Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Re-Dye, Re-Design and Re-Take

Worked on these three hats today and I'm tired. On the first hat, it needed a continuity of color, so I threw it in the dye pot with purples and hot pinks. Love the effect!

The green hat needed something special done with it. I also over dyed this one. It was an almost olive green, but more green than olive. I decided to over dye it with blue-green and black. It turned out much better than I had hoped for, actually. Thank you Chris White, who gave me some wonderful tips on color play.

The other hat is being sent off and I'd not taken a photo of it so I thought I'd better get that done before it went to it's new home.

All in all, a very good day and now it is raining. There is nothing like an evening rain to help me relax and rejoice!


Monday, March 30, 2009

Merino and Silk Felt Wrap

I feel like I am running a slight fever and fight off the flu. I like to make at least one piece of felt each day, with one day of complete rest per week. This is the days work. It is a white chiffon farbic enveloped in merino silk, with sparkle yarns on the surface. I can imagine this being worn in any weather. The ripples in this turned out quite nice, and my shoulders are painful to the touch from all of the rolling. I may need two days of rest after a day like this.

I did use cold water to start the process, as I was confident that hot water would make it felt too fast and not work through the fabric. My whole family loved this piece. I too am rather fond of it. This might not go on the road with me, but stay in my closet. That doesn't happen often, but it could with this.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Felt Hat and Scarf Set, merino and silk

I spent most of the day enjoying the rain and the clouds and listening to music and thanking God for many, many blessings all over my life. I then took about a three hour nap, which restored me to the point of thinking I could get some felting done.

I've loved working with merino silk and thought I'd make a scarf to go with the merino silk hat I'd made earlier. I may yet create a button closure, but that will be for another day.

Re-dyeing felt hat

I was still not pleased with the final outcome of the over-dye so I decided to add yet another color to more intensely mute the colors and yet give it another point of interest. I'm not exactly sure that I am done with it yet. I've learned much from this lesson in felting and color play.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Sculpted Wool Felt Hat

On the table, the fibers looked great together, but after the felting process, I thought not so good after all. I pulled the colors of navy blue, purple and a mustard yellow together, thinking that the high contrast in colors might have a very nice effect. It rather looked awkward and forced, and I could not imagine it on anyone. The dye pot to the rescue!

I took the hat and pulled it as long as I could, then twisted it like I was intending to twist out a washcloth, then tied it up on itself, and threw it into the dye pot, rich in two lovely colors of violet and black. The dark water color effect works for me far better than the original colorway. I think it is a bit more dramatic and interesting, but what do you think?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Two entries per day

I think I am finally getting into the hat mode. This is my first hat of the day and I am beginning the second one right after this entry. I am having a great deal of fun using the hand dyed fibers I made up several weeks ago. I am blending them with some of the commercial fibers I have around here and am very much enjoying the final results. This hat is still in the drying stage. The fibers used were merino, merino silk, merino tencel.

framed felt piece

I've been going through some of my old files and found some older photos of some of my previous works and plays. This is one that is a particular favorite of mine, it is named Flowers for Algernon Revisited. The piece is a combination of merino wool, hand dyed silk, a cut up silk tie and mawata. It sold to an area hospital shortly after it was completed. I had forgotten that I had a photo of it, though not a very good photo, still it is one for remembering Algernon.

I do want to mention that in framing this felt, we used two mats and then spacers to keep the glass off of the felt and allow breathing room for the felt. I've framed several pieces and had one piece that ended up "sweating" on the single mat. It had to be complete re-matted and the cost is a good bit. It was a costly lesson, but perhaps it will prevent others from going through the experience. Wool needs to breathe.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Top Knot Hat

I taught a spinning class this weekend in Lansing Michigan and had a wonderful time with some lovely women. While they were spinning, I had the opportunity to make a needle felt hat, which I later wet felted. The colors are from some of the hand dyed fibers I'd dyed up earlier. The inside of the hat is all merino wool, while the exterior is a combination of merino and corriedale with a bit of mohair in it. It is a bit fussier that I like to have on my hats, but I think it will be ok for the style. I might give it a quick shave as well.

There are many designs going through my head, but the challenge is to find the time to get them on the table, laid out, rolled, shaped, pressed, dried and sitting on someones head!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Another hat, really?

