The Finished Cuff

Do you recall this piece?
It was a piece of shibori dyed silk that kept all the lovely pleats after removing the stitching. I was going to felt it but couldn’t bear to lose all the beautiful creases so it became an experiment in trying to maintain shibori folds while felting…

This is what it looked like after felting:

Too narrow to be used as a book cover but just about the right length for a cuff / bracelet. After some cutting, stitching, addition of beads and a bit more felting it is finished:

This piece will be on sale at Unravel  in Farmham this weekend, if you are planning on attending this festival a few of my pieces will be on the West Surrey Spinners Weavers and Dyers stand, do come and say hello! Click here if you have no idea what I am talking about….

Completer Finisher

Have you ever done one of those personality tests? Myers-Briggs, Insights and others? I have completed more of these things than I care to remember but one of the earliest ones labelled me a “completer-finisher”, apparently I am driven to complete tasks which is probably fairly accurate. I get anxious if there’s a deadline I can’t comfortably reach ahead of schedule. This is probably why I am feeling a sense of accomplishment and inner calm today. I have finished 3 projects in the last few of days…

Reversible hooded scarf, this has been a lot of fun to make and now I have worked out an improved pattern I will definitely be making more of these.

A textured laminate piece for my C&G course. This piece I have titled, “Eye of the Storm” as it was based on da Vinci’s “Deluge” drawings. I am still toying with the idea of using fibre etch to reveal some of the coloured cords and adding some embroidery so maybe this one isn’t quite finished yet….?

And my Q1 challenge piece, which was inspired by this painting by Jackson Pollock.

I still can’t decide which way is “up” for this piece…

Samples Galore!

I like making samples, small swatches of felt where I can let my creativity and curiosity run wild safe in the knowledge that if it doesn’t work I haven’t wasted a heap of money and time on something that is only fit for being deconstructed into something else or worse, the bin.

Most of these samples were made for a C&G course module where I have to make a scarf to meet someone else’s requirements, but I confess, some I made just out of curiosity and don’t really have anything to do with the design brief ;o)

Rainbow dyed ponge 5 silk laminated to merino 

Strips of rainbow dyed ponge 5 silk laid in a grid pattern on merino.

Rainbow dyed ponge 5 silk laminated to merino with a grid of rainbow dyed prefelt laid over the top.

Reverse of the piece above – the grid of prefelt on the front has created a relief effect on the back.
Using wool yarns and pencil roving for decoration. I love how straight lines become wiggly when you felt them!

Rainbow dyed muslin laminated to merino.
Rainbow dyed muslin laminated to merino with pencil roving for decoration.

Rainbow dyed silk chiffon laminated to merino. 

Using rainbow dyed cotton scrim as decoration.

White tussah silk top carded with 2 shades of blue merino

Rainbow dyed silk hanky used as decoration. This one was my favourite, it’s not very clear from this photo but the pale green silk has a beautiful sheen and slightly bumpy texture.
Strip of sari silk used as decoration.

Rainbow dyed Wensleydale locks felted into a merino base.

That was quite a productive afternoon :o)

In case you are wondering my friend chose the green silk hanky on a dark purple felt with red/purple dyed ponge 5 silk on the reverse. I hope to share photos of the completed snood next week…

Shibori Experiments

Following some very helpful suggestions from the ladies at the Felting and Fibre Studio Forum I have felted the original piece of shibori dyed silk and created a couple more samples, trying out alternative methods in an effort to maintain the beautiful folds of the bound fabric.

Felting the original shibori piece
I laid a very fine layer of merino all over the silk and lightly sprayed it with soapy water. Then folded the fabric concertina style from one end, trapping the wool between the layers of fabric.

 Once folded up, it was secured with elastic bands every 4 or 5 cm and felted with warm soapy water.

This was the result once the bands had been removed and the piece stretched at little. It is a similar width to the original silk but the length is much shorter, it was 50 cm long and is now just 8 cm. I think it will make a nice cuff / bracelet with some beads nestling in the folds.

Creating a laminate for shibori

For this sample I felted a piece of silk to 2 fine layers of merino and fulled to achieve rippling of the silk. Then it was stitched and the threads pulled ready for shibori dyeing.

It was dyed with Procion MX midnight blue – as you can see the silk has accepted the dye much better than the wool.

It was allowed to dry before removing the stitches and stretching out. It has a springy nature; it can be pulled almost flat but always springs back to this position.

Adding wool fibre while drawing the threads tight
On a third sample, I stitched the silk as normal but while I was drawing the threads tight I poked wisps of merino into the folds and felted the piece before dyeing with the piece above. This is what it looked like after it had dried and the stitches were removed. It looks remarkably similar to the first piece with very sharp folds in the silk.

Shibori Conundrum

Last weekend I dyed a piece of stitched shibori silk from my craft group, to be honest I am more enamoured with the texture of the silk than the dye effect. I would really like to felt this piece so I can use it as a book cover but I am sure the texture will disappear as soon as I wet it out.

Do any of you clever people have any ideas how I might laminate this fabric without losing the texture?

I am also open to other uses for this piece of silk, it doesn’t have to be book cover….?

Linked to nina-marie

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