Felted Rabbits and Bunnies

In preparation to teach another Bunny Felting Class, I thought I would gather pictures of some of my favorite bunnies.  Pinterest was a great place to do that!  Felted rabbits really do come in all different shapes and sizes, some that are very simple designs that would be great for a beginning felter.  Those that have some experience with felting might want to tackle a bunny with more detail, perhaps even with bunny clothes and accessories!

Follow Alpaca Meadows’s board Felted Rabbits on Pinterest.

When it comes to needle felting, there is more than one way to felt a bunny. The following are some tutorials to help you to decide what your preference might be.

Mama Bunny and Three Bunnies Felting Tutorial
DIY Cute Wool Rabbit
Needle Felting a Bunny: A Photo Tutorial
How to Make a Cute Needle Felted Bunny for Easter

Though I don’t have a Bunny Felting Kit available yet, the House Mouse Kit or Needle Felt an Animal Friend Kit both come with instructional DVD’s to help you learn three dimensional felting.

House Mouse Felting Kit

House Mouse Kit

Needle Felt An Animal Friend Kit

Needle Felt An Animal Friend Kit

If you don’t live too far away, and would like to learn how to needle felt a bunny in The Fiber Studio at Alpaca Meadows, click Bunny Felting Class.  Organize a group of friends to come do a class with you, or join a class already scheduled!

 

Private Lessons – Knitting and Crochet

Been wanting to come to a class, but your schedule never coincides with mine?  Or you’ve come to a beginner’s class and now you’re ready for more?  Perhaps a private lesson is in order.  Some people learn easier one-on-one.  Schedule the day and time that works best for you.  An hour lesson is just $20 and you get a one-on-one lesson focused on what you need the most.  Or bring a friend and share the cost.  Choose a project you’d like to start on, or I can make suggestions.  Bring your own yarn, or enjoy a 10% discount on any yarn in The Fiber Studio.  Fiber friends ages 7 and over are welcome.

Check your calendar then call or contact us to schedule your private lesson!

Beginner Knitting

Transfix Alpaca Shawl

Knitting is the new yoga!  You will learn to cast-on, knit, purl and bind-off.  Your private lesson also includes an overview of knitting vocabulary, materials, accessories and more.

Beginner Crochet

Bulky Ribbed Crochet Scarf

Crochet is is enjoying a renaissance and is my personal favorite.  This cherished fiber art is faster than knitting, and easier to correct mistakes.  Yes, I make them!  Learn to crochet or refresh your memory.  You will learn to create a foundation chain as well as single, half-double, double, and triple crochet stitches. Your lesson also includes an overview of crochet vocabulary, materials, accessories and more.

Back to Class Schedule.

Picnic in Alpaca Pasture is Highlight of Farm Tour

 A group of gals from Columbus, Ohio came for a Farm Tour over the weekend.  They had asked if they could bring their lunch, then do a Drop Spindle Class in the afternoon.  Though they enjoyed learning to spin, and they enjoyed shopping in The Fiber Studio, their picnic in the alpaca pasture was the highlight!

Picnic in the Pasture

When given some options where they could have their lunch, they opted for in the pasture under a shade tree.

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What a spread they had … they were very kind and invited me to join them!

Picnic in Pasture is Highlight of Farm Tour

Mabelle, Martha, and our guard llama, Silver Beauty ventured over to the picnic spot to see what was going on.

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Before long, curiosity got the best of some of our other girls and they ventured over to check out who was in their pasture.

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Having been a little disappointed during the tour that our alpacas were not more social, our guests were now getting undivided attention.

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I thought they might end up having to share their lunch with their new fiber friends.

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 That is what Miss Miami was hoping!

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Lunch in the pasture after a Farm Tour was definitely a first, and very much enjoyed by our guests!

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See it live!  Watch it on YouTube.

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Little Martha enjoyed some lunch too!

Bunny Felting Class

 Enjoy pictures from the Bunny Felting Class held a few weeks ago in The Fiber Studio here at the farm!

Bunny Felting Class

The craft I was teaching is called needle felting.  This is the process of poking a special felting needle with barbs at the end of it,  into fiber, which agitates, compresses, and locks the scales of fiber together into a more dense mass of fiber, in this case a bunny rabbit!

