Friday, 19 August 2016

Pods and cords

We've been exploring resists at the Well Being centre recently, and one of the group said she'd really like to make a round vessel, so I thought we'd follow rosiepink's vessel tutorial. It turned out there was only 2 of us there early enough to have a go, so we did it again this week, but this is mine:

Here's the other side:

I've been looking for 'smoothing tools' for vessels for years, like Lyn's suggestions of a baby's rattle or laundry liquid dispenser, I keep checking the baby section, and dog toy section, even the kitchen section for a ladel, but still haven't found one! I did buy some foam for resists though and  I thought I'd try it out and make a new birdpod. I remembered those coconut ones, and tried to do a similar shape. It didn't get it quite right, but using lots of coarse wools did give it a hairy coconut look, though:

I need to make a cord for it to hang it up. Usually, I make cords from offcuts or make some handspun yarn and felt that, but I had an idea for some garden ornaments and thought I'd give it a go using a bamboo mat. I can't remember which wool I used, I think it was something from Wollknoll labelled just 'Scottish grey'. I had a hard time getting photos of all my things, it went too dark yesterday, so this morning I took them into the garden and tried them in a few places, when I put the first cord down on the paving stones it camouflaged itself, even the pattern seems to match!

That was just the test piece for the idea I wanted to try. The only trouble was, I needed a larger mat than a placemat. I looked at my living room blinds, just hanging there with a huge roll of unused bamboo sat at the bottom. I unrolled it and there must have been two feet of spare blind, so a few snips and a few tied ends later, I had a shorter window blind and a new rolling mat! This cord hasn't completely dried yet, but I know I need to make the next one a bit thinner, and I think that will help it be firmer too, but it turned out a lot better than I expected:

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Coin Purses

I used some of my last nuno felt pieces to make coin purses. This first one was from a kind of 'nuno-collage' made from pieces of silk scarf pieced together:

 This is the back:

I usually add an extra piece of felt inside the purses, so there are two sections. Sometimes, if the piece of felt I'm using is big enough, I add two pieces to make 3 sections like I did with this one:

 This was a kind of paisley print, but the rippling reminds me of splashes in water, this is how it looks closed:

I made the felt I used for this next piece a long time ago. If I make nuno sample pieces, I try to make them large enough to be turned into something, and pieces for coin purses are a good size. I couldn't find the right button for this one, so it didn't get finished for a long time. I love the fabric, it is from a viscose scarf:

 The fabric I used on this piece was the plaid border of a scarf, it looks a bit 'hairy' because I used a blend containing silk for the felt, and the silk really migrated through:

Sticking with the plaid theme, I made another plaid inspired piece of felt and used it to make a felt book cover:

 This is the other side:

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

More Nuno Pieces

I know, I've been slacking again, sorry. I'm sure there's a much easier way to do blog posts than to 'manually' copy and paste text from Word/Wordpad, then upload the photos, but any time I deviate from the 'usual' way of doing things, either here or on Wordpress, I end up with a mess of huge spaces between text and photo or otherwise, no spaces. Pretty much all the felt pieces I made lately have been nuno felt pieces. This first piece was made with a piece of a polyester scarf I bought not so long ago:

This next piece was made with some fabric from a dress I found in a charity shop:

I like this part the best:

This nuno piece was made with a strip of linen scarf, it was a lot like some viscose scarves I've used, but shinier:

I've used pieces from this next scarf on some nuno samples, so thought it would make a great piece. It is unusual because it's 2 thin layers with loose fibres trapped between which look like soy top:

Here's a closer look at the fabric:

This last nuno piece has lots of strips from various silk scarves I found in a salvage shop years ago. The scarves are really gaudy, but work well cut up and mixed with others:

This is the back of the silk piece, I thought I'd stick with the bright theme :)

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Nuno Felting

After I made my sample/reference nuno pieces recently, I thought I'd make some larger nuno project pieces. I've got quite a few pieces cut or torn, in various sizes and made a start with a piece of a woven pink scarf I got from a charity shop. I always put far too much effort into choosing the colours to go with the fabrics, you can't tell, but the felt under the scarf actually has 3 different shades of pink, plus a few wisps of turquoisey blue:

I thought the pink scarf and this next piece would make nice coin purses, though I'll probably use just a plain piece of felt for the inside section of the coin purse. This is a piece from a spearminty peacock scarf:

