Monday, May 14, 2007

The Embellisher

Greetings, and Dear Cynthia,

I introduce you to the Embellisher, a needle felting machine made by BabyLock. I met this machine this past Saturday. Every year, my mom and I traipse up to Beaver Dam for the Sewing Expo at Nancy's Notions. (Perhaps you are familiar with her PBS sewing show, "Sewing With Nancy"?) My mom and I took a class to learn how to make a fiber arts bag. Here is my variation of the thing:
Each student's bag was completely unique. Some were embellished so that none of the background fabric showed. Mine was more geometric (surprised? Probably not....). All of them looked nice. The Embellisher, which DOES plug into the power outlet, DOES NOT have thread, nor a bobbin, just seven needles which go up and down very quickly and which are operated by a foot pedal. The technique is to basically take some sort of fabric, yarn, roving, whatever, and place it atop a background fabric. Then, this assembly is moved underneath the needles which "punch" the embellishment into place, locking it quite securely to the background fabric. Really, it was pretty fun, though I thought it was difficult to visualize what my final product was going to look like. I finally had to just "let go" as I started just shoving things under the punching needles to see what happened. Really, I like the bag. It is just the sort of thing I wear around my neck in summer, too, as I take the boys around to parks -- it is perfect to hold just a couple of dollars, my cell phone, and some lip balm...

At the end of the class, they drew names for a door prize, and I won! It was this book! One of the "helpers" in the room immediately suggested that I "needed" to buy one of the Embellisher machines in order to best make use of the book, but I resisted. First, no place to put it. Second, not sure how much I'd even use it. Third, when I want to needle felt, I just use one needle at a time and my own hands to raise and lower it as I "stick" the fibers where I want them to go. Fourth, for $348, or something close to that, I could buy a lot of yarn or fabric or school books which I'd probably get much better use out of. Fun to try, none the less.

I also attended a class about using polar fleece, and the teacher in that class has devised a way to create "yarn" out of it, showing us a scarf knit from polar fleece yarn. I might have to try that with my (many) polar fleece scraps which are too small for anything else... All in all, a great day, and so fun to spend it with my mom.

I've been very busy lately, though I can't really figure out what I even have to show for it. I think the initial "planting" of the garden has been sucking away some knitting time. Also, there are all of the "end of the school year" events which have strained our schedule, too. I did knit the heel flap on one of my socks -- not exactly earth shaking, I know. The socks have become my travelling companion, because the sweaters I have to work on are all too large to be lugging around in the warmer weather we have now...

Happy belated Mothers' Day to any mothers reading this. My mom really liked the Branching Out scarf (which I now reveal to you that I was making for her, but she is an occasional reader of this blog, so I didn't want to completely spoil the surprise...). I had a really nice day, and I hope that others did, too!

Let's see, anything else to share? It seems like its been a while since I last posted. I'm in a bit of a knitting slump, I think because things just seem to be so "out of control busy" lately....things more pressing than even **gasp** knitting... I imagine I'm not alone in this..... I'm confident that this, too, will pass.....

In any case, warm regards!
Laura (YarnThrower)


Sus said...

The purse is adorable! I've never done needle felting, but it's interesting that I'm seeing a lot of it lately. Regina over at Monster Crochet just posted a tutorial ( using a multi-needle felter, but a manual one. I may have to try it soon. Over $300 for an electric one? I can't imagine it, either. Congrats on winning the door prize!

Your socks look really great. I love the simple cabled pattern.

I know what you mean about being busy but having nothing to show for it. That happens to me all the time!

Yarngineer said...


Which sock pattern is that? I can't remember. It looks really nice.

Elaine said...

okay talk about a great sock yarn and nice cables and pretty flap heel! :o)
cool needle felting--it's nice to see that it turns out exactly like what is looks like on the packaging!

MollyBeees said...

Gorgeous bag! Please don't put cool stuff on your blog because you know what a copy cat I am and I don't need new hobbies! :-)