Cangames gaming convention long weekend in May 2019

Cangames gaming convention long weekend in May 2019

1
Cangames 2019 Ottawa Canada. Upstairs at the curling club

 Image 1

A strange request

Image 2 Cangames 2019

In Ottawa, Canada there is a large gaming convention on the May long weekend each year. Glenn usually runs 18xx train games, other train games and sometimes Settlers of Catan. The 18xx gaming system is extremely long, involves stock trading, math and the early trains rust out part way through the game. It really doesn’t sound like much fun to me so I spin or felt.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Images 2-9 of cangames slide show

 

As you may recall from a previous post (https://feltingandfiberstudio.com/2018/05/23/spinning-at-can-games/) I have done these activities in the middle of several gaming conventions for many years. There has always been curiosity about what I was doing, culminating in a request of “can you run that as a game?”

 

Aha! A Challenge!

 

Why yes I think I may be able to come up with something. So I made a beta testing game for this year, with the option of a second theme for beta testing next year.

 

Since its live action it would likely be best to run this game as a live action role-playing game (LARP). Larp’s are a form of role-playing game (RPG) where the participants physically portray their characters. You may be familiar with table top RPG game like Dungeons and Dragons.  In both systems everyone has a character with stats in various skills. Using these skills, critical thinking and co-operative problem solving you have to defeat or solve some problem (rampaging orcs, dragons, other common problems) within a story told by your dungeon master.  (It’s all very exciting and better than trains that rust – Sorry Glenn)

 

Now how to fit fibre arts into this? I need a story arc or plot; one with the necessity to spin.  Rumpelstiltskin, which would be spinning flax, would be a bit hard for a beginner to start spinning on. Sleeping beauty, no that’s just how to catch tetanus. It would also be hard to find a prince that could actually heal that.

 

Eureka!! Jason and the Argonauts! Yes perfect. Jason is an idiot but the story has lots of other great non-player characters (NPCs). Such as Jason, Captain and leader of the Argonauts (a lot of sailors), Medea (a high priestess) and her father (the King). The two important magical artifacts were the cloak of Helios and the Golden Fleece. There is even an epic battle. Perfect! But most important it involves a fleece (a rams fleece technically but I won’t be picky).

Well the battle is unimportant for spinning but it has to have already occurred so the players will have the fleece in hand to spin. It also needs to happen before Jason tries to dump Medea for the young and beautiful Creusila, daughter of the King of Crete.

 

Ok let me try to write that up as an RPG

“Live action RPG Spin the Golden Fleece

(Advanced characters with High Co-ordination best suited to this game but lower levels are welcome too)

 

Spin the Golden Fleece.

This adventure takes place between the heroic battle you fought, assisted by Jason and the Argonauts and the High priestess Medea against her cruel and unreasonable father the king. And before the adventures in Crete with the beautiful Creusala and her father, the king of Crete. (“Weave the Cloak of Helios” may be offered in another RPG another year but only if the weather is cloudy.)”

 

I printed out the instructions (see below) made up kits with the instructions, parts and a bit of wool to practice with. It all fit in a basket I picked up at value village. So off to Cangames with one of my travel wheels in a trundle box and basket to beta test the new “spinning game”.

Images 10-12

 

The gaming takes place in the curling arena, some games are on tables set in the lobby, a few in the basement and some in the upstairs hall that overlooks the curling area. It’s a very old building and there is no elevator but 2 very long sets of stairs do get you up to the comfortable chairs of the upper hall (luckily the washrooms are also on the upper level). Since Glenn was gaming upstairs and it has the best view for watch the other gaming happening below, I enjoy being up there. The best chairs are also upstairs.

