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Under Water Again

Under Water Again

I was really fascinated with Teri Berry’s book resist tutorial in January for the first Quarter Challenge. So, I decided to give it a try.

https://feltingandfiberstudio.com/2016/01/22/book-resist-tutorial-by-teri-berry/

Since my mind has been under the sea lately, I doodled around and came up with a design that reminded me of coral.  I decided to have an odd number of pieces.

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I inverted the copies so the arms would be facing in different directions.  I used an old shower curtain for the resist then sewed them together.

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I soon discovered even though it was a heavy shower curtain it was challenging to get the fibers tight enough around the appendages.  The first layer was Romney which may have been a mistake because it is a long staple.

After I covered all the sides with the Romney, I covered each side with nepps because I wanted a bumpy texture.  Then the second layer were batts which combined natural hand dyed Domestic 56s with Madder that Cathy (Luvswool) had given me from her artist residency in Arkansas. https://feltingandfiberstudio.com/2015/05/09/dyeing-with-plants/  I was a little short so I used some my own hand dyed orange Cheviot mixed in.

It was a large bundle so there was a lot of rubbing before I could do any rolling.

When I finally cut out the resist I had to use my finger to open up the appendages and rub and roll.  My fingers got a real workout!  Because the wool had expanded over the shower curtain resist I had to really work each “finger” to get them to shrink and not felt together.  But the resulting lumpiness was the look I was going for.

Here it is drying.

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It was quite hairy so I had to shave it several times.  Here are the different sides.

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Here is a view from the top.

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After a few more shaves, I decided it deserved a sea setting.

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Thank you Teri for providing the tutorial and inspiration! And thanks to Cathy for the beautiful natural hand dyed wool!

 

Scarflette with Locks

Scarflette with Locks

I was inspired by Nada’s scarflette a while back and thought it would be a perfect way to use some of the locks I received from Zara.

I dyed some Merino, Corriedale, Romney and Cheviot wool along with some silk habatoi and silk mulberry using Silver Gray acid dye. Then made some batts with the wool and silk.

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I pre-washed some of the locks using Zara’s method posted on the forum using netting and soaking.  I wasn’t sure what color I would use, but chose dark gray Gotland locks.

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It was a simple scarf  layout, but not a simple process.  I had never used locks, so I wasn’t sure how to space the locks. I anticipated a 30% shrinkage.  I needle felted the locks between two layers of batts using similar sizes and shapes. I also wanted a silk nuno close to the skin. I wet down the batts then added the silk on the back then proceeded with felting being very careful not to let the locks migrate or felt.  I worked slow and was attentive to the locks.

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What I didn’t expect was that not all the silk would get nuno felted.  I even added some fiber at the beginning of the process to those areas. No deal.  I worked diligently on those areas, but no change.

I was ready to throw it in the lost pile.  The locks were fuzzy, some of the silk wasn’t felted.  I left it for a couple of days and decided I’d make it work.  I knew it was fruitless to try to continue to felt.  The felt was solid. I originally had the design drape to one side and was going to cut the ends at an angle, but I folded over the nuno side to create a collar and liked that better.  The silk was a bit larger so I just let it ruffle over the edges.

20160125_111715I had to do some stitching to hold the silk on  in places.  But its pretty much invisible.

20160125_11140320160125_111425Originally, I envisioned a cool button on the front, but ended up with a snap on the inside. The button I had purchased would be hidden by the overlap.

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I wetted the wild locks and used a little leave in conditioner on them.  Not perfect, but my husband walked by while it was sitting on the counter and remarked on how beautiful it was.  (I never mentioned what I was working on or my disappointment. So, I guess it wasn’t a failure.)

I need to work on my locks skills.  I have no idea what happened to the nuno especially since my ginkgo piece turned out so well. Or why the locks turned fuzzy.

Any ideas?

 

More Samples with Interesting Results

More Samples with Interesting Results

We’ve been talking on the forum about how important it is to make samples, especially when using new fibers or unknown fabrics.  It’s better to take a little time to make a sample, than to waste a lot of time and fiber.

