Thursday, 2 July 2015

Natural Wools and Fibres

I've been re-organising my supplies lately, and one of the things I did was put my dyed silk products into one box, and my natural undyed silk supplies in another. While I was doing this I had an idea to make a silky cocoon type pod. I had a look on google images and liked the look of ones which were more fibrey, 'scruffy' looking. So I started by really piling the silk on to my resist. I added a couple of bunched up silk hankies, a silk hankie I'd drafted into roving, silk throwster's waste, schappe silk from wollknoll, different types of silk noil, some coccon strippings. I can't find my undyed silk carrier rods, but I did find a little bag of 'fluff' I'd carded from silk carrier rod scraps a few years ago, so I put that on too. I did a layer of 18.5 Mic  Merino on top of the silk, then on one side I lay lengths of white pencil roving. I used 23 Mic Merino for the second layer, and then 2 layers of English 56s. I do like the way it turned out, but I didn't expect it to be so 'neat'!

I thought with all the silk I'd piled on it'd be a lot more fibrey, but it does have nice texture and structure and there's a lot of different shades.

This is a closer look at some texture:

And this is some of the throwster's waste:

I wondered if some of the texture and features would show up more with a light inside, so I used a bit of sewing thread to attach it to a ceiling light to see:

You can definitely see more, and here you can see the ridges from the pencil roving better, I think it looks quite creepy with the light inside:

Another piece I've made recently is this wall hanging. I laid it out about a week or so before I got time to felt it, and I think it ended up being 'upside down'. I wrote down the wools and fibres I used as I laid it out, but think I forgot a few as I kept adding locks here and there! Also, I added a few locks to the bottom just before I felted it, but I'm certain that was originally the top:

I added some pieces of handspun yarn I'd made mostly from bits left over from carding, I spun them quite thickly, and didn't do anything with them after wards, just wound them onto card. This one is on the row of white Chubut, a 'new' to me wool I got from wollknoll, which felts so nicely and looks really nice too.

These are some cotton fibres: cotton top, cotton fibre and cotton nepps on carded Portuguese Merino, with some soy staple and carded Gotland.

If you are interested in trying more fibres in wet felting work, I recently wrote an e-book guide to using them. It features 20 commonly available natural fibres. Have a look at the info page :)

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Felting Abstract Art

Before I discovered wet felting, I used to do a lot of painting. This is one of my favourite acrylics from 2007:

I decided to try and do a wet felted version of it. I did a couple of layers of Merino tops in a simplified palette of colours, then used some bamboo skewers to split the painting and felt piece into quarters as a guide for adding more detail for the 3rd layer.

I had pretty much all my colours of Merino out for this.

This is the finished layout:

All the wool put away and 'tidy' :)

I took it outside to felt it:

I had an audience:

I put it on the washing line to dry. I usually stand the painting up on its end (right end), and while I was felting, some of the wool must have gotten nudged and I started to neaten it up, but thought it would look quite cool and like it was dripping if I left the wavy edges. They neatened themselves up a bit while I was fulling though, but still looks pretty good.

Finished piece:


Monday, 8 June 2015

Pencil Roving Mats

I recently got some Pencil Roving when I did a World of Wool order. I liked the look of it, but couldn't decide on which colour, so I decided to get a 500g bag of Pencil Roving waste. I expected more than 4 colours, but it still worked out cheaper. I wanted to see how well it worked layered, so I decided to make a 'woven' mat/coaster type thing. I started off with a 10 x 10 inch template:

Then I cut the pencil roving a bit smaller than the template, 10 strands of each colour:

I laid the strands across the template:

I then held the bottom of the strands down with a ruler and flipped back alternate ones:

I laid the horizontal strands across the columns and then flipped back the other strands:

I used a plastic knife to push the strands in to place.

This is how it looked when it was finished:

I didn't think it looked its best, so I took off a few of the strands at the ends:

I added a couple of layers of Merino tops, then felted it and fulled it quite firmly. It was about 7.5 x 7.5 inches afterwards:

I also made another mat with pencil roving, I used up some of the spare lengths left over from the other mat, and added rows and columns. This one ended up slightly wider as there wasn't as much roving going across as there was top to bottom:

I thought they turned out really well :)

*** If anyone is interested in the 3 week Wet Felting for Beginners Course, there is just over a week left for registration, the last day is Tuesday 16th June, you can find all the info here:

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Giveaway–The Right Fibre PDF e-book

I'm hosting a giveaway of my new e-book 'The Right Fibre' over on The Felting and Fiber Studio site. All you have to do for a chance to win, is leave a comment on the post over there: The giveaway is open all week until I do the draw next Sunday morning and announce the winner. If you want all the blurb on the book have a look at the info page here on this blog. :)

Friday, 15 May 2015

Nuno Samples and Stone Sheep

I can't remember the last time I got a chance to do some felting, but I got chance again the Sunday before last, and I'd had the pieces laid out for at least a week and half. Two of the pieces were nuno samples. I'd bought some scarves and wanted to see how the fabric felted. For both samples, I laid out two layers of Merino tops and laid the fabric on top. The first scarf I tried didn't have a label on it, it felt like a synthetic chiffon, slightly 'rough'. It felted quite nicely, though there were a couple of places along the edges where it didn't attach securely.

The nuno texture was really nice:

The next piece I tried was viscose, it was really soft. It looked like crepe after felting:

A close up:

A supermacro close up, I think I got the colours matched pretty well :)

Another piece I made was with Stone Sheep wool. I first tried this last month, probably the previous time I did some felting. I liked the way it felted and how fast it felted so thought it'd be really good for something I wanted to try out. I laid out a couple of layers of some carded Stone sheep wool, then added a big pile of fake Angora fibre in the centre. I covered it with a circular resist, covered the resist with some 'Silk Schappe' that I got from wollknoll (it seems like carded silk noil), then added another couple of layers of Stone sheep wool. I finished it off with some kapok fibre. When it was felted, I snipped a little hole to take the resist out and worked it until I got it how I wanted.

I thought the fake Angora might be a bit fluffier and looser than this, I mustn't have piled quite enough in!

You can see the Silk schappe from this angle:

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Online Classes

The Felting and Fiber Studio's next "Wet Felting for Beginners" online workshop will start on Friday June 19th. It’s a 3 week course developed to give absolute beginners a good foundation on which to develop their wet felting skills. Not only are there the expected ‘How to Felt’ instructions, but there are also simple exercises designed to show what happens when wool felts under different conditions so you can control the outcome. There is also lots of info on using different types of wool and animal fibres, tips for inexpensive tools, alternate techniques etc. For more info on the course, have a look here: There is all the information you need, including what 'equipment' and supplies you'll need and there's also a link to a simplified supplies list.

If you'd like to sign up for the course, please use the Contact form at the bottom of the Class information page. There are some prices in different currencies listed there too. Don't forget to include your PayPal email address in the specified field. Once payment is received, you will receive an email with all the information you'll need.

Our first class was really successful, if you'd like to read testimonials from some of the students, please have a look on our main Online Classes information page:  You can also have a look at some of the work produced by students on the gallery page:

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions, or if you are interested in teaching a course or workshop yourself, we have everything in place for you to host your own online workshop on a secure site.

Monday, 13 April 2015

Colour Challenge

On the Felting and Fiber Studio, we have Quarterly Challenges. This year is all about Colour. For the 2nd Quarter Challenge, Ann challenged us to use a photo to generate a colour palette to work with. I chose a digital painting of mine to play around with:

I started off using Photoshop. The first filter I used was Median, I wanted to get a simplified version of the painting:

I then used some other filters to get more defined areas of colour. This one was Mosaic, I set the cell size to 50:

And this was Mosaic with the cell size set to 200:

I used the Crystalise filter set to 200 for the cell size on this one, the colours are similar to the 200 Mosaic one, but because it follows the shape of the original more and isn't square, there is  more colour variation:

The last version I did using Photoshop was using the Gaussian Blur filter. I selected 5cm x 5cm squares, then blurred that section to one colour:

I uploaded the image to a site Ann recommended, Color Palette FX, and this was the result:

I also used one which had been tried on the Felting and Fiber forum, Moda Palette Builder. This was a bit different, it didn't reduce the picture to a few equalised colours, but you  choose which areas of the picture you want to pick out colours from to create a pallette:

I always enjoy messing around with colour and on Photoshop, so this was fun. If you're interested and want to join in the challenge and show us your results, come and join the forum or use the Contact Us form on the Studio Site, we're always interested in anything felt or fibre related and would be happy to do a blog post feature :)