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Fiber Poker Challenge from the Third Participant

Fiber Poker Challenge from the Third Participant

So far you have seen the Poker Challenge offerings from Ann and Jan. We are all members of the same Guild. I accepted to do the spinning challenge only.

My cards were
Colour – pastels only
Fibre – must include mohair
Technique – lock spinning
Structure – lace weight

I had some really lovely, top quality, pink, super-fine merino, and some pale blue mohair locks. The merino spins into lace weight very easily, almost wanted to spin that way on its own. The thing I found most difficult was lock spinning. 

Research online showed a whole range of techniques, so it dawned on me that lock spinning is what you make of it. The mohair was really slippery and a bit of a challenge to maintain control, but the results were a happy surprise. I decided to ply the mohair with the lace merino to give integrity to the yarn. Once plied the locks on the mohair opened, but were held in place with the merino and the end result was a luxurious, soft, lustrous yarn.  Unfortunately, I am not the photographic genius that Jan is and even though I chastised my camera for not using a flash to show the gorgeous soft pink and sky blue of the final product, it ignored me.

So, I took it to the next step and did a purpose made yarn of my own design.

I ordered some wonderful dyed Teeswater first clip from my favourite wool dyer. It arrived all clean, soft, shiny and tangle free; this is a special treat that I allow myself every once in a while. I used this for the lace weight ply and used some of my own dyed mohair locks for the lock spun component. I have to say the Teeswater wool is exquisite. I flick card it open on both ends and remove any tangles by cutting the knots out. This gives me a staple of approximately 15 inches.

This was spun as close to lace weight as possible. And I know my wheel needs to be fixed, I’m trying to find a craftsman/woman who can do that, any ideas??  If you look closely at the first hook you will see the groove that is nearly cutting through the metal.

The mohair is not carded at all and only pulled apart a little bit to keep the lock integrity intact. Unfortunately, I have only a picture of similar locks. I used up all the others before remembering to take out my camera. The lustre of mohair is amazing and the softness of kid mohair is delicious. Adult mohair is not my favourite fibre because as the animal matures the fibre gets so coarse it can’t be used for next to skin projects and it loses its crimp and becomes a misery to spin.

The mohair was then plied with the lace weight Teeswater to give this yarn.

My plan, among several others I’ve discussed with you over the past few months, is to weave this into a winter stole or shawl. The Teeswater is long enough to take the abrasion of being in a warp, so to that end, I made the leftover laceweight into a fine three ply cable yarn. This keeps the colour grouping together. If I were to do this as a true three ply the colours would tend to get muddy and I wanted to avoid that. I think I have enough for the project.

There are eight skeins that weigh 645 gms. If not I can always spin more of the Teeswater and fiddle the design a bit. Motivation is now the issue. You all amaze me with the energy you have, the creativity you show and your unflagging drive, thank you for showing me a whole ‘other world of fibre art.

Round and Round I Go

Round and Round I Go

Happy New Year!

One of the things I wanted to do more of this past year was to stitch on felt.  I did one wool painting based on Moy Mackay’s “Anemones”  from her book Art Felt and Stitch that I used free motion embroidery for the first time.

I was a bit intimidated, but Lyn from Rosiepink encouraged me to keep trying.  So, using Rosiepink’s ebook  I chose to try an embroidered bowl.

I gathered up a lot of my swatches and scraps and decided to use some batik fabric samples I cut up, silk scraps of habotai and chiffon, hand dyed locks, cotton scrim, throwsters waste, hand dyed kid mohair, mulberry silk — dyed and undyed .  One batik swatch that I liked had Oriental fish.  I used that idea for the center of the bowl with handmade prefelt and later in the process I embroidered the details.

Following the instructions, I layed put the circle base and carefully decorated it with my prefelts, scraps and other embellishments.  I used hand dyed mulberry silk on the back to give that some color and shine, but didn’t take a picture. Here is the inner side before felting.

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After felting I let it dry then put in the embroidery details before starting the free motion stitching.

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I purchased five different colors of rayon Gutterman thread — grape, cranberry, turquoise, light purple and silver.

After getting organized to sew, I held my breath, said a prayer and round and round I went stitching as instructed happily watching the bowl take shape right before my eyes!

However, my eyes were crossed by the time I finished trying to follow the rows of stitching needed.  But the result was worth it.  The stitching isn’t perfect especially in the center.  I found it challenging to do the tighter small circles.

2014-10-28 12.12 2014-10-28 12.16It was hard to get decent pictures of the sides between the angle and the lightning.  But you can see the colors underneath and the shiny rayon threads.

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Thanks again to Lyn and Annie for such great instructions and your encouragement.  I hope one of these days the free motion will be second hand, but I still need more practice.  Fortunately, there are many more projects in the book to try besides venturing out on my own.

So, one of my resolutions is to continue to challenge myself to try new free motion projects this year.  What fiber resolutions have you made for 2015?



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