Thursday, September 21, 2006

Felting Crazy....

I find that my enthusiasm for felting is never constant. Once I get into it I love and will felt for days on end, turning out new things and trying new techniques, but then eventually my enthusiasm ebbs away and I find myself re-discovering knitting or some other fibre based craft. When I got my drum carded I was banned from felting in the house, due to bits of wool top ending up everywhere, so I set up a studio in the garage, and felted like I have never felted before. It was great to have a space that I didn't need to clear at the end of the night so the family can eat breakfast at the table in the morning. Unfortunately the garage started to fill up with stuff, as garages do and the felting dried up. Well, last Friday I went on a workshop to learn how to make felt hats. I will write a post about the workshop soon, when I can get a photograph of me wearing my hat that I actually like. At the workshop there was some examples of felted garments which got me all inspired, so I have cleared a space in the garage and begun felting once again. Here are some of the results...

The waistcoat is made of alpaca felted onto cotton muslin, with sections of tussah silk on top and a lace trim felted on the bottom. The alpaca was placed randomly on the cotton giving gaps in some areas (not intentional, but I like the finished result). I originally felted this as a tube, but it ended up far too small, so I cut it open then felted a strip of white merino wool on to some lace which I sewed on to create the front panel. I then cut the arm holes. Once I was happy with the waistcoat I dyed it with some acid dye. The wool dyed beautifully, but of course the cotton and lace stayed white so I dyed these orange with some procion dye. I finished the waistcoat off with a large wooden button. I am quite pleased with the result, considering I wasn't really sure what I was doing when I embarked upon the project. I'm just not sure when I will get to wear it. The best thing is it's got me thinking and my head is full of ideas to try out.

These cuffs where developed as a result of the waistcoat, I'm selling them on ebay at the moment- vintage cuffs . I have been busy today playing around with ideas for more cuffs and vintage style scarves. Don't you just love it when you have more ideas than time!!!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Felted Scarf

I had some needle felted fabric I bought with the intention of making a felt rug. But at the moment I haven't the space to undertake such a large project, so I thought I'd have a play with some of the needle felt. I tie dyed some strips and and then found some hand dyed wensleydale curls in my stash that matched. So I needle felted these on to make a fringe. I was pleased with the first results so I thought I'd make some more. I spent ages on the internet trying to find some where that sells wensleydale fleeces un-combed. I eventually found the wensleydale longwool sheep shop which is only an hours drive from us in the Yorkshire dales. We went at the weekend and made a day out of it. The shop is lovely, some great yarns and knitting kits. They also have beautiful little sheepskin boots for children. I might have to go back there when I do my Christmas shopping. I was very good and only bought 1.5 kilos of unwashed fleece, had I been on my own I think I would of come away with a little selection of yarn as well. Here is the fleece, as it came, then after a wash!

When I made some more scarves, I needle felted the wool on first, then dyed the scarf. This works better as the dyeing and washing process felts the wool a bit more, securing the curls better. I'm not sure about the colours of the green and brown ones. I've already overdyed them once!! Do you like my form-o-matic dress form, it's another charity shop find. You put it together using split pins, there are different holes for different sizes so you can make the form up to your own dimensions, very clever!!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Charity shop finds...

I'm afraid I haven't been very productive these last few weeks. I have made some felted scarves which I will post tomorrow.

I have been rummaging around our local charity shops though, and managed a few good buys. The fabric was a pair of curtains I picked up at a bargain price, I'm planning to make some bags with it. Thought I might make a knitting bag and matching needle case and some tote bags.

The yarn is 100% wool, I love the colour, I'm still thinking about what I can knit with it. I also picked up a selection of old knitting patterns. My daughter wants me to crochet the poncho for her (but she's not very impressed with the colours in the picture) . I'm also keen to knit some socks, I managed to knit some fingerless mits from the alterknits book. So I think I am ready to tackle socks. Just got to finish my pink poncho first, which I have not touched since posting it on here a few weeks ago. I need to get more knitting needles, so I can have many knitting projects on the go at once!! Then I can pick and choose as the mood takes me. Well I'm off now to make a pig for my daughter.