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Using My Prefelt

Using My Prefelt

Having made the prefelt without needles or water it was time to try using it. here’s the post about doing that: trying-out-a-new-way-of-making-prefelt/ I cut a small square ( 2.25 by 3.75 inches)  and added some cut bits to the top.

Even though as a whole piece, it had been very sturdy, The cut pieces seemed fragile. I wondered if it was because they were small. I decided to try a bigger piece( 3.5 x4 inches). I folded a smaller piece to cut a flower shape and popped it onto the prefelt square

I thought I should try it on a loose wool layout.  I laid out 2 good layers of wool and added some prefelt to the top (4.5×7.5 inches).

I put them on some plastic on a rubbery rolling mat. I did some rubbing but not a lot as I prefer rolling. I had started to wet it when I remembered to take a picture.

This is after one set of rolls, you can see they already look integrated. the small piece looks like the shapes have really blurred.

 

I rolled it twice more, no more than 50 rolled back and forth each time.

I don’t think it looks very different. The prefelt defiantly incorporated into the prefelt backing and loose wool backing.

Here are the prefelt on prefelt samples after drying

 

the small pieces lost all semblance of shape. I think they were just too small. the bigger piece faired much better. There was almost no visible migration of fibres on these, even on the back.

The loos wool worked well the shapes stayed better even the smaller ones. They are visibly thicker, a little puffy. I don’t see any migration of the background up through prefelt.

On the back, you can see the outlines of the shapes. the shorter cut fibres of the edge migrating. I have noticed this with regular needled or wet felted prefelt too.

None of these pieces were properly fulled. They have just begun to shrink. The migration may have been more on both sides and with both backgrounds if they were properly fulled but I ran out of time to do that if they were going to be dry for final pictures.

All in all, I would say it’s a faster and easier way to make prefelt than needling or wet felting. I don’t think it would work for cutting intricate designs but they just maybe my bad cutting. I don’t think the commercial stuff works well for intricate things either.

I did try peeling the layers like you can with the thicker prefelt.  It worked ok in the thicker parts but wouldn’t come apart at the thinner edge. A more consistent layout might solve that problem.

Trying out a new way of making prefelt

Trying out a new way of making prefelt

I recently heard about a no water, no needle way of making prefelt. I thought I would give it a try and see how it works. It’s fairly simple. You layout your wool on a mat or plastic and roll it dry. When I teach resist felting I usually dry felt the layout by just pressing and wiggling to make it stick together well enough to pick up and move, so we can make the second side. I am sure we have all found that ball of roving in the bottom of a bag that is well on its way to bing a solid felt blob. Taking this idea further just makes sense.

On Sunday it was Library day at the guild and I knew it would be a fairly quiet one so I took my supplies with me. Here is my try at dry non-needled prefelt.

I am using a rubbery placemat and a plastic grocery bag. The Grocery bag is because I put the little piece of plastic in my coat pocket and then didn’t wear my coat. I picked 2 colours so I can see how much migration there is if any. I did jiggle the felt to stick it together, the same way I do when I want to move a layout.

 

 

I rolled it 100 rolls in each direction flipping it between as well. It came out very flat and has started to shrink.

 

 

I rolled it some more. I had intended to do another 100 rolls in each direction but we were chatting so I am sure it got much more than that, especially on the last set of rolls. It definitely shrunk in both directions but not a lot.

 

 

I cut it to see what it looked like. the edges are thicker and flatter than the middle but it’s still pretty solid.

Jan took a movie of it with her camera. It shows how sturdy the prefelt is.

I rolled it again to see how the edges would fair. There were wisps that migrated out in the direction of the rolling. I think it would have been better to just finger rub the edges. There was really no migration to the surface by the opposite layer.

 

All in all, I think it worked well with very little fuss. Next, I am going to try cutting out some shapes and felting them on their own, to prefelt and on a fresh layout. Have you ever tried this method? how did it go?

 

 

Fingerless Mitts or maybe they are Gauntlets or Wrist warmers

Fingerless Mitts or maybe they are Gauntlets or Wrist warmers

I am super busy getting ready for our last farmers market of the year. We sold so many meat pies I will be frantically trying to make as many as possible for this Saturday. I thought you might like this fingerless mitts post I did a few years ago.

