Maker Feature: MiddleMist Makes

Hello Dear Fiber Folk! I am happy to have a few blogspots to share with you through November! In the midst of the cold and the dark, we’ll have some true beauty to enjoy! First up is a maker I found and admired on Instagram for a long time. Emma Amy Jane Wall is the creative mind behind MiddleMist Makes–a wonderfully whimsical felt artist from the UK. I fell in love with her wee hedgehogs–which are a lovely charity project, as it turns out! And her felt artwork comes to life on her wooly canvases. So much beauty! I’ll let Emma take it from here: she was generous enough to answer some questions and send some cute-as-pie photos of her artwork. Check out her site and her craftiness and you will see the love that goes into each piece 🙂 ❤

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Where did the inspiration for MiddleMist Makes come from?
The first time I picked up a felting needle was back in 2014 as a means of a creative outlet during those first few months of becoming a mum. I was instantly hooked, and fascinated by the endless possibilities that come from a needle and a handful of wool. My style of felting is greatly influenced by a love for nature and its wildlife.

What has been your favorite creation to date?
My favourite is definitely the hedgehog brooches, they are such a pleasure to create, and a portion of the profits go towards rehabilitating hedgehogs who are doing poorly. I also enjoy making Unicorn brooches and styling their manes with beautifully coloured wools.

Who are your biggest crafting influences/inspirations?
I hugely admire all artists and creatives, it’s a difficult thing putting your work out there as we persistently pour our hearts into our craft. I am particularly drawn to wildlife photographers and whimsical water colour artists, their eye for tiny details is truly inspirational.

Can you tell us a little more about the Help a Hedgehog Project?
I come from a family of Hedgehog lovers, and I can remember clearly rescuing many from our local area as a child. I definitely have a soft spot for them.

After hearing that the hedgehogs are dramatically disappearing from our countryside with numbers thought to be less than one million left in the UK, I really wanted to help.

I’ve designed special little Hedgehog Brooches, with five pounds from each sale going towards the care and equipment needed to rehabilitate the growing number of poorly Hedgehogs coming into the care of the Help a Hedgehog Hospital in Gloucestershire.

I am extremely pleased to say that so far, I have raised £250 for them, with the hope to raise much more.

Any advice for new needle felters?
Stick with it, it takes a lot of patience and practice, and don’t be afraid to experiment and explore your own style and methods of needle felting.

Where can folks find your shop? or find out more about you?
You can find my little brooches and wool paintings on my website www.middlemistmakes.co.uk and I am also on Etsy.

What’s new on the horizon for your shop?
Middlemist Makes is still very much a work in progress, I am continually developing new design ideas, and exploring new ways of expressing my love for nature, animals and colour.

There will of course be new jewellery collections released next year. I will also be focusing a lot more on my wool paintings, and possibly pet portraits.

I also have something exciting to announce in February 2018!

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Thanks so much Emma!

I love meeting new people (and sheep!): if you are an indie dyer, a hand spinner, a shepherdess, a small flock owner, a mill operator, or a wool trader, I would love to feature your work on this site. Please get in touch via email or Ravelry by clicking the “About” tab (above)

 

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Posted in community, felting, fiber art, fiber artist, hedgehogs, inspiration, interview, maker, needle felting, unicorns | Leave a comment

Episode 25: Podversary Celebrations and Fiber Philosophies :)

Hello fiber folk! Apologies for the double posting . . . technical difficulties are all the rave this weekend! It’s a special, mechanical thank you from the computer gods  🙂 So, without further ado, here is Take Two!

We made it to Episode 25 and thanks to you all, there is a podversary to celebrate today! No resting on our laurels, though! This episode is packed with stuffs for your entertainment:

  • a tour of the yarn room
  • GIVEAWAY announcements
  • fiber philosophy OR what I learned by picking up a drop spindle (again)
  • WIPs
  • On-going Projects: One Year, One Blanket, The Knit Together Project, 4oz Challenge
  • Reviews: Chiaogoo Interchangeable Sock Set and Clara Parkes new book

Come hang with me for a bit and celebrate. I promise some yarn cake!

