My favourite colour is October

I have been asked to teach a group of school children to make a felt picture and the theme will be “autumn”, I love autumn, it is easily my favourite season. While researching images to inspire the children I found a post on Pinterest that read, “my favourite colour is October”, I couldn’t agree more! All the rich, vibrant oranges, golds, crimsons singing on a backdrop of deep green, what’s not to love?!

Today has been spent preparing for the class in 2 weeks’ time, first dyeing a stack of prefelts in mottled autumnal colours and then creating a felt picture to use as an example of what they might like to make. Being only A4 in size (approx 12″ x 8″) it was surprisingly difficult to achieve the level of detail I had in mind.

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I am really looking forward to this class but it is going to be hard to keep my hands off these prefelts in the meantime! 🙂

Writing of classes, Alison, from my concertina hat class, forwarded some photos of her snail hat that she finished after the class ended, thank you Alison, she looks wonderful. The perfect summer cap! 🙂

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We will be running the concertina hat class again next month, if you would like to join in please pop over to the Felting and Fiber Studio pages for more details and the sign-up form. If the the last class was any indication it will be a lot of fun and there will be some wonderfully fantastic hats made. Don’t delay though, the closing date for registration is 31 October 2016.

Easter Weekend

I love the long holiday weekends and Easter, with both the Friday and the Monday off is the best of all, a whole 4 days to do with as I please, and invariably that means textiles!

I’ve had my fingers in lots of different textile pies this week:

A new nuno dress (photos of that later – it is nearly finished so won’t be too long to wait).

My first attempt at a tailored jacket, I love everything about it except for the collar reveal, it’s all lumpy and misshapen and I can’t figure out why… it will be accompanying me to my dress-making class, hopefully the tutor can explain what I have done wrong and, more importantly, how to put it right.

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Back in the felt world, I made a new lacy scarf and, while I was dyeing this, I put in a few pieces of prefelt, I’m debating on cutting up the prefelt to make nuno scarves with geometric designs.

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I am finding myself drawn back into the beauty of the microscopic world (in part thanks to pinterest) and have been developing an idea for a 3D representation of a carpet of cells. I am thinking a series of small pods, the interiors will be black so that when I cut an opening they will appear to have nuclei. The question is, how to join them together? I have 3 or 4 ideas on how I might achieve this. This is my first test piece…

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I’m ashamed to say I have been procrastinating terribly over posting my work on Etsy for the last few of months to the point where I have a box full of work now waiting to be listed. However, I have been making amends this weekend and photographed 80% of it, now I  just need to make myself sit down and write the descriptions and titles. Definitely a job to be done in front of the TV with a glass of wine in hand! 🙂

What have you been up to this weekend?

Happy Holidays!

Although I haven’t been able to blog much recently I have been working! Below are a selection of pieces I have been working on over the last few weeks…

These are a few brooches / pins inspired by a session with the Region 2 IFA ladies, they are just so much fun to make and one of the few things I can make relaxing in front of the TV 🙂
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I finally finished the icicles / snowy night wall hanging that I started nearly a year ago! This is a fairly large piece, measuring approx 3ft x 2 ft.

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I finished (and photographed) a new pair of gloves. I don’t know about you but I seem to be waiting for days if not weeks for enough daylight to take photos this month. Roll on spring!

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The fishy reef nuno felt made a reappearance from the UFO box too, this is how it looked a few months ago.

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Just adding some darker blue tones where the reef meets the water made a world of difference to the sense of perspective.

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Then I got a bit paint happy…

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It still needs some work, but it’s making progress, I foresee a trip to the sewing machine to add some tiny fish in the distance….

Some dyeing, the red and orange wool is corriedale that I expect will become a bag. The blues are merino which I have carded into batts and plan to use with the blue variegated blue silk pictured below.

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My technique for variegated dyeing is totally random, I just scrunch up handfuls of fabric and stuff it into a bag, hence I was surprised to see a distinct pattern on this piece of silk:

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I’m hoping to make a dress from the blue materials and combine it with some screen printing techniques from Ruth’s online class in January (click here for more information). If I can get the idea in my head to work, I plan to submit this dress to the Spinners Weavers and Dyers National Exhibition next year (no pressure Ruth! 😉 )

Whatever your faith or denomination I hope you have a wonderful break, filled with fun activities and surrounded by the people you love.

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

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Palette FX

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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:

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

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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.
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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 🙂

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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…..

3D Coral

I came across this photo of coral by Wolfgang Seifarth on pinterest and it got me thinking about a 3D felt piece. It looks like felt already doesn’t it?

Color, Pattern and Texture, Wolfgang Seifarth, Photographer, coral

Using a similar technique to the one I used to make my felt cuff for my C&G course I thought I should be able to make a 3D wall hanging. I wanted to dye it so that the folds of the “coral” are visually thrown forward of the background but I thought complementary colours would be too much, maybe a lighter colour on the tips than the background?

I constructed this piece from prefelts stitched together before fulling and then dyeing. I’m afraid I forgot to take a photo in my excitement to dye this piece. Here it is after the first round of dyeing.

It looks OK but I felt was missing something. So it went back into the dye pot…

And after mounting…

I like it but can see ways to improve it, most notably by placing the raised squiggles closer together as they are in the coral photo.

BTW, I got my dates for Weyfest mixed up, it’s not until next weekend, so I’m sure to make one or two more hats between now and then! Watch this space 🙂

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