It has great ripples, this is a closer view:

I've also made a couple of camouflage inspired pieces lately. I think it must be one of my favourite 'themes', I know I've made a camouflage hat and drawstring bag, a shoulder bag, a notebook cover or two, and a felt cuff and coin pouches (I still use that one in the photo, 4 years on). Maybe it's because I really enjoy doing  felt layouts, choosing all the colours of wool and embellishment pieces. This first one uses some strips from a camouflage patterned silk scarf:

Here's a close up of one half:

This next piece took a lot longer to lay out, it has patches of cotton gauze, the camo silk, cotton scrim, cheesecloth and some muslin my friend Ruth dyed and sent to me:

Close up of the centre:

I got a small kids' weaving loom not so long ago, and finally had a go recently. One of the things I tried was pencil roving waste from World of Wool. I've tried weaving and felting with it before, but had to do it 'freestyle', this was the post about it: I think it was a bit 'closer' using the loom, and I left the edges longer, but it looked pretty much the same really:

Looking at it on an angle:

And close up:

 If you've always wanted to try nuno, but feel a bit daunted and don't know where to start, I have an e-book called 'Beyond Nuno'. Nuno is more than a bit of Merino on a silk scarf and doesn't have to look a certain way to 'work', all the info is on this page here:

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Batts and Roving

The last time I did a World of Wool order, I got some Botany Lap Waste. If you've not heard of this it's basically a huge bin they have at WoW, where they put the left over tops from the ends of carding runs, and when you order some they grab 500g out of the bin and you get what you're given, but it is cheaper than Merino or blends and sometimes you get a lot of the luxury fibre like yak, alpaca etc. This time it seemed I got the ends of someone's bizarre order of various greys, including what looked like natural grey Merino blended with trilobal nylon (why?!) I don't know why they can't have a 'neutrals' choice for browns, greys etc. The rest of my bag was a kind of dyed steel grey Merino,  some green Merino which looked like it was their Gooseberry shade, and some pinky pale lilac I didn't recognise. I carded them all up into batts then put them through again with other Merino to make some blends. I put the lilac through with various shades of purple and a few blues. Then I used a diz (a brass picture hook with 3 holes) to make roving:

I made another batt with the same colours, but added some orange, pinks, yellow, red, and some brighter blues:

This is what the roving looks like unwound:

I put the gooseberry batt through the carder with some green shades and light/bright blues. I meant to make roving, but forgot, so I might put it through again. One side:

The other side:

I put half and half gooseberry and grey through the carder, and made roving:

When I was putting the batts and blends away, I discovered some other odds and ends from when I did MakeFest last year. I might blend some of these greens with half the gooseberry batt I forgot to card:

I found some gorgeous (even if I do say so myself!) texturey batts I'd forgoten I'd made too. I might have to save these for when I get a spinning wheel to make some texturey yarn!:

Saturday, 16 April 2016

More Nuno

If you liked the painted landscapes and the Start2 tutorial from my last post, you'll probably love the post Ruth did on the Felting and Fiber Studio site this week. She wrote a great tutorial for how to add detail to the landscapes to finish them off.

You might remember I had some unusual pieces of fabric in the nuno samples I also showed in that blog post. In the small piece, I had a strip from a scarf which pretty much looks like lengths of fine shiny threads held together loosely. This is what the scarf it came from looks like:

On the bigger nuno sample, I tried a piece of a loosely woven and ruffled scarf, this is what that scarf looks like:

Another unusual scarf I sampled was also loosely woven, it had different sections:

The part I used on the previous nuno piece had lots of loose fibres trapped between the layers which I didn't know until I cut it:

They looked like soy top, but fell out so didn't get felted with the sample. I don't think I showed a close up of that piece, here it is:

This is the full piece of the recent nuno sample I made:

This is a closer look at the left end. The top and third piece are both sections of the pink scarf, cut from the different ends:

This is a close up of the other pink piece:

This is the middle section. The bottom piece is a strip of Sari silk. I've had mixed results with sari silk scraps I've had before so thought I'd try it out:

It was difficult getting a photo of the right end of the sample, the colours were so bright. I had to ignore the beige crepey strip at the bottom, it didn't attach very well anyway:

I managed to squeeze a couple of other strips on at the end, another piece of sari silk. I also put a little piece of a linen scarf I've tried before at the bottom: