Karakul

I was hoping to get some time for felting yesterday, but I had vertigo and felt rotten so I’m posting some pieces I made a few weeks ago. I got two different Karakul batts from wollknoll, one is just Karakul and the other is a Karakul and Merino blend. Just be warned if you google Karakul, you’ll probably get some pretty awful photos of dead lambs because their skin is used to make hats and coats because their wool is black and silky soft when they are born, and they don’t often make it that far so there’s quite a few photos of dead sheep too. This wool is sheared the usual way though. It is double coated and very wiry, it reminds me a lot of a Cairn Terrier my friend had when we were kids:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI used some dyed silvery flax with the Karakul, spreading it thinly across the top and bottom, and laid it  vertically in the centre:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt looked like it was just sitting on the surface:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe contrast of the ‘dry’ looking Karakul and shiny flax, made the flax look like it was still wet:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe Karakul and Merino looked and felted  similarly, though less ‘openly’ or loosely and was a lighter shade:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Both of the batts had bits of VM in which looked like porridge oats or tiny cornflakes. A few of the batts I got had similar VM:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI used some crimped Viscose fibre with this:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is some Viscose which wasn’t teased apart much:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is a patch where the Viscose was teased apart a lot and laid on quite thickly:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd this is where the teased out Viscose was laid quite sparsely:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Posted in Other Fibers, Wet Felting | Tagged , , , , | 16 Comments

Second Quarter Challenge

This quarters challenge is using a photo to generate a colour palette to work with.  Often you have a photo that has colours that are really appealing but its not easy to pick out all the colours. There are some great palette generators on line. They can help you find all the colours in a picture.

Some generators only give you a few colours some give you a complete palette. I used my Easter soap picture to try them out. Some had a hard time with the yellow and the deep pink but generated nice palettes.

These first 2 are advertised to generate palettes from photos. The first is http://www.degraeve.com/color-palette/ It gives you 2 palettes from the picture but only 5 colours each. It gave me red for the pink and completely ignored the yellow.

scshot 1 crop

 

The second one I liked was http://www.palettefx.com/ It gives you a better range of colours and the colours were more accurate to the picture. The nice thing is  that if you click on any colour in the palette it gives you the compliment and the triad.

scshot 2 crop

I thought some people might like to break their pictures into colour and pattern to make a felt picture.  I tried a couple of cross stitch pattern generators.

This one http://www.pic2pat.com/index.en.html generates 19 possible cross stich patterns each one uses a different number of colours. It will generate a palette and pattern if you click on them.

scshot 3 crop

Than I tried this one http://stitchboard.com/pages/pattern/freePatternWizard.php It will make a beading, crochet, cross stich or knitting pattern. It has lots of options and if you join( it says it is free) you have even more options. I did it as a cross stitch pattern.

scshot 4 crop

I couldn’t find any for other kinds of stitching so I googled quilt pattern generator and found the Victoria and Albert museum. http://www.vam.ac.uk/microsites/quilts/patchwork  It creates a much more abstract picture. You can up load your own picture or you can use pictures from the museum. The thing I didn’t like is the colours are not  bright. The yellow is mustard and not sun yellow. 

scshot 5 crop

I hope that you find these useful and inspirational when you try this quarters challenge of using a picture to pick your palette for making a felt piece. Remember you don’t have to use all the colours in any palette and you could split it and use some in the felt and some in stitching or beading you add after the felting. Please show us what you do here: http://feltandfiberstudio.proboards.com/thread/2196/second-quarter-challenge-2015

 

Posted in Challenges, Design, Inspiration, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Stitching Pomegranates

I posted about this piece on my personal blog a while ago. I have added a bit more hand stitching since then but it is certainly going slowly. Mainly because I haven’t worked on it much. I have gotten out of the habit of hand stitching in my spare moments. I would like to get back to it so this is an effort to get started again.

Wool Blanket Dyed with Pomegranate Stamping

This is an old wool blanket that I used a halved pomegranate to stamp the wool with thickened red dye. I made this eons ago!

First Pomegranate Stitched

This is the first area where I added stitching. I am using seed stitches to emphasize the seeds in the pomegranate. I also added some stem stitch to several of the pomegranate edges. The thread I am using is lace weight wool that I dyed.

Stitching Pomegranate Seeds

Here’s the second pomegranate that I have started on. It still needs more seed stitching.

Closer View of Seed Stitches

Here’s a closer view. The stitches are pretty small. I haven’t decided what to do with this piece but I have some other parts of this wool blanket that coordinate with this one. I thought I might make a book cover but maybe I’ll combine the pieces to make a larger piece. Who knows. Right now I’m just trying to get in the stitching habit again. Do you have a hard time getting back into a technique you haven’t used for a while?

Oh and Happy April Fool’s Day! Hope you don’t have too many pranks played on you :)

Posted in Stitching | Tagged , | 14 Comments

Felt over Wire

A couple of years ago while thrift store shopping, I came across a cute little wire baby buggy.  I set it aside hoping for a reason to use it.

2015-03-09 15.48.48It is 5″H x 5″ L x 2.5″ W  (12.7 cm x 12.7 cm x 6.35 cm).

I made a resist with a 30% shrinkage rate added two layers of merino per side which I thought would be a nice thickness to cover the wire.

Her is the outside layer done and stretched over the form to dry.

2015-03-09 15.52.54There seemed to be plenty of extra felt around so I could turn it inside except for the very front of the buggy top.

