Collars for Marcia

I made a beautiful collar for another Mother of the Bride. She lives in Maryland and it happens that she also raises Border Leicesters which have been used to create the collar below:

Textural Collar Textural Collar Textural Collar

The brown collar was made with Wensleydale lambswool from JoAnn in Occidental, CA and then dipped in an Indigo Vat to get a blue background.

Wensleydale Collar Wensleydale Collar Wensleydale Collar

I swear I can’t ever get enough of these curls.


One more project, almost done!

This dress isn’t quite finished yet. Still needs color, straps and some adjustments here and there. Hmm… I might even add some beads to it. But, I’ve been missing blogging. It has been a fun and busy summer with some up and downs. Heck, if it wasn’t for the downs, I wouldn’t be having the ups, right? Nothing too extreme, but when it comes to computers problems, it can turn your life quite miserable, especially when all that I want to do, is be outdoors.

By the way, the jewelry has been designed by moi. I’ve been having a ride making jewelry again. It deserves a later post.

Felted dress Felted Dress Felted Dress Felted Dress Felted Dress Closed up Felted Dress Closed up

Lastly, yesterday, my friend Charmaine and I went to visit my friend Mimi and came back home with a nice fleece with lots of curls and I want so badly to make something totally different this weekend…


The Mother of the Bride

I had to admit, at some point I felt a little panic during the production of this dress (just a little). I tend to think about too many “what if’s” and I have to remind myself that I will be fine. I was checking my emails a few days ago, and the first email from The Mother of the Bride was on October last year. I met her in December and I agreed to design her a dress for her daughter’s wedding. Talking about a little pressure, right? I worked on it really slow and I took my time before walking to the next step. I guess I take dyeing for granted (since that’s what I generally do almost each week), because when I realized that it was the time to dye the dress, again my “what ifs” started to go around my head again. I don’t have a lot of experience with indigo. My friend Charmaine kindly spent an afternoon with me showing how she prepares her vat. So, I was on my own and I had to dye the dress with Indigo. I took my notes, and started my first indigo vat. So, one cold afternoon, I held my breath and I dipped the white dress in a stinky dark liquid hoping that the magic would do its trick for me… And it did!

The reds from the cochineal turned purple, the yellows from the Osage Orange turned green and the white wool and silk turned blue.

indigo Dress

Indigo Dress indigo Dress

The making of this dress tought me a few things. One of them was feeling ok with using buttons to fasten the garment. And the other lesson I learned is being p-a-t-i-e-n-t!

indigo Dress Back

The dress was modeled by my friend Gina.


Easy Felted Scarf

Nuno Felted Scarf

I promised that I would post a photo tutorial and show how I use my Merino Wool Blends to felt a scarf. This is a fun, easy and fast project. Almost instant gratification. What I like about working with these blends, is that it is not necessary to purchase several colors of wool to make a multi color scarf, like the one shown in the picture, which can become quite expensive. Also, storage can be a problem for most of us. One braid of 4 oz can probably be enough to make a couple scarves. The tops are already blended, just the right amount, so the colors don’t muddy up once they are felted. They are great for beginners, since one doesn’t need a big investment on materials to make a couple of scarfs.Forest Jewels

For this particular scarf I used the Forest Jewels colorway (which is a blend of Merino with Soy Silk) for the front, and for the background I decided to used Merino in the Eggplant color which are both available at my shop. I also used a template for guidance, olive oil soap, bubble wrap and a pool noodle to be able to roll the project.Material used

I also found in my stash, some fun pieces of fabric and some dyed locks to add as decoration. This is a great way to use bits and pieces of fabric remnants from past projects.

Laying it out

Start by laying your bubble wrap with the bubbles facing up. Next, measure and break apart a portion of the roving needed, leaving some room for the shrinking process to occur. Forest Jewels roving

Carefully and with patience, start by opening the wool as shown below. Make sure that the fibers stay in a vertical position.

Here you can play with the design by leaving some holes on purpose if you want some of the background layer to show. It’s like making rivers of colors.Opening the rovingKeep opening the roving until you reach the size of your template if you are using one. I usually have one just because I don’t feel like measuring all the time.Scarf Tutorial

As you can see in the picture, I left a few holes, but I kept moving the colors around a little. This is the fun part for me. One important note: I usually work my way from the front to the back, meaning that I lay my materials facing away from me.

Laying out

Once I’m happy with how it looks, I move into laying out the background color, in which this case I used Merino in Eggplant.

