Naturals and Dyes

I laid this wall hanging out about a week or so before I got time to felt it, and I think it ended up being ‘upside down’. I wrote down the wools and fibres I used as I laid it out, but I think I forgot a few! Also, I added a few locks to the bottom just before I felted it, but I’m certain that was originally the top:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI added some pieces of hand-spun yarn I’d made mostly from bits left over from carding, I spun them quite thickly, and didn’t do anything with them after wards, just wound them onto card. This one is on the row of white Chubut, a ‘new’ to me wool I got from wollknoll, which felts so nicely and looks really nice too.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThese are some cotton fibres: cotton top, cotton fibre and cotton nepps on carded Portuguese Merino, with some soy staple and carded Gotland.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI’ve been dyeing some cellulose fibres recently too for taking to the Makefest at the Science and Industry Museum. I’m getting the hand of it now, but I don’t think my first lot of fibres turned out as nice as I’d like. I did some Viscose fibre recently, and this turned out really nice. These are some of the reds, oranges and yellows:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd some yellows, greens, blues and purples:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI don’t like the way dyeing cellulose fibres wastes so much water with the rinsing, but it is easier for me to do large amounts than it is with acid dyes, not that I had much choice, even mixing up just 500ml each of red, yellow, blue and black was more than enough to dye about 200g of fibre and I had to look for other things to dye so as not to waste it :) I tried dyeing Kapok fibre too, that stuff is practically impossible to wet, it seems to form a ‘skin’ around itself, so dyeing gave some interesting results as it behaved the same way, and when the fibre was separated, the centre wasn’t dyed. This is some rose and lilac coloured kapok:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Posted in Dyeing, natural wools, Wet Felting | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Felting, Weaving and Teaching

I had a fairly productive week I made 4 cup cozies.  They need their buttons and elastic loops but I should get that done this week. I need to sort out if they are narrow enough to go through the handle on a coffee mug. If they don’t fit I will make them for travel mugs without handles.

cup cozies

Here are some close up pictures. The top two have throwsters silk waste. The bottom left is a silk scarf and the right is cotton cheesecloth.

cozies close up

I also got the inklette loom warped to make a strap.

incle loom

The weaving is not great but it is getting better as I go.

ingle weaving

Lastly I had t very nice ladies to may studio to learn to make nuno felt scarves. As usual I was busy with the students and forgot to take pictures until the end.

nuno finished scarves nuno scarves close up

 

Posted in Classes, Nuno Felting, Scarves, Weaving, Wet Felting | Tagged , , , , , | 9 Comments

New Slippers for Hubby

I made a couple of pairs of slippers about a year ago using the shape of slippers that Nada showed in this tutorial.  One pair for me and one pair for hubby. My pair are still doing fine. Slightly worn on the bottom but they don’t look like this:

Old Slippers

This is what is left of Hubby’s pair. Sad, isn’t it? I had used spray on Plasti-Dip to coat the bottom but he wore that off in no time. So he needed a new pair. And I decided to buy some leather soles for them this time.

Wool and Cheese Cloth

He chose green for his slippers. I used the lighter green for the inner layers and the batts for the outer layers. The white is cheese cloth that I add in the middle layers for strength and the lower right blob of fabric is dyed cheese cloth to put on the outside.

Covering the Resist with Inner Layers of Wool

Here are the resists partially covered with the lighter green wool.

Adding a Layer of Cheese Cloth

And then I added the cheese cloth after two layers of light green.

Cheese Cloth Layer

I just cut a rectangle and then fold the edges over.

Both Sides Covered with Cheese Cloth

And I put it on both sides of the inner two layers of wool.

Adding the Outer Layers of Wool

Then I added the darker green wool. I did a total of 6 layers with the last layer on the sole made extra thick.

Adding the Cheese Cloth Embellishments

And then I added the dyed cheese cloth over the toes. This resist is easy to use because you can really tell which side is up or down and which is the right and left one. I then felted, fulled and shaped the slippers.

Somerset Designs Slipper Soles

Then I ordered the leather slipper soles. These are Somerset Designs. The first pair I ordered were too small. He wears size 11 so I thought 11″ would work. So I had to order another pair in the largest size which is 12″. Luckily, the 11″ pair fit my slippers and now I’m sure my pair will last a really long time. Hubby was unhappy that his slippers had to wait and I had new soles on mine first.

Inside of the Slipper Soles

Here’s what the inside looks like. I’m sure this part is supposed to be against your foot but it really makes these slippers really cushy!

Edge with Needle Holes

These already have holes punched for stitching to the slipper.

I used small safety pins to hold the sole in place while I was stitching. I then used a tapestry needle (blunt end) and #5 perle cotton in brown to attach the soles.

And here is the result. I think the soles will really last much longer and hopefully, I won’t be making another pair next year but these will last several years instead.

Wearing His New Slippers

And he had to put them on immediately. He’s very pleased. So if you have considered using the leather slipper soles, give them a try. They are easy to attach. Just remember to get them a bit bigger than you think you need.

 

 

Posted in Wet Felting | Tagged , | 22 Comments

Gone Fishing…

I don’t know if its spring or summer or something in the creative cosmic atmosphere, but it seems fish have become a theme for art lately.

Cathy (Luvswool) and I got together before she went to her Colorado residency and I went to Florida a few weeks back.  We wanted to do something different together.  We remembered the cool fish Galina ( Felicity) did a while back on  her blog and decided to try that. (Thanks for the inspiration Galina!)

We each made our resists beforehand.  Of course, we were busy chatting while deciding on colors.  It took a bit before we got started.

Cathy chose yellow and blue.  I went with my teal (I have sooo much) and purple.

2015-06-24 13.32.28

We each used three layers (one layer of domestic 56 batt in between) and tried to get the fish mouth like Galina had hers not too successfully.  I guess we need practice. We also used gems for eyes.

I made separate prefelt for fins and tail.

When I got to the prefelt stage on my fish, I cut out and attached the tail and fins. I couldn’t find the resists for my gills when it came time to take the resists out.

2015-05-20 13.27.53 2015-05-20 13.28.20

We weren’t trying to make exact fish, but have fun coming up with our own fantasy fish.

IMG_1425 IMG_1424 IMG_1423

Cathy did get the gill resist out, but it ended up too wide, so she embroidered it to close it up.  She also added some roving around the eye and needlefelted it to get it to stay.

IMG_1426 IMG_1427

I decided to work on another fish that week and ended up with two more just experimenting with colors and embellishments. I managed to get gills on the second one. I also added bottom fins by needlefelting them on. The eyes were hard to get even on each side. I got a little better at the eyes, but they’re still not perfect.

2015-05-20 15.53.05

2015-05-20 15.51.32 2015-05-21 14.49.53

2015-05-21 14.41.21

2015-05-21 14.38.37

2015-06-24 13.27.29 2015-06-24 13.28.50

I’m not sure how I’ll display them.  I originally thought I hang them in the bathroom, but I don’t think my husband would approve of flying fish.

Have you done any summer or fish themed projects?

 

 

Posted in Wet Felting | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

Silk Cocoon

I’ve been re-organising my supplies lately, and one of the things I did was put my dyed silk products into one box, and my natural undyed silk supplies in another. While I was doing this I had an idea to make a silky cocoon type pod. I had a look on google images and liked the look of ones which were more fibrey, ‘scruffy’ looking. So I started by really piling the silk on to my resist. I added a couple of bunched up silk hankies, a silk hankie I’d drafted into roving, silk throwster’s waste, schappe silk from wollknoll, different types of silk noil, some coccon strippings. I can’t find my undyed silk carrier rods, but I did find a little bag of ‘fluff’ I’d carded from silk carrier rod scraps a few years ago, so I put that on too. I did a layer of 18.5 Mic  Merino on top of the silk, then on one side I lay lengths of white pencil roving. I used 23 Mic Merino for the second layer, and then 2 layers of English 56s. I do like the way it turned out, but I didn’t expect it to be so ‘neat’!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI thought with all the silk I’d piled on it’d be a lot more fibrey, but it does have nice texture and structure and there’s a lot of different shades.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is a closer look at some texture:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd this is some of the throwster’s waste:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI wondered if some of the texture and features would show up more with a light inside, so I used a bit of sewing thread to attach it to a ceiling light to see:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYou can definitely see more, and here you can see the ridges from the pencil roving better:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt looks quite creepy with the light in, I think :)

Posted in Silk, Wet Felting | Tagged , , , , | 22 Comments

More Carding and a Surprise.

My friend Mary came over to get some mohair carded. We mixed it with some merino to make it easer for her to spin later.  I have never done mohair before. It was very fluffy. It added a lot of volume to the batts.

mary carding carding mohair

This is the batt.  It is not as compact as a straight merino batt. If you wanted it more blended you would split the batt into layers and put it through it again.

mohair batt

She also had some left over bits from other projects that we carded together.

mixed colour batt mixed colour batt 2

mixed colour batt 3

Now for the surprise. My son came in from feeding the bottle lambs there lunch with a very noisy bucket.

chicks in a bucket

We have a rogue chicken and she hatched 11 chicks in a hidden nest in the barn. They are now in a box with  water that they splashed everywhere and some food that tastes best if you stand in it.

chicks in a box 1

It will be interesting to see how they turn out. They will get a pen next to the older chicks today. They can’t be left with mom or they will not survive. Between the barn cats and the wild predators they all disappear when we have let them try to raise them.

Posted in Fiber Preparation, Sheep Farming, Wool | Tagged , , , | 18 Comments

All Sewn Up

I showed you various stages of these pomegranates here and here. I had quite a bit of waiting time in the last couple of weeks so I finished stitching, adding some leaves and adding a bit more stitching to the pomegranates.

Tracing of Pomegranates

The first thing I had to do was figure out where I wanted the leaves to go. So I took a couple of pieces of tracing paper, traced the pomegranates and drew in some leaves. I did have a photo of what pomegranate leaves looked like to help me with my leaf shapes.

Printed and Stitched Pomegranates

And here is the finished piece. The piece is done mainly with stem stitch and all the thread is wool. I  stitched 3 times around some of the pomegranates to make them more prominent.

Hand Stitched Pomegranates by Ruth Lane

I didn’t add any more of the seed stitches in the middle.

Close Up of Pomegranate Stitching

You can see that the pomegranate on the left in the foreground has a thicker outline. That is actually 3 rows of stem stitch next to each other. The green wool thread was some that I dyed with natural dyes a couple of years ago. And I didn’t try to transfer the leaf design on to the wool, I just looked at my pattern and stitched it by eye. I have never found a really good way to transfer a pattern on to wool and it didn’t matter if the leaves were exactly the same as my sketch.

Now I just have to figure out how to finish the piece. The wool is cut unevenly on the left side and some of the sides were already blanket stitched. What do you think? How would you finish it?

 

Posted in Stitching | Tagged , | 22 Comments