Thursday, August 16, 2012

Felting fabric for a chair

I love Festive fibers chairs and other pieces that she makes and thought I would try to make fabric for this little victorian style chair that I bought for a few dollars at a garage sale. It still had the horsehair stuffing in it but the fabric had been clawed by the owner's cat and was awful. So, I took it all off down to the springs which I restrung, gave it a nice paint treatment, and then created this fabric for the back and the seat. The hard part was getting it on the chair since I haven't done a lot of upholstery before but I bought a book and just followed the directions. Fortunately for me the book had lots of illustrations of how to make nice corners, etc. Such a cheerful chair!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

New Yarn

My friend really loves turquoise and red together. So I created this yarn ... hand dyed merino roving. Then I spun one single from the multi colored roving and one single from the turquoise and plied them together to create the yarn. This was done on a drop spindle. I think it looks a little like "baker's twine" but it is so soft. When I get it all done my plan is to make a beautiful pair of fingerless gloves. I hope I have enough leftover to make a cowl to go with the gloves.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Washing the fleece and felting "in the grease"

 This is the fleece I purchased a while ago and have been too timid to process.
I finally took it outside on a big table and spread it out. Its just beautiful with all different colors, brown, rust, gray and white.

 I separated it into small mesh bags and filled a couple of 5 gallon buckets with hot/warm water and dishwashing liquid and, after taking a big breath, immersed it into the water.

After soaking it I pulled the bags out and spun them dry in the washing machine and just repeated the process.

Wow, was there a lot of dirt!
Then I begain rinsing the bags and spinning them in the washing machine. The wool here is clean and drying on a unused window screen. The wool is soft and I got most of the grease out.

Friday, July 20, 2012

More stories ... bought a new tool and began working on felted wool scarves etc. ...again.

 So, I saw this tool being used by another felted wool artist in her blog so I ordered one just to try. I was kinda dreading another season of really sore arms and my husband's too busy to help me roll.

I tried it on a silk piece that I dyed a little while ago. I added this great silvery grey and white tussah silk yarn with a bit of green in it here and there from River's Edge Fiber Arts

So here is the silk and wool being felted using my new tool from Heartfelt Silks  Instead of using the mesh that comes with the tool I used plastic with a bit of water and soap. The mesh tended to get felted to my wool very quickly.
I use a washboard for fulling my silk scarves. Its a nice large one that has a well for water on one end. I find this old tool is the easiest and quickest way to get the results I want.

Here is the finished product.  Its very thin wool on the silk scarf and has just the right amount of details on the edges with its little wisps of wool.

The ends have a bit more wool with tassles.

So light one can wear it with a t-shirt. No need to wait for cooler weather.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

First Yarn

This yarn is the finished product from my previous post.  I call it "carnival" because it reminds me of some of the costumes I have seen at carnival time in places like Rio or New Orleans.

The process of spinning on a drop spindle vs. a spinning wheel is more time consuming and takes a little practice.  I've been spinning regularly for about 6 or 7 months. First I spun a lot of singles and now I am plying two strands together to create what we normally think of as "yarn." It took me a little bit to remember that plying the two strands together requires one to spin in the opposite direction as when spinning the single.  Its all a work in progress as I continue to experiment and learn.

The wool itself is soft and fluffy. The hand carded batt is from Pumpkinhaus fiber arts and weighs 3 ounces. I plyed it with another roving in orange wool with silk and have enough out of the batt to create a nice scarf and perhaps some mitts.  I haven't yet found a pattern to showcase all my hard work but I will make certain to take pictures when I do. 

Monday, July 9, 2012

Spinning yarn with my drop spindle and loving it.

 A couple of weeks ago I traveled to Grayslake, IL and shopped for wool at Midwest Fiber and Folk Art Festival at the Lake County Fairgrounds.  I purchased two bundles of wool that were bright and cheerful and made me smile.  This is the first one. Since I began spinning with a drop spindle about 6 months ago I have been practicing and practicing. At first I made singles and have knitted a couple of things out of the first singles I made. Now I am spinning singles and have learned how to ply them and create yarn that actually looks like the real thing.

The singles to the left here and the close up photo below are made from the roving above. I am plying these with some orange wool with silk roving that I had begun spinning about a month ago.  So far I have plyed 3 skeins and am working my way through 4 more. When they are all done I will post a picture.
This is the wool batt that I purchase and have not yet spun.  Will let you know how it turns out.

 Happy, happy wool!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

I've been struggling lately with the sad closing of my local yarn shop due to the struggling economy. Its a beautiful place where I've spent many happy hours getting to know fellow yarn addicts and knitting. I've shared with them some of my world and they have shared with me. Today is the last day and then where will I go when I want to escape the house and work and all the hustle and bustle and just sit and knit to my hearts content? We will see ....

I love KnitSpot patterns and I found this one today. They are challenging and NOT boring patterns. I have a couple of skeins of beautiful lace weight yarn and I think this will be a perfect challenging project. Just perfect for spring.