Present For My Mum

Present For My Mum

A few weeks ago, my mum was talking about getting her bedroom redecorated. I’d been struggling to think of what to get her for her birthday, so this gave me an opportunity. I casually asked about the colours and she said she wasn’t sure because she wanted to match the paint to the wallpaper she was having on one wall, luckily, she knew what the wallpaper was called, so after she left, I looked it up:

ella wallpaper biggerMy first thought was to try to convince her to have the nice blue and brown version! But, I resisted and downloaded the picture. Then I opened it in Photoshop and tried to pick out all the colours and made an image with a few stripes in the various shades.

ella wallpaper shadesThen I printed out the sample and stripes and started to plan a wall hanging for her new room. I wanted something soft, texturey, not too neat. ‘Raggy’ is the best word to describe what I was after, I think. I spent a couple of days making blended batts in the shades I wanted. Then I spent a few days making twists of wool and fibres and also spun some ‘arty’ yarns for the piece. Unfortunately none of the photos I took came out  🙁  but when I’d finished making them there were at least 150 lengths of wool, commercial art yarns and fibres twisted or spun together. I laid out a couple of layers of wool tops, then carefully added all the twists where I wanted them. I had to take my table outside to felt it because it was so big and I knew I’d make a mess.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is a close up of it with the netting on:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd a peek under the netting

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt didn’t take as long as I thought it might for it to felt, probably because it took so long to make sure it was all thoroughly wetted! This is when it was all wet down and starting to felt.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd this is the finished piece:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI knew as soon as it was dried that my mum would want it as some kind of rug/mat and the first thing she said was ‘Oh, this is going on top of my drawers, it’ll be perfect.’ Some of the yarns I made were by plying handspun merino with commercial yarns, but mostly I just plied half thick, half thin merino together. Closer view of the middle:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHere are some commercial boucle yarns, one twisted in on the left and the one I laid on top is mohair from Marilyn, I think. There are a couple of my yarns in there too:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI’d forgotten I used some organza and cotton gauze in the twists too, you can just see a bit of organza here:


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI thought a bit of colour might make a change from all the natural wools and fibres this week 🙂

36 thoughts on “Present For My Mum

  1. Looks great zed, love all the textures from your beautiful yarns and the colours are spot on. Glad your mum liked it even though she saw a diiferent purpose for it than you had intended! 🙂

    1. Thanks, Judith 🙂
      As long as it’s appreciated and used, I’m happy 🙂

    1. Such a lovely present for your Mum! And I can understand her not wanting to walk on it.
      You’ve achieved an amazing number of different textures in your work.

    2. Thanks, Cathy 🙂
      I wouldn’t have been surprised if she’d wanted it for a bath mat, we used to have something similar in the 70’s 🙂

    3. Thanks, Ann 🙂
      Luckily, I never got really good at spinning so I can still make ‘art yarns’ 🙂

  2. What a thoughtful gift (and a great idea you way you chose the colours from the wallpaper). I like the raggedy finish and all the different textures you’ve used. Presi job well done!

  3. I’m not a pink girl but I like the mix of pinks and grays together. Glad you’re mom liked it and has a purpose for it. It’s always nice to have your gifts appreciated. I love all the different textures too. I think if you made some in different color ways that people would buy them either as wall hangings or to use as your mom suggested.

    1. Thanks, Ruth 🙂
      Yeah, it’s really nice when hand made gifts are appreciated. I thought about making some to sell, but it took so long with all the spinning and twisting etc, maybe when I have a whole week spare I’ll do another 🙂

  4. The piece is beautiful Zed. I had to smile when I saw the wallpaper because my Mom had a similar pattern with a dark green background in her dining room. It’s wonderful you were able to coordinate the colors and make the art yarn to give it added texture. I love the texture. I’m glad she decided on a table scarf rather than a rug to walk on it. 😉

    1. Thanks, Marilyn 🙂
      I have such a collection of commercial yarns I can always find some to match!

    1. Thanks, Liz 🙂
      That’s how I pictured it too. I still have masses of pink left, maybe I’ll use one of Ruth’s ideas and combine it with some colour I wouldn’t normally, like green, see what I can come up with!

  5. I’m not really one for pinks but this is sooo pretty, Zed! How could you have thought about putting it under feet? I’m glad your mum decided otherwise 🙂

    1. Thanks, Leonor 🙂
      I think it would have been purely decorative, but I’m glad she wants to use it on a dresser.

  6. Great project! Love the colors, the textures, the raggedy edges. As soon as I saw it, I thought “table runner”. I might have to try something similar for my dining room table. How many layers of fiber did you lay down? Did all layers go in the same direction or were they criss-crossed? I’m a beginner of wet felting and trying to learn more.

    1. Thanks Gail 🙂
      I’m trying to remember. It was either 2 or 3 layers. I remember flipping the piece over, either because I had the top layer running top to bottom, when I wanted it left to right, or to add a layer to the bottom. I think I added a 3rd layer and flipped it back. I pretty much always do each layer at 90 degrees to the previous layer.

  7. Or, maybe I started with 3 and thought I needed 4. I think that’s more likely, and I looked at a photo of the back, and the tops are running vertically, along the long side. If I had 3 layers, the top would be vertical too, and I don’t think I’d do that with the way the twists lie.

  8. Hello Zed. I absolutely love the pressie you made for your MUM.. The table rug is very creative and the the colors are fantastic. I also left a comment on your blog. Smile. Hugs Judy

    1. Thanks, Judy 🙂
      I just heard yesterday that her room is finished now, so hopefully it’s being used 🙂

  9. Love the layout of this piece Zed, and the art-yarns are stunning, I wish I had more time to try and create all the lovely ideas I see on the web. Very inspiring.

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