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scarf up close

Ruffled Neck Scarf Workshop

Last week I taught a Ruffle Neck Scarf workshop. This was the first time teaching it and it went very well. I was worried about the timing but it all worked out. I thought the class at the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum. They have a nice big classroom with lots of light. and water.

As usual, I forgot to take pictures early but here are two of them being laid out

You can see the template they used to get the layout right and keep it even from one end to the other. I drew it with the outline to follow and a line on them to let them know when they had shrunk enough.

Here they are using the plastic under their scarves to make nice edges.

And a shot of the class working.

Here are the results. I really like the ones where you can see the wool that migrated through the silk.

The Class was a lot of fun. I made the written instructions more detailed than normal because I want to make it a kit. If I ever figure out video iI would like to make an online workshop.  If you were to buy a kit for a ruffled scarf would you want it to be a short neck scarf or a long scarf? the only difference really would be the amount of wool included and the length of silk. I was thinking a short scarf but include the sizing to make a longer template too. I am wondering about the template I usually use thick plastic to draw it on. but it is too bulky to fold flat and too big to ship cheaply rolled up. Should I include a template on thinner plastic or just the instructions on how to draw it up on whatever you want to use?

scarf up close

Dying Some Silk

I am teaching a class next week and needed to dye some more silk for embellishment.

I had looked in my silk box to see what I had and I seem to have a lot of green and not much pink/purple.

I use a variation on the scrunch dying I use for the scarf blanks. I soak the silk in a little soapy water to get them properly wet before dying.

I use just enough fibre reactive dye to cover the silk. Then leave it for about an hour and put the PH up (sodium carbonate) in. I mix the PH up one tablespoon for each cup of water including the water I am mixing it in. Then I let it sit for a few hours.

One of the colours I wanted was a nice brown but when I rinsed it all the brown stayed in the water and I had purple. I haven’t had that happen before.

This is what they look like after rinsing and squeezing all the water out, they look a mess.

After they are dry, they fluff up some, but still not very nice looking

Next, you shake them out a bit and give them a tug along their length. Now they are pretty. again. Now I have a good variety for my students to choose from. The top one is the one that should have been brown.

I think I am just about ready for the class. Just some plastic to cut and pack it all up.

 

 

scarf up close

Scarves Done, Well, Almost

The felting part of the scarves is all done. I have moved to adding buttons. A friend helped me pick out all the buttons at our guild social On Monday night. At one point we had lots of buttons out of the bags on the table as we poked through them in search of just the right button. Unfortunately no picture of that. Jan got a great close up of this button we were trying on this scarf. Actually all these pictures were taken by Jan Scott except the 2 of her and her new wheel.

Here is a picture of part of the social. There was spinning and weaving and knitting and wheel adjusting, probably other stuff too.

And Jan brought her new wheel. It is an electric spinner and it fits in a small plastic container. It is as portable as a spindle. There were lots of oos and ahhs as she showed it off.

And lastly 3 great pictures of my scarves, thanks to Jan.

I hope you like all the pictures. Now I have to get on with the finishing, the hardest part.

scarf up close

Next steps for small bags

Last time I showed you the parts of the bags ready to be put together. Now I will show you how I do it.

First I wet one side. I use the resist to press the wool down and make sure it will be wet where I need it to be.

Next I add one of the pieces of silk.

Then I add the resist and the 2 pieces used to close the bag.

Next I add the second piece of silk and wrap the wool around everything

I add the second side of wool and wrap that around too.

After I’ve done that to all the pieces I add some embellishments. I am using a multicoloured top for grass on the blue one and the pink one got a rolled up ball of silk scraps. I covered the ball with more pink wool and will cut the top off near the end.

This is after several rollings. you can see they are curling as they shrink.

I cut the slit for the bag and rub it with well soaped fingers to heal the cut edges.

Next will be more rolling and some throwing to get the fulling done. I will show you the finished bags next time and some I finished with some embroidery.

Ann

lining fabric

Making Some More Little Bags

I haven’t had much time to felt and today I finally got some time to start some new little bags.
The last time I made little bags I forgot to add the spikes that end up as the closures so I made a bunch of spikes to be ready this time. Now to remember to make the rings for the bottom.

I make these bas self lining by putting fabric next to the resist. This creates a nuno felt lining and I don’t have to do it later. I licked this silk scarf a friend gave me for it’s nice bright colours and interesting dye pattern.

The other thing adding the nuno lining does is add strength allowing me to make a thinner, less bulky bag. I set up 4 resists because if you are going to rub and roll some felt you might as well do make it worth while.

Here are the 4 bags ready to be put together. I try not to match the linings to the bag colour to much so it doesn’t disappear when I am done. I may have to switch the 2 middle ones.

At this point I had to stop and switch the laundry and got distracted with other things so I haven’t made it past this point today. You will notice that I have forgotten the rings at this point but I have a chance to fix this when I get back to them. It is not to late …..yet. Next time I will hopefully have some progress to show you.
Ann

scarf up close

Felted Cat Cave A Quick How To

 

Another old post from me. This is one of the most visited posts we have, so thought everyone might like to see it again.

I have been wanted to make a cat cave for sometime now. I decided it needed to be bright. I picked some Blue Faced Leicester  wool so it would be strong and dyed it chartreuse. Then I picked some purple and magenta for the spikes.

Spikes and Wool

I wanted an oval cat cave. I used my oval hat form to get the shape and gradually sized it up.

Drawing the Resist

I laid out 4 layers of wool for strength and even shrinkage. I put the first side aside and after laying out the second side I poked holes to put the spikes through.

Spikes in the Wool

After wetting it all down I wrapped each spike in plastic wrap so it would not get felted down flat.

Spikes all Wrapped Up

I covered it with a sheer curtain and rubbed both sides for a while and rolled it for a while and then wrapped it up and put it in the dryer twice, changing the position of the felt each time.  It was starting to shrink so I cut out the resist and switched to rolling it in a stick blind. I find the stick blinds to be very aggressive and shrinks felt quickly.  I did do some throwing too. Finally I rinsed the cave out in a bucket of alternately hot and cold water being quite aggressive with it. I then had to stretch the top so it would be domed up. I steamed it to heat it up and make it easier to stretch. Mostly I used a wooden spoon to push in a sliding motion to get the shape. Here it is on top of the resist so you can see how much it shrank.

Finished Cave on top of the Resist

Here it is in use, it didn’t take long for one of my cats, Wu, to take up residence.

 

Cat in Cave

As a foot note Wu ( queen of all things) is no longer with us. This is one of my favourite pictures of her. She really like the cave and we buried her in it, here on the farm.

scarf up close

Second Quarter Challenge: Nuno Felt Surface Design

The second quarter is already here, I am not sure how that happened. I think using fabric as a surface design instead of a base is a good idea for the second quarter. Use cotton or silk or rayon or what ever you like to make some surface designs. You can make texture or pattern.

Try a mosaic? (I think one is Zed’s)

or making a picture? I made this to practice machine embroidery on.

Layer some silk

How about some texture?

 

 

Or let your imagination sore, have fun with it.  You can post your experiments good and bad over in the Felt and Fiber Studio Forum. http://feltandfiberstudio.proboards.com/thread/3708/2018-second-quarter-challenge

 

scarf up close

Techniques for Intermediate Felters Class-The Afternoon

See the cool little rolling tool I got recently. It’s a little massage roller. This was it’s first try out. It worked really well. I have some other kinds ordered so I will do a post about them later.

  

Here are a couple of shots of me teaching. The left one is talking about adding some scruched up silk and the right one I explaining how you make one of the resists into a flower.

Here Carlene and Jan are showing thier pieces at show and tell at our guild meeting.

and a close up are Carlene’s

We didn’t have enough time to do everything I wanted to do, so at the end I was doing quick how to’s.  The pin needle technique two ways  and I also explained book resists.

So now it’s a matter of deciding what to take out and what to add in for the next time I teach it. There was not enough time. I think adding an hour to the class would be good. I think I will drop the nuno part of the sample to make sure we got to the pine needle part. I am not sure about the book resist. It may take to much time. What would you want to see in an intermediate techniques class?

scarf up close

Techniques for Intermediate Felters Class- the morning.

On Saturday I was teaching Techniques for Intermediate Felters.  It is a sample class.

First we talked about how felt shrinks and then  did ruffled edges.

As an aside it was Jan’s ( top right) birthday and the class was one of her presents.

Only two finished ruffle pictures thanks to two of the students.

After ruffles we did cracked mud. They did a double sample. One side was done with painters tape and one was done with floor underlay with holes cut out. On Lauren’s piece here you can really see the tape and the underlay.

I wanted them to see how even the thin underlay makes it much harder than the very thin tape.

Some needed a little more fulling at this point but were progressing well. We were on to lunch and then more techniques. I will tell you about the afternoon next time I post.

scarf up close

Lambs

This is a short post today.  There is not much time for felting at the moment. We have started lambing here on the farm. We are a little early. Seems we missed a ram lamb and he was a very active little  fellow. Naturally with the weather being cold and wet we have some in the house.

Here is a brand new lamb, still all wet. Mom and baby were moved to a pen of ther own shortly after I took the picture.

These are the house lambs They are on bottles. This is ther first top in the living room. They have now moved to a Big pen in the basement.

And this is one that is getting warm sitting on my knee as I type this for you to read.

I am not sure how I am supposed to get ready to teach  Techniques for Intermediate Felters on Saturday. No rest for the weary as they say.

Well thats it from me , I have lambs to feed.