We began the day by salt and pepper dyeing of the silk chiffon. After suspending pieces of net curtain over bowls we put the scarfs on and sprinkled fibre reactive dyes over then set it with a solution of washing soda and hot water.
I forgot to take my camera, yet again, but I’ve changed my phone and now have a camera always to hand. I’m still getting used to it and some photos were blurred and I’ve been unable to use them, my apologies. It’s such a shame for you as they really were rather wonderful.
Very vibrant colours from Eri, her English is far better than my Greek and she managed very well.
A lovely creation from Jean with a lace frill.
Anne’s first ever piece of felt – fabulous.
As it was still wet this scarf by Edna looks darker than it is and had some great textures on the reverse side.
India came prepared with this lovely design and worked very hard on the laying out. No frilly edge but long fringing instead.
Back to white silk chiffon for the base again. I haven’t shown you the white ones in the laying out stages as white goes translucent when wet and is therefore difficult to photograph. I laid circles of brown BFL blended with tussah silk down on the chiffon first, then added bits of yarn, lace and pebbles to create texture. Over that I laid a fine layer of white BFL and throwsters silk waste.
Again, I stopped part way and stitched into each of the dark circles and removed a section of fabric from each to reveal the brown BFL beneath.
You can quite clearly see the texture created by the lace, yarn and pebbles. The colour of the pebbles shows through quite well too.
I was careful choosing the pebbles to ensure they were smooth so that they wouldn’t pierce the fabric. The yarn was a boucle yarn which has really added to the texture in the finished piece.
We decided to have a couple of days away over Easter and chose to stay in the youth hostel at Langdon Beck up Teesdale. Teesdale is very quiet, some would call it bleak but I just love it up there. As we came down the valley from Alston it meant we had fabulous views as it was very cold but bright. The roads had obviously been cleared after the last lot of heavy snow but there were drift at the roadside that were 5 foot in height and it was single track in places where the snow had blown back across or collapsed onto the road.
As we drove carefully along this quiet road we were suddenly most surprised to see lots of cars parked on both sides and on looking for the reason why were met with this sight
It wasn’t what I was expecting to see but obviously the locals knew all about this little spot and were making the most of it. We also visited High Force waterfall and were impressed by the length of the icicles still very much in evidence, we had little forays along the Pennine Way here and there as our daughter gamely and gingerly tottered along with her dodgy knee.
Near the end of the Tees we visited a bird reserve that uses sheep as lawn mowers and were delighted to see lambs that were only six hours old. Visitors could suggest names for the two boys, we suggested Dave and Barry plus Spike and Angel (our daughter likes the Buffy TV series). The two lambs below are calles Salt and Pepper and are 3 days old.
No snow here you notice.
Lots more colour in this scarf. I began by hand dyeing silk chiffon in delicate pinks which made a great base to begin from. I laid down small amounts of coloured silk fibres and thencovered them with peach and pink fibres.
This was followed by a layer of carded pink, white, peach and apricot fibres topped
with dyed tussah silk and throwsters silk.
I left one edge free of fibres as I’d left the selvage on. After flipping it over I laid a few
tiny circles of fibres on the top side.
I stopped part way through felting and added some stitching to each of the coloured circles.
Below you can see what the scarf looked like at the end of felting.
The coloured circles are where I put thew stitching, I then cut sections away to reveal the
silk fibres and peach and pink wool beneath.
Each large circle had three small circles of wool nearby and I cut the centres out of
each creating holes in the scarf.
You can see the reverse with silk fibres above and the frilled silk chiffon where I left it free of fibre.
I couldn’t stop there though, I just had to bead the ends.
I’ve made a few nuno scarves recently and can finally show you a few photos. This first one is one silk chiffon and is quite plain but feels quite feminine.
One each end I used strips of silk to form round shapes like ruffled flowers and then I’ve beaded the centre of each with pearl seed beads.
On the fibres side I’ve added lots of throwsters silk waste to give it that great sheen. I’m liking this one!
It’s a busy time at work for me. I’ve got lost of nuno workshops going on where I do have examples to show people but every time I think of another way of doing things I ending up creating more samples. Yes that’s great but it also takes a little time and as I started them all at once I haven’t finished them yet to show them off. However I thought I’d share a story with you of the drop spindle spinning kit I’ve been developing for Adelaide Walker.
Yvonne knew a man who could make some spindles for us and we thought we’d have a go at making up a kit for beginners. I rashly volunteered to write up instructions with the help of Hubby, after all I only have the two hands who else was going to take the action shots.
Faced with a blank sheet my mind went blank too and I did a quick search for instructions on the internet to see how to approach it. It seemed far more complicated than explaining how to make felt, I wanted to ensure there was sufficient information for people to understand what they were doing but not so much waffle that it was difficult to read. I drafted out a quick plan of what were the essentials I needed to say and where I might need photo illustrations.
Hubby has never spun and so was the perfect person to ask to read the instructions and check them through. He was brilliant, he read it through and questioned lots of places, especially as he had no photos to help him at this point. Of course, you probably realised where this was going didn’t you? Yep, after checking them through I asked the poor man to have a go with a drop spindle. My own first drop spindle experience wasn’t a pleasant one, you could say the air turned blue and I got rather grumpy and fed up of picking the dratted thing up off the floor. I was taught to have a go whilst standing and I now think sitting would have been quite handy.