 

Show Notes

Episode 1: Introductions

Moonstone Dyeworks

La Bien Aimée

Old Crow ArtYarn

DIY Drum Carder blogpost

DIY Drum Carder overview

DIY Warp Board

Ravelry Group: knittingthestash

Paradise Fibers

Shawl Linus

Dragon Spindle Designs

Persian Dreams Worsted

Stained Glass Persian Dreams

Chroma (KnitPicks)

Episode 13: A Tale of Two Blankets

Knit Together Project

Chiaogoo Interchangeables 

A Stash of One’s Own by Clara Parkes

Posted in celebration, community, episode, knitting, knitting math, knitting podcast, Linus Shawl, modifications, Old Crow Art Yarns, pattern, Persian Dreams Blanket, podcast, podversary, video | 2 Comments

Giving Drop Spindling Another Go

**If you are looking for info about the podversary GIVEAWAY, check out Episode 24 on Youtube** Come celebrate with me!  🙂

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I’ve been spinning since 2015–on a wheel. When I first made the move to fiber, I was often told: ‘oh, you don’t need a wheel at first, just try a drop spindle! It’s cheap and easy to see whether you like the craft before you invest in a wheel!’ And I tried! But, every time I picked up a drop spindle, I promptly dropped it on the floor.

I know, it happens to everyone. Truly, I do know that the drops of drop spindles are part of the process; it would be weirdly amazing if one could pick up a new craft or tool and use it perfectly the first time round! But, I also didn’t know what I didn’t know: that there really are different spindles and size does matter. Along with fiber to spindle match.

Thankfully, three years in, I finally had a true lesson from Debbie and Sue. It involved a silk hankie–which was a process in and of itself!–but mostly, it involved Debbie handing me a mini (under 25 gram and less than 9″ long), top whorl, center-weighted drop spindle. I hesitated, remembering all of my fails in the past. But then, I tried. And it was amazing. Perhaps it was the number of years and spun skeins between now and then, perhaps it was the right spindle for the right job, but I’d like to think it was mostly the friendly, good-humored, and excellent teachers whose patience was infinite. [THANKS, Debbie and Sue!]

I felt like a super hero. I was sent home with a small spindle and some roving. And I now know that my main problem (besides being a new spinner) were my tools: huge, weighty, bottom whorl spindles used with a mismatch of fiber. Sigh. If only all lessons were this easy to learn and all ignorance was this easy to correct 🙂

 

Posted in community, drop spindle, fiber, learning, spinning, tips, unexpected, unicorns | 16 Comments

How to Make: Puni-Style Rolags

**If you are looking for info about the GIVEAWAY, check out this link or Episode 24 on Youtube**

For this weekend’s video, I have a how-to! In this video I demonstrate one technique for making puni-style rolags with a pair of hand cards. There are so many ways to use hand cards for fiber prep and so many great tutorials out there. Cheers to all who have come before me! In my own research, I have learned from the following folks:

  • Gormet Stash provides an excellent explanation of the difference between Punis, Rolags, and Puni-Style Rolags.
  • Yarn Lab has an informative video about how to make rainbow rolags
  • Grace Shalom Hopkins has a terrific demo up about how to spin rolags
  • Rogue Fibers has a cool Teach it Tuesdays video about locks–>rolags

The fiber for this demo was generously donated by Paradise Fibers from their fiber of the month club box. If you want to get your own box, check them out!

Posted in color, fiber, fiber art, fiber prep, hand cards, handspun, Paradise Fibers, preparation, spinning, sponsored post | Leave a comment

Pod-versary GIVEAWAY!

My dear fiber folk . . . the podcast has been around for an entire year! That means 25 episodes by the end of October, 2017! Whoa! Thank you for showing up, watching, commenting, and making me feel right at home in your living rooms!