 

I decided I want to sell some fingerless mitts this fall. Or maybe they are gauntlets or wrist warmers? Does anyone know what the difference is?

First I have to make a pair of resists. I traced my arm from knuckles to almost my elbow.  then measured around my arm to see how much I had to add for depth. then I figured on 30% shrinkage.

fingerless mitt resist

Naturally, I picked purple wool. I used about 60 grams for the pair. mostly because that is what was in the ball of wool I grabbed.

100_7131

 

 

fingerless mitts ready to felt

Here they are finished

fingerless mitt finnished

They turned out fine and they fit me and my much thinner daughter so sizing is good.  I may add some stitching and beading.  I think they are a little heavy or thick. I was going to put a thumb hole in but I think it would be uncomfortable with the thickness. Next time I think I will use 40 grams of wool and see how that goes.  I may try making the part over the hand pointed too. I think it would look nice.

 

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.

 

Third Quarter Challenge Sample

Third Quarter Challenge Sample

I have been trying to decide what to do for the third quarter challenge. I remembered a post Zed did a while back that showed the back of her piece and how a colored piece of prefelt showed on the back as the edges migrated through the felt. So I thought I would try that idea.

I used a piece of white merino prefelt and then cut circles from a batt of short fiber merino in black. The plan was to put the circles on the back of the prefelt and see how the color migrated through the prefelt. I used only one layer of prefelt.

I placed the circles on the prefelt and then wet it down. I flipped it over and then mainly worked from the front side rubbing to felt.

Here is the piece after felting. The front is on the left and the back on the right. There was definitely a lot of migration of the black fiber through the prefelt. It gives it a muted appearance.

I then blocked the felt on a foam square to even out the edges a bit.

And here’s the finished felt after blocking, left is the front and right is the back. It’s interesting how the edges of the circle migrate more than the centers. So you get a darker line around the edge. Now to decide how to finish this. I was thinking of screen printing some circles over the top. What color would you suggest? I think I might cut it up afterwards and make some note cards.

Using Prefelt … Almost

Using Prefelt … Almost

I’ve been meaning to make more of my own prefelt for ages. I have some commercial prefelt, but thought it’d be nice to have some in other colours and even multi colours. I also had the idea I wanted to recreate a band logo or design or something. There was one I had in mind, with only 3 colours, so I thought I’d start small. The first colour I needed was red:

And, I also needed black, not as much, but I wanted to make enough in case of mistakes:

And it’s probably a good thing I did! I’ve only cut simple shapes from prefelt before, all freestyle I think. I might have been a bit too ambitious with my idea … Firstly, all the faffing around with the design, simplifying it to individual colours, then making those just outlines, enlarging, printing, cutting out etc, that all took a couple of hours. Then I couldn’t find anything to trace around the shapes and leave a clear outline. So, for now, I’ll just have to show you the shapes ready for tracing:

Those are the main shapes (flames), there are some smaller ones I’ll need to do too. I don’t think there’s enough black for too many mistakes, so I’ll have to be careful!

One thing I do have finished is a bird pod. Probably better for nesting material, I think.

And the back:

Have you overestimated how ‘simple’ a project should be?

Wrapping Up 2017 Projects

Wrapping Up 2017 Projects

Right now its cold in the Chicago area and as Christmas quickly approaches, I thought of my daughter in law Mari’s parents who live in Japan.  Their weather is very much like ours here.  While we will spend the holidays in California, I thought I would make and send some warm scarves for them since they are staying in Japan for the winter.

Lately, I’ve been doing  smaller projects,  so these scarves took me a while to complete in stages.

I had some merino/silk roving in a couple of colors I thought would be neutral enough.The one on the left I used to make myself a cobweb scarf a while back. Then I made a my husband a scarf using prefelt in the center.  This time I was going to do something different.

 

The roving was quite twisted, so I made batts for each scarf. I laid them next to each other, wetted them down then let my EZ Felter machine do the hard work.

I finished and fulled them by hand using my bead boards and solar pool covering.  I  believe this roving had more silk in it and is a bit softer.

