newspaper to make patterns first so that I don't destroy too much of the felted material, but it doesn't always work.

It also takes me much longer to thread a needle these days! And I managed to break five felting needles at once by not holding the tool perpendicular to the material. Mud Mama did warn me when she was giving me my first lesson in felting.

But I am having fun. I couldn't make a whole bunch of slippers that were alike but making each one unique is proving to be fun.

Don't forget to send me your soles if you want a pair in the basket to greet you when you visit.


Tamarak said...

What fun!!!

It is beautiful!
I can't wait to see it in real life and try it on!!!

And a slip on...that should be good for me and my dislike of the whole shoe business!!!

I love the little jewel too!!!

Maybe you have found a new calling! Once you get the patterns down and all!

You broke 5 needles at once??? How did you manage that? I thought you only used one at a time.

Oma said...

You use a tool that holds five needles at a time ... supposed to be faster. Was certainly a faster way to break a bunch of needles!