3/14/15

There Be Dragons

Happy Pi Day, Everybody! And I just want to know why we haven't celebrated Pi Day before this. I'm thinking it's because our year of 2015 allows us to carry the date and the number out an extra two digits this year, which (I'm told), makes this a super-duper sort of Pi Day that one can only experience once in a lifetime. As for me, I'm for anything that gives me an excuse to bake a pie. I had to do mine yesterday because I had a wool felting class today.


We had it for dessert last night, and oh my, my. I do love pie. This is an apple pie, made with a combination of Granny Smiths and Braeburns. My Baking Illustrated cookbook recommends Granny Smiths and McIntosh, but I can never find McIntosh locally. Last year, I used a suggested stand-in of Gravensteins, but even those are hard to find. I usually have to go to the farmer's market to get them. The Braeburns worked out great.

This morning I left fairly early and went to my wool felting class at a store on the other side of town called Gossamer. It was easy to find, and the store was fun to browse around. Here's how it looks. The fast-moving blur of a woman in the background is the store owner, Rose.


There were some felted landscapes hanging around the store, although this store dealt in pretty much all things wool.



They're a little abstract for my taste, but interesting nonetheless. I liked this wreath made up of lots of little felted people and critters.


And these felted bits of trees...maybe priced a little optimistically.


The materials are not cheap, but I don't envision these in my decor.

I did kind of like this next one. It was interesting.


Knitters would have liked it here, and there were lots of knitting supplies, as well as several knitters in my class.


It was a colorful place to wander around. Here are the wool felting fibers.


This is the dragon we were attempting to make.


He's sitting on top of the fibers we were using for the core...a little less expensive than the colored wool fibers. The image below shows what I had when I'd felted the core for the body and the tail, and then felted the two pieces together.


After that, I felted his neck and head, and the lower part of his jaw and his horns.


Then I added the front legs. This instructor encouraged us to think of the various parts of the dragon as tubes to be shaped and then attached, and I found that way of thinking helpful.

My dragon is far from finished, and so I don't have a picture of the finished product. I'll have to work on it some more here at home and then post it later. There wasn't nearly enough time allotted to finish a creation like this. 

The instruction was quite disappointing to me. My instructor at the Stitches in Bloom quilt show could explain how felting worked, and gave us several good demonstrations that I found very helpful. We were pretty much winging it in this class. It was not a class for rank beginners. The extent of instruction seemed to be a lot of encouragement and moral support, but very little real help in how to actually accomplish such a piece. Oh well. It was good to have someone standing close by to ask when I had questions, and I still enjoyed myself. I'm signed up to make two more critters next month. Beyond that, I'll have to see.

So I haven't done any more quilting since Thursday. The past two days have been busy doing other things. I'll get back to it tomorrow.

5 comments from clever and witty friends:

Kate said...

Looks like you made a good start on your dragon. Even if you didn't learn much, the practice you get is probably just as important.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Sometimes just the atmosphere and being along side others working the same type project is a bonus. The trees are a bit hopeful in pricing aren't they.

WoolenSails said...

That pie looks delicious. I usually make apple crisp.
Your dragon is coming along nicely and I can see that as hard to do in a day, should have been two part class. Can't wait to see how he comes out.

Debbie

Dana Gaffney said...

We used to celebrate pi day when we had a math nerd in the house. The class seems a little disappointing, but a good chance to practice.

quiltzyx said...

Mary Ann & I celebrated Pi Day with pies from McDonald's. Too hot for baking here! I think it's supposed to cool off as the week goes along. Your pie looks awesome. I might be going to Trader Joe's on the way home today & get some goodies (smoked Gouda for a start).
Your dragon is off to a good start. Too bad that they didn't let you know from the get-go that it was a more advanced class though. Guess you just have to keep asking questions.