Over the break at New Year, I thought it’d be a good time to tidy up our supplies from the Well Being Centre. I mentioned at the beginning of the year I’d made a start on the fabrics tub. I also cleared out the equipment tub. Which inevitably led to clearing out the main wool tub! Not surprisingly we end up with lots of scrap bits of wool tops from the classes, from wisps left over from projects, to strips which have got clumped or matted from being in the bottom of the box or shoved around during searches. I thought it was easiest to just bring home all the wool to do a stock check. I sorted it all into piles, starting with single colours which had just become matted, or pulled all to bits:
Then I made piles of all the small left over bits, and grouped them according to colour. Reds, oranges and yellows Merino:
Red, orange and yellow textured tops (made from a previous scrap tidy up, some of these are probably 5th generation now!)
There were purples, blues and turquoise Merino shades:
And lots of Merino greens:
I started with carding the single colours which just needed refreshing or neatening up, then moved onto blending. We had a few other supplies I could add in, and plenty of my own to add a bit of brightness or contrast here and there. I tried not to overblend them so they had good shows of colour rather than just making a new shade. It’s not that easy to see with the blues though! This is one of the batts made from the mid blues:
The mid to dark blue one with a few flashes of purple refused to be photographed as a batt, but rolled up is fairly accurate:
I forgot to photograph one of the green ones, but this mid-greens looks nice:
The orange textured batt looked much the same as it did before, but is now useable again!
And the Red, orange and yellow batts always look good:
I think the blue blends I took in have already been used and half each of the reds/greens 🙂
I took Lyn’s advice and made the whiskers from wire. Here is the new look. I also decided to put her on a pedestal to see out the window rather than sitting on the windowsill. I found an old pot and turned it upside down, but I’m thinking gold may be better. Although, when she’s in the window you can’t see the pot.
I recently realized I needed to carry on my tradition of giving each grandchild a pumpkin wall hanging. I have a new grandson, Ken who arrived early in April.
But I didn’t really have a nice orange to make the pumpkin. So, I made a batt using hand dyed Corriedale, a funky orange pink merino, bright orange coarse commercial fiber, gold merino, hand dyed Domestic 56s with Logwood from Cathy and a touch of white. You can see the batt in the back. I think the color turned out well. I also used the merino/silk mix for the stem that I had used in the Edo challenge with the Sakura branches.
I had made a sketch of how I wanted the pumpkin to look. A bit different than his sister Lisa’s girly pumpkin from last year.
Of course, I got into laying it out and cutting the prefelts and forgot to take pictures. But here is Ken’s dried pumpkin.
Then after a little shave.
Now I guess I’d better start thinking about the upcoming holidays. Did you do anything for Halloween?
I decided to dye some Icelandic roving with the three primary yellow oranges in the Adobe picture. The colors at each end and in the middle. Let the mixing begin!
Using a printout of the Adobe pic, I used my acid dyes which were already prepared and mixed each color using what I thought would come closest. It’s really hard to tell from the color of the mix so I used coffee filters to write my formula and drop a sample at each stage. It still wasn’t showing a huge difference. I had already prepared the fiber, soaking it in vinegar water so I was ready to dye and hoped it worked.
I started with the middle color which the generator marked as base, then the color on the right, then the left.
Since I only have an induction stovetop in my work area, I wanted to do all the dyeing at once. So, I used zip bags and steamed them together in a large pot.
After steaming them for 30 minutes, I left the bags overnight to cool. The next morning I opened each one and was surprised that the roving was mottled.
Once the roving was rinsed and dried, I ran each through the drum carder.
The blended batts weren’t exactly the colors I had wanted, so I took it once step further and started blending the batts with more roving to try to get the colors I needed.
You can see the blended colors were closer to the samples I had made with the dye. Go figure. I guess the white filter paper may have lightened them up.
Here is the progression:
Number 1 (in the center) the formula was one tablespoon each red and orange, one drop blue and 2 drops black in one cup water.
Number 2 (on the right) –3 tablespoons red, 1 yellow, 1 drop black and 15 drops blue.
Number 3 (on the left) 3 tablespoons yellow, 1 red.
When I carded them I added white , black or blue to lighten or darken or mute the color. I just adding until I thought the color was close enough. There is no contest here, just satisfy yourself the color is close enough.
I really liked the purple and gray in the PaletteX picture. I had some merino close to the colors so I carded the purple with white to lighten and black to darken and yellow to mute. Then I had some steel gray merino that matched the gray.
Now, what to make? After a lot of thought, I decided to make an Ipad cover. I didn’t want to replicate the picture just use these colors to to give the impression of a sunset.
I made the resist using a 30% shrinkage rate, then covered the resist with hand dyed silk habatoi added a later of gold merino I had dyed a couple of weeks ago. The next layer was white Corriedale.
The final layer was the design using the colors I had just dyed and carded.
The inside ruched nicely and even mirrored the design on the outside.
Then in went the Ipad.
It is slightly larger than the Ipad. When I calculated the shrinkage, I based it on Merino shrinkage not Icelandic. But its okay since I can put in a pen and stylus.
So, for the challenge you can pick a picture and decide which colors you’d like to use, then dye/and or blend roving to get your colors. There is no set number. I just got carried away. Then use them in a project of your choice – wet felting, needle felting, spinning, etc. Whatever, you’re comfortable doing.
This was challenging for me, but I learned about color mixing and blending and just what the eye sees. Of course, the printed version and screen version may also be different. Just have fun with it!
I look forward to seeing your challenge pieces on the forum.
Recently on the Felting and Fiber Forum, Leonor was asking those of us who’d recently bought drum carders what we thought of them. I said I really liked mine from the Classic Carder company and didn’t tend to get fibre building up on the small drum, which seems to happen for some and I said I’d try and do some videos when I got chance. Yesterday I found time to do some videos. The first one took almost an hour to upload to youtube, so I have done some edited versions and I will try to upload the others when I have more time (it took 4 hours this morning). The first batt I made is using ‘texturey’ wools and fibres. They are mostly ones I have hand dyed myself, scoured wools like Bluefaced Leicester, Wensleydale and Falkland, carded Icelandic, some Alpaca, dyed Devon tops and some hand dyed silk tops and silk noil.
This is the video, sorry the light isn’t brilliant.
This next video is showing commercial wool tops being carded, these go through a lot easier, and the end ‘batt’ is a lot neater and smoother, more like wide roving than a batt. You can use the drum carder to make your own blends from wool tops which are usually more expensive than single colours. Depending on how you put the wool through will depend how ‘stripey’ it is or how blended.
I like to make blended batts with some texture and some wool tops. This next video shows about half of the texture batt being blended with the wool tops batt, I think I added some soy tops, flax and ramie to this too.
I don’t often do this, but for demonstration purposes, I put the texture and tops batt from the previous video through again.
I used a shower curtain on the table while making these videos, I hoped the white would help lighten them a little, I don’t think it made much difference, but it does show up some of the dust that collects under the carder!