slippers!

This is something I have been wanting to make for months and I finally took the plunge and ordered some gotland wool a few weeks ago. Gotland is one of the courser wools and is reputed to be hard-wearing, hence very good for making shoes and bags. I was planning to use a simple heart-shaped template for my slippers but then I saw this post by Nada on Felting and Fiber Studio and knew I had to try her template instead!

Sorry, I forgot to take pictures while laying out the wool and felting but I used 2 layers of deep purple merino on the inside and 2 layers of grey gotland on the outside, rolled 200 times before cutting the resist out.

I rubbed with warm soapy water, inside and out for a few more minutes before inserting shoe lasts* and popping them in the washing machine.

Here are the slippers after fulling:

I was glad I opted to put the decoration on after fulling, as with the yellow pod, the gotland completely overwhelmed the purple merino.

And after adding some needle felted decoration (I used some spaced dyed prefelt for this):

They are very comfy but could do with some non-slip treatment on the soles, while it is fun “skating” round the house on our wooden floors I know it is only a matter of time before I hurt myself….

*My shoe lasts were made using the cheap and cheerful method from Ruth Lanes’ book– this is a fantastic reference guide for all things felt and it will save you the cost of buying shoe lasts so is a bargain! If you are new to felting and short of money, this is the ONE book I recommend you buy.

Felt Pods

After reading Lyn’s post I felt inspired to make some pods of my own, this one was my first foray into using Gotland wool. The pod was made from a piece of hand-dyed muslin (just visible in the lower half of the first photo), 2 layers of yellow merino and 2 layers of Gotland. I was surprised by how much the Gotland invaded the merino, the only places where you can still see the yellow merino is where the resists prevented migration of the Gotland.

The second pod was a more conventional blend of blue merino on the inside and red merino on the outside with a flash of orange merino around the largest opening for some colour contrast and “zing”.

I love how the blue and red have mingled to create a purple-red colour on the lower half of the vessel.

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…

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