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What fibre arts skill would you like to learn more about?

 
master steward & author
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I'm thinking of making some more tutorials and maybe even videos for fibre arts skills.

Are there any specific skills you would like to learn?  

I can't make any promises, but I would love to hear your thoughts.
 
master gardener
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I tried some felting once, but found that unless you had a way of evening up the fibers, there were thick spots and thin spots. Something the would show how to correct for that would be interesting to me.
I *did* get some felt and made a pair of slippers with it, but they look very home-made (polite talk for pretty ugly?)
 
r ranson
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Was it wet felting?
 
Jay Angler
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Yes. It was years ago now, but I used water with a little detergent and recall using a piece of pipe to roll back and forth on it. I would have got the instructions off the web. It definitely felted, but analyzing what it looked like, I felt that if I'd put the raw wool down in thin layers in multiple directions, it would have resulted in a more even thickness. I'm not expecting or wanting "commercial fake felt" - I knew there would be some lumps and bumps - but I did want to feel as if it was sufficiently even that I could trust it as a material to work with.
 
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I'd love to have a go at basket weaving, or any kind of grass weaving. Weaving in general? There's lots of interesting ideas for small looms around and fibre/fabric/proper actual rug weaving looks fun. I've just started embroidery, planning to make some pretty shopping bags, with my slowly improving sewing skills. If anyone has an old treadle singer I would adore a care and use tutorial! That's off topic though.

I've been knitting for almost a year and am eyeing off drop spindles too, (and researching sheep breeds, but that's getting ahead of myself) so more on that, if it's not already up here somewhere. With winter about to really kick in I'm wanting to try all sorts of things. Felted boots would be nice and warm!
 
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I’ve always been interested in the process of turning plant fibers to cloth (linen, hemp) or rope. I suppose spinning is involved but have zero knowledge.

I’d love to learn how. Can spinning be done without a big outlay for equipment?  What can plant fiber be used for without much equipment?

Thanks. Idea sounds great.
 
master pollinator
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Perhaps a tutorial of what fiber works with what type of drop spindle. Explaining why you find it to be better.
 
pollinator
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How to see my own clothes and how to process wood shoots for baskets.
 
pollinator
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Basket weaving please!
 
pollinator
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I have weaved a few baskets , though it was long ago.  I would like to learn various techniques.   Would also like info on building looms, I made a small ridgid heddle loom.. from layer of cardboard and will take the plans and do one in wood when I can but would like to make a floor loom ... just a small one not like the big ban looms pople use to make though they are awesome too.  I want one I can move around.  like the saori metal or wood looms
ai know some would say why not just buy one of those.   mostly I can not afford one. they cost aound 1500to 2000  and I dont even get that much ever month.    and I would like to have the knowledge to make one for myself.
Just not sure I have the knowledge to make all the parts it would need and not forget something vital.  or the skills o make it.   Would also like to make an electric spinning wheel.  I have a small one but would like a studier one that could handle bigger/bulkier yarn making.   But do not know what motor I would need to the parts to turn it into a spinning wheel.  
saori-loom.png
sma;; floor loom
sma;; floor loom
 
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I would love one on hand-weaving a hat. My straw hat is falling apart.
I find hand-weaving very satisfying and calming. My sweet, alpha hen is very sick and likely dying, so I need a diversion.
I’ve woven paper bag handles into a little basket and a little cup; New Zealand flax into little mats; no plans, just weaving. It will be nice to have some directions.
 
pollinator
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I doubt you have tried this before, but I would like you to experiment with milkweed bast fiber to determine what is the best way to process the fiber for spinning fine yarn. I would like to be able to grow a fiber plant that also attracts butterflies.

Also, if you have not already written a tutorial on how to build flax and hemp processing equipment either on this forum or in any of your books, I would like to see if you could write some directions for building a flax hackle and a flax brake.
 
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Huxley Harter wrote:How to see my own clothes and how to process wood shoots for baskets.


I'm thinking you want to learn to sew your own clothes and it's just a typo. I taught myself mostly. I will grant that I prefer the "easy" methods of closures, like buttons or using elastic in a casing, but I have done a zipper or 2 and am at least familiar with those requirements in the assembly process.

The only "formal" education I received in my endeavors was a Jr. High Home Economics class for sewing. There I learned the terminology, and a few of the little notes about cutting patterns and assembly. It wasn't much but it formed my basis. I've made clothes for the kids when they were little, including my own alteration of an elastic-waisted pant into a lined elastic-waisted pant that was passed through all 3 of my children during the colder months. I've followed a pattern for making pull over long-sleeved shirts for them, and a caftan-styled zippered robe for myself that I still wear, though it needs the wrist elastic replaced. It's got to be 25 years old or more and is holding up well.

