Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Scarf #3

I've had a real yearning for bright, rich colours lately (probably because of all the dull grey days).. and for interesting shapes and textures.  So playing around with all these scarves suited my mood perfectly :)

The third of my scarves..

Layer 1 tangerine merino..
forgot to photograph it but I filled the holes with raspberry pink merino
Layed out in a nice curvy, lazy S shape
 it was just over 7 foot long measured straight 

(following the curves about a foot longer I'd guess)
Covering the second layer (which was burnt orange with pink blobs)
Scattering loads of gold and a little orange tussah silk over the third and final layer
Drawing a simple design in raspberry and pink merino
highlighted with magenta tussah silk
Making 'spots'
I cut a pattern of holes in three places along the length of the scarf,
healing the edges as I went along (but I forgot to take photos)..
And I made a cut up into the thin end so it hangs in two points instead of one
The back.. this was the first layer I layed down
Though it doesn't actually look much like a Tigerlily :) that was the inspiration..

Lovely flowers.. I used to have a big pot full of these in the garden, but I think they died last winter.

Today I think I am going to do something bright and Hundertwasser-ish :)  


Friday, 22 February 2013

Scarf #2

The second scarf was loads of fun :D  

You can't see it very well on the photo, but I scattered green and turquoise blue tussah silk fibres first (straight onto the bubble wrap) followed by the first layer of merino fibre in lovely blues and greens..

Along with the second layer I added tufts of fibre, uneven lengths and thicknesses,
all the way around the edge
On top of the third layer I added lots of black, green and turquoise tussah silk
And doodled some circles, spots and lines in merino
I threaded some pretty beads from a broken wind chime 
(one of my old favourites) onto a few of the spikes
Long and spiky :)
My husband says this reminds him of a millipede.. my sons says it looks like seaweed..  Brings to mind weird and wonderful sea creatures for me :)

Have a wonderful weekend folks  xx

Monday, 18 February 2013

Playing! Scarf #1

After finally satisfying my recent Hobbit obsession :)  I was very excited to PLAY.. I felt like making scarves, something I haven't done for a while.  The next few posts are all about them ..  The first three I had very clear pictures of them in my mind for about a week before I got round to making them.. and they are all veeery different :)

SO.. scarf #1
I wanted it to be irregularly shape and very frondy.. richly coloured with fancy yarns and silk sari pieces.

Started by doodling with some lovely yarns; my favourite slubby red woolen yarn,
with charcoal and smoky blue alpaca/wool boucle yarns
Building up the shape based on the yarn doodles
First layer down, lots of lovely purple
Second merino layer is a lovely rich raspberry

Third layer is lovely purples again.
Small mosaic like tiles of silk sari fabric and thin strips of aubergine pure silk velvet

Turquoise merino doodle pattern 
I really enjoyed making this one, I got totally into the zone.  Now, even though it's in my shop, I would SO love to keep it.. but you can't keep everything.
The sari silk and silk velvet felted in really nicely :)
Frondy, frondy :)
I like the curve on it worn this way :)

Friday, 15 February 2013

Speaking of Hobbits..

Yes.. I have been slight preoccupied with Hobbit-ish things lately!  

I was thinking about teacosies.. and it suddenly struck me that they're hill shaped.. all of a sudden I had a picture in my mind of a Bag-End teacosy.. you know how it goes, once the image is there it's best to make it 'cos it won't go away until you do :)

Layers of white English wool fibre for the inside..
this makes the cosy thicker and warmer than just merino
Outer layers of merino, adding curly locks, wool nepps and silk fibres for texture and colour
 Next I started building up the design.. the door, windows, steps, followed by flowers

I outlined the main elements with petrol green merino

I forgot to take a photo of the cosy once it was felted, but before I embroidered..  

I wanted to embroider the first line from the book onto the back of the cosy  'In a hole in the ground there lived a Hobbit..'  I thought about freehanding it, but wanted it to look distinctly Hobbit-ish and uniformly lettered.  After experimenting with drawing the letters myself I decided to print it off in Hobbit font, in different sizes

And tracing it onto tissue paper, which I could freemotion embroider
through and remove later
I experimented with what looked like the hardest word
Then pinned the sentence to the cosy, carefully embroidered through the tissue paper
and picked away the bits afterwards
Added simple hand embroidered flowers
I found the perfect vintage button in my stash for the door knob :)
I machined around the features I wanted to define
and added  simple hand embroidered flowers for the garden
I must be a slow stitcher.. I seemed to spend ages working on this! I am glad I made it though, it was fun :)  And now my mind is free to move on to other things

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Hobbit hat #4 - Radagast

The Radagast was much easier for me because I had Bofur's hat resist as a starting point!

