Fourth Quarter Challenge

Fourth Quarter Challenge

How did you get on with saving all your bits of threads, yarns and unravellings ready for this Quarter’s Challenge? In case you missed it, I gave a heads up earlier this year that the challenge for this quarter would be to use things people* usually throw away, such as little snippings of sewing or embroidery thread, the last few inches of yarn or those annoying bits of unravelled thread which get everywhere when you tear fabric. (*Not fibre people apparently, I realised pretty much all of us save every little scrap!)

I made a few pieces to help get the ideas flowing, this first piece is some unravelled knitting with some wispy layers of Merino. I’m not sure of the wool content of the yarn, though I think it’s possibly 40% ‘British Wool’. I just put the tangle of yarn down on my netting, then added the wispy layers on top (working upside down/back to front):

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis next piece also uses some unravelled knitting. I made some handspun yarn earlier this year, then knitted a little square. It was too small and chunky to do anything with, so I unravelled it. Using the same Merino as above, I laid out two layers, then pulled apart some lengths of the yarn. Where it was extra loose, I teased it apart. Once the top was covered, I felted it:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI used the golden tassley fringe of a charity shop scarf for this next piece. I’ve used bits of this scarf before, a weird thin pinky fabric, which had loose soy-like fibre trapped between layers in parts. I’m not exactly sure  what the wool I used with it was, it was from a Botany Lap Waste bag from World of Wool, it feels like fine Merino with a tiny bit of silk in. I laid out the tassel strip, added some wisps of wool, rolled it up and placed on top of a couple of layers of the Merino ‘blend’:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI used the same Merino wool blend as the base for this next piece, which is just embellished with lengths of embroidery thread and floss:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis piece is also embellished with emroidery threads and floss. The top part is untwisted strands of cotton perle 5. The multi coloured lengths on the right side are from one multi length of floss. Most of the rest is single strands of floss, but over on the left I used some untwisted thread with the fibres fanned out, and also balled up some little pieces of floss.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI used some threads from my tub of ‘mixed threads and unravellings’ for this next piece. I spindle-spun some wool also from the Botanly lap waste, which felt like 23 mic natural Merino, with the threads, just picking up bits, teasing them out a bit and spinning them with the wool. I left it on the spindle overnight, then let it unwind/loosen before using it. I used the finer Merino ‘blend’ as a base, then added lengths of the thread-yarn on to the top and felted:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThese next two pieces were made with a wool I hadn’t used before, Charollais. I got the tops from WoW fairly recently then forgot about them. It makes really spongey felt. For this first one, I just got a handful from the same tub of ‘mixed threads and unravellings’  I used on the previous piece, and put them on top of two layers of Charollais:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis next piece was laid out the same, except I used bits from my ‘threadbare scarves and fabric pieces’ tub. I just ‘sprinkled’ them on top, then felted.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASo now you’ve seen a few simple ways of the scrap pieces being used, get your thinking caps on, get out all your tubs of leftover threads, yarns and unravellings, and come up with some creative ways of using your ‘free’ embellishment fibres!

21 thoughts on “Fourth Quarter Challenge

  1. You’ve shown some great examples here Zed, I particularly like your threadbare scarves and scraps of fabric. I’ve been saving my “bits” up for this challenge and its amazing how much I’ve accumulated! I’m thinking along the lines of maybe something 3D and heavily embellished.

  2. They are all interesting. So many possibilities. I especially like the second and last ones. Now what will you do with these samples?

    1. Thanks, Marilyn 🙂
      I’m wondering how different those last two would be with Merino. I think most of these will stay as reference samples. At least until I think they’ll be perfect for some other project!

  3. 2 and 6 are my favourites. I have some sari silk threads and at the last guild meeting the teacher of the dye class the from the week before saved me all the knots they cut off the wool dye samples. So I have some really cool thread balls to play with.

    1. I think they’re my favourites too, Ann 🙂
      I completely forgot I have some sari silk thread yarn somewhere! Thanks for reminding me, and I do have some sari ribbon too thick to felt which i started to de-thread, I’ll have to look for those. Dyed knots sound interesting!

  4. Great challenge Zed! I have tons of off cut machine threads sitting behind my sewing machine. I will have to see if I can use those for something. I like that first sample, not sure what I would do with that but I love the texture of it.

    1. Thanks, Ruth 🙂
      I wasn’t sure how that one would turn out, but thought I’d try something different with the wisps, rather than just decoration on thicker felt. I’m thinking it’d make a nice brooch if used on white Merino. I bet you have nicer machine thread off cuts than I do!

  5. Most of my stuff is packed up pending my move – will have to search through what I brought with me for some scraps – can’t wait to see what everyone makes

  6. I really like the one with embroidery thread/floss. And the last one with all the bits of scarves. Great inspiration, thanks!

    1. Ha, ha, I had aswell, I thought ‘2?’ and had to go through a couple of times, I’d forgotten about the white one!
      Thanks a lot 🙂

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