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