I owned and ran a wool shop business in Riverwood, Sydney for 7 years in the 1970’s, teaching knitting, crochet and macramé.
In the 1980‘s for another 7 years I developed a cottage industry in hand knitwear and ran workshops at the University of NSW Leisure Courses and various wool shops, becoming a consultant for Cleckheaton and David Jones. With students from my classes I started the Southern Branch of the Knitters Guild in Sydney in 1986. I was a knitting pattern designer and writer for various other companies, until the ‘interest in knitting phase’ ended.
I spent 2 years in Japan learning Japanese and on my return to Australia worked in the duty free industry in the 1990’s.
On a working holiday to the UK in 1996 when up in the Orkney Islands, I came across a lady who had a small shop in the middle of nowhere; she made and sold felted hats and vests amongst other items. I spent a day with her learning the basics of felting. A few months later I was travelling in England and visited Sheila Smith in Thirsk where I spent another day felting and got hooked!
After moving to Port Stephens in 1999 I attended many workshops, and have developed my own style of felting. I have been running my own felting workshops for many years and still teach ‘hand knitwear design’.
SILK AND WOOL FELTED JACKET
Pre - felts handstiched to fine black silk, felted, cut to a commercial pattern,
stitched by machine then raw edges rolled by hand
A 'felt - sandwich' of fibre, black muslin, fibre, flat felted. Next step - pintucked by sewing machine
then pintucks snipped with scissors to reveal the muslin and create surface texture.
A pattern was cut, then pieces sewn together on right side - snipping again.
I have attended workshops run by the following tutors over the last 8 years:
Sheila Smith UK – Basic felting
Rebecca Murphy – Basic felting
Jeanette Appleton – Working with pre-felts
Sally Hall - Tucson Arizona USA- Making a panel for a yurt
Jane Hoffman – Arizona USA – 3D felt making in the washing machine
Sheila Smith – Felting with silk
Liz Evans – Hat making
Anita Larkin – Sculptured felt
I attended the 8th Southern Hemisphere Felters’ Convergence in Canberra 2005
I am a member of NCEATA (Newcastle Creative Embroiderers and Textile Artists Inc.), Nelson Bay Spinners and Weavers and a member of the ‘Canberra Region Felters Inc.’
I use a lot of my ‘leftover’ yarns from my knitting days incorporated into my felting and like to work on creating texture, highlighting areas with the sewing machine or hand embroidery. I also enjoy doing some 3D felt making bags, and hats. More recently, I’m incorporating spinning, knitting and felting into ‘one off’ jackets and soft furnishings or anything else that comes to mind!. I’m always experimenting.
I have recently attained qualifications as a Life Coach and see Textile Art as a therapeutic tool for our mind, body and spirit.
FELTING AND KNITTING WORKSHOPS
I conduct both Felting and Knitting workshops from beginner level to advanced techniques.
If you would like more information rejoining a workshop or organising a workshop for your group, please phone me, Wendy Townsend, on 0428 847 285 for more information.