We all know the story of The Elves and the Shoemaker. The shoemaker leaves his workbench at night with leather cut for making shoes in the morning. When he awakes, much to his surprise, the shoes have been carefully stitched and placed on his workbench. He decides to stay up one night, to see for himself who comes in the dark of night to make his shoes for him. Much to the shoemaker’s delight, he discovers that little elves visit his shop at night, making perfect leather shoes.
As a child, I loved that story. Shoemakers seemed like magical people who could turn leather into something you wear on your feet. I remember sitting on the floor, studying my little shoes, looking at all the tiny stitches, the rivets for the laces, and the sole. It seemed a mystery to me how anyone could make shoes.
The past couple months that fascination has returned, and I have been studying shoe making. I found a lovely woman in Lithuania , named Rasa, who makes felted shoes. She also sells shoe making supplies. With some encouragement from Rasa, and after looking at her blog, I purchased shoe lasts, soles, her tutorial, and some other necessary supplies for making felted boots. Years ago, I had taken a class on wet felted slippers, and my children and I made slippers for the family, so I did not feel a total beginner at this endeavor.
|Boots in the Making|
The past couple of days, I made my first pair of boots. I used a wool batt that I have had laying around the studio for a long time. I think the fiber is Romney, but after seeing how it felted, I feel it must be a blend of fibers. This morning, I made a felted cuff to go around each boot, and a felted cord. I would like to get a nice button to lace the cord through. I am not sure if I will simply put a slipper sole on them, or use a regular, outdoor sole. For now, they remain sole-less. I can’t wait to make another pair!
|Without a sole…|
|Or with a sole??|
- Wwoof on Grand View Farm-Written by a wwoofer/intern we had a few years ago. I taught Jenny how to felt while she worked here, and now she has become a well known felter and fiber artist.
- Sip ‘n’ Stitch-A Vermont Wine and Yarn Event-We hosted a local winery on the farm for a day of wine tasting, yarn sampling, and felting!
- Farmstays and Fiber Classes-Many of our farmstay guests request private felting classes.
- Felting Memories-One family worked on a felted mural depicting their family vacation.