Tweedy Samples

Over on the Felting and Fiber Forum,  Frances and Galina have been posting about some new “scribbly” scarves  as I like to think of them. They are made from wool yarns, and led to a discussion about using up some of my admittedly excessive (don’t tell my other half I’m admitting to that!) stash of yarns from the days when I used to crochet. Most of my yarns however are either acrylic or polyester based rather than wool, making me doubt that I could get them to felt.

Galina posted this incredible link to Irena Levkovich’s work, creating amazing felt garments that look like they are woollen tweed.

So how could I resist, I still want to have another go at making a bolero jacket that fits me better….

These are my test samples:

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I included some polyester eyelash yarn on the white and blue sample, just out of curiosity to see how it would behave…

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It produced an interesting, highly textured effect but it rather detracts from the tweedy quality I was aiming for and I do wonder if the loops it formed would catch and pull if I tried to make a garment with it.

Overall I these samples were a success and I’m itching to work on something bigger! I am attending a workshop with Rutsoku Sakata Monday and Tuesday next week, so I will have to be patient and resign myself to just planning the jacket until Wednesday…

Felt Shibori and Some Hats

As promised here are some photos of the jacket I made on Tatiana Sherverda’s workshop at the end of April. The workshop was intended to be focussed on tailoring and pattern making but as you can see we went off on a bit of a shibori tangent! 🙂

Of course that did mean very few of us managed to finish our jackets during the workshop (I was still working on mine 3 weeks later…). I’m afraid I don’t have any “during” photos but Terriea posted one on her blog, it’s near the bottom of the page.

While making this I wasn’t 100% sure I would feel comfortable wearing it (it is very OTT compared to what I would normally wear) but now I love it and can’t imagine parting with it. I’m not sure why but something about it reminds me of Game of Thrones, there is something theatrical about the silhouette I think…?

Another long-promised offering (sorry I have been really rubbish at finishing projects this year), the brain hat that you all very kindly provided ideas on how to finish it. The brim won out in the end (although I really didn’t expect it to) and I am rather pleased with how it turned out:
 

This is rather naughty, I know I should be making more of an effort to empty my UFO box but you know how it is when you get an idea for a new project….

This is my wooly prize from the IFA conference a few weeks ago, all along it has been crying out to be turned into an ocean / something watery.

When I started, I had ideas of waves of felt with white foam “crashing” over the surface of a hat, here it is at the layout stage.

The wool is English 56’s, not a breed (I suspect it is a blend of wools) I am familiar with, but it feels quite course to the touch so I used a couple of layers of merino batts on the inside for comfort.

I have to confess the waves are looking more and more like whirlpools as this hat has developed but I think it still works, it’s still drying, hence all the pins….

Just a few stitches and hopefully this one will never get to see the inside of my UFO box 🙂

Back in action

Apologies I have been away from the blogging world for a couple of months, life has been more than a little hectic since January, although things are improving I wish I could say it was all over, there is a court hearing in a couple of weeks and I am optimistic things will return to something approaching normal after that.

I have been finding the odd moment to do some felting though (I would go mad if I couldn’t find some space to be creative) and last week was spent at the International Feltmakers Association Conference and AGM which was spectacular (more on that in another post).

Here are a few of the pieces I have been working on since January, this is a dress made using one of the techniques taught on Fiona Duthie’s Surface Design Online course:

Following some discussion on how to use silk cocoons and other goodies from experimentation packs on the Felting and Fiber Forum, I have been having a little play with some silk cocoons. These 3 are embedded in some Bergschaf wool (a gift from the lovely Jane Mercer), it is a lovely wool to work with, it felted quickly and forms an nice tight felt.

I like the gently rounded humps that the cocoons create and have an idea to use them in a 3D wall hanging, perhaps with the kap merino I bought from Woolknoll a few weeks ago.

This is the piece I am currently working on, feeling inspired by all the hat making at the IFA conference I have an idea to make a series of hats using the symbols /national plants of different countries. This one is inspired by the English oak tree:

Covering the branches with wool is proving to be quite a challenge, this hat is either going to be a brilliant feat of felt engineering or a disaster! This is what it looks like after 2 days of work…

Thank you Marilyn for giving me a gentle nudge back into blogging 🙂

Hat for Brains

I did a demonstration at a felt exhibition before Christmas, using some red wool from one of those “lucky dip” bags. I have no idea what the wool is but it created a really unexpected result.

Several people commented on how much it looked like a brain…. well I had to do it didn’t I? My sense of humour wouldn’t let me walk away….. I had to make a hat to look like a brain out of what was left of the red wool. 🙂

Laying out the mysterious red wool:

I used some of my rainbow-dyed merino for the inner layer:

Laying out the merino:

It’s nearly finished but I need your advice please, do you prefer option 1, 2, 3 or 4?

Option 1: brim folded up

Option 2: brim folded up and then the uneven edge folded back in on itself
Option 3: to cut the uneven edge to straighten it up

Option 4: to fold the brim under so you only get “brain” and no brim

What do you think?

Felting Exhibiton

Last Sunday saw the second International Feltmakers Association (Region 5) exhibition in Sonning Common. It was a good day with lots of chat, very nice cakes and some felting demonstrations from yours truly. The visitor numbers were rather low due to incorrect dates being advertised in various papers and magazines. I’m not at all happy about the poor organisation but I won’t keep harping on about that, I still managed to have fun and met some really lovely people.

The exhibition as you walk in
My display area
The view from the far end of the hall

I also had an interesting experience with some wool I was demonstrating with. I was making pods and used a coarse red wool (afraid I don’t know the breed) on the inside and variegated purple merino on the outside. The coarse wool almost refused to the felt. Even when the merino was firmly felted there were still unfelted tufts of the coarse wool but it did give a very interesting texture that several people likened to a brain.

I also made a couple of more conventional pods and think I might have even inspired one of our feltmaking group to have a go at making pods too 🙂

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