Colour change

You start with a little bit of Wensleydale woolliness

Then you add a little dye and cook in the steamer. It’s really simple but I don’t like the smell of the dye and had to have the door open – so cold! Remove excess water with one of these.

Yes, I know it’s called a salad spinner but in my house it’s used as a wool spinner to rid the fleece of excess water and it works really well on small amounts. Much better than leaving it dripping, or damping with a towel as less likely to felt in the process. A small handle but it spins very quickly and forces the fleece against the walls allowing the water to drain away – look.

It looks so lovely now.

My new, temporary kitchen decoration.

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.