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?
Earlier in the week I ran an introduction to nuno workshop. Nuno is a wet felting technique where fabric and wool fibres are bonded together through the felting process. We worked across a range of fabrics each of which gives a different textured finish.
The pink fabric is a synthetic which is harder to work with but gives lovely big crinkles in texture. The less fibre that passes through the fabric the larger the crinkles. Next to that is a silk which in addition to giving texture also adds shine. Bottom left is on cotton muslin with the outline of a pre felt showing through and the final sample is on my personal favourite, silk chiffon.
You can see the muslin has far more crinkles (but smaller) than the synthetic and in the sample above on silk chiffon you can see it’s a smoother finish still. The black circles are more silk chiffon added to the fibre side to make it truly double sided. Nuno is a very interesting technique and is a favourite way of working for me.
Saturdays workshop was short scarves and fingerless mittens using nuno techniques. A couple of people didn’t make it but a big thank you to those who did. And the reason? – snow. I’ve never had a problem with snow affecting workshops pre-Christmas before but although there wasn’t more than an inch where I live, it wasn’t so for everyone. Given how cold they’re forecasting the weather to be this week it seems scarves and fingerless mittens were the right things to be making – well timed indeed.
The scarves are long enough to be tied around the neck but you can see the blue one had a slit cut into it to form a hole, which allows the scarf to be fastened by threading through itself. We used cotton muslin and merino fibres and finished with silk fibre decoration. If you can’t see the silk it’s because it tends not to shine whilst still wet.
The mittens are silk chiffon with merino wool and silk decoration. With the muslin you get a larger texture than with the silk chiffon. I thought it would be useful for people to work with two fabrics to understand the different effects that using different fabrics gives to nuno felt. Didn’t they do well?
My friend Kate was naughty recently when she kept her birthday secret but I decided to make her a belated birthday present anyway. Kate is a keen and talented gardener and after seeing photos of the garden on her blog I decided to use that for my inspiration.
I thought it was also an opportunity to try out a new design idea for a neck warmer or short scarf. I carded together yellow, blue and green fibres which I laid out over white silk chiffon. Between the silk chiffon and the fibres I trapped a number of flowers. The flowers are the recycling element which I know Kate will apprecate as they came from an old net curtain. I spent hours one weekend (to bewildered looks from Hubby) cutting out all the flowers before I threw the remainder away as it was damaged.
The scarf is floral on one side and coloured on the other. I was hoping Kate would be pleased with her pressie but I needn’t have worried for she seemed delighted when I handed it over.
I’m now left wondering whether to make more in this style. The floral theme with the recycling element appeals to me but I’m not sure if it would be everyones cup of tea. Thoughts?
Occasionally I run felt making workshops for Sedbergh Community Development Council up in Kirby Lonsdale. The pictures below are from the lattice scarf workshop I think they all look lovely and wearable.
I also ran a felt for Christmas workshop but for some strange reason didn’t get any decent photos. However I was very pleased to receive the following feedback
Kathrine said “Just a quick message to say thank you so much for such an enjoyable and inspiring day. I have really wanted to do felting for ages and your workshop today has wetted my appetite for doing it even more, I just loved working with the wools and threads, you really gave us a wonderful day, thank you so much!”
Kirsty said “Thanks for a great workshop today. Everyone at home was impressed with what I had produced!”
How very kind of people to let me know they’ve enjoyed the workshops. 🙂