In a previous post (A yarn & preparation experiments https://wordpress.com/post/feltingandfiberstudio.com/34915) I told you of painstakingly unpicking 2 items of commercial knitwear in a bid to gain some interesting sequin yarn. Strangely I haven’t yet used that yarn but rather the waste!
Somehow, I couldn’t face throwing away the manmade yarn and, as shown in the previous post, I had crocheted some waste into large ‘mats’ (also, as yet unused), the remaining yarn languished in bags until I had a vague idea. I wound the various lengths 10 times around two fingers to make little 2-3cm bundles….hundreds of them, or so it seemed. I spent many, many, evenings making them.
Using two bundles together I crocheted through the middles to make 2 large mats (yes, more mats!) approx. 45 and 50 cm diameters.
I’ve mentioned before that I have a Coloured Ryeland fleece, bought years ago in naivety, having been seduced by its colour. Not wanting to throw it out, I have found it is useful as a ‘stuffing’ wool. I have to say here that I’m not a needle felter, so I just use one type of basic needle to prod and poke the fibres as required.
For the 2nd quarter challenge I had thought to make a cushion (possibly, a purpose made cushion to fit my mother’s wheelchair to give her a soft seat?), so my vague idea was to use the waste yarn and Ryeland to create the internal pad – prod them together, throw into the washing machine and taadaa!
I hand carded batches of the fleece then set to needle felting these to the ‘mats’. The mats were then sandwiched together with 3 layers of wool between – laid concentric, radiating and concentric.
I laid radiating batches to the outside to which I’m now adding a concentric layer. You are up to date!
As I write this post it now has 6 ⅞ wool layers and is about 2cm squishy firm (if that is not an oxymoron). This is an evening activity which seems to take up an inordinate amount of space on my sofa, more so because surprisingly the ‘pad’ is increasing in size and is now 55cm (22 in) and firm right to the edge.
But now comes a dilemma….I actually like the pad and my thoughts are drifting….more later!
Over recent weeks I have been working, when time permits, on our textile group’s challenge for 2020 – to use a plain paper book to practice our drawing, sketching, creating etc to produce a journal. I’ve chosen to title mine ‘nature’ and have thus far been exploring flora which I love. Fortunately, parts of my garden (and my neighbour’s) offers some wonderful opportunities.
An update – I am gradually resurrecting my garden when time and weather permit.
Recently though, living in the countryside at harvest time, I have been plagued by the thrips (or thunder flies – 2mm long and about the thickness of a hair!). They tend to fly within 3m of the ground and 1m into an open doorway, particularly if it is sunny. They get everywhere – unscrew a container and they are actually in the thread and even into supposedly sealed boxes! Having very sensitive skin, I can feel each and every one and for a week/10 days end up running around the garden like a mad woman, as if my hair is on fire under my hat – they use my blond hair as a landing strip and keep taxi-ing!!!
But I digress….
Rather than concentrating on simply sketching I’ve been exploring patterns. I always doodled in school and can remember one time being asked an unexpected question from the teacher who had come up behind me – as I got the answer right I was never stopped from doodling again. Zentangling is however new to me (some ideas I have borrowed from the internet) so I’ve had a play.
All of this has led me to do more detailed studies, thus far on poppies and sunflowers (having enjoyed my vase of sunflowers, bought by my EPH, I couldn’t just throw the spent flowers away!) – so I’ve been pulling them apart, hammering them or slicing them up, recording my findings along the way.
The results have been very interesting, offering a wealth of pattern opportunities.
Back to my dilemma….
I’m now seeing an oversized sunflower to complement my oversized felted seeds that are all in shades of grey! Mmmm! 🤔 Possibilities! Sorry mum, you’ll have to continue with the other cushion!