Images 13-14

 

I set up in a corner near the RPG-ers but not underfoot. Most people had pre-signed up for games but occasionally there will be a break, a game is canceled or ends early. If you have a game going that could use another person you put out a small orange traffic cone to indicate you are looking for more players. Since I was beta testing I was not on the schedule so didn’t have preregistration. I put out my traffic cone, kits of spindle making and some extra fibre. Then sat down with my roadbug wheel, turned on my audio book and started to spin.  I had 5 people join me this year. Only one had tried to spin before. I did have lots who stopped to see what I was doing and were interested but about to start a preregistered game. A couple of the organizers stopped by to see what kind of game I had come up with too. They were also busy but wanted to see me submit it for next year’s program.

 

The first part of their adventure was to construct their own drop spindle. I had bought the necessary supplies at the local dollar store. The long and short meat skewers, small hair elastics, bull dog clips in a few different sizes (weights), a box of extra-large Ziploc sandwich bags, a ball of string and a really strong pair of garden pruners. I selected some of my superwash merino wool to stand in for the Golden fleece. Super wash wool may not felt but it does spin quite nicely.

 

After getting the players to assemble their own drop spindle I had them try spinning by using the park and draft method. I also showed them how to put it all together, drafting and spinning all at once. They all seemed very happy and headed off with their spindles, fibre and the web address for the local guild and their Face book page so they could find more spinners.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Images 15-23

It was fun to try to integrate two activities. My solution was to make spinning a game, but Glenn’s solution has been trying to entice me into sheep related boardgames (without trains that rust or excessive math or spelling skills). He has actually found and acquired a lot of sheep related board games for me. We have even taken them in to a couple social nights at the guild to enjoy them with other sheep oriented people.

 

Here are some of them. Have you found ones he has not?

Images 24-25

Images 26-30

“Sheepland”, “Attribute”, “Battle Sheep”, “Shear Panic”, “Sheep’n’sheep” (the Japanies one), “Wooly Bully”,   “Space Sheep!”, “Wool rules” and a sheep staking game.

“Sheep and Thief” and “Lowlands” have recently been added but not yet played.

 

31

Image 31 Glenn won a tournament.

 

 

If you were curious here is the written part of the RPG game I was running.

Live action RPG Spin the Golden Fleece

(Advanced characters with High Co-ordination best suited to this game but lower levels are welcome too)

 

Spin the Golden Fleece.

This adventure takes place between the heroic battle you fought, assisted by Jason and the Argonauts and the High priestess Medea against her cruel and unreasonable father the king. And before the adventures in Crete with the beautiful Creusala and her father, the king of Crete. (“Weave the Cloak of Helios” may be offered in another RPG another year but only if the weather is cloudy.)

 

The adventure instructions:

Part 1 Assemble the Turkish Drop spindle (25 experience upon completion)

How to assemble the spindle;

32  Image 32

Take the 4 shorter skewers, elastic-ed together in pairs laid tip to tail.  Make an ‘X’ by crossing the two sets on top of each other. Put the long skewer through the center of the cross and rap elastics diagonally from the point between the arms of the X and back to the point. Then add an elastic to the other diagonal. Trim off some of the extra length at the top of the long skewer. Take an arm’s length of your string and tie a knot to make into a big loop. Rap the loop around the spindle shaft and pull one end through the other do this again to make a double loop to set your leader. Add the bull dog clips on opposite arms to give more momentum if needed.

 

Part 2 spin the Golden top or Roving

 

(the golden Fleece has already been fiber prepped, presumably by Jason (drum carded), his crew of the Argonaut (Roving or Rolags) or Medea herself (Top).)

 

Method; Park and Draft

Use the attached leader from your spindle, fold over a bit of your fiber (pre-drafted if you have not spun before is suggested). Pinch the fiber and now add twist by spinning your spindle.

 

Do not let the twist into the fiber you are not yet spinning.

 

Once you see a good amount of twist in the leader and bit of fiber you are starting with, Stop.  Park the spindle between your knees. Now comes the draft part.  Slide the fingers you are pinching to keep the twist on the spindle side of the roving up the roving until you feel the fiber is starting to lose twist or you reach the end of the area you have predrafted.

