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My Second Poker Challenge: Felting.

My Second Poker Challenge: Felting.

Last time I showed you my spinning poker challenge. https://feltingandfiberstudio.com/2021/07/26/spinning-poker-challenge/ This time it’s the felting poker challenge

In case you didn’t see it the idea is you pick a card from felting four different category card decks. With felting wool is a given.

My picks are:

Fibre: use thread or fine yarn

Colour: use cool colours

Structure/Technique: needle felting

Other: No Larger Than An Index Card ( 3inches by 5inches, 7.5cm by 12.5 cm)

This one took me a while to figure out. I kept thinking of a cold picture even though I do know cool colours doesn’t mean a cold picture. I don’t usually do needle-felt pictures I usually wet felt and then do a little needling and stitching. I am glad it’s only a small piece.

To start I cut the right size piece of prefelt for the base. I got this to try out From Monica of The Olive Sparrow. I have to say so far it is very nice to use. It’s quite thick and nice to needle into, not too hard and not too soft. Just like baby bears bed.

          

 

Next, I picked my colours for a nice scene. Most of it is merino except the two-tone green. It is corriedale.

 

Laying it out. and tacking it all down. I wanted sky and water and a clifftop.

 

The sky and sea are blending together. I went online and had a look at some sea and sky pictures. There seems to be a definite dark line where they meet but when I added it to the picture, it looked odd. I decided to pop an island in.

That looks better but it looks lonely so I added another one and greyed them out a bit to make them look a little farther away.

That is where it stands now. You will notice there are no threads or fine yarns. That will be next. I will probably add some grasses and flowers to the foreground with stitching and maybe a tiny lighthouse on the rock. I am not sure yet what I want to do.

Spinning Poker Challenge

Spinning Poker Challenge

Every summer my weavers and spinners guild does a fibre poker challenge. You can choose weaving, spinning or felting. I am doing spinning and felting. This post is about the spinning challenge. I haven’t started my felting one yet.

In these challenges, they make up 4 decks of cards. The cards for spinning are Fiber, Colour, Type of Yarn and General Design. You pick one from each to get your poker hand. You are allowed to return one and draw another.

Mine are

Fibre: surprise us.

Colour: dark rich colours

Type of Yarn: thick and thin

General Design: include locks

I decided I wanted to try spinning some of the silk hankies I have. these looked like dark rich colours. Well, not that dark but not pastel.

I looked up what was the recommended way of prepping them for spinning. It was to poke a hole in the middle and stretch them out. Most of the drafting is done in the stretching out. I did 2 of each colour. They stretch quite far. I am sure I could have stretched them at least twice as long but I didn’t want my yarn that thin.

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I also have to do thick and thin. I decided the easiest way to do that was to use the required locks to create the thick parts. I think these are Bluefaced Leicester.

I don’t have a spinning wheel. I like to spin small amounts, so I use a drop spindle I have quite a few.

 

After I finished the 4 silk hankies I made it into a center-pull ball. My original intention was to ply one end against the other.

But then I changed my mind. I spun some purple silk top to use as the other ply.

I made it into a center-pull ball as well. I put one small ball on my thumb and one on a finger. I used a little painter’s tape to keep the outside thread from unravelling as I will be pulling from the center, then I can control how fast it pulls out. I like painter’s tape as it’s just sticky enough to hold but comes off easily without grabbing and pulling the fibres and doesn’t leave any sticky behind. If I was going to store the ball I would tie the two ends together instead.

           

Somehow I guessed right and had just a little more of the second simple single than the first fancy single.

That’s my laptop lid so as you can see there wasn’t much extra.

I wound it off into a skein. It looks a little wobbly at first but it needs to have a bath to let the spin show what it’s really like.  I used the small extra piece to tie the skein in 4 places. I wanted the 4 ties because I am very good at tangling skeins.

 

Here it is after its bath and hang to dry. I didn’t use any weight to try to set the yarn, I wanted it to be its natural self. I am quite happy I managed to get a nice balanced spin. I took to pictures flipping it over so you can see both sides.

I spread it out more and took a close-up. I am really please with how this came out. It was difficult to get the locks in because naturally, the twist wanted to go to the thinnest part.

 

I hope you like it too. It was a bit of a challenge but that’s the point, get you doing something you wouldn’t normally do.  I could have wished for some action shots but it’s hard to spin and hold the fibre and hold the camera. It puts me back to wondering why on earth my prehistoric ancestors got rid of the prehensile tail, it would be so handy.

3rd Quarter Challenge and Summer Poker Challenge in One.

3rd Quarter Challenge and Summer Poker Challenge in One.

My guild does a summer poker challenge every summer. first, you pick weaving or spinning or new this year felting. You pick 3 cards from a deck of cards to find out your challenge for the summer. The idea is to get you to try something you wouldn’t usually do.  I picked my card in June. I got blue, cotton and metallic.  Then Lyn and Annie announced the 3rd quarter challenge of a personal item to keep you warm. There is more about the challenge here:

2020 Third Quarter Challenge

The first thing I did was dye some open-weave cotton I had.  You can read more about that here in this blog post I did:

Cotton dyed and some new fibre.

All the pictures will open larger if you click on them.

My plan is to make a lightweight poncho for cool evenings. This requires a big layout. the start is 4feet by 4feet. I put the first layer of cotton down and decided to use thin plastic for the resist so it would roll up easily. I don’t need to feel the edge of the resist like you do making a hat.

I added the second piece of cotton and sewed around the edge using big basting stitches.

Then I took it all out and overlapped the edges and sewed it up again. The edge will be visible on the inside and I didn’t want the seam sticking out.

All sewn together

Next, I added a very thin and not perfectly neat, layer of medium blue. I want the cotton to show through. Then started adding the embellishments. Sorry about the pictures not being great but I am holding my phone as high up as I can, trying to get an overall shot.

This one is a bit better. Mostly the embellishments are wool in different colours.  I added the metallic threads to take care of that part of the poker challenge but didn’t get a good picture.

These are the 2 sparkly nylons I used for the metallic part of the challenge; bronze and steel. I only used a little. I don’t want to sparkle very much.

Next is wet it all down, and start felting- rubbing and rolling.

When it was starting to shrink I opened one corner to be the hole for the head and opened the bottom 2 sides.

Here it is finished.

And the cotton sides

Here are some closeups

The cotton side

The wool side

And the metallic bitts, they don’t shrink so they get wiggly.

I am very happy with the result. The wool separated out and let the cotton show through. It has a nice light feel and I think it invokes the feel of moving water or ripples on a pond. It should work well for cool nights.

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