Friday, 22 April 2016

Fibre and Thread Sketching - In The Forest

Week 10

Again I wanted a quick fix.  I enjoyed using the prefelts for the koi and decided to do similar this week.

I sketched a barn owl onto prefelt using a fine liner pen.. then cut him out

This time I wanted to try and get a 'carved' appearance.. almost like a wood cut effect.  So I cut the face out, then cut holes for the eyes and beak.  Also cut along the wing line and his legs are separate pieces.

Laid out of a dark background..  with a super simple branch and mawata silk moon

I placed a net over before starting rubbing to keep the design in place

While felting I had to keep opening up the holes and cut lines that I wanted to keep

I'm quite pleased with him, 
the slightly fuzzy features work for me - it is night after all..
and everythings fuzzy at night :)

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Stash Busting - Knitting some Homespun

This year I am GOING to claim back parts of my house that have been taken over (utterly swamped) by supplies etc.  SO there's going to be lots of stash busting going on :)

First off I wanted to use up some yarn I spun years ago (?5/6 years ago).  I dyed the fibre and spun it thick and thin then plied it with a decorative thread.

This is the skein I started with.. I don't knit much so had no idea how far it would go.  

I've had this set of 'odd pins' for aaages, never used them, never heard of anyone using odd pins tbh but they were a packaged pair so I knew it must be a 'thing'..  I googled for tips before starting out and apparently it's called CONDO knitting!  The only tip I found really was to cast on and off using the smaller pin and another of the same size.. then start using the fat pin with just one thin pin.

The first skein didn't really go very far.. 
but it was looking pretty so I pulled these out to use too

Made myself a nice wide long scarf that really soft and snuggly 

The decorative thread plied into the blue yarn is a sparkly metalic.. I love the way it twinkles :)  It's nice to have something to wear and see from these yarns instead of just admiring them in my handspun yarn box.  I'm pleased with the quirky stitch too - and it was soooo easy, just garter stitch! :)

Friday, 8 April 2016

Fibre and Thread Sketching - WATER

Oh dear.. I'm getting very behind posting these on here.. and time to actually join in is also in short supply - for the last 3 weeks I haven't 'sketched'. 

From week 9

Time was short and I really wanted a quick little project..  so many possibilities for ‘water’ would of demanded a lot of time.  I wanted to keep it simple, the inspiration for this was the ‘big fella’ in our koi pond :) although I simplified his colour/patterning a little.

I drew the outline onto commercial prefelt and cut out..

Here he is swimming across the cover of my Koi book.
I used the photos in here to get the right shape - our fish are never still long enough for my slow eyes :)

Background of dark green prefelt with blue and green silk-caps and bits of silk chiffon fabric

The prefelts melted in like butter!

Finished.. quick and simple koi :)
Gary was pleased.. this is his favourite fish!

Monday, 21 March 2016

Fibre and Thread Sketching - week 8


So many possibilities with green; first I thought of doing a green man, but knowing me I would of spent way longer than I wanted to on him :).  So I decided to go off on a literal tangent and do a golf green..  I will confess I pretty much copied the design from clip art.  
Just a quick note here.. I don't agree with copying and don't do it (not counting ancient rock art / historic designs which I am irresistibly drawn to incorporating into my work.. and when I asked an artist friend if I could do a felt version of one of her beautiful paintings). So even though it's from clip art, freely available for anyone's use.. I'm still not entirely comfortable about this piece.  But I don't plan to sell it, it was made just as an exercise in play.

First I copied it in pencil..
Cutting out the elements to use as templates.. 
for cutting felt to shape
Using pins and a felting needle to temporarily fix the trees in place ..
Trees are then free machine stitched to the background.
All the pieces are attached in the same way.

Final touch is a FM embroidered flag and hole,
and I've 'healed' the wavy edges on the white felt

measures 6" x 6"

Friday, 18 March 2016

Dyed Fin Wool Boots

This is a long planned pair of boots for me.. I brought outdoor soles about 3 years but I've only just gotten around to felting them.  Originally I had no idea WHAT I wanted my outdoor boots to look like, but after making the dyed Fin wool Top Hat a while back I could picture quite clearly what I wanted :)

Resist cut from foam floor underlay - as you can see
I changed my mind about the width of the leg and
had to tape an extra bit on :)  
Using all natural coloured Fin wool.. dark brown, mid brown and white.
Graduating from dark at the bottom to white at the top.
After felting I added cuffs, crocheted from a chunky Shetland yarn
I spun a couple of years back.

Good thing I added extra width around the legs.. these are just right :)

Then came the scary moment..  I LIKED the way they looked in the natural colours, but I'd been dreaming of rich cranberry coloured boots, so forced myself to be bold and surrender them to the dyepot.

I had a hell of a game dyeing them in my big cauldron over the small camp stove..  made worse because it was a windy day and the flame kept getting blown out!  It took 5 hours messing about lighting and relighting before they were cooked.

