Q3 Challenge Part 2

I have been spending every spare minute working on my challenge piece, and unusually for me, I have been remembering to take lots of photos so you can follow the journey of the piece. In my last post I shared photos of the carded batts and dyed silks and yarns, well, this is story of what became of them…

Laying out a two-tone merino base


Laying out the batts over the base




Adding silk cocoons and wetting out the growing pile of fibre to regain some control before adding some strips of hand-dyed silk


I like the bumps at this stage, it’s like the felt is pregnant and waiting to pop out lots of little felt babies 🙂

Close ups of all the lovely texture

IMG_4727 IMG_4729
Adding some yarns to lead the eye around the hanging


And some splashes of yellow chiffon and a few more bumps


I made some prefelts out of the left over batts and plan to incorporate those, there’s still a way to go but it’s definitely making progress. Unfortunately an irresistible distraction was waiting for me on the door mat this afternoon, so I’m not sure how much further it will get this evening…


And none other than our very own Lyn and Annie of Rosiepink have an article in this copy too 🙂



Q3 Challenge Part 1

The lovely ladies at the Felting and Fiber Forum recently posted the third quarter challenge. I confess I have been a bit rubbish  at completing these this year, although I did give some thought to the Q2 challenge and thankfully Q2 and Q3 are similar enough that I can transplant my idea from Q2 to the Q3 challenge.

I wanted to make a textural wall hanging using silk cocoons to add some extra dimension a bit like this but on a larger scale:

This quarter’s challenge is focussed on colour and we are to use the colours selected from a photo or image as seen by a colour selector program in a textile piece.

This is the image I chose, Mr TB took it on one of our Sipidan dives and 6 years on, it is still one of my favourites (one day I will get around to making a more literal interpretation of it in felt):

I ran the photo through 2 programs:

Colour Adobe

adobe - Copy

Palette FX

colour pallete - Copy

Of the two I much prefer the wider range of colours from Palette Fx so dyed some silk, yarn and cocoons alongside blending some merino and Norwegian wools on the drum carder in an effort to match 9 or 10 of the colours.

The results of the dyeing was interesting, I threw a mixture of materials into each bag filled with dye and acid solution expecting them to come out looking very similar.

Well the yellow did, only the yarn is a slightly deeper intensity:


And the cyan was similar, although again, the yarn is a stronger /deeper colour.

But the orange/brown gave me a complete range, the silk top and cocoons were the lightest and really quite orangey, while the silk chiffon is more of an orangey-brown colour, while the yarn is bordering on chestnut brown. Quite a range…. all from the same bag.

Is this just down to the light reflecting qualities of each material or do you think they are interacting (chemically) with the dye in different ways?

Here is the result of all the blending too, I’m including a couple of balls of merino that are similar to the colours generated by Palette FX and found a skein of sari yarn in my stash that is very similar to the purples. Not sure if it will make it into the final piece but I certainly have quite a range of fibres to play with 🙂


I’m really looking forward to putting the blue (second from left) with the yellowy-orange (second from right. They are complimentary on the colour wheel and of similar intensity so I’m expecting them to really make each other sing.

Now I just need to figure out how to assemble this wonderful pile of fluff into something interesting to hang on the wall…..

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…

First Quarter Challenge 2014

The lovely ladies at Felting Fibre Studio have set another fab quarterly challenge, this time it is to interpret Jackson Pollock’s work into fibre. I confess I’m not a big fan of most abstract art but some of his more colourful pieces do intrigue me. Looking through images of his work, the following caught my attention the most:

I like the radial symmetry of this piece and think the white dotted lines might do well with some batik style dyeing.

I’m not so keen on the aesthetics of this piece but I like the concept of twisted ropes of felt and other fibres, this piece definitely lends itself towards interpretation in fibres… it reminds me of my attempts at knitting!

At the time the challenge was set I was working on some batik pieces and this seemed like an obvious place to start, effectively throwing the liquid wax at the cloth a la Pollock style and then dyeing and painting over the top of that. This is the first step towards that piece…

I am also hatching another idea I had was sparked by Annie’s birds at Rosiepink, she uses acrylic paint on felt after sketching with machine embroidery. More on that another time.

Fourth Quarter Challenge

As some of you may know, the ladies of Felting and Fibre Studio post a felting challenge each quarter. For this quarter the challenge is to create something with an autumn theme. I am definitely inspired by the colours of the trees at the moment, just driving to work I want to say ooh and ahh at all the beautiful colours. I am so lucky to have a drive that takes me through deciduous woodlands and along tree lined roads.

I have to admit that I am not at all inspired by Zed’s suggestion that autumn evokes thoughts of damp and decay! Yuck!! I will stick to the lovely autumnal colours of the trees 🙂

Here is my autumn leaf-inspired shawl. It is constructed from rainbow dyed cotton scrim with a thin layer of merino top laid out in different colours with streaks of yellow bamboo fibre as an accent colour and to give some sheen. To this I added about 40 leaf shapes cut out of prefelt and embellished with yarns that I needle-felted to represent the veins on the leaves.

On the reverse I laid out a similar pattern of merino tops and bamboo fibre but without the leaves that took soooo long to cut out and needle-felt with their wool veins.

All of this was wet felted together and I love the result. The yellow bamboo has worked really well and adding a thin layer of wool to both sides of the cotton scrim gives it a lovely soft and warm feel while being thin enough to still drape beautifully.

Is it perverse of me to like the reverse side (without the leaves) better than the front?!!

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