This year we’ve talked a lot about embellishments whether they were new fibers or scraps and saw a lot of samples. A little embellishment goes a long way. So, I decided to go thru my embellishment stash and choose ten different types that someone may like to try.
There is approximately 10 grams of each.
Starting with the left hand row from the bottom up: Ramie, Hemp, Milk Protein and Texas Mohair.
The second row: Black Tussah, Yak and a multicolored silk Tussah.
The last row is Tencel, Mulberry silk and degummed cocoons.
Please note the Texas Mohair and the cocoons contain some VM.
I’ll mark each bag with the name and weight.
A couple of years ago I made a “sampler” book cover with a bunch of embellishments as a reference.
Drum roll please…… the winner of the December Green dyes and Silk Scarves is Maureen number 28!
Please PM on the forum or send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your full name and mailing address. I will have your prize in the mail asap.
When you have an opportunity to use the dyes and scarves, please share your results with us on the forum or write a blog about it. Just let us know you’d like to do that. We hope you enjoy using them!
Thanks to everyone who participated!
Before I had surgery I felted a couple of small things. The first was using the roving I had dyed for the 3rd Quarter Challenge to make a pod with cuts showing other colors underneath. I had used a lot of coarse fibers and decided I liked the rugged look so I didn’t shave it.
The next was a gift for a friend for her 70th birthday. Another pod, but slightly larger. I made some batts first. I used sparkly yarn as well as silk and milk protein for embellishments.
If you look closely you can see the sparkly yarn inside.
Then to get into the holiday spirit I made a poinsettia flower with the intention of embellishing it later.
I used very thin prefelt, cut out the leaf shapes and used layers of saran wrap to separate them.
While I’ve been recuperating from surgery, I’ve been working on some small projects. I finished the poinsettia by adding beads and adding stitching to the leaves and petals.
It’s now hanging on a wall to add a little holiday cheer to the house.
Our guest artist today is Cathy Wycliff aka Luvswool.
After several months of taking a hiatus from felting–due to a work project and family health issues–I was starving to get back into it.
Fortunately, Marilyn suggested a lesson in carding batts. I don’t own a carder and my experience with blending fibers has been minimal, that is, using my dog brushes to blend a few bits of wool roving. Last Friday, Marilyn came over with two carders: a Louet Junior with a very coarse cloth (40 tpi?), and a standard Brother with fine (120 tpi) cloth.
I felt more comfortable beginning with the Louet, and grabbed some neutrals to begin the carding process. I used these fibers with no particular plan for my first batt: Mystery fiber chunks and fibers, possibly some Finn hand-spun; hand-dyed vintage yarn (early 80s); small amount of Domestic 56s and Navajo churro–all in various neutral shades, mostly gray.
Then it was time to move on to the Brother for some finer carding. This time I went for color: Indigo-dyed Domestic 56s, dark blue Merino, hand-dyed mulberry silk, white Tencel, green mystery fiber, possibly Corriedale. The machine was a bit more sensitive, and so the fibers needed to be fed more carefully onto the drum.
I tried the Brother once again, using slightly different fibers and colors: Hand-dyed Indigo Domestic 56s, dark blue Merino, white Tencel, unknown white fiber (possibly cotton), and Milk protein. Marilyn suggested we make two passes through with the fibers.
Some things that surprised me about the carding experience: it took a lot of time and was more difficult than I imagined; the fibers don’t necessarily cooperate, in that bits get caught on the smaller drum; and finally, it’s probably a good idea to have a plan of what you want to make with the batts before you begin. This was an experience I really enjoyed and I have made a couple more batts with the Louet coarse carder, which Marilyn generously has loaned me. The neutrals below were passed through three times.
More mystery fibers in green and yellow.
Thanks Cathy for sharing your first experience with carding batts. Do you still have carder envy? Personally, I am happy to have the carders. They have come in handy more than once. I love making batts just for fun. I don’t always have a use for them and often give them away. Its always a creative learning experience!
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