I still had one fiber from WOW I hadn’t tried.  It was actually a Jacob batt.  The batt was very uneven so I used two layers and still ended it up with a couple of sparse spots.  I only felted the samples to the prefelt stage so I could use them in another project.  The end result of the Jacob was it was very loose and spongy.  I’m tempted to full it to see what happens.  It is very similar to the Black Welsh I featured in a previous post.

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I recently did an experiment with one of Fiona Duthie’s 15 minute projects called Mountains.  It’s lost it’s bowl shape a little, but I really liked the curliness of the base, but couldn’t remember what fiber I used.

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I have been trying to use more of the coarse fibers I have.  But I have been terrible about remembering to write down what I’ve used.  I thought Icelandic was harder to felt.  It has a very long staple, dyes well, and whenever I use it in has to be shaved when finished. So, I decided to make a prefelt of this as well.

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What I discovered is it is soft at this stage, but felted easily.

So, have I been badmouthing the wrong fiber? I have a fair amount of Cheviot so I figured I would experiment with that as well.  The Cheviot had a shorter staple but the resulting prefelt was soft and a little lighter in color than the Icelandic which I thought was a lighter color. Hmmm.

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When I went with Cathy to the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival, I purchased some Navajo Churro which I have never used.  It had a short staple and was coarse to the touch and filled with little knots.  The resulting prefelt was very hairy and much flatter than the others.  It reminded me of Gotland I had made a sample of a while back, but while they look similar, the Gotland was very smooth to the touch. It also had been fulled, so that may make a difference.  The Churro was very hairy.  I have some white Churro I will try dyeing later on.

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Last but not least, I made a Romney prefelt and found my curly fiber.  (its more noticable at the sparser edges. It is rougher to the touch but I like the cobweb wavy type look.  It also has a long staple.

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I had done similar samples using habatoi silk, mulberry silk fiber and yarns on each of them a while back, fulled, dyed and then stitched them together. Here is the Four Day Dye Experiment http://feltingandfiberstudio.com/2014/06/15/four-unintentional-days-of-dyeing/

These samples were fully felted and it is hard to tell the difference except to rub my hands over them. The Icelandic and Domestic 56 are coarser to the touch than the Cheviot and the Romney.  Different than at the prefelt stage.  I think in the future I may take a smaller sample to full and compare obviously they are different.

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Now as a preview to some more future sampling on a pile of fabric samples to test.

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What is your experience with sampling?

 

Finished Texture Piece

Finished Texture Piece

I mentioned in my last post that I’d finished my white texture piece that I’ve talked about recentlyHere is the photo from the last post of it all sewn up.  I finally managed to get a bright enough day to take a photograph.  With all of the locks it’s really quite big, so I had to take it outside and photograph it on a large piece of cardboard.  It’s roughly 16 inches x 11 inches, but the locks at the bottom are almost 11 inches long.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI wanted to try something different, so when I laid it out I left a space in the centre without any wool then added a piece of cotton gauze after the second layer of wool.  It was here that I added the wool locks around the edges as well.  I then added another two layers of wool. The surface texture around the edge of the gauze is soybean top, a piece of cotton gauze and silk noil.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn this close-up, you can see a few wisps of wool have crept behind the gauze.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe wool locks all kept their shape really well and none of them tangled together.  The Angora, Wensleydale and Teeswater locks in this next photo show how nicely they turned out.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI kept the whole texture piece soft and spongey by using wools like English 56s, Swaledale, Texel and Cheviot.  For surface texture I used cotton gauze, scoured Bluefaced Leicester and Wensleydale as seen in this photo.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI also used Mohair, wool nepps, raw Gotland, Teeswater and Wensleydale locks, and embellishment fibres soybean top and silk noil.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI’m really pleased with the way it turned out, especially the gauze panel in the centre.  Doing this piece has given me some good ideas for future projects.

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