Laying out the background

For this particular project, I also added some fun crinkle silk gauze at the edge of the scarf. If you add some fabric, make sure to sandwich it between your front layer and the background to secure it. Once I feel that I’m done with the design, the next step to follow is to wet the entire project with soapy water.Rolling the project

Now is the time to roll the project. I’m not going to go deep here, because there are many tutorials on YouTube to do this. But I usually do 12 min. on each end. After rolling from both ends, it is important to check and see if the fibers are already felting. If not, then it will be necessary to repeat the rolling stage again. Once you see that there is some felting happening, the last step will be the fulling which consists of throwing the project against a hard surface… like your floor. But before doing this, it is useful to get rid of excess water, otherwise, you will be splashing water and soap just about everywhere. I usually go outside on the deck to do this. Be cautious when doing this because here is where the scarf will shrink even more and faster. Keep checking the size constantly.

Once you are done with the fulling, make sure to always rinse your felted projects in water with vinegar and hang your piece to let it dry. I like to press my scarves to give them a nice finish.Finished Scarves


Here is how the Soy Silk looks after it has been felted into the wool. It forms nice wiggles on the surface. Soy Silk

Crinkled Silk Gauze sandwiched between the two layers of wool.Crinkle Silk Gauze

The wool locks add color and texture.Wool Locks

This was a fun project! I think I will be working with the next color which is called Peacock. I will definitely post more pics.


New in the shop

Here is some eye candy. These pictures belong to my latest shop update. And why I’m so excited about this update? Because my list of domestic breeds offered at my shop is growing! I’m already have a wonderful Rambouillet that is a dream to spin and felt, then I added the Targhee that is equally wonderful. Now I’m also have the Superwash version of the Targhee and last but not the least, I have a beautiful Domestic Merino that takes the dyes wonderfully.

Domestic Merino Combed Top


Domestic Merino Combed Top


Domestic Merino Combed Top

Domestic Merino Combed Top

Domestic Merino Combed Top

The Superwash Targhee was so much to fun to work with. It literally drinks the dyes:

Dreamsville Domestic SW Targhee

Domestic SW Targhee

Bazaar Domestic SW Targhee

Domestic SW Targhee

Art Collector Domestic SW Targhee

Art Collector
Domestic SW Targhee

Ice Cream Truck Domestic SW Targhee

Ice Cream Truck
Domestic SW Targhee

Stirred Paint Domestic SW Targhee

Stirred Paint
Domestic SW Targhee

Along with this updated I also included  some Humbug BFL top. I love how the color mixing of the ecru and natural browns gives a nice heathery effect.

And the last two products to my addition are two fun fiber blends that I’ve been playing with lately. I’m planning to post a tutorial about how to use it for felting because it has been a lot of fun using it to make felted scarves.

Forest Jewels is a blend of Merino in bright colors of turquoise, magentas, greens with Soy Silk.

Forest Jewels

Peacock is a blend of Bamboo and Merino in blues, greens and magentas with brown. The colors are deep and beautiful.




Cochineal and Osage Orange

I was able to order some cochineal from a farm in Oaxaca a couple of months ago, and I’ve been waiting for the right moment to use it. Well, I realized that it wasn’t going to happen if I didn’t make the time for it, so in the middle of getting ready for the Wool Festival last weekend, I was also dyeing silk fabric at the same time I was labeling and pricing wool. It got a little crazy here at home, but I just couldn’t wait any longer for the perfect moment to arrive. In my hurry, I also underestimated the dye’s ability to stain almost anything, that I bypassed washing my dye pot thoroughly that I previously used with cochineal last winter and my  mordanted fabric got a pinkish color. I kind of like it, but it definitely will change the outcome of my final colors.


Mordanted Fabric

I also been soaking my Osage Orange in vodka. Even though I soaked it for a few months, I think I prefer this method, because it saves a lot on energy, time and the brew is ready any time I’m prepared to proceed with my dyeing.

Osage Orange and Cochineal

There is my Cochineal to the left and my Osage Orange soaking to the right. This is getting exciting…

Dye Pots

Cochineal Dye Pot IMG_0557 IMG_0559 IMG_0561

The silk gets one shade lighter after it gets dry.

Mulberry Silk dyed with Osage Orange

Mulberry Silk

Osage Orange and Cochineal

I didn’t plan to have these orchids blooming at the same time…



Celebrating The Year of The Sheep!

I’m getting ready for the Second Annual Farm to Home Wool Festival at Valley Ford hosted by Ariana and Casey. Last year we had a blast. We got lot’s of visitors, the weather was great, and the food was to die for. This year they will have demonstrations on shearing, weaving, spinning, music and more. This is a great family friendly event and the driving to get there is really nice.

Wool Festival Banner

I will be having a booth selling my hand dyed fibers and such along with other vendors offering their wares.


This is a FREE EVENT!

Free Event


Valley Ford Wool Mill
14390 Highway 1, Valley Ford, CA 94972 United States
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