Monday, 25 August 2014

Norwegian, Devon, Cotton and Bamboo

This first piece I made is grey Norwegian wool tops with Egyptian Cotton. For the top two thirds, I used Egyptian cotton tops. The staple length is very short, so I started pulling off short wispy bits from the end as you would wool tops, and laid those on the right hand side. I also pulled off a longer length, then carefully teased it out and laid parts of it down the left. The bottom is Egyptian cotton fibre, it comes as thicker, shorter lengths. I teased some out, fluffed some up a little, then laid them on the wool.

This is a close up of some of the wispy parts:

This is an area of denser wispy cotton:

This is a close up of the longer lengths of cotton:

And this is a close up of the cotton fibre:

 I've probably mentioned more than once or twice how much I love curly wools :)  For this next piece I used Devon Wool tops and Black Bamboo tops. The top part has the bamboo laid on the surface, the bottom is a blend of Devon and Bamboo.

 The black bamboo is more of a matte charcoal grey than black, and seems to be 'fluffier' than white bamboo tops.

Close up:

It looks a lot paler when blended with the wool tops:

It doesn't completely disappear when blended in, though.

And just because I love curly wools, the back:

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Needle Felting and Milk Fibre

My last needle felted piece that I recently made is based on a photo I took at Sefton Park in Aigburth, Liverpool. It's such a great park and has a really famous Palm House, and a gorgeous lake. I simplified the photo:

I wet felted a simple piece for the background:

I used a mixture of texturey and curly wools like Icelandic, Devon, Bluefaced Leicester, mixed with softer wool and animal fibres like Merino, Alpaca and Angora rabbit, to get the different textures.

On the Felting and Fiber Forum recently, Judy was asking about Milk Protein Fibre. I'd recently made a felted piece with Milk protein fibre and also Ingeo, so I thought I'd share a few photos of the milk part. The wool I used is a dark grey Icelandic, I laid a strip of milk top across the wool.

I like using milk, it responds well to the characteristics of the wool it's used with and looks good whether it is used with a soft wool or a more coarser one:

This is a close up of one of the thicker areas:

We've been updating the 2014 Challenge Gallery on The Felting and Fiber Studio site, if you'd like a look at all the contributions. If you made a piece for any of the challenges and you'd like yours added to the gallery, let one of us know. You can use the Contact Us form if you like.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Needle Felting

My latest needle felted piece is based on a photo I took a few years ago near Hightown, Merseyside. It's where the River Alt estuary meets the sea along the Sefton coast. I played around with the photo a little:

I started out making a wet felted background to work on:

Then needle felted it with Merino mixed with texturey wools like Icelandic. I used a bit of silk and bamboo on the river and cotton fibre for the clouds.

Friday, 8 August 2014

Teeswater and Needle Felting

I know the last post I did about natural wools and fibres featured Viscose as well, but after Ruth's post about Wensleydale on the Felting and Fiber Studio, I thought I'd show a piece that I'd made using 'curly' wool too, though this is Teeswater. I do have some raw Teeswater locks that I bought from Sara's Texture Crafts, but for this I just used commercial Teeswater tops. Tops can be quite deceiving as it isn't always obvious what the characteristics of the wool are, and they often all look quite similar. Until they're felted that is. You don't get quite the same results as using washed and combed or carded wool, but a lot of the features do 'come back' once the wool has been wet. By hand,  I blended some black viscose in with the Teeswater tops for the top layer.

Where the wool and fibre are blended well it has a greyish look to it.

And some parts are a bit more defined.

This is the back of the piece, I just love the look of felt like this :)

Doing a needle felted piece for Marilyn's Monet Challenge got me in the mood for doing some more. So far I've wet felted the backgrounds for 3 pieces, and finished one of them. I played around with a photo I took a few years ago at the beach in Crosby, not far from Liverpool:

Then I needlefelted a piece based on it: