Tree Trunks in Snow

Tree Trunks in Snow

I thought I’d make some test pieces for making cards for the Winter fair. Basically, I wanted to work out the best wool and/or fibre blends for making wool tubes to look like tree trunks. I did have silver birch in mind for some, but anything which looked good was all I was after for now. The wool I used for the base was something I got in a bag of Botany Lap waste, It looked and felt like Merino, and after felting I’m failry certain it is, but finer than 23 mic.
I quite like this first one, I used various natural grey blends, but also some nylon on the 1st, 3rd and 5th. I think the first one was made with ‘Lightning’, an artifical white Merino, it looks blue-ish in natural light:

I used a natural blend which Leonor sent me for these next ones. I think the last two also had some white nylon because they have a blue-ish look too:

This is one of my favourites, it has tubes made from various natural blends, though the first one could have some artificial white. I also added some strands at the base after googling ‘tree trunks in snow’ 🙂 What isn’t very obvious is I also used a fine layer at the bottom of a Botany Lap blend which had trilobal nylon in it. It looks whiter/brighter if you look hard, but the sparkle isn’t obvious:

I tried a couple of tubes I made around dowelling, I think they were a bit thin and didn’t have enough colour variation:

I tried a new (to me) wool for this next piece: Charollais. It made a spongey felt. It was quite unusual when it came to fulling, as I rubbed from one direction, like top to bottom, it seemed to undo the fulling I’d done from the other, i.e side to side! I got there in the end, though I probably shouldn’t have bothered! The cream/white wool used on the grey tubes matched the base felt, so ‘diasappeared’, and the tube I made from Finn and Merino just had no definition:

Here’s a close up so you can see the felt texture:

I tried something a bit different on these next two, this first one has the same fine Merino base, but I made the trees out of bamboo paper. A layer of black, with a layer of white on top. The black bamboo paper had two layers, it separated when I was adding out the last tree, and I think that one looks better:

Close up:

This last one was made with a base of Svea X Finull which Zara sent me. I am hopeless at laying out anything which isn’t commercial tops, so it’s not the neatest piece! I tried a skeleton leaf on this one:

I really liked this piece 🙂 Here’s a close up of the leaf:

I’ll probably redo the samples with 23 mic Merino and add unblended trilobal on some to see if it looks like icy snow. I’ll save the artificial white wool for other things, I think the natural creamy whites look better.

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17 thoughts on “Tree Trunks in Snow

    1. Thanks, Ruth 🙂
      Yeah, I didn’t expect so many differences, they don’t look all that different as tubes!

  1. I love the bamboo paper trees! The natural colour trees made from kebabs look as if they are set in snow, and the leaf is fab.

    1. Thanks, Lyn 🙂
      I was thinking the white bamboo paper might work better with prefelt, it did shift a bit on the black.

  2. I love the effects and the idea of birch tree stems, and the skeleton leaf is amazing. Also glad to see that you are making use of some Swedish wool. 🙂

    1. Thanks, Zara 🙂
      Yeah, I keep meaning to use more, but things I have to do get in the way of what I want to do! The Svea x Finull felts so quickly and I love the look of it.

    1. Thanks, Ann 🙂
      I think the 23mic Merino will have a less grey look to it, I think the one I used was too fine. A white comparison of different wools would be interesting to do one day!

  3. A nice variety of tree trunks, but have to admit I admire the leaf skeleton. Do you make your own? I’ve tried without success and would love to know how or where to get them,

    1. Thanks, Marilyn 🙂
      Google ‘skeleton leaves’ or search ebay for them. I saw some on our ebay yesterday for about £2.50 for 100 white ones, I think. They can probably be dyed with cellulose dyes. I’ve never tried making my own, not after Karen’s attempt, I know how mine would turn out!

    2. Thanks Zed. My experience must have been the same as Karen’s. What a mess and no good results.

  4. Love these samples!

    I understand what “Botany Lap Waste” is, but I don’t understand the name. Can anyone explain why it’s called that?

    1. Thanks, Robyn 🙂
      I did look it up a while ago, it is something like ‘Botany’ was the old nickname for Merino, something to do with Australia and Botany Bay, lap/laps is a sheet of fibre, sort of similar to a batt I think. I know what we actually get in the BLW is different from the meaning, but I think it basically started as waste sheets of Merino.

    2. Thanks, Zed! I just couldn’t understand the name. And lap/laps is not something we get here in NZ.

    3. Silk laps seem to be quite common, though looking at pictures, the way people use the word has some variety, but a wide sheet is about the only constant!

  5. Great samples Zed. I have managed only one Christmassy card for my winter fair, you may have shamed me into getting on and making a few more……How about white angelina for the sparkly snow?

    1. Thanks, Tracey 🙂
      well these are just samples so I still really have none! Angelina’s a good idea, I only have a bluey one though, so I’ll try the Trilobal nylon first and use a proper amount!

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