Hubby was brilliant and irritating in equal measures, let me explain. He has publicly stated that he has no desire or intention ever to spin and yet, for me, he was ready yet again to go the extra mile and give it a whorl (see what I did there, whirl, whorl). The irritating part was that he wasn’t half bad and did actually manage to spin some wool without major loss of temper putting my first attempts to shame. More importantly he proved that the instructions made sense and could be followed by a novice and then he went on to take some photos for the instructions. Yep, he’s wonderful and if his success has inspired any of you to have a go then kits can be bought at Adelaide Walker along with fibres for your next felting project!
You may already have guessed from all the felt rolls that this was going to end up being a spider. My daughter is really not keen on this she thinks it’s both creepy and weird. I was just going to make a straightforward bird pod but when I read the Canopy Art submission details it had to be something I’d find in a canopy so it became a spider pod.
It’s made from Black Welsh fibres which I wet felted initially but then I firmed it up with some needle felting, I love Black Welsh for this kind of work it goes so firm.
It really does stand up because I wired the legs and it’s also the mechanisms for attaching it to walls, plants etc.
I don’t think it’s good enough to submit to canopy art so it may just become a bird nest hiding in my climbing hydrangea. It’ll probably give someone a scare at some point too. Hubby said it was cruel to think about suspending it above our Daughter’s bed!
People often say that wet felting is messy and takes too much space. I think today that I can refute those comments as I’ve just completed a 3D project wet felted entirely on a tea tray on my lap and no, the floor wasn’t wet and neither was I.
My Gran always used to say that I dealt cards in a very small circle, I think her actual words were toilet seat, so perhaps that’s why I didn’t find it difficult working this way.
You can see that I’ve put a towel down on the tray and then bubble wrap on top just as if I was working in a larger space. At the back of the tray are a pile of felted rolls and I’ve begun laying out the fibres onto the resist.
I’m working with Black Welsh fibres as this project is destined for outdoors so wool from a hill breed was an obvious choice. The felt rolls are now attached to the resist and I felted it by rubbing, no rolling on this occasion.
It’s pretty much done here. You can see the bottle of soapy water was exchanged for a bowlful of hot soapy water to aid fulling and it’s now sat on a radiator drying. Tomorrow I hope to show you the finished article and explain what the purpose of this container will be.
We had a fabulous sunny day for our nuno flower workshop with 4 sunny tempered ladies who made it such a joy. The first image up is by Jean or Jubilant Jean we ended up calling her as all her colour choices throughout the day were so vibrant and full of fun.
We actually began the day by felting fabrics you don’t normally associate with nuno felting, polycotton and velvet. Polycotton is very closely woven and so doesn’t allow the fibres to migrate through the fabric during wet felting. We overcame this by dry needle felting fibres through from the back of the fabric and then wet felting. You can see that they give great texture and have made two splendid hearts ready for further embellishing.
Putting away the felting needles we went on to explore different fabrics in nuno felting. Lightweight fabrics like silk chiffon work very easily but can be subsumed into the felt and therefore add more colour than texture, chunkier fabricslike lace give greater texture but can obscure the colours of the fibre if not handled carefully.
The blue flower from Christine has silk chiffon which has given delicate blues but very little texture. The mixed purples in front is from Gill and contains cotton muslin which adds texture but also knocks the colour of the fibres back a little. Jean incorporated parts of two old synthetic scarves into the yellow flower which gave some texture and each fabric felted in quite differently. The pink and orange flower from Stephanie contained synthetic crystal organza which has lovely vibrant colour and great texture.
Double flowers were next with fabrics on the inner layer of felt. The most striking example here is Christine’s innovative use of white lace on the purple flower. The piece of lace had a flower within a lace circle, Christine removed the central flower and used the remaining lace doughnut shape. It creates a really lovely eye catching centre to the flower. Gill added cotton muslin to the pink and purple flower at the back but then brought the fibre colours forward again by adding thin lines of fibre over the top of the fabric.Very effective.
Christine’s interpretation of a poppy worked out well and Gill was delighted with her more spiky shaped blue and green flower even though she normally doesn’t do spiky. The sweet little flower in front has lace petals and is from Jubilant Jean. Stephanie has promised to forward a picture of her final flower (large with 3 layers) when she finishes it off. Thank you ladies, it was a lovely day.
The photos for this blog are courtesy of Lesley and Stephanie. I know you’re all now thinking that I forgot my camera yet again but honest I didn’t. This time it was the SD card which wouldn’t work. When I got home Hubby temporarily sorted it with the addition of some sellotape but I fear I need a new card. So, without more ado, the reveal.
This time we were working in Jacob fibres for the main body of the bag with any colour being supplied by Merino or other embellishments. Above you can see that Denise has added coloured wool nepps and curly kid Mohair. Below, Sylvia, has added Mohair, merino and some soyabean I think.
Pam has added coloured wool nepps, curly kid mohair and soyabean fibres. The nepps and the mohair were very popular that day and they do make attractive decorations. The grey and the black Jacob fibres really show off the additions well and make these bags to use with any outfit.
Next up is a tote style bag from Jean. The wiggly lines are yarn, pink spots are Merino, blue spots are dyed Ramie noil and yes, some coloured wool nepps as well. The wiggly yarn really gives the bag life.
Lesley went for full on impact and achieved it brilliantly through the addition of bright purple Merino and dyed Teeswater curls. The flap was stretched to exaggerate it’s width and make a feature of it.
Stephanie chose to go for a round bag and came prepared with some angelina fibres which have added a little sparkle to the bag with the remainder of the colour provided by Merino and dyed Teeswater curls. I know she’s now gone on to subtly stitch right across the surface of the bag which has just added to its charms
That concludes another great workshop. Where are my manners? Thank you for all your help setting up and clearing away ladies, many hands do indeed make light work.