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Wild and Crazy Yarns Woven then Felted

Wild and Crazy Yarns Woven then Felted

I still had a bagful of yarns left over from my Wild Table Runner so I decided to do a little weaving with some odds and ends. It was a mixture of synthetic, wool and wool blends.

I used a black metallic acrylic yarn as the warp.  It was a bit stretchy but I intended to felt it when finished so I wasn’t concerned.

Here it is still on the loom.

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I went back and forth on what to use as the background. Finally I decided I wanted to keep the colors from getting lost and chose a white prefelt covered loosely with a white merino batt.

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Here it is after felting.  As you can see even the white merino is more beige than the white bamboo.

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Its kind of wild, but fun.  There is a lot of dimension since some of the warp and that crazy eyelash yarn  are sticking up.  Most everything else including the wide orange and purple synthetics felted in nicely.

Some closeups:

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From the side:

20170205_135941It was fun to see how the different yarns reacted.  I’m not quite sure of what it reminds me of, or what I’ll do with it. But it was a quick and easy project after traveling.

If you missed my Caribbean Inspiration you can see it here:  https://feltingandfiberstudio.com/2017/01/30/some-inspiration-and-fun-from-the-caribbean/

 

Mini Weaving

Mini Weaving

It seems lately everyone is into weaving. This past summer I was shopping with my daughter in law at Joann’s and this mini loom caught my eye.  I actually thought it might be something to do with the grandsons.

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The last time I wove anything was on one of those metal looms using loops to make pot holders.  Yeah, I’m showing my age.

I forgot about the loom when I got home then when I was gathering all my scraps for the 4th Quarter challenge I found it under a pile. Ok, let’s see how this works and what all the hoopla is about.  Looks easy enough.

I have a tubful of yarn so that’s where I started. I thought an autumn theme would be nice. The black acrylic/wool combo also has a little silver bling, the pink ball is mohair and the multi colored yarn is thick and thin with a little blue and white thin threads.  I also added some polyester and silk scraps and hand dyed boucle.  The ball of yarn under the string is the alpaca I used to make my Ginkgo leaves a while back.  Not pictured is hand dyed green pencil roving.

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They don’t sell the warp so I decided to just use string. Besides I didn’t want to invest in anything if it was something that I wasn’t going to do a lot of.

I didn’t like using the shuttle, so I just used my fingers.  Here it is on the loom:

20161113_144410Here’s a closeup:

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The instructions were not helpful so I ended up finding a video online.  I used the alpaca as fringe. I wasn’t following a particular pattern just kind of winging it.

Of course, I had to hide the ends which was a lot more fiddly than I like.  But I like the overall look.  I decided to make it a wall hanging and cut a piece of bamboo to tie it to.  You can’t tell from the picture, but it’s hanging on a light gold wall.  Sorry about the shadow .

20161113_151758It took me a lot longer than anticipated.  But I’m happy with the results.  I may try another to felt.  But I don’t see myself investing any larger looms.  I admire those of you who have the patience to dress a loom and weave away.

 

A Busy Guild Social

A Busy Guild Social

At my guild, Ottawa Valley Weavers’ and Spinners’ we have a large formal meeting with a program on the first Monday of the month and on all the other Mondays we have a casual social night. bring your wheel or knitting or what ever you like and just have fun with like minded people.

This Monday we there was lots going on. There were spinners and knitters.

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Jan brought in some Sheep for the Demo boxes. they came back to the guild a short time ago from being used in a school program. they needed a little hair dressing and now they will go out for demos.

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Some people were trying to fix the brake on a loom.

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Elizabeth was teaching some one how to make a warp using the cool little paddle to speed things up .

and this is Judy carding cotton into punies ( probably spelled really wrong)

and this is a link( or maybe it will show.  to Judy’s YouTube video of spinning cotton on a Lego charkha.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rSbUTcfal1s

 

Unknown Botany Lap Waste Update

Unknown Botany Lap Waste Update

I finally got around to felting a sample of the turquoise Botany Lap waste I used on a piece I blogged about a couple of weeks ago. It was the lighter blue stripes on the back of the piece, and in patches in a couple of places. Noy surprisingly, it didn’t felt in exactly the same way as the purple sample I tried and mentioned last time:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt even separated at one end like the purple piece did:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is how it looked at the window:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI bought some ‘slik n soft’  50/50 Superfine Merino and Tussah Silk in the same order, so just out of curiosity, I made a small sample of that. I’d started to worry I’d lost my felting skills, but it was pretty obvious as soon as I’d wet the 50/50 down that it was already starting to felt:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI don’t think I’ve ever used a really blended blend before (if that makes sense?!), I liked how it turned out. I’m still none the wiser about what those tops are, but at least I know it’s not something I did, or didn’t do!  Before I tried felting any of the Botany Lap waste tops, I’d tried spinning some. It was only the 2nd time I’d used my wheel, so thought the trouble I was having was beginner’s issues and also because I was trying tops. My first attempt had been from blended batts I’d drum carded and was much easier. I’d always planned on using the spun yarn for weaving anyway, so used some on one piece:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI made a fibre sampler at the Well Being Centre the other day, using staple fibres in 3 different ways. From top to bottom: Nylon, Plastic, Soy Staple, Bamboo, Cotton. I forgot to use Viscose. The first column is ‘as it comes’; the second column is the fibre ‘fluffed up’ and the third column is some fibre and some wool fluffed up/loosely blended together:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is a close up of the Plastic fibre all fluffed up:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd this is how the fluffed up Soy looked after felting:

