Thursday, March 29, 2012

Felted Feet

We have just arrived home from an incredible European textile show, presenting all the latest trends in yarn, and sewing. Image booths filled with buttons, fabrics, yarns of every shape and size, beads and haberdashery......the list goes on and on. Everywhere you look in Europe you find handcrafted items, either of felt or knitting, quilted or needlework. Hand made is not only celebrated, it is valued.
On one quick lunch break we found this fabulous market. Nestled amongst the antiques and vintage wares I stumbled upon a German felt company that specialized in felted slippers...oh my goodness I simply had to have a pair. These darling slippers are made in a very traditional dutch design. I realized the bhedawool we carry would be the perfect fleece roving to use to create these slippers and I can use our Truefelt for embellishment. I can hardly wait to try my hand at making slippers

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Exercise While You Craft

Wouldn't the world be a perfect place if you could create to your hearts content and build upper arm strength while you did it.......I truly believe I have the perfect craft that offers both. Fleece2Felt.......I hear skepticism. Fleece2Felt is a fabulous fabric out of Holland, sold in 1.1yards X 6" rolls or 25.5" X 1 yard. Basically with Fleece2Felt, the felting process is started but not completed. You can needle felt or wet felt it together or embellish it with fleece, yarns, silk, wire, there are endless possibilities. The muscle building properties come in to play by needle felting. If you haven't needle felted you haven't lived....it is a blast and simple, all you need is a needle felting tool and a pad, plus fibers. Basically you hold the tool like you hold a pen, and you poke the fleece or Fleece2Felt fabric in an up and down motion. The needle should go in about 1/4 of an inch. You continually repeat this up and down motion fusing the two layers together. The more you poke the more felted it becomes and of course the more muscle you build. Another needle felting attribute is the stress relief and anger management properties. Madly poking it like crazy relieves so much tension. My first foray into this wonderful craft was the magazine sack I have pictured below.

I took two colors of Duplo Fleece2Felt, and wove them together, creating a fabric that was 26" X 26" with a 6" bottom and 6" sides

I then needle felted the edges together to make one solid piece of fabric using a 4 needle holder to make the process go a little quicker. I did go over the edges with a single needle holder just to make sure the edges were nice and secure.
This is what the fabric looks like when you have needled it enough
I then formed the sides by weaving them together.Then slipping the pad inside the bag, I needle felted the sides together. To insure the sides were secure I went over and over them.
After needle felting the entire bag together I threw the whole thing in the wash and finished the felting process. After it was washed I dried it lightly in the dryer. A few areas had to be stitched together that didn't felt enough.
Lastly, I lined the purse with 100% wool black felt and added a belt I had kicking around from the seventies...yes I lived through the seventies. Anyway the belt made a great strap, Wope or Wired Wope would also be an awesome strap if you want a complete fiber bag. I'm working on a tea cozy for my next stress relief and muscle building session...stay tuned.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Add A Little Color

Undyed yarn is simply beautiful, The pure characteristics of the yarn, whether its the softness of angora, shine of silk, or the warmth of wool are pure heaven. Its a blank canvas just begging to have color added. There is nothing like brewing up a dye bath of brilliant color and submerging the yarn and watching it soak up the dye. Its magic!
This dye bath is Tina and my first attempt at adding color. We were so excited! I dug out my canning kettle that hasn't seen a canning jar in 20 years. Chose a 2 Ply Organic Merino and a fabulous rusty red Ciba Washfast Acid Dye. When we dropped the yarn in to the bath, we hung over the side of the pot like kids peering over the safety bar of a ferris wheel. Weeeeeeeeee!
Even though we got wonderful instructions from Maiwa Handprints: the nerves took over: is it done, are we processing it to long, what do we add next....oh the stress. Needless to say the color turned out wonderful. Since this first foray into dying, we have tried space dying and natural dying. So Much Fun! Now when we attend a fiber show or visit a yarn shop, we have a whole new appreciation for the hand dyers in the world and the unique personal art of hand painting yarns.

Yummy Natural Chunky Alpaca

 Soaking up color, simply magic 

Just a little space dying
Natural Dye with Onion Skins

Natural Dyes from lichen, cochineal and onion skins,
what a rainbow!

Another beautiful rainbow


Welcome to Pollika's blog

Lesley & Tina are proud to be the North American distributors for Yarnundyed, Knitglobal Yarn, Swiss designed high quality handmade shawl pins, De Witte Engel felt products and Dutch manufactured buttons. Our luxurious natural fibers and highest quality accessories are beautiful to work with and create artful treasured legacies. We share stories and pictures of projects we created and experiences we have with are so beloved products!

We always love to hear form you! info@pollika.com

About Us

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Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Imagine a day at work where you surround yourself with unique Swiss designed shawl pins, gorgeous buttons created in Holland, oh so precious yarns from the UK, and fabulous high quality felt and felting accessories, plus wonderfully, eclectic, full of life and spirit fibre artists. Knitting, felting and crochet it happens all in Pollika’s world. Just so you know English is my second language, here and there my fast thinking brain cells get confused and infected with my first language: Dutch. So, most posts are going to be written in ‘Denglish’. The will be accompanied by Lesley’s photography talent, that likes me to believe they will be clear, inspiring and bring a smile to your face! We welcome your comments! Tina