Friday, 21 March 2014

Fibre of the Month March - Icelandic PROJECT

This month, instead of a bag, I have felted slippers..  A bit of a copout maybe as most of my slippers are felted from Icelandic wool.. but I’ve never actually sampled it and calculated shrinkage rates properly.  And I figured it would be interesting information :)

I have recently been working on a rather interesting and exciting Radagast project which I shall be telling you about soon.. in the course of which my attention was drawn to Radagast's footwear.  Somehow I hadn’t noticed while watching the films, but he is wearing odd shoes.  One is a brocade slipper boot, the other a curly toed leather boot..  The idea of these odd boots caught in my imagination and I just had to have a go at felting a pair.  An odd thing to do really, make 2 boots which are totally different, but there you go.

I decided that the curly toe boot should be solid brown while the round toe boot, which would of been the brocade boot, was going to have colourful fabrics nuno felted in.  I chose a rich orange, patterned silk for the outside and green and gold silk for the fold over cuff.

Laying the silk for the cuff INside the boot, lightly veiling the edges -
this will be on the outside when the cuff is folded over.
Measuring how far up the boot the silk is.. I only need to lay
silk on the lower part of the boot outside, the top will be
covered by the cuff.
I used black and brown Icelandic
After enclosing the resist in all the layers I covered one boot
with the silk fabric and proceeded to felt as usual.
After a few hours of rubbing, rolling, throwing and pummelling I had
2 odd boots sitting on my radiator to dry.
The finished pair
I was rather under whelmed with the round toed boot.. the Icelandic fibres completely swamped the silk fabric, losing all hint of pattern on the fabric and there isn’t any of the lovely ruched & puckered effect you usually get with nuno.. it’s just sort of crinkled.  Looks rather messy really I think.  
BUT I loved the curly toed boot!  I finished it off by sewing a felted (merino) leaf to hang from the side with one of my Hawthorn buttons on the ankle.

For comparison to sampling data:
Weight of finished boots: 295g
Finished size: 58cm (long side of both boots together) x 27cm & 25cm heel to toe
Resist size: 73 x 34.5 & 31cm
Shrinkage: 20% along length / 21% heel to toe

The next step :)

I decided to felt a mate for the one I liked and have a pair of curly toed elf boots instead of the Radagast oddies.

For both of these I laid the black and brown fibre randomly with no plan,
 so there is no uniformity of colour.. but I like that.
From the back.
One of my recently handmade Hawthorn buttons :)
I left these bare (no wax) I like the look of them that way


Abigail Thomas said...

Yeah I've realised that Icelandic tends to swamp any silk nuno; hairy! Finnish tends to do this too. But I love the other boot! Beautiful!

Unknown said...

I just discovered your blog from a felter's blog (in Canada) I have been following. I follow a few knitter's blogs mostly because I am a knitter, but I also needle and wet felt, but haven't found many blogs I am interested in following. Anyway, just wanted to say that I love the booties you made! Your projects are very nice... and I love the creative twists! I have made only a few wet-felted bags and hats...and they are pretty labor intensive! I feel as if I could use some hints for the sides and bottoms of bags, which are not as pretty or as strong as I'd like. I'll keep practicing.

You do beautiful work. Thanks for sharing.

FeltersJourney said...

Thanks Abigail :) I've not used Finnish wool.. but it's on my 'to-do' list, thanks for the tip x

Good to hear from you Nancy. Felting certainly can be a good workout :) I'll try and get a post in soon focusing on edges of seamless felt x