Bunny Felting Class  Bunny Felting Class
Bunny Felting Class
Bunny Felting Class IMG_1263 (561x640) Bunny Felting Class
 Bunny Felting Class  Bunny Felting Class  Bunny Felting Class at Alpaca Meadows

It is always fun to see how different each bunny turns out!

Bunny Felting Class - Jill's Bunny

One gal purchased roving and tools to take home and later added some color to her bunny!

Needle Felted Bunny - Sweet Pea

This is “Sweet Pea”, one of my bunnies.  See more of my needle felted one-of-a-kind creations here.

Purchase Felting Kits

Interested in learning to needle felt?  See the Class Schedule and register for a class!  Don’t live nearby or want to try felting on your own?  It is not difficult.  Felting kits are available in The Farm Store online and in The Fiber Studio at Alpaca Meadows.

For inspiration, tutorials, and tips on needle felting bunnies, see Felted Rabbits and Bunnies!










 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FREE Crochet Pattern – Headband Ear Warmer

This year in my Learn To Crochet Class, we’ll be making headbands.  As I began to prepare for the class, I found there are many different styles, and FREE patterns too!  And headbands seem to be very popular right now!

The headband we will be making in class is pictured above in a handful of different colors, using our Snuggle yarn.  I love to use this bulky yarn because it works up quickly.  It is nice when first learning to be able to complete a project in a relative short amount of time. This yarn makes it that much easier!  Snuggle yarn is available in Snuggle Solids and Snuggle Hand-Dyed.

For those that have never crocheted before, there is some helpful information is below:

How to Hold a Crochet Hook

How to Hold Yarn for Crochet

How to Make a Slip Knot

Here’s the pattern:

Simple Ear Warmer Crochet Pattern

The stitches used in this pattern are the most basic, chain stitch and single crochet stitch.

You will need a Size N crochet hook.

Ch 11.

Row 1:  Place a stitch marker or safety pin in the first ch from your hook. Sc in 3rd ch from hook. (Ch 1, skip next ch, sc in next ch.) Rep across entire row. Ch 1, turn.

Row 2: (Sc in the next ch-1 sp, ch 1.) Rep the sequence in parentheses across the rest of the row.  At the end of the row, work a sc st into the st where you placed the marker (you can remove the marker before working the stitch). Ch 1, turn.

Rows 3 and Up:  The rest of the rows are all exactly the same as row 2, with one minor difference.  At the end of the row you will work your last sc st into the turning chain of the previous row. Rep this row until the headband is the length you want it to be.

I worked 49 rows total.  Depending on how tall your stitches turn out, you might need to crochet a different number of rows.

If you would like to check the fit before you sew the edges of the headband together, put a safety pin in your active loop and pin the sides of the headband together. Try it on. If i t is too big, you can unravel a bit.  If it is too small, crochet another row or two until it is the size you want.

Finishing the Ear Warmer

When you are satisfied that the ear warmer is the correct size, cut the yarn leaving an extra long length of yarn (around ten inches long.) Thread a tapestry needle using this end of yarn.  With right sides together, use the tapestry needle to stitch the ends of the headband together. Weave in your ends. Turn the headband right side out. You are finished!

For notes on Gauge, Finished Size, and Design, go to Simple Crochet Ear Warmer Pattern.

Abbreviations Used In This Pattern:

ch = chain
ch-1 sp = chain-1 space (This is the space formed when you crocheted a chain stitch in the previous row.)
rep = repeat
sc = single crochet
st = stitch

Simple Ear Warmer with Flower

If time allows, we’ll make a flower too!  I have found there are many patterns for Knitting and Crocheting Flowers.  The pattern for this flower is here.

A good book on crochet packed with hundreds of tips and ideas is The Complete Photo Guide to Crochet.

Be sure to check out my FREE Headband Crochet Patterns board on Pinterest!

Follow Alpaca Meadows’s board Crochet – Headband Patterns on Pinterest.

Enjoy more …

FREE HEADBAND CROCHET PATTERNS

Crocheted Headband with Flower – Celestial’s Creations
This pattern uses chain stitch and single crochet with rows going horizontal across the band, and has a button closure.

