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More New Wool

More New Wool

I got some wool tops listed as ‘Arctic Fox’, no other info about what the wool breed might be, just that it is 25 micron. It feels really soft, a lot like Bluefaced Leicester, and it felted really nicely too:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThough it’s soft and felts like a fine wool, it does have some wiry bits:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI tried a variety of fibres it, along the top is Soy top, below that is black Bamboo top (L) and Milk Protein (R), then some Hemp fibre, and at the bottom is Viscose top:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAInterestingly it made the soy look like hemp or flax, which it only usually does with a coarser or curlier wool:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is a closer picture of the Bamboo and Milk:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHemp and Viscose:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnother wool I tried was Skudden or Skudde. I couldn’t find any info on it in English, but there’s a Facebook group with cute lambs: https://www.facebook.com/groups/Skudden It isn’t in the Fleece and Fiber Sourcebook, but apparently it is in the Northern European short-tailed family. I used this straight off the batt without carding it first, so it’s a bit uneven:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt felted immediately, it was like it was felted as soon as it was all wet and soapy. It is weirdly hairy though. I was using new netting and thought frayed fibres had come off and got all over the felt. This photo is actually in focus, but the hairiness makes it look like it isn’t. I used black nylon tops, which are actually very black:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is a close up of the hairy corner:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAClose up of the left side:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFurther up, it looks like diagrams of cell walls:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt’s different to any other wool  I have, it’s unusual, but I like it.

Natural Wools and Embellishment Fibre Panels

Natural Wools and Embellishment Fibre Panels

I was thinking recently that I might have to change my plans a little bit, and make some different sized templates for my felt panels. Quite a few of the wools I’ve got have a very long staple length, much bigger than my current template. And the varying shrinkage rates makes a lot of the panels similar but not quite the same; so I think a variety of squares and rectangles might work out better to piece together in the end. I haven’t really thought too much about how I would actually ‘construct’ the hanging, one idea was the sew the edges of the panels together, kind of like seams on clothes, but visible so they formed little ridges, but I don’t want to lose the cool wavy edges some of the wool breeds like Lincoln create.
This is Brown Finnish wool with a covering of flax:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is a close up:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is another Finn piece, with a diagonal band of hemp, which is quite similar to flax.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAClose up:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is a felt panel made with  ‘Humbug’ (stripes of black and white) Jacob, I used black and white viscose tops for this:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is more of a straight on shot:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAClose up:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis last panel is Black Jacob wool tops and Soy bean staple fibre.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI love the effects you can get with the staple fibres.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADo you like to try different breeds of wool for felting? Do you have a favourite or ones you think are better suited to particular projects? How about embellishment fibres, do you have any favourites?

New Notebook Cover

New Notebook Cover

I thought I’d make myself a felt cover for a ring binder notebook I’ve started using for notes about batts, fibre packs and etsy listings. I made a piece of felt a few weeks ago from merino and embellishment fibre blends. I used lots of different fibres: Milk Protein fibre, Hemp, Flax, Ramie, Banana, Bamboo top and fibre; Viscose top and fibre, Trilobal nylon, Acrylic laps, Plastic fibre and Egyptian cotton. This is the whole piece after felting:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI recently made another notebook and made the straps to go through the Delrin clips from felt, and it looked really nice, so I thought I’d do the same for this one. This is the front:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt took hours to sew (at least 9 episodes of Hawaii Five – 0!) because I machine stitched the straps into place on the back (with my hand operated Singer), and then hand sewed everything else and finished off the edges with blanket stitch.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI left the natural felt edge for the front inside flap.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI cut the back flap to size and used the offcuts for the straps.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI don’t often spend so much time on something for myself, but I’m glad I did, I really like it 🙂

Even more Natural Wools and Fibres

Even more Natural Wools and Fibres

Earlier this year, I made a piece of felt intending to make a notebook cover out of it. The base is natural grey Merino and on the top there is: crimped viscose; black viscose top; banana fibre; hemp; soybean fibre and top; milk protein fibre; black and white bamboo top; ramie; ingeo; flax; silk top; egyptian cotton and cotton gauze.

I’d really like to use a yarn or thread spun from natural grey wool to sew it up, preferably not too expensive. If anyone knows anywhere selling natural yarns, I’d be really grateful to know 🙂

Every now and again, I like to try felting with things found in the garden. A while ago I tried bamboo leaves between layers of felt which turned out really well. I also tried some pampas grass flowers (Cortaderia) at the same time, and was surprised how well that felted with very little anchorage. The pampas is felted to the surface and on this piece is just artistic/decorative, it wouldn’t stand up to handling etc.

I don’t know what plant I used in the third piece, it is some little branches from a tumbleweed my girlfriend saw while out walking her dog and brought home for me. I love the way it looks held up to the light, it almost looks stitched.

 

*** Sorry for the lay out and the use of the carousel yet again. I did originally format the post so that the photos appeared between the text in the relevant places, but, like Ann last week (and me every time I try to include photos) what was published was nothing like how it was originally layed out. After 3 attempts to get it to stay how I write it, I’m giving up. To see larger photos, click ‘permalink’ under the photos in the carousel.

Lots of ‘other’ fibres

Lots of ‘other’ fibres

Although a lot of the speciality fibre tops seem to look very similar at first, especially the white ones, they all have their own unique qualities. It’s interesting to try the different fibres on different types of wool to find out how they work together. Sometimes, they really compliment each other. Other times, like Banana fibre on grey Suffolk, they give interesting textural results. One thing I like to try is lots of different fibres on one type of wool. This shows the differences in how the fibres work with the same wool and also which would work well together with the same wool. I recently got some nice brown Finnish wool tops and tried 7 different speciality fibres with it. I alternated between the white/silvery fibres and the creamy/golden fibres. In order from Top to Bottom, I used: Banana fibre tops; Soybean tops; Ingeo tops; Flax; Milk Protein fibre tops; Hemp and Ramie tops.

Earlier this year I made a Merino and Hemp pouch which was ‘lined’ with cotton gauze. The texture was gorgeous. I’ve used the gauze a few times along with other fibres, and it always looks great, so I thought I’d try it on its own with some dark brown Corriedale. I’d planned to use it just as a test piece, but I really liked how it turned out, so I tried it in a frame I’d recently bought and loved the way it looked.

What have you been working on lately? Do you have a favourite combination of other/speciality fibres that work well together? Or a fibre or fabric like the gauze which makes a great feature by itself?

*** If you want to see decent sized pictures, click on ‘Permalink’ under the photo. For some reason that carousel thing makes them ridiculously small

Merino and Hemp pouch

Merino and Hemp pouch

Just before Christmas, Karen sent me some gorgeous fibres. One of the fibres was hemp. A couple of days ago I made a small pouch from Merino wool with the hemp as a surface embellishment.

I didn’t really intend to make a pouch, I was planning to make an unusual shaped vessel. I started by laying a piece of cotton gauze in the centre of a rectangular template, then added a couple of layers of merino and the hemp fibre on top. Just after I’d wetted it all down, I saw a 3d resist I’d used previously and thought that would work better than what I’d planned to use. I lay the resist on the felt (the resist is basically a couple of lightbulb boxes wrapped in bubblewrap and packing tape), then wrapped the felt around, snipping it in a couple of places to overlap. When it was almost felted, I removed the resist and shaped the bottom and sides to soften the edges.

I was really pleased with the way it turned out, especially the way the hemp looked with the white merino, and the texture of the gauze inside is really nice, too.

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