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Makers Faire

Makers Faire

Last weekend we did a demo at the makers fair.  It was the busiest dem I have ever done.  Next year we will take more people. Almost 6000 adult ticket were sold. Children were free. My voice was almost gone by the end of the first day. I wondered if I would be able to talk on Sunday. But years of practice talking too much paid off and I was good to go in the morning and lasted all day.

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Jan is on the left for weaving, Elizabeth in the middle doing spinning and weaving and then my place is on the right were I had people making wet felted felt beads.

And a little closer, the elephant was made by Elizabeth on a ridged  heddle loom.

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This is my how to make a had display

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These are the guild sample books. One for sheep, one for other animal fibers and cullies fibers, and one to other fibers. the black at the front is Kevlar.

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First Jan dressed her loom, and then started a sample piece for a Viking blanket. She has found information on several way these were done so now she is figuring out what will work best for her.

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And this was me most of both days. Jan had a hard time getting a picture of me as I was always surrounded by not just children but also adults wanting a turn.

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One of the Leaders form this group came and made a bead so she could use it as a spacer in one of the machines that had some had some metal parts hitting each other.

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There was lots of variety. There must have been a doz 3D printers. But some low tech stuff too.

Last weekend was a Demo at the Carp fair

Last weekend was a Demo at the Carp fair

This was another great demo weekend. It was cool to start and we got to wear our wool. Later we added it to the display. It was lovely and sunny.

I was doing beads again and spinning on my drop spindle. I taught Lynda how to make a bead, just for fun. She is a fellow felt lover at the beginning of her journey.

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Jan got a shot of me with some kids. They came in waves so I either had non or more kids than pencils. I stole Jan’s picture from the guild facebook page.

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The beads proved useful too. Lauri has an old wheel that she made some new spindles for. they were a little short but also a little wide at the orifice end. We solved it by cutting a bead and using it as a spacer. Sorry I didn’t get a picture.

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Linda was not just slacking off making beads she was working on her cool Master Weaver loom. Invented not to many years ago by a man whos wife could no longer use the foot peddles or leavers on a regular loom. Lynda is adding some extra weft for interest. She is sitting on the back side of the loom

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Lynda also brought her husband along and he was doing carding. He had a great time making batts and talking to lots of people. He wants to come to more demos. Lynda says she will have to get a family membership in the guild now.

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Jan was spinning on Saturday. Here she is winding off single yarn into a wrist ball so she can ply it. Her husband (the blacksmith) made her a tool. She had been steeling his books to wind off her yarn.  When she is done she turns it around puts her hand through the middle and takes it off onto her wrist ready to ply. The tool works really well, but it has no name. He calls it a pre-plyer. That is descriptive but not a  great name. Woolly Winder would be perfect but that is already taken.

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Mary was there with her circular sock knitting machine too. It is a very cool machine.

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The most interesting thing I found while out looking at the displays was 2 dye tools. I can’t remember the name of them. They were in with a great cast iron display. I love the painted pieces. I was going to ask about them but the owner was not around.

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That was my weekend. I hope I haven’t board you with to demo posts in a row. I will have to get on and make something interesting for next time.

 