Stretchy Headband with Flower – Flower Girl Cottage
This pattern uses chain stitch, single crochet, and double crochet and has a lacy look.

Knit Look Crochet Headband Earwarmer – Craftster
This pattern uses chain stitch, double crochet, front post double crochet, and back post double crochet, and would be a little more challenging pattern for a beginner.

Crochet Headwrap Pattern – 4T Designs
This pattern uses some special stitches like back loop single crochet which is just like it sounds, a single crochet through the back loop of the stitch.  The pattern has good pictures showing how to do this.  I love the flower on this headband!

Adorable Headwrap Pattern – Sweet Sweezers
This pattern uses chain stitch and double crochet, and something new, double crochet two stitches (dc next 2 sts tog) together!

Amazing Grace Headband – Beatrice Ryan Designs
This pattern uses chain stitch, single crochet, double crochet, half-double crochet, and reverse single crochet.  The pattern was designed in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness.  Opportunities to crochet and donate headbands are available on this site.

Knot Knitted Headband – Cotton Fables
With this pattern, you will learn to use a foundation single crochet, and also a back post double crochet.  It is a crochet pattern with a knit look.

Headband and Cuff – Little Birdie Secrets
In this pattern you will learn single crochet in back loop only, and how to crochet a half-double cross stitch.  Both have videos showing this technique.

Textured Headband/Earband – Cotton Gin Studios
This pattern uses three stitches, slip, single crochet and double crochet.  A chainless foundation technique keeps the headband from tightening up on one edge.

FREE VIDEO

How To Crochet an Earwarmer Headband

Learning to Knit – What You Will Need

Learning to knit can be a bit overwhelming, but once you’ve learned it can be very enjoyable, calming your mind while your hands stay busy.  All you really need is some yarn and a couple of knitting needles.

Choosing Yarn

One of the pleasures of knitting is working with beautiful yarn textures and colors, though choosing which yarn to use can be puzzling.  It is important to choose the right yarn for your knitting project.  This article from the Craftsy  on How to Choose and Use the Right Yarn Every Time is a very helpful resource.
Guide to Different Types of Yarn

Some suggest that beginners start with a medium worsted weight yarn. I like to use bulky yarns when teaching beginners to knit, because knitting goes faster, and gratification from a finished project comes sooner!  Yarn that is a solid color and light colored makes seeing the stitches easier.

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I frequently use a bulky yarn called Snuggle when teaching classes.  We typically use solid colors, but there are also some very pretty hand-painted colors too.

Hand-Painted Snuggle Yarn - A Plethora of PinksHand-Painted Snuggle Yarn - A Group of Greens

The yarn label tells you the size of the yarn.  Find something that is pretty and soft to the touch.  I highly recommend Alpaca Yarn, you can’t go wrong.  It is a treat to work with and helps make the learning curve of knitting more enjoyable!

Yarn Labels

Yarn has labels that provide lots of information, such as the type of yarn, the amount or yardage, fiber content, recommended needles to obtain the gauge, and care instructions. On the label you will also see yarn color names, numbers or dye lots. There can be subtle color differences between yarns dyed in different batches, so if yarn has a dye lot number, always be sure that you purchase enough of the same dye lot to finish a project. Some yarns will say “No Dye Lot Yarn” which means the fibers were dyed before they were spun so there should be no color differences. Many labels also include free patterns.

Here is How to Read a Yarn Label.

All yarn patterns require specific types of yarn, some mention a specific brand of yarn. Each type of yarn has a different thickness or “weight.” The knitting industry has adopted a Standard Yarn Weight System and uses number symbols from 0 to 7, with 0 being the finest called lace weight and 7, the thickest, called Jumbo.

Yarn Weights

Tools

Knitting Needles

There are many to choose from.  Straight knitting needles, which come in aluminum, plastic, wood or bamboo, are the most common. There is a point at one end of the needle, and a knob at the other, which prevents stitches from slipping off.  You may want to experiment with different needles to see which ones you like.  Every knitter has their favorites!

Bamboo or wood needles are great choices for beginners. Knitting stitches don’t slide off the needles as easily. They’re also very comfortable to work with. Plastic and aluminum are quite slippery and your knitting stitches can easily slip off the ends.