I want to celebrate by giving back to you all! THREE chances to win something special for your own stash: fiber from Paradise Fibers, a gradient yarn set from Katia, or some stitch markers made by a guild-mate of mine. All you have to do is head over to Episode 24 and leave a comment. Yup, it’s that simple. The question: what do you think about expertise in knitting and spinning? Do you specialize? Answer any way you like! The giveaway will be open until Oct 27th and I will pick THREE winners!

Here is some yarn cake (har har har!) Come celebrate my pod-versary with me

🙂 ❤ ~Melissa

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Posted in celebration, community, fiber, giveaway, knitting podcast, podcast, thank you, unexpected, unicorns, yarn | 12 Comments

Episode 24: Expertise

Welcome fiber folk! Episode 24 is now live and I have a lot to share with you about the Knit Together Project, Spinzilla, an FO, and Spencer’s sweater–at long last there is a swatch! Come hang out with me for a while and we’ll have some fun. Oh, and yeah, that Podversary of mine is coming up . . . and that means GIVEAWAYS!!

 

Show Notes:

Linus Shawl by Annette Cordes

Dinali by Norah Gaughan

Snaeldan Yarn available from The Island Wool Company

Spinzilla

Knitpotion.com

Kate of the Hawthorn Cottage Craft Podcast

CU Spinners and Weavers Guild

Jacey Boggs Faulkner Drafting: From Woolen to Worsted

Spinning a Gradient Yarn

Japanese Knitting Stitch Bible

Rachel Smith Wool n Spinning Podcast

Learn to Spin

Spinning Wool: Beyond the Basics

Fruity Knitting Podcast (Episode 39 is the one I discuss)

Paradise Fibers

 

 

 

Posted in community, Dinali Sweater, episode, giveaway, gradient spin, handspun, Japanese stitch dictionary, Knit Together Project, Linus Shawl, sock yarn, Spin-Off, spinners and weavers guild, spinning, Spinzilla, swatch, sweater, unexpected, variegated yarn, video, yarn | Leave a comment

Spinzilla 2017 Report

Hello fiber folk! Spinzilla is officially over and I have completed my tallies . . . proud to say that I managed to spin about 1000 Spinzilla yards more this year than last year! Yay! And, as always, this experience has brought me and my spinning wheel back together for some much needed hugs and cuddles. Specs on the yarn below.

More important than yardage, I’d say, are three things that I remembered this week:

  1. I handle adversity pretty well. Because, seriously, this was supposed to be the week I spun, spun, spun while the world went on revolving without me. Right. Yeah. Like that ever happens! My son had an impromptu soccer tournament ALL day Saturday in Indiana . . . and Sunday morning was consumed by a mouse trap science project. Oh, and that pesky thing called my day job . . . well, it involved examinations, petitions, teaching 6 classes, you know, the usual. Phew. Just reading this makes me tired and impatient!
  2. I love connecting with spinners and fiber folk here, on YouTube and through various Ravelry groups. You gals (and guys) are awesome and super motivational. I can’t count the number of nice notes I received this week! But I can tell you each one lifted my spirits and reminded me why I do what I do with (all of) my leisure time! Thank you!
  3. I enjoyed learning new things about my spinning wheel, including the bulky flyer, which I had never used before. It produced an immense bobbin of finished yarn that I had to split up just to skein it up!

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White = 2 ply Polypay and Finn (one ply each) spun at 9:1 on my Ladybug

Multi-color = chain plied Shetland from Hello Yarn that I prepped to be a gradient

You can find out about the Spinzilla formula for yardage here.

My actual yardage for each was 825 for the Finn/Polypay and 246 for the Shetland

Posted in chain ply, community, Finnsheep, gradient yarn, handspun, plying, Polypay, Shetland, Spin-Off, spinning, Spinzilla, yarn | 13 Comments