The theme of this year’s challenge has been Surface Design. So far, we’ve had Mixed Media, Nuno Felting, and Beneath the Surface. I was torn between a couple of ideas, but went with the one I had when the 4 of us discussed the theme for this year: something about rolling and twisting fibres. So my challenge is: Twists, Tubes and Yarns. I made a post not too long ago with some pieces I made with wool twists and tubes, and there is a video at the bottom which shows how to make the tubes using a kebab skewer. This is a pile of softly twisted wool I made:
To make the twists, I take small amounts of wool and fibres and while holding one end, roll the fibres across a surface, a piece of bubble-wrap is good. I then hold the other end, and twist again. You can ‘set’ the twist by spraying with a little water too. I made this piece about 10 years ago, it’s still one of my favourites:
You can make blends of wool in different colours, or blend fibres in. This piece is made with twists of wool and plastic fibre:
And, this piece is made with twists made with wool and commercial novelty yarns:
The wool tubes, or ‘kebabs’ are something I love to make, just making a pile of them feels creative and is really relaxing. I first made them accidentally when I realised a kebab skewer was great for poking into my little hand carders to pick up trapped fibres, and they’d come out easily if I rolled it around. I ended up with some funky/random tubes.
Like the wool twists, the wool tubes can be made of just wool, or wool blended with fibres, threads etc. Have a look at this post for some ideas: https://feltingandfiberstudio.com/2017/08/14/felted-wool-kebabs/
This is one of my fave pieces, probably because it had very little planning/thinking involved, I just grabbed a couple of colours of Merino and a handful of already made tubes:
Handmade yarns can be made from anything you can twist (try organza or plastic bags if you haven’t already!) and can be used in many ways. This piece is made with wool and some old threads and unravellings from fabric, from a previous challenge:
This is a wet felted piece I made using some of my earliest attempts at making hand made yarn on a drop spindle:
I tried out some other early yarn that I made on two pieces, one was wet felted:
And the other was needle felted:
It’s great for weaving with:
Or, if you want something a bit more adventurous, how about needling it onto a vessel (scroll down) https://feltingandfiberstudio.com/2012/12/12/yarny-vessel/
So, there’s just a few ideas, if you’ve tried some or all of these before, step out of your comfort zone, try something new, and maybe even use some of this years previous challenges for inspiration or in combination!