 

Twist is what keeps the fibers together.  It’s the magic glue when you spin. If you get too much twist the yarn will have too much energy and twist up on itself when plyed. If you have too little twist it will break.

 

If the singles seems to be twisted to your liking, wind on to the spindle. With a Turkish spindle you wind over 2 and under one arm. Then set up to add more twist by spinning the next section of fiber (roving or top).

When enough twist has built up again, park the spindle and draft out the fiber.  Then add to spindle. Spin again to build up twist repeating until you run out of fiber or have a full drop spindle. (Park/Draft/Park/draft….)

25exp

 

Plying

If you wove or knit with a single (that is the yarn you made on the drop spindle) it will have excess energy which will affect the product you are making. To remove the excess energy plying is used.

Double ended ball method.

Use a ball winder, Nostapina or toilet paper tube to wind a ball keeping the inside end accessible. Join the inside end and the outside end together. Spin in the opposite direction to balance the twist and produce relaxed yarn.

Exp 25

 

Making a skein

Storing the spun 2 ply yarn is important, so it will be ready to weave or knit with between battles.

Equipment: skein winder, reel or squirrel cage. In an emergency, the space between your thumb and first finger and your elbow can be used to make a small skein.

 

Affix with a slip knot or hold the starting end. Wind the skein.  When you have almost finished secure the tail in two or three places to finish the skein.

 

Twist opposite ends of the skein and tuck the tail in to the opposite loop end. Let the twist create a finished looking skein for you.

Exp 25

33

Image 33

 

Flowering gumnuts

Flowering gumnuts

The w/e of 11-12 May I joined other members of my local textile group to attend a 2-day felting workshop by Hellen Edwards. Her work is interesting, vibrant, and involves machine stitching on felt.

Typical of Hellen’s work

The thought of machine embroidery filled me with dread. In the past I have done free motion embroidery quite successfully but I’m not a regular practitioner so to speak, and last year attended two workshops involving FME, the results of which were constantly mangled threads that neither tutor could resolve, total frustration and (I’m ashamed to admit) me leaving early in tears! I reported my troubles to my machine service guy, he investigated and found no obvious problem. What!!!! So, it is me!!!

However, on collecting my machine he wasn’t there, explaining my woes to the lady serving I gained some new knowledge….not all machines like doing free motion embroidery (she had such experience over several years and several machines)….so, machines have their likes and dislikes too! Then came my AH HA moment – those two particular workshops I had been using my new machine. Note to self – Use old machine for future FME.

Hellen chose a photo from her floristry arrangement collection (flowers in vases) then gave instructions for the laying out of the wool, showing various tips and finally let us loose on our own work.

This is what Hellen produced during our workshop.

Most of us hadn’t known what we would be doing but I had researched Hellen’s work and then in passing found various images of gumnuts (eucalyptus) in flower. Although not the flowers in a vase scenario, Hellen was content for me to use my images….I know I’ve said it before, but….I’m not really a rebel!

Those of you who have read my previous posts will know I draught very thinly so I paid particular attention to that this time. Corriedale was a requirement on our supply list but as I have plenty of washed and carded white Shetland I planned to use that rather than buy in more wool. Onto three ‘good’ layers of the Shetland (realising that laying the ‘picture’ would be mostly vertical I actually planned the layers of the Shetland backwards, if that makes sense!) I added the merino, blending several colours together to create the leaves etc. Nepps were added for detail and some synthetic fibres for a bit of lustre.

Once our pictures were complete it was onto felting and fulling. From the photos you may just glimpse that I use a thin plastic below and (once wetted down) above my wool. I continue as if I’m working with netting. I find this method means the water doesn’t disappear between the bubbles so I use less and enables me to flip the whole package over very easily to work from both sides.

At the end of the first day we were given instructions to ensure that our works were finished and completely dry ready for machine embroidering the next day.

