I recently taught a class about an hour north of where I live. I had 4 lovely ladies in the class and we had a great time making the scarves.
Here are thier layouts just before wetting.
And after much rubbing and rolling and a lunch break in the middle
They had some lovely scarves, this is the wool side.
And the silk side.
These where still wet so they will all lighten up as they dry. The difference in length is mostly do the lay out direction ( across or up and down) and some to how much fulling each person wanted to do. Everyone seemed happy with thier results so that makes me happy too.
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!
This isn’t as exotic as sampling Swedish wools, but it was a lesson in the benefits of sampling.
A while ago I had showed you a pile of scarves, blouses and remnants I had purchased to try nuno felting.
While they all passed the “blow” test or looked or felt like they would felt well, there were a couple of big surprises.
When I make samples, I usually use prefelt and small samples of each of the fabrics on the same piece. This way they are all felted the same way in the same amount of time in the same way.
Here is a picture of a couple of them before felting. The upper left was an open cotton weave, the upper right was a scarf of unknown origin. The lower left was a remnant that was sparkly with some embroidery and the lower right was part of a silk blouse.
This isn’t a very clear picture below, but the second from the left was the one scarf I purchased I thought was perfect for nuno and was looking forward to using it on something special. To the left of that on top was a scarf that felt like it had some lycra in it below was a piece of lace and sequin on some type of mesh. The third from the left was an organza with sparkle.
Boy was I mistaken. After all the others were felted I continued to work on the flower and sparkly pieces, but they wouldn’t felt. I was really glad I didn’t invest in a big project to use the flower scarf. I even tried it on another piece of felt. You probably recognize the purple on the left that I used for my jewelry roll. The scarf on the right also felted nicely. I even used some wisps of wool on top of the flowers, but they clumped together and there were only a couple of threads on the flower piece that caught.
Here’s a closeup of the right one.
The other samples turned out nicely. The blue green and red were silk and the gold a polyester organza.
The one on the right below was a burnout fabric which surprised me it felted so well. On the left a silver gray polyester organza.
The blue on the left was a piece of lycra which didn’t do well either, but I wasn’t surprised at that. Above that was a piece of acrylic yarn that felted nicely.
The blouse felted very nicely and I’m sure I’ll use that for a special project in the future.
I was also surprised at the sequin and mesh. I thought that also had a lycra base. I loved how the mystery blue scarf turned out. It has a shine and felt like a polyester with something else. It has a very nice texture.
My favorite was the brightly colored scarf. Now, I wish I had yards of it instead only part of a scarf.
I don’t always do samples, but if I want to use something for an important project I’ve learned its best to take the time to do it.
Now I know what to expect when I use these fabrics and which ones not to use for felting. Although a couple of them might work with coarser wools. But that’s for another time.
I am still working toward my up coming show. I have been making some short ruffle scarves that should work well inside winter coats. I use a template to get the proportions right and have them shrink to the right size. You can see the template below the scarf below and you can see how much it shrank.
Here are the 3 I have done. In the first one you can see the ruffles and then all rolled up looking like hand weights.
I also taught a slipper class last week end. I couldn’t find my sample s so had to quickly make a couple. I made little boots for my grandson. her they are stuffed with plastic and covered in some pantyhose ready for the washer and the finished pair.
I tried the heart shaped template. It was on the Forum but I can’t find it right now.
They are not fulled enough but I needed to stop to have them dry in time. It was good really because they could feel the difference between Fynn’s fulled slippers and mine. I will stuff them and put them through the washer. I am sorry to say I forgot to take any pictures at the class.
And lastly another inspiration picture. The leaves are now starting to fall so now the ground and the trees match and it is time to play in the leaves.
I had a fairly productive week I made 4 cup cozies. They need their buttons and elastic loops but I should get that done this week. I need to sort out if they are narrow enough to go through the handle on a coffee mug. If they don’t fit I will make them for travel mugs without handles.
