2017 Second Quarter Challenge

2017 Second Quarter Challenge

At the beginning of this quarter, Ann had posted about this quarters challenge theme being early Celtic.


I thought a lot about it and had several ideas, but wasn’t sure I could pull them off.  One of them was a pod with spirals.  Lyn got to it before me, but of course as she said, everyone does things differently.  So, I did.

I had some Llama yarn I hand dyed years ago in several colors.  I decided to use that for the spirals.  I made a little bit larger pod than usual in order to accommodate the design.  I laid one layer of Merino on each side, then two layers of Corriedale and a final layer of Merino.  I felt this would give the pod some substance.  Here is the start of the topside design.

Full design wetted down.

Bottom (I ran out of turquoise so I used yellow.)   I had actually had a yellow spiral on the bottom, but forgot to flip it over before starting the topside design so it ended up being cut out.

I did a lot of rubbing to get the design to stay, but the Llama was not cooperating.   It was felting to itself and not the Merino.  Frustrated, I let it dry out then needle felted the design in place.  That did the trick, but the Llama shed everywhere and blurred the design.

I tried shaving and shipping tape it but wasn’t helping.  So, I grabbed my tweezers and embroidery scissors and sat for an hour pulling long hairs out of the design.  There is still more I could have pulled out but goal was to get the black to look black and set off the design.

Much better.

I kept looking at the pod thinking it was out of shape, but it finally occurred to me it was an optical illusion because of the design.

As for the Llama, I thought I had used it before and if I did I didn’t remember it being problematic.  I don’t think I’ll be using it again.

Have you done the challenge yet?  You can post your work on the forum any time, but we’ll be announcing the next challenge soon.

18 thoughts on “2017 Second Quarter Challenge

  1. I’m so glad you made your spiral pod! The design is terrific and spending an hour with the tweezers was well worth it – what a difference – it looks gorgeous. Yes, there is an optical illusion with the spirals – it’s weird isn’t it?
    It’s so frustrating to find that your wool isn’t felting in but you found a nifty solution so all’s well.

    1. Thanks Lyn! I was determined and it was worth the time to make it work. It is weird with the spiral illusion.

  2. A lot of work with felting needles, scissors and tweezers Marilyn, but it paid off. It looks lovely. I don’t think I’ve used Llama and think perhaps I’ll give it a miss. 🙂

    1. Thanks Judith! The Llama hair is very fine and almost acts like nylon it’s strong and stretchy. I imagine there is a good use for it just not decorating merino pods.

  3. Thanks Cathy! I was really happy with the design and glad I could finally make it work.

  4. Lovely spiral design and it sounds like a lot of effort to get that llama to work. I have felted with it before but found, like you, that it is very hairy.

    1. Thanks Ruth! Llama is indeed hairy. Its funny I didn’t notice that while working with it. But now I know better.

  5. Wonderfully designed pod Marilyn, the colours are super. Well done you for not letting it beat you, must have been so tempting to think otherwise.

  6. Thanks Tracey! I don’t give up easily. Situations like this become a challenge to figure out how to make it work. And it’s so satisfying when it does. 🙂

  7. It ended up looking great but what a lot of work. You have more patience than me to sit with the tweezers. I am thinking I may end up with a pod as well. I will have to see what strikes me on Sunday.

    1. Thanks Ann! You have to remember I’m retired and don’t live on a farm. As I said, it became a challenge. I look forward to seeing your challenge piece. Have fun!

  8. That looks great, Marilyn 🙂 I have to admit though, I liked it before you spent ages tidying it up! It reminded me of those static globes you get at science museums 🙂 like the llama yarn was charged!

    1. Thanks Zed! Yes, it did look charged. To each his own. 🙂

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