This is Frosty, a prototype Tracy made to show to Rachel Stock at Anglesey Abbey. The idea was for Purl Alpaca Designs to be involved with their lantern lit procession through the winter gardens, culminating in the paddock area for food, music and Christmas cheer. Rachel liked Frosty and so we were booked to be an added attraction on the 4th December 2010. However, at a second meeting with Rachel and Liz Morgan, the slots to make a snowman were 5-10 children every 20 minutes. This was not enough time to make the whole thing and so Tracy agreed to make 100 bodies for the children to decorate.
Now felting is a new venture for us, so after asking advice from Elizabeth Kendrick (a fabulous spinner and avid felt maker), Tracy embarked on making her 200 balls! This really is when friends come in handy. Lorinda King popped in for a visit and ended up standing at the sink, wearing Marigolds and up to her elbows in soap suds. We both rubbed, rolled and coaxed the raw alpaca fleece into shape and left them on the draining board to dry. Then they were put into the leg of a pair of tights and hung in the airing cupboard. After this they were put in the tumble dryer (to firm up) and finally, they were washed in the machine and put back in the airing cupboard. Once dry, Tracy sewed the head and body together with a hanging tab (using our white DK yarn).
100 snowmen later, we were ready for 4th, but the weather was dreadful with massive snow mountains peppering the landscape everywhere, that is with the exception of Cambridge! Kari-Helene was stuck in London and so Tracy roped in her friend Andriani as a willing volunteer. We loaded up the car and arrived at the Abbey by midday. After setting up and a light lunch, we were ready…
Well, ‘ready’ became a subjective term!. It is really hard to judge how long things take to make, particularly when teaching children how to felt when they haven’t done it before, by a teacher who hasn’t taught how to felt before and with 8-10 children every 20 minutes!
Andriani set up the new group of people with their tools on one table while Tracy taught on the other. Then they swapped over, with Andriani showing the finishing techniques of glueing on the googly eyes and dipping the finished snowman in glitter. Individual attention to each child was important and the parents were fantastic, understanding the concepts straight away and helping their offspring to make a treasured tree decoration.
The event was a great success and it was only towards the end that Tracy remembered to take some photographs of the finished projects. So here they are…