This roving was multicolored with a bit of brown, green, blue, gold and white in it.

While it looks beige in the pic above, the closeup is more the actual color scheme.

I hope no matter if you are in the heat or cold, you all have a wonderful, happy holiday!

Penquin’s 2017 Christmas Card

Penquin’s 2017 Christmas Card

Penquin (Anne Hickley) made me a beautiful Panda card for the holiday exchange.  For some reason I was stuck on the idea of a Poinsettia.  You may have already seen it on the Forum.

I made one for myself last year to hang as a decoration and wanted to do another.  Of course, making a card became more complicated than I had anticipated.  But I enjoyed making it.

I started out making thin red prefelt and cut out 5 or 6 layers of different sizes, putting plastic wrap between each layer leaving a hole in the center so they’d all felt together.  I had some green for the leaves and laid those underneath.  Unfortunately, I didn’t take pictures before I felted them.  But here is the flower after felting with beads for the center.

I stitched each petal and leaf.

Then I felted a white background with some sparkly fabric for a snowy effect.

I did another without the sparkle to be the back.  On the back I used Luminescent paint to write the words.

Now it was time to put it all together.  I used stabilizer on the back of the sparkly piece and sewed the flower on by hand.

Then the fun part was putting them together using the blanket stitch.

I’m happy Penguin enjoyed it and hope everyone is ready for the holidays!

Pre-Felt Samples and Nuno Scarf

Pre-Felt Samples and Nuno Scarf

While I had my pre-felt out doing the Suprematist pieces, I thought I’d try a few more samples using it. I’ve only used it a few times, but the suprematist pieces were so quick to felt, I thought it might be quite handy for making small pieces for greetings cards. The first one I tried was using some fibre and cotton gauze ‘paper’ I’d made a few years ago. The pieces were already cut out, I carefully peeled off the gauze and laid them on a piece of prefelt:

I can’t remember which fibre I used, but it looks shiny and metallic in real life, like copper, bronze and graphite, not dull brown, pink and grey! The piece is quite flat:

I used some dyed Silk Carrier Rods for the other two pieces, this first one has ‘whole’ layers peeled from the rods before dyeing:

There’s a bit more texture on this piece:

I used small bits of dyed silk rods on this piece, bits which fell off during peeling or after dyeing:

This had more texture too, probably because the pieces overlapped more:

I’ve been into making scarves lately, or more precisely endlessly carding wool and ironing scrim for making scarves, but I have finished a couple. This is a white one I made a few weeks ago:

I used rose fibre for embellishing:

I cut the scarf wider than my template, and scrunch gathered it to size before adding the wool, so it’d have some texture on the back:

And it only took about half an hour to do the photos this time!

4th Quarter Challenge Part 2

4th Quarter Challenge Part 2

I felted the Prefelt and Fibre paper Suprematist pieces that I showed you last time. I think the pieces shifted a bit, but this is the first one:

It didn’t have much texture after felting and is quite flat. The colours didn’t blend where they overlapped, but the underneath colour migrated through at the edges:

For some reason the burgundy piece was a lot fuzzier on the edges:

I did alter the second coloured one slightly, I noticed all the triangular shapes were pointing in the same direction on the same angle.

This piece was mostly flat too, the only part which isn’t is at the bottom where I used a piece of the white which is thicker/heavier prefelt:

The white piece was far more interesting before felting:

You can see from an angled photo the different textures, colours and shine better:

A close up:

The different thicknesses are more obvious on the Black and White one:

You can see how shiny the white bamboo is compared to the ‘black’ bamboo from this angle:

Close up:

I know I’m always complaining about how hard it’s been to get decent photos, but I’d forgotten how small the time frame is at this time of year where I live. I know it’s not a huge deal, no one’s expecting ‘professional’ shots on the blog, but when trying to show fibre comparisons for example, or like this week-white on white, you get massively different results depending on the time of day, or whether someone in the flats opposite opens their window just enough to direct the sun right on to your desk! So, here’s a slide show of comparisons for you of trying to photograph the white piece this week: Too late in the afternoon; Too early in the morning; Just right; Just right until neighbours open the window!

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