Having read the above you will understand that I really had to steel myself for the FME. But having dusted off my old sewing machine and having put the bad memories in a box, I set to. Ha! Although I’d dusted off my machine I had not checked the drawer where the embroidery foot was located….it was full of machine oil from a leaked little bottle, everything was soaking in it! This can’t be happening! OK, be positive, the upside – nothing will rust!

Finally everything cleaned, fingers included, machine threaded, needle threaded and….off….woohoo….success! All I could think of was ‘I love you, I love you’ as I patted my old trusty workhorse, my friend then started laughing….although I had thought it, she pointed out I had actually voiced it. 

There was a contended buzz in the room with only some chatter as we were all concentrating on our work and the end of the two days came all too quickly.

Our group with a wonderful array of work

Since the workshop I have continued with the FME, using my darling trusty machine for straight and zigzag stitch and applied the detail with hand stitching. I was lucky to have just the right colour variegated yarn which split and sub-split into fine matt and lustrous threads.

And on the way I purchased a great travel steam iron to use on my felt – it is really dinky (almost cute) and fits perfectly into the little crevices.

My Gumnuts piece is complete after only 2 weeks….an absolute first for me. It is not in the PINS (project in need of something) box and I am sufficiently pleased with it that it is awaiting a frame.

Big Giveaway

Big Giveaway

We’ve had another Bank Holiday Monday here recently, it’s the day I usually go to the well being centre, so yet again, I don’t have a new make to blog about. I thought about doing a bit of free-wheeling self promotion, but then I thought it would be nice to giveaway one of my e-books.  I didn’t know how to choose one and it still be fair to those who’ve already bought one or two, so I’ve put some bundles together, and the winner can choose which set they want.

Set A: Beyond Nuno and Wet Felting – A Step by Step Introduction

coverSet B: Making a Wet Felted Vessel using a 3D Resist and Beyond Nuno

vesselSet C: Handmade Felt Book-Cover Project and Polymer Clay: Simply Made

Final Coverand Set D: Polymer Clay: Simply Made; Making a Wet Felted Vessel using a 3D Resist and Wet Felting – A Step by Step Introduction

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAJust click the names of the e-books to find out more about them. All you need to do to win is leave a comment on this post. You don’t have to choose which set you want just yet! I’ll draw the winner on the (UK) morning of the 9th June and announce them on my blog post that day. Good Luck!

The Giveaway is now closed. Thanks a lot to everyone who entered, the nice comments are really appreciated!

Keeping my hands busy

Keeping my hands busy

This is just a little something to keep my hands busy, like knitting which I don’t do.  I was playing games on my phone too much, to fill time and all that does is waste time and give me a crick in my neck. I would felt or spin but that is not always practical to do so I started making some shoelaces on a homemade kumihimo marudai disk.

Mine is made out of a piece of a cardboard box.  It is 4 inches across and has 8 slots to do a 7 strand braid.

This is the simplest one to do so is a good place to start. Count 3 stings left from the empty slot and move that strand into the empty slot. Turn the disk and count again moving the 3rd strand down into the empty slot. That’s it, you just keep moving and turning.

I started this before I thought about blogging about it so I am using black mercerized cotton for shoelaces for my husband.  Not the best to photograph. I will leave it large so you can see it better.

I tied up the long ends with small hair elastics so they are easier to handle. Each strand has to be about twice as long as you want the finished braid so they get in the way and get tangled even more than when they are tied up.

This is one Jan was making with nicer yarns so you can see the round braid easier. She is using a bulldog clip to weight her braid so she doesn’t have to pull on it like I do. It’s hanging down the bunnies neck.

 

You can buy foam disks with more slots so you can do more complicated patterns or if you are cheap like me, just cut more slots in your cardboard disk.

If you really enjoy doing it you can get a proper Marudai.

there are other kinds and shapes depending on what you are doing but you can do round or flat braids on this and make some really nice patterns.