Natural Wools For a Pod and Weaving

Natural Wools For a Pod and Weaving

I made another bird pod last week, this time using various natural grey wools. The pictures aren’t the best because when I went to take photos yesterday afternoon, it suddenly went really dark, then we had the most epic hour long storm with non-stop thunder, lightning, wind and torrential rain (basically the whole  city shut down for hours because of it). So, I had to redo the photos this morning, and they’re a bit flat.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI mentioned in my last post I was getting a spinning wheel, and it came last week (yay!) but I’ve not been upto having a go yet, so I did a bit of spindle spinning and then weaving. I thought it’d be nice for fairs or the well being classes to show how hand woven yarn can be used. This first one was made with fairly neat (by my standards, anyway) yarn, just single ply, and I didn’t wet and set the twist or anything, just wound it onto an old broom handle from the spindle. I wove it on a little kids loom I bought:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA closer look:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI was doing some of the weaving at night watching Parks and Recreation and thought I was using all naturals, but it was obvious in daylight I’d used some yarn I made ages ago from hand dyed Merino (green over orange, I think), but I think it matches alright.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASince not everyone has a loom handy, I thought I’d make a few pieces with cardboard looms, so I cut some rectangles and then marked out sections and cut notches in the bottom. I also used some yarn I’d made from my carding scraps – the really wiry, scruffy, short and matted bits – and some coarser wools like Herdick (the bits I used looked like unpicked Brillo pads) and a couple I got from Wollknoll which look like shredded wheat, to show that yarn, and weaving, can still look good even if you don’t make smooth, even yarn. This is a tall one I made:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThat’s a dried pepper keeping it flat, I’ll probably have to wet and block some of these becasue they want to curl! Close up:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACloser:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is a really small one I made:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA close up:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is the larger of the cardboard looms I made:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd this is a photo of the loom above with a smaller cardboard loom (it already has the warp thread wound on it) and how they compare to the kids’ loom I have. That is probably smaller than A4/printer paper:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADo you remember the inside of my bag from last time? Well, I was watching Neighbours last week (an Aussie soap, for those who don’t know) and a character was wearing a jacket, just like my bag flap!

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Reuse of Scraps with Roots in History.

Reuse of Scraps with Roots in History.

My Friend Jan Scott took a great class at our guild a few weeks ago. It fit with our second quarter challenge ( http://wp.me/p1WEqk-3Mi ) so well I asked her to do a blog post about it. It was a two day workshop This is the post about day one. Day two will be my next post.

Tom Knisely  workshop on Sakiori and Zanshi: Weaving Japanese Rural Cloth

Ottawa Valley Weavers and Spinners Guild June 2016 Our Guild was very fortunate to arrange a workshop with Tom Knisely’s and guild meeting presentation in conjunction with a talk he gave at the Almonte Textile Museum.

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Tom is an internationally known Spinning and weaving instructor. Starting his career with the Mannings School at the age of 14 and eventually becoming education director and working for them for over 30 years. He has written books on rag rugs, baby blankets and created weaving videos for interweave press. He was voted teacher of the year by handwoven magazine in 2011. It’s easy to see why, he was always positive, supportive and unflappable.

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He has an interest in recycled weaving in all its variations. Normally you think of rag rugs or cattalong, there are even shaker rug vertion similar to the Acadian twisted weft technique.

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When Tom finally saw a rural northern Japanese obi woven with very fine strips of cloth he got very excited. As he researched he discovered a second group of textiles that were recycled but not made of strips of cloth but from threads ether the ends of warps or threads picked from scraps of cloth.

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Notice the pile of samples, each one came with a story!!

There are two techniques, day one we worked with Sakiori. “Saki,” which means to tear or rip up, stripping it into pieces, and “ori,” which means weave. So it is reweaving thin strips of originally old silk or cotton.  The second technique was Zanshi weaving / (sandhi orimono) is a Japanese for “vestige,” or “leftover”. Zanshi textiles were woven from the extra threads which remained after weaving. (Loom waste). The area these techniques come from are rather poor, tend to grow bass fibers and are rather cold in the winter. The source of the rags are Rag merchants traveled up the cost buying rags in the south (silk and cotton) and selling them in the north. Sometimes the rags were used like a patchwork to create a new fabric but others were stripped and rewoven or picked apart for the threads which were tied together with tiny knots then used usually as weft. This labour intensive practice makes much more sense when you remember Silk and cotton are much warmer and softer than linin or hemp.

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The workshop was to introduce us to the two techniques and we would create a scarf from our samples. As you will likely have noticed from the fish episode of making cat caves, I don’t usually wind up with something that looks like the rest of the class. So let’s see what happened.

Jan 6

Day One; Sakiori .

Tom demonstrated and discussed preparing the strips for weaving. Originally torn in thin strips, he used circular cutters and a cutting mat. Then we got to give it a try. He also demonstrated how to lash on to the front beam of a loom and to hemstitch without difficulty. One of the students had brought a very large quilters cutting guide which worked well for a lot of our fabrics.

Jan 7

We had pre-class instructions to seek out silk or polyester colourful scarves or men’s ties at Value villages and Salvation Army thrift stores. I brought a couple of my old silk saris and decided on one of them and a couple of the scarves I had found. Since Tom had found that 2 large lady’s silk scarves made one new scarf I cut up a lot of the sari and all the scarves. I over estimated as usual and have enough to left over to get a serious start on another project!

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Sakiori was originally woven as a 2 harness weave structure. So we had a ridged heddle loom (with 2 heddles to get the warp spacing and my little 2 harness table loom in the class. In the second class there was a 2 harness saori loom.

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Often when you weave with rags you are making rugs. So you expect stiff cloth with little drape or flexibility. Because the strips are very thin and you have a second weft thread (most of us used Tensell-looks like silk but not as expensive) in between the cloth strips you get a very drapy silk cloth. You can sample with I 2 or 3 shots of tensell between the silk and see what you think. Or you can try it without any and just use the strips! I was enjoying my first sample so much I just kept going and did my whole warp in sari and scarf. I had enough to make a little sleeveless jacket! See it’s not really a scarf.

I think this might be interesting with strips of nuno felt or very thin strips of wool felt. I would love to see what you can remake with scarps and left over ends of felt!!

To inspire us further he showed a 4 harness vertion and the scarf it had been made from. There is a definite change in the colours from the original scarf to the newly woven one!

Jan 16

The blue and gold one is threaded similarly to an inkle pattern. Notice the really cool macramé fringe. See its coming back!!! Better dust off your books from the 70’s!!

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Although Sakiori is not a difficult technique to grasp it was absolutely enjoyable to spend time listening to the stories and gentle suggestions from Tom. He is extremely knowledgeable and vary gracious. If you ever get the opportunity as one of my classmates said she “would take a workshop on how to boil water” with him!

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Ok Now for what my scarf looked like. (Considering what my cat cave looked like this is a bit closer)

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The inside

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AND it sort of fits my husband. He didn’t think it went with his Canada post shirt.

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Thank you Jan! It almost makes me want to weave.  Maybe If I could get the loom already warped LOL.

 

 

 

Combining Weaving and Felting by Fiber Artist Cathy Wycliff

Combining Weaving and Felting by Fiber Artist Cathy Wycliff

For many years I have been a lover of textiles, but I never wanted to knit or weave. Too fiddly….knit, purl, knit, purl. Or weave to a pattern but first figure out the sett, the epi. No, not me.

And then last year, I saw Meta vd Knijff’s small homespun weavings on felt on Flickr. Meta also uses natural dyes and paints and takes cool photographs as well. Meta is an artist in the Netherlands who I discovered on Flickr. So, back to the weavings on felt. I thought, hmmmm, if I could do that with weavings, then maybe I would like to weave. Then I discovered Saori weaving quite by accident, somewhere on the world wide web and subsequently took instruction.

I discovered that weaving doesn’t have to have patterns, that weaving can be creative and free, and what’s more–I could combine it with felt.

Over the period of a week or two, I made a bunch of small sample weaves, no plan in mind whatsoever. Then I grabbed some pre-felt I had in my stash, some homemade and some commercial. I fooled around placing the small weavings on pre-felt.

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Most of the weaving samples are cotton and/or wool, and all are woven on black thin cotton warp. There may be the odd novelty yarn thrown in there, since when I was weaving samples, I was not thinking about combining them with felt. I chose 3 samples to felt with: the largest is multi-colored, all cotton warp with all cotton weft. I chose a large bright turquoise commercial pre-felt batts called “Maori” from Opulent Fibers, which I recall being Corriedale. I used small pieces of the same prefect batt to cover parts of the all-cotton weaving.

The second largest piece was a weaving I made with mostly wool and some cotton weft. I used as pre-felt a piece I had cobbled together with my naturally dyed wool, half madder and half logwood. I did not use any wool wisps to cover parts of this weaving.

The last and smallest piece was a small sample weaving I made using partial wool, cotton and nylon weft on cotton warp. I placed the weave onto cider merino ( handmade by me) pre-felt–again no wool wisps to cover.

I felted all of them in the usual way but not rolling as long as normal because I had used pre-felt as the base. Besides, I was impatient to see how they turned out! All of them successfully felted, although I did use a bit of needle-felting to secure some areas, mostly with the largest all-cotton weaving. I think that will make a nice wall-hanging for someone who likes a lot of brightness in their decor. Unsure about the medium-sized one, perhaps a small wall-hanging or pillow-cover? And the third piece I have fashioned into a cuff with vintage buttons. The inside is soft as merino should be!

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Any weavers out there? You really don’t need a floor loom if you would like to get started weaving. You can even use a table loom, a pin-loom, or just hammer some nails into an old wooden photo frame, and you’ll be ready to weave and felt!

 

Thanks Cathy for yet another fiber technique to try!

Demo Time

Demo Time

In September I do two demonstrations at local country fairs. They are a lot of fun and we get to meet lots of people. Wet felting is not the easiest to do as a day long demo so I take lots of sample to put in the display and explain it to interested people.

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I usually take my drop spindle but one day I did Kumihimo ( Japanese braiding) on a meridi.

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Jan did some weaving on a table loom and Carlene was on the peg loom.

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Alison( trying to keep warm on a freezing morning) spinning  and Bernadette combing some fiber to spin next to the lace maker.

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As usual there were other things to see.

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There was some felting in the Agriculture competition building.

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I zoomed in to show you . The Santa and dog and the two dogs.

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Doing Demonstrations is really fun. Anyone else do them?

 

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