Here are some close up pictures. The top two have throwsters silk waste. The bottom left is a silk scarf and the right is cotton cheesecloth.
I also got the inklette loom warped to make a strap.
The weaving is not great but it is getting better as I go.
Lastly I had t very nice ladies to may studio to learn to make nuno felt scarves. As usual I was busy with the students and forgot to take pictures until the end.
Our guest artist today is Jill Chadek with Merino and Mulberry in Two Rivers, Wisconsin. She is also our banner sponsor for May on the Felt and Fiber Studio Forum.
To touch something soft and silky awakens our earliest emotions!
The pleasure of the touch of silk started my exploration of silk painting. A few
years later I was introduced to felting, that magical process of transforming
dampened clumps of wool fibers into cloth! Then, when I discovered that I
could incorporate the two, working the fibers to lock into the silk I was hooked!
Through time, that magical process of felting has inspired and allowed me to
express my passion for color, pattern and texture. Felting, allows me to “paint”
with fibers to create personal accessories such as scarves, shawls, vest, hats
Prior to felting I had dabbled in many mediums but none have held my
attention and interest like felting has. I love working with my hands, the tactile
experience of painting with the fine and silky fibers. It still makes me catch my
breath when I wet the fibers down and the wool gets all loose feeling. I have to
remind myself that soon the fibers will start to migrate and tangle and the
magic of creating a fabric will happen right in my hands!
If you are new to felting, have patience and have fun! It will be frustrating at
times! There are as many different ways to create felt as there are felters, and
you will find that everyone swears their way is best! So many variables are at
play: the type of fibers, water hardness and temperature, soap, pressure,
thickness, and added embellishments, just to name a few. No wonder no simple
equation will work! It is only through exploration and experience that you will
learn the “feel” of the fibers at the different stages. So have fun and play!
Though I consciously have a design in mind when I start a project, my
unconscious, and the fibers influence my hands and the final outcome, which is
I enjoy that even after all of my years as a felting artist there is still something
new to learn and to explore. Right now I am loving creating hats! I do not use
any hat forms but instead let each hat tell me what shape it would like to be. I
love that while making a fashion statement they are also keeping it’s wearer
cozy warm! I am truly grateful for the joy that I experience in the creation of
each item and trust that wonderful emotions are also awakened in the wearer.
Please feel free to browse my website www.merinoandmulberry.com. It is my hope
that my creations will inspire you to stretch and grow as a felting artist. Also on
my website you can view a video of me using the E-Z Roller Felting Machine of
which I am the international representative. This machine has allowed me to
continue felting when I was experiencing terrible vertigo and more recently
when I had shoulder and neck problems. It removes the 1 negative of felting –
the physical chore of rolling your project, therefore allowing you to focus on the
fun, creative aspect of this beautiful medium. If you would like to learn more,
just contact me!
Thanks for sharing your artist journey with us Jill!
Just before the end of last year, I made a few scarves that I didn’t get chance to post about. The first one was a present for my sister’s birthday. I took the inspiration for the colours from a previous scarf I made, which was blue and purple. I blended up equal amounts of blue, purple and green 18.5 mic Merino on my drum carder. I can’t remember now how many times I put the batts through, I think it was only once because I wanted random variegation. This is the back of the scarf:
I added some silk top to the front:
And I just like the way this photo looks 🙂
I used what was left of the batts and added some more blue, purple and green, with a lot more green so I could make a scarf for my dad. You might remember the batt. I used some to make a nuno sample (which is now my nuno collar which I wear when I go out, though it looks more like a foppish cravat!) When I weighed it, there wasn’t enough for a scarf, so I had to blend up some more Merino. Even though I only needed about 10 grams to be on the safe side, I had to recreate the stages of the other one to get a similar blend. I think it’s my favourite one so far:
Here’s a close up
One thing I noticed while carding the batts, was that the more the wool/batts were carded, or re-carded, the more I got soft little nepps appearing. I did pick a few out, but it wasn’t easy so I left them, hoping they wouldn’t be a problem since they were so soft. It might be my imagination because I certainly can’t feel them, but there definitely seems to be more texture on this scarf. I think the light here caught it just right:
I liked the way this photos looks too, I’d just casually dropped the scarf on the table and it folded like this:
Congratulations to Jolanta, winner of the Third Birthday Giveaway #4! Please send me your snail mail address and I’ll put the batts in the mail to you. I look forward to seeing how you use them. I hope you have fun!