At our guild show this year we will have these on our make and take table. Jan made up some nicer ones (like in the bunny picture) with the instructions printed on them ( there are french instructions on the other side too)  for us to use on the make and take table. I see a night of cutting and prepping braids in many colours in my future.

 

 

Influencing Shape with Prefelt

Influencing Shape with Prefelt

I’m continuing on with some experimentation on how three-dimensional shape in felt is influenced by different factors. This time, I am using a resist with a layer of prefelt which is cut in a certain manner and then added to a thin layer of laid wool over the same resist. The differential shrinkage of the two layers creates the shape. I learned of this technique from several discussions on the forum that we had about creating sea shell shapes.  One of our members suggested that we look at this blog: www.parallelfunk.de/ She has a series of photos of the steps that I will go through below. Scroll down on her blog to find the relevant blog posts.

I decided to try a seed pod type of shape instead of a shell. The first step is to make a fairly thick prefelt. I decided to use a green batt that I had made some time ago.

The batt was actually really thick so I pulled it apart into two layers. I ended up using only one layer so I have enough to try a different shape. I used a small circle of floor under layment for the resist.

I covered the resist with pulled apart batt in a radial fashion. I wanted the embellishments to run the correct way on the finished pod. You will see how this works when I cut the prefelt off the resist. I wet down the wool, flipped it over to the other side and folded the ends in. Then I covered the other side with wool in the same way. I used two layers of wool on both sides of the resist.

Here is the covered resist ready to felt. I felted in my usual fashion by rubbing with soapy hands. I generally don’t cover the felt with anything except when I wet down I use a sheer nylon curtain just to hold everything in place. We do get quite a few questions of how to avoid a ridge at the edge of the resist. I avoid this by not rolling. I also carefully rub the felt so it pulls the felt inward against the edge of the resist and doesn’t felt against itself. Wool has a tendency to spread out when wet down. This causes the edges not to be pulled tight against the resist. I counteract that with rubbing in towards the center of the circle and making sure that the ridge never forms at all.

Here’s the prefelt after I finished rubbing. It is just barely starting to shrink on the resist and it is holding together well. Now it’s time to cut it open. Depending on what shape you want to create is how you decide how to cut the prefelt.

I cut the circle in half on both sides of the resist. You can see that the silk embellishments will be following the shape of the “pie pieces” when I get them all cut.

I then cut one side into six “pie pieces”. I just eyeballed it since I wanted to end up with an organic form, I wasn’t worried about exact symmetry. Then I flipped the prefelt over and pulled out the edges of the flaps so I could see where to cut on the back side. The photo on the right shows the pieces completely cut with a few flapped open.

The inside of the prefelt needed to be roughed up so that there were lots of loose fibers. So I used  a felt brush that I had to roughen it up. I did also try using a fingernail brush which worked just as well.

I then covered the same resist that I used for the green prefelt with black wool. I used only one layer and it was pretty thing. Just thick enough so I wouldn’t end up with holes.

The next step was to reapply the prefelt over top of the resist that was covered with the thin layer of black wool. Then to wet down and begin gently felting.

I used cold, soapy water and worked slowly and gently. I rubbed a lot along the edges of the prefelt and along the edge of the resist where the black wool needed to attach to the green edge. I gently placed my  hands over the entire piece and made a rocking motion back and forth with increasing pressure downwards on to the ridged rubber mat. I continued to alternate rubbing and gentle downward rocking. I gradually increased the pressure and rubbing friction until the entire piece was holding together and the green prefelt was adhering to the black wool.

The piece was beginning to shrink and you can see that there was an almost floral shape emerging instead of just a circle.

I picked which side I wanted to be the open top end of the pod and cut a very small hole in the black felt. I removed the resist and began fulling and shaping. I have a problem taking photos during fulling as I am using both hands and get absorbed in the process. I did most of the fulling by pulling the pod from open end to closed bottom end and then rolling it over the ridged mat. I added hot water and rolled it in between my hands as well. I did a bit of holding my finger inside and rubbing the green felt lengthwise but not much. The shape actually nearly created itself. Hopefully, when I try the next one, I will get more fulling photos.

