Heart Bunting

I began this set of bunting in August I believe. Although it’s not complicated to make sheets of felt for cutting up I just didn’t find the time to finish – looking back I seem to have had quite a few projects like this last year but at least they get finished eventually. It’s all made from British Blue Faced Leicester wool, the pink was hand dyed by me, do you think it’s bright enough?

The edges are hand stitched in plain running stitch with embroidery thread and each flag  has an appliqued heart. They’re machine stitched to the tape. I didn’t do running stitch along the top and I’m now wondering if I should have – opinions?

There are 12 flags on each set, flags are 12cm wide by 18cm long. I made sufficient felt for five sets but only three are completed as I ran out of tape. And yes, the yellow really is that vivid!!

Not sure

I’ve been wanting to make a felted lampshade cover for the living room for a couple of  months now.It’s not the first lampshade cover I’ve done and the delay was really only down to finding the time. As it’s in a room where my hubby will see it daily it’s important to me that he likes it too. Now, that’s when my problems start. Designing for me is one thing, designing to keep someone else happy is quite another.

Obviously I wanted to make it in British wool and Blue Faced Leicester has a lovely crimp that shows up very well on a lit lampshade so BFL is what I’ve used. I wanted the cover to extend beyond the frame a little and I didn’t want to use any kind of stiffener as it changes the feel of the felt.

Cylinder lampshades are very easy as it’s basically a rectangular piece of felt but coolie style lampshades are more difficult. You either have to make a rectangle and cut it down to size or work out your shape carefully and felt it down to size. I prefer not to cut felt so I carefully removed the old shade from the frame and used it as a template.

You can see that both top and bottom lines curve, without the curve it wouldn’t fit the frame properly. I considered using white BFL but decided in the end that oatmeal would be a better colour to blend into our room. I had some hand  dyed BFL curls spare from another project which I placed along the edge but was careful not to let them hang over. Although I’d be happy with dangly curls along the edge I know my hubby wouldn’t be. This little bit of colour lifts the shade and helps it to blend with the wooden base.

Really not sure if I like it and if the white wouldn’t be better. Hubby admitted this morning that he wasn’t sure about it when I was stitching it on but he actually likes it when lit up. Just need to decide what I think now.

Blue vase

I haven’t managed a lot of felt making recently but here is one I have managed to finish. The fibre is Blue Faced Leicester in a mix of  blue and turquoise with a little purple added. The turquoise I hand dyed earlier in the year. I’ve included crystal organza, silk chiffon and parts of an old damaged silk cushion into the felt to give texture and shine.

Also added is blue and purple roving, blue yarn plus turquoise, copper and blue silk fibres. I like the feeling of movement that all these additions give the vase. As before, I have used a glass liner so that I can use this for fresh flowers if required. Given the shape, the liner cannot be removed but you can get your hand in for cleaning.

The height is 29cms. If you look carefully you can see the tip of a cat tail. Have you ever tried keeping four hungry cats at bay whilst you take a quick photo?

A promise

I made a promise some weeks ago that I would let you know when Blue Faced Leicester fleece curls became available at Adelaide Walker. I used them on this little pot.

The BFL is now in stock at £3 per 100g of washed fleece and as you can see it dyes up well too.

Blush

There’s not been a lot about felting in the last week or so and there is a good reason for that, it’s called life. I’m sure some of you will be familiar with it. You get up, your day is planned and it starts to fall apart almost immediately and never recovers that day, or the next. But at last I can show you a piece of felt which I made two weeks ago and have finally found opportunity to photograph.

This is all part of my move towards working more with British wool fibres. The inner two layers of the vessel are hand dyed Blue Faced Leicester and the outer two layers are Wensleydale. Wensleydale is a gorgeous rich cream colour, long staple and a great lustre. As a coarser wool it’s slower to felt than some but I actually like the texture of some of these wools and combining them with easier to felt fibres like Blue Faced Leicester really helps to speed it up.

The eagle eyed amongst you may also have spotted that I’ve added an extra fibre to the outside, it’s milk protein fibre which adds more lustre. Wish I’d put a little more on really but it looks better in the flesh than on the photo.

I’m not overly fond of the pink fibres I dyed but they do work very well to give a bright splash of colour to the interior and it contrasts well with the subtle blush colour seen from the outside. As the fibres have felted the bright pink has shown through the Wensleydale to give subtle colouration. I designed it with flowers for the exterior and I wanted those to be subtle too and not have bright pink showing.

I made a Blue Faced Leicester sandwich pre-felt i.e. Wensleydale fibres, then Blue Faced Leicester, then more Wensleydale and some milk protein. It’s given me the same colour in the flowers and I’m very pleased with them. I hand stitched the flowers on after felting and there are baby pink seed beads in the centres.

Pod 2 – part two

I’m loving the texture on this pod but I’m not entirely happy with it. Here it is drying.

When I finished felting all the tails were sticking straight out like spikes and it looked quite ridiculous so I pinned each of the tails down to allow them to dry in more of a curl shape. It seems to have worked too.

You can see all the lustrous yarn felted into the inside but overall I am disappointed. I’m not sure if I need to change the three circular openings and I definitely want to put something shiny inside the pod. All suggestions for this very welcome. But I’m going to leave you with a picture of some fabulous texture.

Pod 2 – part one

I’ve several ideas for pods rattling around in my head but then I decided to make this one instead.

I took lots of bashed around wool scraps

Made quite a lot of these – 40 in total but at least being small they didn’t take too long to make.

Took more of the scrappy fibres, carded them and then laid it all out

Decided it needed more and started to lay on Teeswater and BFL curls.

Thought I’d finished, then went back and added more curls! It’s drying now so photos of finished item coming soon.

Pink

The intention was to put at least three lots of fibres through this dyebath with the result that each successive batch would be paler as the dye became exhausted. It probably would have worked too, if I hadn’t boiled the bath dry. Instead the pink got stronger and it’s not a favourite shade with me. Oh well, time to reach for the carders I guess. Sometimes I wonder why I bother, I’m not sure that me and dyeing is a natural match.

Feeling blue

No, I’m not down but I do seem to have done quite a lot of work in blue recently not least of which is the cushion below. It’s a wonderful mix of warm and cold blues onto a white background.

I’ve incorporated wool roving, turquoise Teeswater curls, bits of crystal organza and turquoise and white silk fibres.

After felting I’ve also added some areas of stitch using a loose french knot in: ice blue, teal, navy turquoise and sea green. It’s an envelope style cushion and the back is plain white.

My fibre of choice? Blue Faced Leicester of course!

Didn’t quite work out

I decided to make an all in one envelope cushion in Blue Faced Leicester fibres and set to with a will. I began by making pre-felts in 5 different colours and influenced by folk art was thinking of stylised trees and flowers.

As you can see, the laying out went well. The background was worked to pre-felt stage and my trees and flowers laid out.

I was very happy with it at this stage and it looks quite fine. As it’s a cushion it needs to be well felted and I knew that pre-felts can sometimes appear to ‘bleed’ so I was working with quite firm pre-felts. Even so, it’s really not a good finish.

The white has really come up through the colours as expected but hasn’t given me quite such a pastel finish as I’d hoped for. What really ruins it for me is the ‘bleeding’ on the black pre-felt so this is now destined to be a sample. It did lead me to further experimentation with pre-felts and I can push them much further than I’d thought and still successfully felt them together. We live and learn.