I like how weather beaten Radagast's hat looks.. and I'm pretty certain from looking closely at the photo on the right that the one in the movie is felted (yay for felting!)  I wanted to make a hat inspired by Radagast's.. but there would be differences.

Much as I love the look of the movie hat, it looks like it's felted from a hairy fibre which I would guess could feel a little itchy.. so I decided to use Bluefaced Leicester.  Its coarser than merino but still soft and non-itchy on the forehead.  Plus I already had a nice bag of oatmeal BFL with tussah silk fibre blended in.  And I wanted it to be a ladies hat, so a little bit more daintily shaped :)

I managed to lose my progress pics making this hat - I honestly do NOT know how.. it's rather irritating.  So I shall have to settle for sharing a (hopefully not too boring) description of what I did..

I made a new resist.. outlining the resist from Bofur #3 and tweaking it.  Adding fullness to the crown, I wanted it to be loose enough to get the crinkles and folds.  I also changed the shape along the bottom as I wanted a deeper brim at the back.

I didnt use any silk fabric for this one, just 2 layers of BFL/silk fibre and a scattering of moss green merino on top.

I worked it, and worked it.. BFL is slower than merino.  But I basically worked, cut and shaped it in the same way as with the other hobbit hats.  

The brim on this hat needed to be made separately and sewn on over the top of the earflaps.. I did this just before blocking.  When it came to blocking the hat I carefully pinned the folds and wrinkles how I wanted them to set.. but removed them before it was completely dry, gently massaging any indentations to get rid of them.
Instead of feathers I added a couple of felted quills

With nice green buttons sewn at the bases
Its surprising how light the hat is, nice and warm though

If I were to make another, I would alter the resist so the back flap was deeper and the earflaps less pronounced.. that said I really do like this.  I like the subtle colouring, the quills and the crinkles :)

So there you go.. all I've got left to do now is the Gandalf :)  And that will be coming later in the year (its been on my 'to do' list since the Lord of the Rings films 'bout time I made it!)

Monday, 4 February 2013

Hobbit hat #3

As promised.. Hobbit hat #3

I worked this one outside in.  I found that I was more prone to getting ridges at the edge of my resist working inside out.. not sure why, probably just that I'm not used to working that way. The ridges were easily enough worked out luckily.  I DID find that the cup and ring design incorporated very easily into the felt working outside in as opposed to inside out, maybe because it all goes slower inside the package.

Hat #3 was going to have silk caps and fibres to embellish the outside so I didn't have to worry about that, and the silk chiffon sari I planned to use is an easy one.. I've used it for nuno before and know the fibres travel through fairly quickly..
Here you can see the resist from hat #1 placed on top
The resist underneath is from hat #2.. but I have added  to the bottom right and around the sides and top to give a little more fullness in the crown.
I also shortened the earflaps - see the pen marks, so this hat would have less wastage than #2

Piece of silk chiffon in roughly the shape I needed to cover one half
of the resist.. scarred a few whisps of merino ontop

Then placed the resist and carefully folded the silk around the edges.
Trimming any excess so it didn't bunch up or overlap anywhere

Filled in the gaps

Adding whisps under the edges to veil them where needed
Layers of merino

Rays fold over, and centre gets filled

Silk caps, tussah fibre & mulberry fibre on top of final layer
After the resist was removed I worked it HARD..
rolling, throwing, pummelling and rolling it with my ridged stick

Before it was fully felted I used hat #2 as a template to mark my cutting line

I have a pack of tailors chalk in 3 different colours, red, blue and
white so can pick whichever will show up best

Now I sealed the edges and worked it until it was fully felted.
I worked the crown on my hats block and blocked it in the same way as the last ones.. did take pics but picassa, or blogger, won't let me bring them over for some reason..

Not MY colours.. but I like the hat :)
And it suits me from behind lol
Now that I had 'the Bofur' sorted my mind moved on to working out 'the Radagast' :)  more on that soon!

Yesterday I showed you what my dogs were getting upto in the snowy weather.. here are a couple of my favourite snowy weather photos I took

This lovely little finch spent ages here every day just feet from my living room window..
Picking at the nettles and brambles, and eating from the bird table -he was funny when he found a seed he didn't like, he spat it over the edge
Flooded woodland frozen solid.
The woods and fields became very Narnia like, absolutely beautiful