Friday, 27 November 2015

Interesting Stuff on The Felting and Fiber Studio

We have a brilliant guest post on The Felting and Fiber Studio site this week from Zara Tuulikki Rooke. Zara lives in Sweden and mostly uses Swedish wool breeds in her felting. She's written a guide to some of the wool breeds and has photos and descriptions of the differences when they're felted the same way:

 We've been running our online Wet Felting for Beginners classes for a while now, and recently decided to keep the class open with continual access to coursework and tutor support, to make it as convenient as possible.

You can read more about it on the Studio site, and there are still a few days to enter the giveaway to win a free class. And if you'd like to read a few testimonials from people who took the class, click on the photo below.

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Handmade Felt Book Covers

I tried so many times to get photos of the felt I made for these, but it was either too dark and they didn't come out, or they were weirdly orangey. So, I have no good photos until the pieces were made into covers, even Photoshop couldn't help! This is a cover I made for an A6 address book, I used an old gardening notebook I made for my girlfriend as inspiration. This is the front:

And this is the back, with silk carrier rods:

This is a cover for an A6 address book too, I used some stripey tops I got from wollknoll and some rainbow trilobal nylon:

This is a bigger one, a cover for an A5 diary or notebook. It is Merino and lots of different silk pieces. I can't decide which side I like best, so this is side one:

And this is side two:

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Felting and Stitching

Apart from a couple of pieces for notebooks, and the little flowers, I haven't made much felt lately. I did stitch some felt notebook covers but it's been so foggy and dark only one of the photos came out :(  It was a cover I made from the stripey piece I showed last time though, and although both sides looked great, especially once it was trimmed to size, I went for the stripey side:

I remembered another piece I've been adding stitching to slowly over the past year or so. I don't know if you remember when I tried some prefelt sent to me by Heidi Feathers? Well, the silk I'd used on one of the pieces didn't attach in a couple of places, so I added some stitching, then a bit more, and a bit more, etc! This is it now:

This is a fairly recent piece, from within the last few months anyway. I wanted it to look 'scribbley', like layers of drawing and scribbles:

And I know I said I'd show you some of the wet felting class nuno flowers when they were made up, but none of them have been yet, but Jo did bring in one of the dry ones she worked on, so this is it layered up while she hunted for a button for the middle:

Friday, 30 October 2015

Flowers, Fimo and Felt

After the nuno flower workshop at the well-being centre last week, I thought I'd make a few flowers of my own as they don't require too much effort. They're mostly layers of cotton gauze or scrim, wisps of merino, another piece of gauze and finer wisps on top. I haven't sewn them together yet because I want to put organza on the back of some. But I did hunt through my fimo buttons to find the right ones:

I'm running low on buttons now, I don't have as wide a variety of colours as I thought, so I might have to make some more. I had a look through my fimo tiles last week too, and put some magnetic strips on a few to make fridge magnets. These are some of my favourites:

I like making the inlaid ones, they're quite easy to do, but look impressive :) If you're interested in tiles, buttons, pendants etc, I do have a very reasonably priced (cheap!) Polymer Clay e-book which shows my very simple method for making nice, even flat polymer clay. And how to do it without expensive tools, too!

I made a bright patchy piece of felt last week, mostly Merino, but with some strips of silk and gauze:

I thought I'd go a few steps brighter and made a stripey piece with vivid merino shades and gave it some sparkle with dyed trilobal nylon, milk, viscose, rose fibre and bamboo:

 I prefer the colours on the right hand side and prefer the back even more:

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Art Therapy Update

We had a go at making nuno felted flowers the other day at the well-being centre. I made a few samples to take in for ideas. Of course, I forgot to take photos, but I found one of them hiding in the middle of a photo, so apologies for blurriness:

It was made with a square piece of cotton gauze with wisps of Merino on top,  I cut it around the prefelt stage and stuck the little leftover bits onto what would become the middle piece. I layered it up and put a little piece of organza at the back, a button in the middle and sewed it together. We had a good selection of fabric to choose from, I'd dyed some scrim and cotton gauze, and so had Joyce who runs the craft group.  Lyn, Teri and Judith sent lots of fabric too.

We mostly stuck to reds, pinks, and purples for the wool, you can see a couple of the blends I carded from donated wool at the front:

There aren't too many of the blends left now, they're always the first to get chosen! Starting off laying out:

Everyone was doing something different, some people had a couple of medium sized pieces, some had a few smaller pieces, the red pieces are Jo's she made a poppy, and the smaller pieces are Louise's:

Shirley put a lot of thought into choosing some gauze and a piece of a mustardy viscose scarf I think Lyn sent.

Some people made larger pieces to cut out later. I think that's fabric from Teri that Michelle is using:

And wetting it down:

You can see which piece will be the top of Jo's poppy:

Shirley picked different wool shades to match her fabric for her different layers:

I'll have to show you in a few weeks how they turned out. This is one of the pieces from week 1, they have a machine embellisher at the craft group, so extra detail was being added:

This is Barbara's piece from when we did nuno samples a few weeks ago:

And lastly, this is Jo's piece from when we used all natural wools and fibres a couple of weeks ago:

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Natural Wools

I think I might've mentioned a few times how much I love natural wool, animal fibres and embellishment fibres :) I made a couple of natural felt pieces recently. This first one uses lots of different breeds of wool inlcuding Finnish wool, Gotland, Shetland, Merino, Chubut, Mongolian, Russian, French, Welsh, Irish wools and Portuguese Merino. Plus quite a variety of wool locks and embellishment fibres such as hemp, flax, ramie, bamboo, silk and cotton.

This is a close up:

And this next one is even closer, the boucle yarn is mohair my friend Marilyn sent me and she also sent me the thick and thin yarn. The gorgeous reddish brown wool was from wollknoll, listed as 'Russian Camel'. I think it's camel coloured Romanov, nowhere near soft enough to be actual camel, and probably 8 times cheaper, thinking about it! The little nepps are cotton nepps.

I love the way the black bamboo top has rippled on the Chubut here, near the top of the photo:

And this is a closer pic of the Bluefaced Leicester curls at the top of the Chubut in the previous photo:

From one extreme to the other, this next piece uses just Gotland, or Gotland cross wool. It's about 1 foot by 2 feet (30cm x 60cm). For the bottom layer I used commercial Gotland tops, the second layer was commercially scoured Gotland fleece which I carded, and the top layer is all raw Gotland locks, most of which I got from my friend Zara not so long ago, with the odd few from my old stash. I'm not going to cheat and enter this in the 4th quarter monochrome challenge on The Felting and Fiber Studio :)

You can never have enough different breeds of wool, I think, so when I saw some being offered in a UK spinners group on Facebook I just couldn't resist. I told the seller, Wendy, that I loved locks and nice colours and let her choose what to send me, which is a good thing because I'd originally said I had enough alpaca. I didn't have any like this though:

They were all gorgeous, and I made an album on Flickr if you want to drool, this was another particularly nice one, Mule sheep:

I'm sure I'll be giving them all a try before too long!

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Felted Knitting

I did get around to felting the two knitted samples I made. I felted them the same way I'd usually wet felt, not through the washing machine. The piece I made with the hand blended and handspun yarn doesn't look too much different, but it is duller and fluffier:

It did keep some texture:

This is a close up:

This is how it looked before:

The pencil roving knitted piece was much nicer and easier to felt. It grew quite a bit and flattened out quite a lot:

It was quite chunky before, this is after felting, looking over the surface:

And how it looked before:

It didn't lose all its texture:

And a closer look:

It felted really neatly, but I'm not sure I'll find a use for felted knitted pencil roving :)