A numbering system is used for determining needle sizes, while in other countries a metric designation, which represents the actual circumference of the needle, is used. In most packaging you will see the metric sizing shown first, followed by the U.S. sizing in parenthesis. Knitting needles come in varying sizes, from 2.25 mm (1), the smallest, to size 19 mm (35) and larger.  They are sold in pairs, and come in 10″ or 14″ lengths.

The most important size you need to look for is the diameter.  This number will determine the size of the stitches on your needles and ultimately the size of your finished knitting project. The thicker the needle the bigger the stitches and the thinner the needle the smaller the stitches.

The length of the knitting needle is more of a personal choice. For bigger projects like sweaters or blankets that require lots of stitches, you will need the really long needles.  For smaller projects, shorter knitting needles are more comfortable. Again though this is a matter of personal preference.

Circular knitting needles, long, flexible needles with a point on each end, are less cumbersome, especially for large projects.  They eliminate the need for seams and to continually be turning turn your knitting at the end of a row.

For smaller projects that do not have seams (socks and mittens) “double-pointed knitting needles” are used. These come in sets of four and as their name suggests, there is a point on each end.

Essential Knitting Tools: How to Put Together a Knitting Kit
Essential Knitting Tools: How to Put Together a Knitting Kit

from: Craftsy

To start knitting, you only need two things: a pair of needles and a ball of yarn. If you want to finish a project, though, you’ll need a few more items. So what does an experienced knitter keep in a knitting kit?  Check out What’s in Your Knitting Kit?

Learn Essential Beginner Knitting Skills ins New Class | Craftsy
Learn Essential Beginner Knitting Skills in New Class

from: Craftsy

Depending on how you learn, a Knitting Class is always helpful when you are first learning, as well as when you’ve mastered the basics and are ready to move on to something more.  Craftsy offers many online Knitting Classes, with hours of instruction, and access anytime once you have purchased the class.  If you’re in our area, be sure to check out the Learn to Knit Class at Alpaca Meadows!

So, let’s move on to Getting Started!

 

Other good knitting resources:

Top 10 Yarn Questions

Scarf Crocheting Class

Eight people braved the weather on Saturday and came for the Scarf Crocheting Class at the farm.  Three of them were teenagers!  It did my heart good to see young people interested in something non-electronic!

Growing up, I enjoyed doing most anything with my hands.

According to an article titled Knitting & Crocheting are Hot by the Craft Yarn Council, creativity is, by far, the number one influencing factor that attracts women (28%) to the craft and it’s most important to women in the 18-24 age group (31%).

Creativity is followed by “keeping hands busy” at 15%, “making gifts” at 13%, and “stress relief” at 10%. Most respondents, 26%, spend 1–5 hours on their craft per week, 16% spend between 6–9 hours and 18% between 10–19 hours.

The yarn we used in this class was a bulky yarn called Snuggle, available in The Fiber Studio here at our farm or in The Farm Store online.  It comes in a number of great colors, including NEW multi-colors!

Crocheted Alpaca Scarf

The pattern we used is called Fast and Easy Scarf, which works up quickly and is good practice for chain stitch and double crochet.  The pattern calls for chaining 87 stitches which is not near long enough, in my opinion.  I chained 101 stitches and even that was a bit short.

Skinny Scarf - Winter White

I have found some links that I would recommend if you are wanting to learn how to crochet.  Stitches – For Dummies has great pictures of the different stitches and simple, easy to understand directions.  At the Craft Yarn Council there is a Crochet Abbreviations Master ListCrochet Chart Symbols, and help for How to Read a Crochet Pattern.  

If pictures and written instructions don’t work for you, the You Tube video below may help.

Are you left-handed?  There are Crochet Lessons for Left-Handers available on the Crochet Guild of America website.

If you find you just can’t stop crocheting once you have learned how, you could always Crochet for Charity.  There are many worthwhile causes and people in need that would benefit from the work of your hands.

Some sites I found with FREE patterns are:

All Free Crochet Patterns
Crochet Pattern Central
Lion Brand Free Crochet Patterns
Naturally Caron Free Crochet Patterns
Ravelry 
– Just do a search for Free Crochet Patterns.

