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Felt Pod with Differential Shrinkage Has a Mind of It’s Own

Felt Pod with Differential Shrinkage Has a Mind of It’s Own

I am continuing on in the differential shrinkage experimentation mode and wanted to try a different shape with a resist and try again on the machine lace inclusion.

I stitched the stamen in a radiating pattern and doubled the length since my last ones were too short. I also am using a lighter inside wool color so that the black thread will show up better.

First, I decided on my resist shape and then covered it with four layers of batt on each side. The photo on the right shows the piece after a bit of felting. I really didn’t do that much felting but I should have paid a bit more attention. It was too felted and really already past the pre-felt stage. I haven’t used these short fiber merino batts that much and boy do they felt fast! But since I wasn’t paying enough attention, I just kept going.

I then cut the “pre-felt” into 5 pieces and started on the inner layer.

I used the same resist again and put the machine lace stamen in place over the resist. I covered that with a thin layer of merino wool in a yellow (with a green tinge). Then at the last moment, I decided to add a stem. So I whipped up a stem with brown and burnt orange and added that to the inner layer.

Now to add the “pre-felt” back over the inner layer and ready to felt. I took quite a bit of time trying to get the green to adhere to the yellow but it just wasn’t to be. I did add a bit more green wool to the top of the “petals” so that they would adhere better to the stem.

It seemed like it had started to adhere slightly to the yellow so I thought if I took the resist out and worked from the inside, that it might get those yellow fibers to adhere to the back side of the green.  But that really didn’t work. There were a few places where it adhered slightly but I needed to have roughed up the inside of the green felt and that might have worked. But really, I should have done less felting of the green so that it was still pre-felt.

So it didn’t turn out as planned. It looks more like a flower than a seed pod. The yellow layer is separate from the green and therefore, I didn’t get any differential shrinkage. The new stamen worked better than the last experiment and didn’t adhere to the felt even though I never covered them with plastic. But it is an experiment so I will just go with the result.

I decided the stem needed more dimension so I needle felted some grooves and notches to give it a more natural feel.

I’m not sure how many times I need to learn that sometimes wool/felt has a mind of it’s own. Also, that I can’t rush the process or not pay attention. That’s usually when I set myself up for disappointment. But I accept that it’s just another learning opportunity and an experiment. And perhaps, next time, I will remember to not rush the process.


Influencing Shape with Prefelt Part 2

Influencing Shape with Prefelt Part 2

I finally got around to trying a different shaped pod using prefelt to influence the shape. My first post creating a seed pod is here. I created this pod in the same way but started with a different shape and cut the prefelt differently. I decided to use a bit brighter color for the inside layer.

I used the same green batt that I had used on my last pod but used a tear drop shaped resist. I covered the resist and felted until it was holding together to make a prefelt.

I then cut a little cap off the top and a diagonal type cut all the way down to the end. The photo on the left shows the “front” side and the photo on the right is the “back” side.

I then took the green prefelt off the resist and covered it with orange wool and wet the orange wool down. Then I put the green prefelt back over top of the orange wool. I wrapped the orange wool around the resist from side to side. Next time, I think I would wrap it from end to end to get a more defined shrinkage but it worked this way too. The orange layer is fairly thin compared to the thicker green prefelt.

I then began felting the two together. I carefully rubbed along all the green edges and worked on getting the edges to stick down to the orange underneath. Once everything was holding together, I removed the resist. Then I fulled the piece and rubbed along the orange lines to get the resulting shape. I fulled it very hard so it would hold its shape easily.

And here’s the result. It does look very much like a seashell but also could be a chili pod or some other sort of veggie pod. These are really fun to make, have you tried this technique yet? Please show us your results over on the forum.


2017 Second Quarter Challenge

2017 Second Quarter Challenge

At the beginning of this quarter, Ann had posted about this quarters challenge theme being early Celtic.

I thought a lot about it and had several ideas, but wasn’t sure I could pull them off.  One of them was a pod with spirals.  Lyn got to it before me, but of course as she said, everyone does things differently.  So, I did.

I had some Llama yarn I hand dyed years ago in several colors.  I decided to use that for the spirals.  I made a little bit larger pod than usual in order to accommodate the design.  I laid one layer of Merino on each side, then two layers of Corriedale and a final layer of Merino.  I felt this would give the pod some substance.  Here is the start of the topside design.

Full design wetted down.

Bottom (I ran out of turquoise so I used yellow.)   I had actually had a yellow spiral on the bottom, but forgot to flip it over before starting the topside design so it ended up being cut out.

I did a lot of rubbing to get the design to stay, but the Llama was not cooperating.   It was felting to itself and not the Merino.  Frustrated, I let it dry out then needle felted the design in place.  That did the trick, but the Llama shed everywhere and blurred the design.

I tried shaving and shipping tape it but wasn’t helping.  So, I grabbed my tweezers and embroidery scissors and sat for an hour pulling long hairs out of the design.  There is still more I could have pulled out but goal was to get the black to look black and set off the design.

Much better.

I kept looking at the pod thinking it was out of shape, but it finally occurred to me it was an optical illusion because of the design.

As for the Llama, I thought I had used it before and if I did I didn’t remember it being problematic.  I don’t think I’ll be using it again.

Have you done the challenge yet?  You can post your work on the forum any time, but we’ll be announcing the next challenge soon.