The pod can actually be at least two different shapes. This is more rounded and looks more like a bell pepper or perhaps a sea urchin.

I actually like it stretched out more like a seed pod as shown in the photos above. So I dried it in this shape. I fulled the felt hard and it holds its form easily. The reason this works so well is that the thicker prefelt doesn’t shrink in the same way as the thin layer of black wool. Therefore you get the curved pieces of the green creating the organic pod shape.

I am going to try another one cutting the outside prefelt into a different shape and I will show you that soon.

 

Laid Fibre Paintings

Laid Fibre Paintings

Quite a while ago now I posted a picture of a wonderful wool painting.  I found out via the artist that is wasn’t a needle felted picture or a wet felted picture but a laid fibre picture.  I admired the picture so much that I contacted the artist to ask more about this technique.  This was the picture, you may remember it.  It is called ‘Elements‘.

Elements

‘Laid fibre’ is exactly what is says, basically.  The picture is totally created by laying the fibres onto the board and creating a picture.  Then you simply place glass on top to hold it all in place.  It may sound quite easy, but in theory it does have a drawback.  When I and others create a wool picture, we may go on to free motion or hand sew it, or add all sorts of embellishments such as beads etc.  The laid fibre technique makes you think a little further, you have to create the picture as a whole, as it cannot be added to in this way, as it essentially, loose fibres.  I find it a very satisfying way to work, it feels very ‘calming’.

I have stayed in touch with Penny the fibre artist who inspired me and I am pleased to say we are now great friends.  She lives in a rugged part of North of Scotland, Thurso.  I am sure we will meet one day.  She has been very generous with her tips to get me to this point of my creativity.  If you would like to see more of her work, find it here:

https://pennyirvinefibreartist.co.uk/

I have created a few laid fibre pictures and I am thrilled to say I have sold three of these, the sheep has found a home in the USA.
SHEEP

Tuscan Sunflowers

SUNFLOWER LANDSCAPE - SOLD

Sunflowers and Tulips

SUNFLOWERS AND TULIPS - SOLD

Tuscan Poppies

DSCN1240

Wildflower Meadow

DSCN1194

If you would like to see more of my work you can find me on fb at Tracey Thompson Textiles. Thank you.

https://www.facebook.com/traceythompsontextiles/?modal=admin_todo_tour

Silk Threads Road Map

Silk Threads Road Map

I’ve been taking the same two pieces of silk to the well being centre for months with the intention of using them. Last week, I took them out and started tidying them up by pulling off the loose threads. Once they were neat enough to use, I decided I’d rather use the threads! I laid out a couple of layers of Yellow Merino, then started adding the threads. They were similar shades of greeny blue, so it felt like it needed something else. Luckily, I had a bag of red silk threads with me that I bought years ago, and they really made a difference once I added them:

It reminds me of a road map. I always like to take a photo on an angle, often it shows the sheen or texture better:

The threads have an interesting texture from where they were woven:

I don’t know what the red threads were waste from, they look like sewing threads, but are all short lengths between 6 and 12 inches.

One of the silk pieces had areas of a deeper blue, and even though they’re darker, they added patches or flashes of brightness:

I usually use black as the base for projects like this, but we’d run out, I chose yellow mainly because it’s one of the colours that shows well on camera, but I think it worked out well.

2nd quarter challenge started

2nd quarter challenge started

I finally pieced a picture for my second quarter challenge piece. If you remember is it seascape this quarter. this is the picture I chose.

I found it on the internet, where you find everything. It should be ok as I aske for free to use pictures.

I started with a piece of prefelt a little bigger than a piece of paper, with the idea it would shrink to an to be the size of a piece of paper. And for a change I have a piece the right size.  It is a mazing what some planning can do for you. You would think I would learn.

