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What I am working on

What I am working on

I was sitting here wondering what the post would be today when I realised it was my turn to post.  So you might guess I am running a little behind. It has turned cold her so I thought  better make myself a hat. Normally I can make several hats in a day. Not this one. It is a never ending project. I started the hat on Friday. Now its Wednesday and its not done yet. First I made a larger template than usual because I wanted to make a scrunched up hat.Then I looked for colours. I have nothing I want in large enough quantity to make a hat. That means the first thing is to blend all the purples together to get enough wool to make my hat.

Before Carding
Before Carding
First time through the carder.
First time through the carder.
Third time through the carder
Third time through the carder

Here it is all the wool laid out on Friday.

layout top layout

The yarn on my spindle in the picture will end up on both parts. I also have a similar hand spun yarn in pinks that will go on the hat. I forgot to take pictures of that on Monday. Last night I sewed it up into tight scrunches ready to be steamed and ironed.

sewn up sewn up top

The part that is not sewn will be turned to the inside with the top attached to it.  The top was sewn towards the center. My hands were sore after the sewing do my plan is to do the ironing today and then I have to sew the top on and see if it looks any good on me. I will show you the finished hat in my next post. What have you or are you making for yourself ?

Scarves

Scarves

I have not been nearly as productive as Ruth but I did finally get an afternoon to do some felting. I did 2 scarves the first is a purple and pink one. First I put the purple wool on but when I wet it the wool completely disappeared in to the silk so I added some pink curls to perk it up. Not a very exiting scarf but I like the way the wool pulled in. I doesn’t show well on the mannequin but it was to windy to take pictures outside.

wool on scarf
wool on scarf
add pink curls
add pink curls
finished
finished

The next one is brass? cream? gold?  and green. I put green leave all over then thought it look pretty boring so added the purple highlight, still I don’t like it so I added the greenish gray leaves with the orange highlight.

close up
close up
full length
full length

It wasn’t very thrilling but I didn’t know what to add so went ahead and felted it. It turned out all right but nothing to get very exited about.

finished
finished

So do you like the colour choices I made? What colours would you have picked for this silk? What would you have added after the leaves?

Changing the Design of a Nuno Felt Shrug

Changing the Design of a Nuno Felt Shrug

In the spring I made some shrug jackets using a pattern I saw in a book about making simple garments with your weaving. I don’t weave but I can felt a rectangle instead of weaving it.  You would think that I would read what to do instead of just going from memory but that would have been too easy. I made some nice looking shrugs.

Orange shrug after over dying

They look nice enough but they didn’t really fit as well as I would have liked. They were to puffy at the back so not very flattering. I think the problem is the rectangle they are made from was to wide making the shrug to long.  I decided to change them. I unpicked them and gave them a wash to get rid of all the thread holes.

I folded the top down about 1/3 to create a kimono sleeve. You end up with something that is more like a shawl that doesn’t fall off as you use you hands and go about your day.

If you would like a larger collar you can wear it the other way up.

You could also just sew a line down the edge or just the other direction to have a larger sleeve opening. I like these much better. I hope other people like them too. I am going to my guild exhibition and sale this weekend and I will have them there.  On that note if you are in Ottawa this weekend  Drop by the Glebe Community Center to see what we are up to.

Felt Cuffs and Hats

Felt Cuffs and Hats

My last post showed you some bubble samples I made when visiting my friend Maureen. This time I will show you what we did with them. The first thing we did was try some wrist cuffs. We both used the same colours. They were two scrap pieces of pre felt that Maureen had. We felted them together and down to 22 inches long. The bubbles will bring them to a good length for around your wrist.

   

I won’t show you all the steps of felting and putting the marbles in but as you can see it was done in the sun on the patio with a glass of wine. We are not all work and no play. In the right hand picture you can see the marble inside the bubble I just cut open.

  

Here they are on and in the right hand picture you can see we left one bubble uncut. It acts as the button to fasten the cuff around your wrist. We put a felt ball in that one.  That was a success so we decided to do hats.

  

Here you can see the resist and the size of the finished hat with the marbles in it. On the right is Maureen with hers on. They are still wet at this point. We ran them through her laundry spinner and they were dry in the sun in an hour.

  

By then we had eaten dinner and it was back out the deck for a glass of wine and cutting. Here we are wearing them and a close up of mine so you can see the cut bubbles better. I stretched the large bubble after I cut it open to really show off the contrasting colours.

We had a great couple of days together felting and enjoying the weather. I have to say her husband was great he did most of the cooking and all of the clean up.

Book Review

Book Review

I thought it would be fun to go through my library of fiber art books and do a review of some of my favorites. I don’t have any other books by Jan Beaney and Jean Littlejohn but I have seen some of their other books. I have to say that I would recommend anything written by them. They are a great team and pack a lot of useful information in their books.

If you click on the photo above it will take you to Amazon. I think the book is out of print because the new copies are really pricey but you can buy them used for less. Or look in your local library, maybe you’ll be lucky enough to find this book. I love this book. I refer back to it frequently and have read it cover to cover at least three times.

The book has two sections the first is “Design to Embroider” and the second is “Stitched Images”.  The first section is about how to develop designs on paper and mixed media, where to look to find ideas and exploring those ideas. It is a good start to basic design and how to relate it to embroidery. The photos and examples are wonderful and inspiring. They show their own work as well as work of other artists.

Section two of the book is about taking your designs and making them into an embroidery. There is information about fabric paints and various methods of using them, working with applique’, stitch themes, machine embroidery and selecting a theme. This book is not a step by step instruction book. It does give basic information about how to use various fabric paint products but it doesn’t contain any projects to follow. The book is geared towards getting you to think about your own designs and how to develop backgrounds and then add stitch to make a complex experimental stitch piece.

The book talks a bit about using different stitches but it is not a stitch dictionary and limited directions for individual hand or machine stitches. What it does is give you lots of ideas about how to interpret designs and various approaches to use to achieve the desired effects. Every time I read the book, I find something new to consider. If you only do traditional embroidery from a kit and don’t want to learn how to design, this book isn’t for you. If you’d like to take a more experimental approach and learn how to design your work, you’ll love this book. All the reviews on Amazon are 5 stars!

If you have a favorite fiber art book, I’d love to hear about it. Hop on over to the forum and  tell us about your favorite book.

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