Reminds me of rust

I love rust, the colours and the textures. Fishing boats with mixtures of peeling paint and rust are my absolute favourites and it was this I had in mind when I was laying out the fibres for this little notebook.

The reds, oranges and browns are also quite autumnal so I used a leaf design on the front in nuno felted organza.Th process began by stitching into the fabric before it was laid on the fibres. At the pre-felt stage I stopped and added some extra stitching and then added more once felting was complete.

Extra texture is supplied by hand dyed Teeswater curls in turquoise, yellow and brown. There’s also space dyed roving and some silk fibres on a merino base.  Using organza in nuno felting gives scrummy textures, much bigger than using natural fabrics.

Not sure I’m going to be able to convince myself to sell this one. If you’d like to make your own I’m running a workshop on Saturday 22nd October in which you’ll make an A5 sized cover.It’s one of my favourite workshops and the notebooks make great presents which can be used year after year.

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.

Something a bit different?

This seems like something different to what I normally produce but perhaps you won’t think so. Inspired by the glass and rusty nail ring I made two days ago, I thought it time to get on and use this rusty heart which has been awaiting my attention for Oh so long!

Originally it was intended to hold fat balls for the birds but the wind was always ripping it off the tree, I tired of hunting for it in the shrubs and set it aside to do something with. It’s been set aside for about a year but yesterday was the day I had an idea. I’ve lots of felt balls (waiting!), a rusty bell garland (also waiting! it was a new year bargain), a surplus bird (waiting! it was a sample from a commission), some newly died rug yarn and some leftover Teeswater curls.

I cut up the garland and hung it from the heart doubling the overall length. Somehow, just doing that makes it feel more of a statement art piece. Rust is orange / brown in colour so looks perfect with blue and I had some turquoise blue rug yarn. Silently thanking Yvonne for the suggestion to put some weaving in the heart, I used the rug yarn to warp up the shoulders and then wove the Teeswater curls through it. A few curls were tied on but I haven’t made the weaving solid as I want it to have holes and texture. Not sure if I should add some yarns through here, too just to give even more texture – opinions?

The bird was way too brown so I sat and couched on a fancy yarn in turquoise in my favourite flowing scroll shapes. Blue cap, throat and eyes completed the bird which I then needed to attach to the heart. The bird is too solid to push the spike into so I covered the spike base with an unfinished brooch layer (yes, it was waiting!), glued on some balls to cover the spike and glued the bird to the balls. Sort of looks like it’s on a nest of blue eggs doesn’t it?

I attached three blue balls to the bells below the heart and was very happy to find a turquoise ball the perfect size for the hole at the top. Sometimes, it’s just meant to be. I’d like to put this in the garden but we’re in a very windy spot and it just wouldn’t survive so for now it will hang in the dining room as soon as I get a ceiling hook.

Masses of fun at Masham

I really enjoyed our trip to the Masham Sheep Fair this weekend. It’s possible the family are getting a little tired of the annual sheep gazing but I just love it. I’ll have to find a friend to accompany me next year I think.

On arrival my first stop was the fleece tent where I bought a fleece from a Whitefaced Woodland sheep. I have felted with this fibre before and it’s quite soft for a hill breed and makes good felt. It also dyes well. Then off we went to have a look round the pens in the market square.

So much lovely fibre, shame it’s still on the sheep. We stopped by the old school house to watch the spinning demonstrations, wandered around the market, bumped into other felters and then ….. went back and bought a second fleece, a Teeswater fleece this time, beautiful lustre and grogeous curls.

Of course, I couldn’t miss the sheep races and just for once, I won! In one race the sheep refused to finish and raced back to the start instead. On the final race I bet on “the black sheep is in white” (meaning white ribbon). It had to be the black sheep for me, couldn’t resist the name and I couldn’t believe my luck when it won.

Even though I listen to it each year I never get bored with the sheep show. It’s educational and very entertaining plus this year they highlighted a campaign to get wool at the olympics (not as an entrant you understand). I’ve signed the petition, I hope you will too. Britain has more sheep breeds than any other country in the world, it’s a heritage we should be proud of and show off whenever we have the chance and help the farmers to get a better deal.