But I do love the colour :)
Now I have to confess to a really STUPID mistake..  I felted the boots till they fit my feet nicely, WITHout getting the soles out to look at and check the fit. Turns out the soles are actually quite a lot bigger than my feet, even though they are the correct shoe size!  And the boots are that well felted that no matter how hard we try they just can't be stretched..

You can see the gap at the front.. there's the same gape at the back too, they're about 1cm too big!

SO, I have just ordered the same style sole but a size smaller..
I hope they fit.. (link to seller at end of post)

Guess I shall have to felt another pair and make them roomy so I can wear them with very thick socks in the coldest weather :)

I'll update when the new soles arrive..

In case you are looking for this sort of sole, I brought mine along with the cellulose board and waxed thread for stitching them from Etsy seller Rasae in Lithuania, international postage to the UK was pretty quick.

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Felting to dye

Time is getting away from me!  

A couple months ago I made a rather special hat (which I fell in love with) from natural Finn wool which I dyed after felting.  I decided at the time to make more in this way..  and it's been an ongoing quest since then :)

A few weeks back I managed to felt..

A pair of new boots for ME :), and a hat
Next step before taking the plunge into the dye pot.. samples!

A rather sad, lonely dyepot.. abandoned in the rain
I've decided all my dyeing is going to be done outdoors now.. I hate having the fumes in the house!  All the worry over what fumes we are inhaling and what residues may get left behind (even though I turn into a cleaning demon after dyeing, I still worry that I may miss something).

So, I dug out the old, spare camp stove and cooked it on the deck.  All went well until the heavens opened.. at which point I gave up for the day :)

These are the 5 I've sampled so far..
there are 2 of each colour because I used 2 different natural colour combinations
for bases, so I could see which worked best for each dye colour.
I also have the lovely green I used before, and a rich raspberry which I can't find at the moment..

Next time.. progress to date with the boots.

Friday, 11 March 2016

Fibre and Thread Sketching - week 6

Theme - Weather

My inspiration..
this photo of Central Park that my cousin shared on
Facebook a few weeks ago
Starting to build a simple picture..
using merino fibre, and mawata silk hankies for snow shine
Covered with tulle ready to start felting..
I also wanted to make some plain white felt so decided to make a bigger sheet than needed and use one corner for the picture.

cutting the picture section out -
I decided to keep the bottom edge natural
Fully felted, rinsed and dried
Starting Free Machine Embroidery..
This one turned out NOT to be a bite sized project..  it took HOURS and hours
I really wanted it to be finished at this point..
but my husband convinced me that it really did need some people in :)
I'm glad I listened.. Gary was right!

My fence is leaning the wrong way..
but I'm putting it down to artistic interpretation lol
And the back..
BEFORE adding people and footprints in the snow

Friday, 26 February 2016

Botany SLiDER Hat #2

This one is felted with the Bonfire Batts carded from my bag of Botany Waste..

1st layer 
2nd layer - black Finn wool 
3rd layer.
Loving the flashes of colour..
and wondering how much of it will survive felting?

Part way through.. having just removed the resist
And several hours later - it's dark again!
Thank goodness for my daylight bulb craft lamp..
A meandering stitch line this time..
And I went a bit crazy with the daisies :)
While I was felting I turned the hat inside out to work on the inside for a while.. but while this was wet you really couldn't tell a difference, the coloured bits were dark and the silk and firestar weren't showing at all.  I forgot to turn it the 'right' way..

When it was dry I started thinking.. 'wow, all that silk just disappeared'..
until I turned it over and looked inside :)  It's like a firework display going off in there lol 
I'm actually quite glad I didn't turn it.. I rather like having the quieter side out and knowing what's going on inside :)

Think I'm going to keep this one!  

Saturday, 20 February 2016

Finished Botany SLiDER Hat #1

I decided to go with a navy leather hat band on this one (thanks to the help of my Facebook followers :) .. with antiqued brass rivet studs rather than spikes.

I AM feeling camera shy lately.. but to be honest I just LOVE seeing them from behind :)
Side view ..
I love how well the white mawata silk shows up on this.. I just used the cut-off edges.  Reminds me of breaking waves on my Atlantic hat :)

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Fibre and Thread Sketching - week 5


So much to choose from..  But I didn't want to do anything too involved..  my aim is try and keep these projects bite sized.  

After a couple days thinking I settled on doing a Cornish Pixie from Harry Potter..  The one I sketched as my design was a mixture of images on the internet.. some Cornish Pixies, some fairies, and with a slightly frog like element to his hands and feet :)

I wasn't confident to free hand copy it on the machine..
 so I traced him onto tracing paper and pinned in place
I love this blue silk!  Not sure what sort it is (it's a bugger to felt mind)
it's soooo shiny and luxurious!

Forgot the camera for a while now :)  but I snipped around the edges to reveal a little naked, wingless, blue pixie.  Pinned a piece of iridescent organza over then free handed his wings and snipped round the edges of them too.  

Close-up finished Pixie
With a few FME metallic stars to finish :)
I think he looks naughty enough!