My point is this, if you read the directions that come with most printed patterns, you too can become a seamstress! I have found that Simplicity patterns are the best to start with, explaining through both picture and word what you need to do at each step, from the layout on the yardage for the best use of the amount needed, to anything specific to the pattern.

Paying full price for patterns isn't necessary either. They can be quite expensive for the average Jane or Joe; buying when not on sale, or at a thrift/second hand store can cost a whole lot of dough. While most patterns found at the thrift stores may not be part of current high fashion, many can be quite usable. Make sure the pieces are all there, and the directions complete before you purchase these.  Joann's often has sales on their pattern stocks, and you can ask any staff member when the next is expected. Most staff at fabric stores have knowledge of sewing, or crafts, and are happy to help you figure out what you want or need, with suggestions of their own. Some patrons as well will be willing to offer up bits of knowledge or experience if you just communicate your question or need.

This is where my love of textiles began, learning to sew in that Jr High School Home Ec class. Nevermind that I also had a cooking class and was the Teacher's Aide for the boys cooking class! My mother and grandmother didn't sew or crochet. But they did cook. Now I have learned to sew, crochet, and most recently weaving my own very durable rugs. (Twined weaving link  https://permies.com/t/40025/ungarbage/twined-rag-rug ). My recommendation is to just dive in. Expect to make a few mistakes, because it is our mistakes that teach us the most. And be prepared to correct them in order to appreciate a job well done and the effort it takes to do the job right. It will be well worth the investment.

My one suggestion to any newbie seamstress is to read the whole pattern instructions before purchase. You will know what you feel capable of, and have better success when you start with a pattern equal to your confidence level.

Good Luck in your endeavors.
Until we meet again.
 
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Most interested in plant fibers to twine or other useful items.
 
pollinator
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Basket/container weaving is fascinating and unknown to me so I would most love to learn about that.

Taking plant fibres into useful things such as twine and the like would be second on my list. Thanks R and everyone contributing!
 
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This year I've started getting to know the "weeds" in my garden and also what grows plentiful in the wild. There's a lot that can be used for ropes, twine, wattle, containers, bags, even sandals or soles for shoes, as some internet research and my first experiments show, but apart from a basic idea of how to go about it, I know nothing, and I'd love to learn more.

By the way, R. Ranson, it was through your (old) blog that I found Permies - thank you! 😊
 
pollinator
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If you could go over 'weaving math'. I'm setting aside a bunch of my handspun to get back to weaving. I'm a newbie but I haven't had time to work on it in about a year.
Anyway, I'm trying to catch back up on sett and all that do be able to do the math for warp and how much I'll need for weft. I know I was beginning to get my mind around it when I had to put it aside! Argh.. Anyway I figure by the time I get a bunch more spun and by winter I'll have plenty enough aside to weave a decent stretch of fabric. I want to make some clothes for myself, haven't settled on specifics.
 
pollinator
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Alternative materials to use in weaving/knit/crochet/etc.

For example, using plastic bags to make a plastic yarn, cutting t-shirts into usable yarn, etc. Those are the only two that I currently know and I would LOVE to find out about other great ways to reclaim materials!

More advanced forms of patternmaking (I currently use draping for most of my pattern creations, but would love to see some of the math that goes into making and sizing up/down different patterns) Along with this would be making dress/body forms for patternmaking.

 
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I would like to second the request for instructions to weave a straw hat. I would also love to learn the process of shearing an alpaca or sheep and processing it into yarn.
 
Leiari Locky
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Ooh, me too on how to shear a sheep. I have a drop spindle now, have made yarn and knitted a whole 3-inch square coaster with it (it was a small ball of yarn!) and am seriously looking into sheep breeds now. Only 2 sheep, so shearing them myself. A new skill to learn.

I'm planning to order a bunch of different sheep wool tops to spin this week so I can feel the difference between breeds. Also, some silk, Angora and Llama, because why not? Happy to post some thoughts if anyone is interested.
 
Maria Hoffmeister
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A few days ago friends gave me a Dryad Cottage Loom (from around 1960) with 4 shafts. I have been spinning wool for a while and some basic weaving knowledge (frame and backstrap, but only with rigid heddle).  I don't think the yarn would hold up as warp on a table loom.

I would be very much interested in 1. how to spin wool for weaving as opposed to for knitting, and 2. basic, useful but beautiful items to make on a loom with four shafts (like towels, pillowcases, rugs, ...)
 
pollinator
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Wool felting, please!
 
pollinator
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Maria Hoffmeister wrote:This year I've started getting to know the "weeds" in my garden and also what grows plentiful in the wild. There's a lot that can be used for ropes, twine, wattle, containers, bags, even sandals or soles for shoes, as some internet research and my first experiments show, but apart from a basic idea of how to go about it, I know nothing, and I'd love to learn more.



I agree, and would like to second this!
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