Next I layered some more prefelt to make the basic shapes  in the picture. the mottled piece at the front was dyed by a friend.

That is v

That looks very boring and flat so now it has to be brought to life. I added some silk hanky scraps to the water to give it some depth and movement.

Then I added the surf using throwsters waste.

And lastly I added some foliage and flowers

Now it is all ready for wetting down, I plan to add the wooden path to the beach later. I am not sure I have the right colour for the wool. what colour is that anyway?

That is as far I am now. more next time.

Influencing Shape with Fiber Layout – Part 3

Influencing Shape with Fiber Layout – Part 3

I have already shown two felt shapes I created with fiber layout and differential shrinkage. The last one is what I’m calling a “bonnet” shape.

I started again with the same circle template and Blue Face Leicester wool. The center is laid out radially but a smaller circumference was used. Then a circle of wool was added at the ends of the radial wool. Then another layer of radial wool was laid out. I used two layers of wool laid out in this manner. This one reminds me of making a ruffled scarf except it’s a circle.

Here is the wool after it is wet down. This one was felted in the same manner as the “bowl” that I showed you last week. I forgot to take the photos of the felting and fulling process. But I always worked along the length of the fibers to shrink the felt in the direction that the fiber was laid out.

Here is the “bonnet” after it’s finished. The photo on the right shows how I used a rubber band to hold the edge in place while it was drying.

And here are all three pieces. These are made with the same type and amount of wool, felted and fulled in the same way but because of the directional fiber layout and differential shrinkage, different shapes were achieved. I can see how these techniques would be very effective when you are creating felt where you want shrinkage to occur differently and you don’t want even shrinkage.

I’m not sure why I never really thought about this before but it makes perfect sense. I hope it helps some of you when you are trying to create a specific shape with felt.

‘Waiting for the Surf’ – a seascape from inspiration to completion

‘Waiting for the Surf’ – a seascape from inspiration to completion

Waiting for the Surf - small image

Last year we visited St Agnes, in Cornwall, on a day when there was a cloudless blue sky and a sea breeze.  So for my seascape inspiration I chose two photos of St Agnes beach and a photo of Annie’s ‘Flowers on Coverack Beach’.

inspiration photos - small image

I planned to make the sea the main focus with some pink flowers in the foreground.

I have a square white frame, 50x50cm (approx 20″sq) that I wanted to use, so to ensure that my seascape would fit well, I made a paper template to put under the bubble-wrap as a guide for the layout of wool fibres (photo below left).

I made two fine layers of white merino wool fibres then topped them with a third fine layer of pale blue wool fibres to make a base (photo below right).

template and first 3 layers - smalll image

The fourth layer (photo below left) was just bands of solid colour then I added a fifth (partial) layer of wisps of wool fibres (photo below right) to give the impression of waves and some thinly spread yellow wool blend to look like sand with a length of fancy yarn for the water’s edge…

fourth and fifth partial layer - small image

… and the frilly edges of scrap white felt made the surf (the photo below is after felting).

close up sea - small image

I was just getting out some pink fibres to make the flowers when my son saw the work-in-progress.  I told him it wasn’t finished yet and that I was about to add flowers.  He went a bit quiet – he’s not a flower person – then he suggested that I should just stick a surfboard, upright, in the sand.  Why didn’t I think of that?

I made some yellow pre-felt then cut a surfboard shape from it.  I wetted down the sea and sand before placing the pre-felt on it.

the surfboard pre-felt - small image

After felting, when the seascape was dry, I added the stripes to the surfboard. Each stripe is just a large stitch of single ply cotton knitting yarn.

The felt that shows behind the white mount measures 38x38cm (approx 15″sq).

I’m glad that the days are long now because it makes photography easier. The seascape frame is deep so it stood, unaided, on my garden table … and the light was perfect!

seascape in frame - small image

%d bloggers like this: