Friday, 27 May 2011

Felt and Materials

More recent felt to share :) Couple of weeks ago I mentioned that I have been asked to send some shawls upto Woolfest with Classic Carders (for their display & for sale).  I had a grand old time carding up lots of yummy batts on their newly teaked design Jumbo Carder.  Here are 2 shawls made from them.  These shawls are a little heavier than most of my shawls.. really snuggly & warm.  I made beaten copper wire pins to go with them, using a couple of pretty beads salvaged from broken necklaces... my mom gave me a pot of them for Christmas :)  They are coming in very useful.

Used my favourite aubergene pure silk velvet (strips torn from it anyway) for the sirface design
Lots of silk in this one.  I pulled a silk cap into roving and used it to 'draw' on one side.  Used some pretty green BFL locks too for texture

Had an unfortunate incident with this green one.  For what is now the inside I had planned a swirl of silk leaves blowing across... all was going well; I had cut lots of lovely leaf shapes from a dyed silk cap and scattered them across the laid out shawl.  Unfortunately my brain must of gone to sleep while I did this 'cos I laid them down BEFORE wetting the merino, of course when I sprinkled water over it most of them distored out of shape.  The leaves were so delicate that there was no chance of lifting them and pulling back into shape.  So now the inside just has an abstract silk pattern in it... which is fine it still looks nice enough. 

I do learn from my mistakes though.. I made a little summer scarf from a pretty blue batt (with masses of silk in) I peeled extremely thin layers and laid in on white silk chiffon.. then cut some silk fish shapes.  And remembered to wet out before putting them in place :)

Silk fish swimming upstream
I loved using this silk chiffon, it felted in SO easily.  The picture on the top right of the collage shows the silk side.  I decided to dye a load and offer it in my Folksy shop in scarf length pieces - scarf length for nuno felting that is - 2 meters long by about 45cm.  I had a peacock blue dye bath going earlier this week, after I'd dyed everything that I intended to there was still quite a bit of dye left in the pot - so I dropped in a scarf length to exhaust the bath.  Its turned out a really delicate light peacock blue.. 

dyed silk chiffon for nuno felting
Today I placed a 10kg wholesale fibre order that I am planning to dye up.  I'll be keeping some for my own stash, but lots will be finding its way into my shop.  The only thing I havent figured out yet is just where all of this extra fibre is going to

The kids broke up for half term today (off again already?!)  so there shant be much work going on here next week!  Gary has next week off too - I'm looking forward to some nice family time, lets hope the sun shines and it doesnt rain.

Hope you have a good bank holiday weekend whatever you are planning

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Better late than never :)

Not many words today, just wanted to start sharing some pics.  I have finally taken photos of the nuno shawls made back in February..

Back view.  I dyed the silks used in this (cheated and brought the merino though)

Front view (all squashed together) You can just see the Indian chiffon pashmina I felted onto, its a shimmery chiffon & it looks really pretty the way it catches the light on all of the wrinkles and nobbles.

 Do you remember the dyepot goodies back in February? 

Here they are
Well you can finally see what I did with them :)
This is a keeper :)  My new summer shawl

I like the stripes on the inside.  I guess this must of been a silk blend shawl, as the dye didnt take to the white bits but took beautifully to the rest.
I actually really like both of these shawls.  Im trying to be firm with myself and put the pink on in my shop... I keep putting it off cos I like it.  I did find these very hard work, Im not sure if it was the fabric, maybe too densley woven?  Or maybe just due to their size.  I spent hours and hours - worked on each one over 3 days. 

I have just purchased a beautiful silk chiffon sari in pinks & burgundy.. trying to decide what to make with it - another shawl?  Some scarves? Or a dress (slightly more daunting prospect there as I have not made one before!)


Monday, 23 May 2011

Woolgatherers Challenge #2

Vintage Button and Beads
Set by me

All 3 pieces

Brenda Marshall
This lovely, tactile piece features of an old enamelled brooch pin depicting the Virgin Mary. Brenda incorporated it with some beading on felted fibres.

Clare Atfield
Clare brought some sweet little plastic owl beads from the 70s that she planned to use for this challenge but with a new baby to look after didnt get chance to work on her project.  Instead she crocheted with wire & gemstones this retro inspired bracelet.

I pulled one of the silk caps I dyed recently into a very thin roving & crocheted this simple choker.  Button & beads have been rattling round in my stash for yonks - its good to use them on something :)

Next challenge: Flowers

Friday, 20 May 2011

Crafts with Purpose

Operation Bunny Drop

As promised here are photos of the Woolgathering girls bunnies :)  I snapped them at our last meeting.

by Brenda Marshall
Two lovely felted bunnies :)  with soft velvety fabric inners to their ears - very cuddleable (am I inventing words?)

by Sue Longley
Sue knitted the lilac bunny, he is SOoo soft and squishy, definately made for hugs.  I love this little fella, Sue recycled a felted jumper to sew him - he is just the right size for little hands to hold.

Clare Atfield
Better late than never :)
(Only late on here, not late being sent)
LOVE him!!  So simple and well shaped.  Clare sent 2 of these bunns, and also got the knitting group she goes to involved making more - brilliant.
I think they will all be well loved.

Checking the Crafts with Purpose Facebook page, as of yesterday 365 bunnies had arrived safely & there are lots more on their way.  One lady even managed to make 50 - what a generous soul, lovely.  Hope they reach their target..

My bunny has arrived safely.  I did only manage to make the one, I'd hoped to make 2 but just didnt get round to it...feel a bit bad about that really. 

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Woolgatherers Challenge #1

Tiny Frames
Challenge set by Sue ~ who also kindly provided the frames.

Sue is still working on her piece so unfortunately its not featured here
These frames are so pretty, and SO tiny!  The area where the picture goes measures just 15mm x 13mm.

Brenda Marshall
 This stunning little landscape is made from embroidery threads.  Fantastic!

Clare Atfield
E is for Evie - Clares beautiful baby girl.  Patiently knitted on super skinny needles :)

 I embroidered the hand on a scrap of felt.  The ribbon is frayed bias cut silk, handpainted.  All the symbols on the frame are often associated with Goddesses.. so I stuck with the theme :)

Next time: Vintage beads & buttons


Monday, 16 May 2011

I'm Baaaaack!

YAY!  I have a computer that wants to play nice with me :)  It has a nice new hard-drive so hopefully should be fine now (really, really hope so!)

Last week was veeery strange, I got lots of felting done :) but it was very odd being offline for so long.  Time to catchup now and I've got LOADs to tell you about.

The Woolgatherers had our third meeting - a truly lovely morning. I shall be posting seperately about our challanges later in the week; I have 2 to tell you about - #1 tiny frames, #2 vintage buttons & beads. I shall also post seperately about the gorgeous bunnies the girls made for Operation Bunny Drop.

I had a wonderful and touching suprise... Suzie Q presented me with this beautiful little seamless bag that she made for me - as a thank you for starting the Woolgatherers. I cant express how lovely this is.. Sue is quite a new felter and she has done a stunning job with this - she's so sweet and generous. I put my make-up and perfume in there & took it away this weekend to Dorset.

My favourite colour combo :)
Love this lining!
I didnt even spot this detail straight away!  So sweet
Sue had a good hour or so of baby-cuddling - Clare brought Evie along with her.  Brenda has booked baby for next time lol.

What else has been happening...?
Well, I still owe you pictures of the orange bag (not to mention the nuno shawls from February; note to self - photograph them!!).  This bag is a little smaller than the red & blue one, but still roomy

Seamless bag with internal pocket. Icelandic wool.
Hard colours to photograph!
I had a request from a lady who has one of my Moongazing Hare doorstops, for a mate!  The family feel that their Moongazing Mama Hare is lonely and needs a Papa Hare to keep her company - which I think is adorable. 
Papa Hare dallying with my Moongazing Hare
... shhh dont tell Mama Hare
He is bigger, heavier and likes to stand in the shadows more than Mama, so he has more dark bits on him (for shadow).  He has big masculine ears- he often flings one across his shoulder to hang jauntily down near its fellow. 

I have done some spinning!  I need to spin a stash of funky yarns to add to my felt.  I've moved my spinning wheel downstairs with the intention of spinning a small skein whenever I get chance.  So far Ive only done 2 skeins in the same fibres (1st one wasnt bumpy enough!) but its a start..

At Wonderwool, I was very interested to see Alison of Pure Tinctoria demonstrating an all-in-one method of dyeing useing her natural dye extracts, alum & creme-of-tarter.  I just happened to have some at home - I havent used them much; taking the time to wet fibres out properly (24hours!) then mordant them THEN finally dye them is just too much for my limited patience.  But this sounded much more do-able.  The colours are aparently less strong than when mordanting & dyeing seperately, but look what I got from my first dye pot..
Dyed with Pure Tinctoria - Purple Lac dye extract
I had a bit of everything in this pot :) BFL locks, Norwegian top, tussah silk top, throwsters waste silk, silk caps and silk fabric.  I was thrilled to bits with this lot & shall be experimenting with other dyes soon.

I have also done lots of carding.  Paul at Classic Carders asked me to try out his new style jumbo carder compared to the one I already have (you may remember I brought his very first Jumbo carder). My original works well - but this one is wonderful! It cards beautifully, and Paul has developed a very user friendly slicker brush attachment - that I really like.  I forgot to take pics of the batts before I started felting with them - but heres the carders

Classic Carders - gorgeous solid wood & so well made
Paul & Mandy also asked me to send some of the shawls I've felted from batts made on their carders to brighten up their stall at Woolfest in June - which is wonderful for me!  The shawls will be for sale, though I dont think they will want to part with them until the end of the show - I can always post them on later if someone cant wait around till then.  Must admit I feel really quite honoured to be asked.  So if you are at Woolfest & see shawls displayed on the Classic Carders stand - they're mine :)

And thats probably about it really.. I felted 2 shawls & 2 scarves last week which I am yet to photograph - I'm about to make the pins to go with the shawls - I shall photograph all together.  And I made my piece for the Woolgatherers next challenge, which Brenda set - FLOWERS. 

Well, I'm off to find some food

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Ongoing computer woes :(

Just a quicky.. My computer is pretty much fried!  Its been getting worse and worse (and I optomistically thought I had sorted it a week ago - fool!)  luckily its still under warrenty and they have finally agreed to take it away and repair it.  I am now computerless for the next week, maybe a little more or less..  Im at my parents house making good use of a fast and functional pc to put things in order for a week away.

So, whatever you are doing in the meantime - have fun & I shall hopefully be back with a bang soon :)
TTNF xxx