Here in the Midwest USA, the weather has turned cold and the snow has started to fly. With the holidays and New Year around the corner, my thoughts have turned to warmth and gifts.
I’ve wanted to experiment with cobweb felt so I made a cobweb scarf with one layer of a merino/silk mix. I didn’t intentionally make holes, but let the process dictate the outcome.
Here are some closeups:
It is very lightweight but has enough fiber to keep the neck warm.
Using the same type of merino/silk mix, I made two additional scarves. But this time I didn’t want holes, so I used two layers of fiber and carefully inspected each before felting for weak spots filling in where necessary, then checked frequently during the process.
Of course, with the process of rolling and fulling each ended up with some holes. The brown more than the lilac. I like the look of them, but disappointed in the outcome.
Last year I made my husband a scarf with the merino/silk mix, but used a prefelt between layers and it made it much heavier. Perhaps, next time I will use an additional layer of merino instead of prefelt for a thinner scarf.
I’ve also been pod happy again and have made two more as gifts. I made batts using merino/silk, and merino for outside layers and Cheviot as an inner layer to give the bowl strength, but of course, it migrates through and had to be shaved.
What projects have you been working on for the season?
I’m doing another Craft Fair at the beginning of November so I wanted to make a few diary covers. This usually involves my desk getting covered with embroidery threads, and the only exception this time was that I decided to tidy them up too. I made cardboard ‘bobbins’ for some of them and spent ages untangling and winding and then putting duplicate spares in a bag. Then a couple of days later I decided to clear some more drawers and spread the threads out a bit, make them even tidier and easy to choose. These are all the drawers:
One of the pieces I’m using for a book cover is a piece I made years ago. I wanted to see if I could make a subtle plaid design by laying out bold stripes of colours on my two layers, it was more subtle than I thought, but I like it. I’ve cut to size and sewn the inside pocket edges so far:
You might remember this next piece from when I tried some commercial pre-felt from Heidi Feathers. The silk hadn’t attached in a couple of places so I added blanket stitch, then decided to add some more simple stitching in the blocks of colour. I’m still working on this, and have added a bit more since I took the photo:
I went in to the city centre this week, which I don’t often do, so made the most of it looking for bargains. I found a couple of elasticated summer dresses for £1 each so got them because I liked the pattern, they were only tiny though, so once I cut the top off, the bottom was a bit bigger than a pillow case, but well worth £1!
In the same shop I treated myself to a ‘scarf’ because I liked the pattern, it’s actually the size of a door!
I saw this scarf in a bargain shop and thought I’d see if it nuno felts well:
And, I couldn’t go to town without a trip to Abakhan fabric shop, where I got some more braiding (I took a photo of the back for you, Ann!)
And probably the best bargain of the day, I found a roll of silk fabric, down from £10 a metre to £3, so I had to get some 🙂
I still am not used to taking pictures of what ma doing so all I have is a final class shot of the finished scarves. the two ladies on the right traded scarves for the picture because the didn’t show up against their clothing.
to make up for my forgetfulness I have some pictures from our last guild meeting where Inge Dam http://www.ingedam.net/ came to tell us about her weaving. she combines weaving on a loom with card weaving. Her work is beautiful. I have a few pictures but her website has much better pictures if you take a look. She also has an amazing book.
I hope to get some time to felt this week but I know I have to make tourtiere pies for the Kemptville Farmers’ Market Christmas sale on Saturday.