Ok, I admit, I love making hats and this is just another in a series I am trying to get done for the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. I am hoping to get about 40 hats completed before then and I can honestly say I am running way behind. I decided to do some yarn work while we were enjoying some incredible weather for mid-March. Hurt my shoulders, back and felt muscles. I'm on felting hold for right now, but hope to get back at it by Monday. Ice and Tylenol on my shoulders for now.

This hat is 100% merino in black and brown combination with metallic fabric inlay. There is no wrong or right way to wear this hat. Just give it a quarter turn and the look changes entirely. Very cool, very versatile.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Suzanne, all grown up!

This is the Teeswater ewe named for me. I wanted to get before and after photos, but things were moving too fast for me to get them. She is a sweetie and has a wonderful fleece. I'm so looking forward to working with this fleece and wonderful locks.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Susan's Fiber Shop Spinning Retreat with Judith MacKenzie and Unexpected Lambing

Thursday I left for Columbus Wisconsin to help Susan McFarland with the Spinning Retreat with Judith Mackenzie. Oh, what a grand time we had. There were approximately 40 spinners who showed up for this event and I believe that none were less than pleased with the entire event. Judith is a incredible teacher with wonderful stories, techniques and the proverbial patience of Job with her students. Wonderful teacher, wonderful woman. I am so glad that I got to meet her. I did not take the spinning classes as one of my goals is to maintain my status as a mediocre spinner. (wink) I helped Susan with the shopping stuff, and presented my merino batts and flower kits. I was a wonderful weekend, but in the midst of the retreat, Susan had lambs being born, inthe rain, flooding, fog, and snow. Well, not that the lambs were born there, they were safe in the warmth of the barn but Susan was out in it. Sunday was simply awful weather and the retreat ended with trying to get everyone home during a rain-sleet-ice-snow storm with veracious winds. What an exceiting weekend! BTW, these Teeswater lambs are beyond stunning . I'll try to post some photos later this week. What beautiful animals they are!

While there, I made a very large tote with a very nice pocket in it. It turned out very nice, but a bit too long for my taste. I ended up cutting it in half and the top part sold by the next morning, much to my surprise. The colors were great together, merino in gold, turquoise and blue, olive green, hot pink, and lime. Really very lovely and I hope to save the bottom. It is not what I'd call a failure, just not what I had inteded. It did not skrink as much as I wanted inteh direction that I wanted. Got to work on that a bit more I think.
Anyway, Iam home finally after a very extrended weekend and happy to be in my husbands arms once again. I did have a wonderful time. I love Wisconsin, though the weather this time,left a good bit to be desired!
Felt well!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Fused Glass Inspiration in felt

Last year at the Michigan Fiber Festival, a woman gave to me a choice of one o f her buttons in glass. The one I chose has a mustard-citrine dominate color with gold and red-orange fire in it along with flecks of black and chartreuse. I've wanted to use this button for some time in one of my felt hats, and this is where it ended up. I hope the hat does the button justice. It really is a lovely piece of glass!
The Midwest Felting Symposium site is up and running! The choices this year are wonderful and I can hardly wait to be there. It is the best 5 days of my felting year, without question. If you have any question about attending, the answer is a strong, happy "YES!". The people, the classes, the setting, the fibers, the laughter, the gallery, the talent and knowledge all make it well worth ones time, effort and money to be there. If in doubt, check out the site: www.midwestfeltingsymposium.com
I might also mention that this hat was made using the technique I learned from Bonnie Ahrens at Symposium 2 years ago. LOVE IT! She is a delight!
I've been dreaming in felt a lot lately and rather enjoy it in the design aspect of it, but I also find myself rolling in my sleep as well and I am awaking with arms that are already tired! Not so good, in my opinion. However, I am keep a small notebook bedside so that I can write the ideas in the book for reminders when I really wake for the day. I'm finding it helpful.
I'll be teaching for the next few weekends and am trying to get stuff done, as well as get a bit rested for these events. I am looking forward to both.
I hope your day ROCKS!...and that you have the chance to make good felt!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Merino, silk and angora blended felt hat

Since I know that I am going back to nursing full time, I am trying to deplete some of my stash and put some special blends together to see how they will felt. This hat is merino, silk and angora blended together. It is wonderfully soft and took the dye nicely. I did dye it after I made it. Didn't think it would be good to try to dye the angora before it was felted. It might have felted in the dye bath.
Terribly cold here tonight. The temps are going to 5 above zero, but there is also a strong breeze that is making the whole of the house feel much colder than usual...and me too