I made the second layer  and inserted it inside.

2015-03-23 15.02.18That was a little tricky since it was a tight fit for my fingers so I used my trusty scoop and crochet hooks to get it in position.

It was a tight fit and there wasn’t enough felt to overlap the front of the buggy top.  I had planned to do a blanket stitch to join them but the cluster of wires on the top made it impossible to do that.

I wrapped the front with some roving I rolled into a rope, then basted the stitches together, but I didn’t like the way that looked. 2015-03-27 15.57.55

So I glued the layers together both on the top and sides then pulled out the basting.  Not a great plan either since I burned my fingers with the glue gun even though I was using a cuticle stick to push into place.  If I had more pink roving, I would have made a resist using more over the buggy top and perhaps made a double resist for inside and out in one piece. But I had to work with what I had.

For the inside, I placed a piece of cotton batting on the wire as a mattress.  Then I proceeded to wrap the wheels with white yarn and stitch on some lace around the bottom and top of the buggy.

top view   front view

side 2side view

I still have to clean it up a bit then I’ll send it off to my daughter in law for the baby’s room.  I thought it would be useful to store qtips or scissors, thermometer, etc. on her dresser.

Have you ever used a wire structure with felt?

Posted in Uncategorized, Wet Felting | Tagged , , , , , , | 18 Comments

First Quarter Challenge

I thought I would try blending some tints and shades for the First Quarter Colour Challenge. And yes, I did have to look back to Ruth’s post, I wanted to say ‘lights and shades’ :) I chose pink Merino because I have an abundance of it and didn’t really care if I messed it up and got something awful! I used ‘Hot Pink':

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI kept it simple, I blended 3 parts pink with 1 parts white, 2 each of pink and white, and 1 part pink with 3 parts white. The original is on the left:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI did the same thing with adding black:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI did start blending with my hand carders, but did a lot of it by hand. This is all the shades together:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThen I blended them all together on the drum carder with some black and white Viscose tops, white Bamboo tops and black Nylon tops to make a batt:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI might blend some of the pinks I have with some other colours to make them a bit more useable :)

Posted in Challenges | Tagged , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Carding some Wool and Making some Felted Soap

After I dyed my wool last week I had to recard it into batts. I have to do this because it became slightly felted during the rinsing process after dying. I have to rinse a lot more than some people because I have hard water. It doesn’t matter if I use a little dye for soft muted colour or lots of dye for strong bright colours.  To recard the fiber, I strip it down into thin ropes. I feed the ropes into the carder. I have a large electric carder but you can do this with a small hand operated drum carder too. I have in the past. I am sorry to say that yesterday I took a nice long video of the carder working but it has disappeared from my phone.  All I have are a few still shots.

Carder This is the carder and infeed table. They are in my nice new studio space. It is all by itself at the moment until I can get the rest of my stuff sorted and my husband can finish the electrical work.

wool in strips carder batt end

Here are the strips on the infeed table and the batt coming off onto the storage drum. I do feed the wool through twice as the first time it is still a bit stripy in density . I separate the batt into thin layers and feed it in again.  I end up with very nice batts.

finnished batts These are all a little less than 100grams/3.5ounses. I used them to make some felted soaps. I tear off a piece of batt and wrap it around the soap. I add a wool stripe or a piece of silk hanky and then pop them into the toe of a nylon. When I have a bunch ready I sit with an audio book and wet felt them all.

soap felted 2

Here they are all ready to go in their nice bright spring/Easter colours.

I am starting to feel like spring with the longer day light hours we are getting. it puts me more in a mood to be felting.  I would feel more  like spring if there wasn’t  still a couple of feet of snow on my lawn. I am however thankful I do not live in the Prince Edward Island on the east coast of Canada . They have had 16 feet of snow in the last two months the last being just a few days ago. I am sure they feel like spring will never come. Are you feeling like spring? Or perhaps you are in the southern hemisphere and are starting to feel like winter is coming?

Posted in Dyeing, Fiber Preparation, Uncategorized, Wet Felting | Tagged , , , | 14 Comments

Brighter Cat Toys and Making a Few Batts

Last week I showed you the roving I dyed with Rit dyes and this week, I made them into cat toys as I needed some brighter colors. I have shown how I made the cat toys here.

New Brighter Cat Toys

These definitely fit into the “brighter” category. I always think it is funny when people are choosing what color they want and they have a discussion on which color they think their cat will like. Really?

Blue Green Merino Fleece

I had also dyed some merino fleece so I decided a little drum carding was in order.

Set Up for Carding

Here’s my set up on the coffee table in front of the television. It’s a good activity at night when I’m zoning out in front of the “boob tube”. My mom used to call it that. You can see the dyed fiber on the far left. I picked and teased it apart by hand and ran it through the carder. I got two batts out of it.

Drum Carder

This is a slightly closer view of the carder. My hubbie got it for me for Christmas one year which was a big hit as you can imagine. It’s from Strauch Fiber Company and is very sturdy.

Olive Green Batts

I had some left over green mixed breed fiber so I decided to combine them to make them a bit more interesting. They are both in the olive-green shades although the one on the left is much more yellow.

Close Up of Batt

Here is a closer view of the mix of colors in one of the batts. I am trying to use up bits and pieces of wool so that I will use them so blending them into batts makes them much more interesting.

 

Posted in Fiber Preparation, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 11 Comments