Of course, there are lots of good books on crocheting too!

Another Fun Alpaca Mitten Felting Class

Another class turns out to be good, clean fun!

Alpaca Mitten Felting Class

Chris Vannatta and Jennifer Kamm, mother and daughter, spent the afternoon together at Alpaca Meadows learning how to wet felt alpaca mittens!

Alpaca Mitten Felting Class

They started with a pile of fiber, and in just several hours, each had made a pair of mittens!

Alpaca Mitten Felting Class

In my classes, we make one mitten at a time.  The challenge in doing it this way is making the second mitten look like the first.  Still one mitten at a time seems best when learning; but, it is quite easy to do two mittens at a time.  Here is a tutorial with great pictures that shows how:

Wet Felted Mittens – Two At A Time

Wet Felting Two Mittens At A Time

Some of the felted mittens I’ve made ended up too short, so I hand-stitched on crocheted cuffs.  This gives a snugger cuff that comes down on my arm farther.

Handfelted Alpaca Mittens With Crocheted Cuff

Directions for Crocheting A Cuff are below:

I think I used about a Size G Hook, depends on the yarn you are using.   You can alter the number of  stitches depending on how long of a cuff you want, and adjust the number of rows depending on the width of your mitten across the bottom.

Ch 10.

Note: For rows 1 through 22 in wrist ribbing, sc in back loop only.

Row 1: Sc in 2nd ch from hook, sc in each ch across, ch 1, turn. 9 sc.

Rows 2 – 22: Sc in each sc across, ch 1, turn.

Row 23: Bring row 1 to meet row 22, matching stitches. Sl st row 1 and row 22 together. 11 ridges made.

Cut yarn. Turn cuff inside out (so sl st edge is inside) and turn cuff so the ridges are running vertically, attach yarn with sl st in the side of the 1st sc in row 1.

Knitted Cuff

If you’d rather knit, here are some directions for you:

Knitting a Cuff for Felted Mittens

Felted Alpaca Mittens

Having just two students gave me time to felt a pair of mittens too!

Felted Alpaca Mitten Closeup

Find out more about Wet Felting Alpaca Mittens!

Snowman Felting Class

 Six fun ladies came to have some fun in the Snowman Felting Class on Saturday here at the farm.

Snowman Felting Class

I think they were surprised h0w simple this craft is, most of them having not had any prior experience with needle felting.

Snowman Felting Class

We started with some piles of fiber …

Snowman Felting Class - Materials

used a special felting needle …

Snowman Felting Class

a foam surface to work on …

Snowman Felting Class

and a with just a little imagination …

Snowman Felting Class

everyone had a snowman built by the end of our class!

Snowman Felting Class

And just like snowflakes, each one was uniquely different!

Snowman Felting Class

Gardener's Supply Company

Beads, Bracelets, and Cat Toy Felting Class

The next class here at the farm is Beads, Bracelets, and Cat Toy Felting.

Felted-Alpaca-Bracelets

 This will be a great introduction to wet felting …

Felting-Alpaca-Bracelets

and is as simple as adding hot water, soap, a little elbow grease to your fiber.

Felting Alpaca Beads

  In this case we’ll be using alpaca fiber from The Alpacas here at our farm.

Silver Beauty and Aurora

 We may even use some llama fiber from our own Silver Beauty.

Preparation-for-Felting-Alpaca-Beads

We may do a little needle felting to help shape the beads made from rovings.

Felted-Alpaca-Beads-Bracelet.

There are a few tricks that are helpful to know.

Felting Alpaca Beads

You will be amazed at what you can do!

Felted Alpaca Cat Toys

Here is the info on the class:

In this class you will learn how to transform shapeless alpaca and wool fibers into colorful felted balls
using both needle and wet felting.  Making a felt ball is incredibly easy!  You will also learn to make a variety of felt bracelets, both with the beads you have made, and other styles.  I’ve added Cat Toys to this class due to a special request, and it is the same technique so we’ll make those too! Please bring a towel, and a dispenser filled with liquid Dawn soap.  All other materials will be provided.

Bead Felting Kits and Cat Toy Felting Kits are available if you can’t make it to the class, but still would like to give this a try!  And some good books are below:



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