Scrambled brain ………

So many ideas, thoughts, impressions, happenings, exhibitions, commissions (promise to felt your sleeveless top tomorrow Patricia, just getting new bubble wrap this afternoon for the job), meetings etc. at the moment and although my brain is not actually scrambled I just can’t seem to write quickly enough to document everything as I would like to.  Apologies yet again for all those unsent emails over the weekend, I have just been totally tied up with American visitors and catching up with jobs delayed last week because of the golf matches that I absloutely had to attend in my position as Lady Captain.  Unfortunately for the golf club (but fortunately from my work perspective!) the club got knocked out of everything we played in last week so I am looking forward to a slightly quiter time on that side of things, now I hope to have time to finish some felt as I really need to earn some money quickly!! 

Jacob's fleece with Mehmet's rug base and Icelandic wool

A few pictures from my scrambled weekend …….

Raw unscoured Jacob’s fleece which I combined with Icelandic wool and a rug base (base prepared at Mehmet Girgic’s workshop in Turkey) to be sewn into a new laptop case/satchel for me!

Wool and mohair 'yarn', a by-product of the weaving process at Cushendale Woolen Mills

Funky ‘yarn’ picked up at Cushendale Woolen Mills over the weekend, the mohair on the right is now knitted into one of my new style crazy cowls and is available for sale throught Clasheen Uncut!  I am delighted to have found a fun project that I can work on in the evenings when taking a break from felting and fulling and hope to build a collection of funky knitted cowls as a simple way of supplementing my felting income.

Chair pad incorporating Icelandic wool, rug base and strips of woven waste

This week is going to be a busy felting week once I get awful paperwork and bank stuff out of the way today.  Tomorrow I am going to be spending all day felting a sleeveless jacket for a client in the States and on Wednesday one of my closest relations arrives in the morning to discuss a rug which I will be felting her as a comission, exciting times ahead!  This seat pad is a small experiment to see how much clarity is lost in the blue shades of Icelandic wool when combined with a natural white rug base from Mehmet and I also included some strips of the woven waste picked up at Cushendale just for the heck of it.

Don’t forget you need to get your entries off pdq to Chrissie if you want to enter her Waterfall jacket competition and if you are thinking of subscribing to a new felting magazing why not give the Australian publication ‘Felt’ a go?  Talking of things from the other side of the world I recommend keeping an eye on the Convergence blog to really get you in the festive mood!

Advertisements

‘Spring Swap’ update

Just a very short post today to let any of you who don’t already know that the Spring Clasheen Crafty Swap deadline has been extended allowing all of us (me included!) to post out our parcels no later than Friday 14th May!  Check out the group on Flickr over the next couple of weeks to see all the fantastic goodies that are winging their way around the world brightening up someones day and sharing our love of fibre and crafting.  I have a hectic day lined up today as blogged about yesterday over at Clasheen Uncut and if you want to enter a competition for a fantastic nuno felt top by Chrissie details are also over on the companion website!  I promise that wet weather or not pictures WILL be taken tomorrow and uploaded to the web and I will also have details of an exciting vessel or bag workshop that I am facilitating at the end of the month.

Has anyone ever felted with etamine??? Feedback please!

Last summer at the Felt in Focus symposium in Denmark Lyda Rump had some wonderful hand dyed fabric the like of which I had never seen before and which she explained to us was called etamine, it was 100% wool.  I do remember that Lyda said it was particularily suited to shibori (in a washing machine??) and also for using discharge paste to remove selected areas of colour, have any of you had a go???  Trying to do a bit of research on the internet did disclose that wool etamine is good for nuno felting but the info is sketchy and I am looking for some feedback.  Wollknoll are now selling etamine scarves and fabric by the metre and my latest order has just arrived this morning complete with 4 of the scarves, unfortunately the colour I wanted from a bolt must have been out of stock so I don’t have any small samples to practice on as I had expected.  At E12.50 plus P&P the scarves are not a cheap raw material so if any of you have some advice about the possible shrinkage rate, results you have had, pictures of work you have created etc. and are happy to share here that would be great thanks!

As an aside, if you are interested in having a peak at the video I created for Kelly recently for the Going Green Swap with a Twist on Ravelry head on over here to Clasheen Uncut!

Started a new sculptural piece at last!

Yesterday morning I was able at last to start work on the first of a series of tall felt sculptures.  Although I need to tidy the studio up yet again (what’s new?) and get some paperwork out of the way it was very satisfying to actually get this project underway if somewhat daunting at first.  This outdoor and indoor series of sculptures has been in the planning for a long while and I nearly evaded starting the process yesterday morning because when it came to the crunch I almost seemed lost about where to begin!  Eventually I decided that as many attempts may be necessary before I get the ‘perfect’ piece just to quit procrastinating and get on with laying out the wool.  For this first piece I am working in graduating shades of grey Icelandic wool starting with charcoal at the bottom and changing through to a very light grey at the top.  Because of resist constraints (I need to buy another large roll!) lay out was not as big as I might have wished but although the piece has another couple of day’s work to go it has given me an idea about the various difficulties I may encounter once I scale up for the much bigger outdoor pieces.  Ideally I don’t want to use any fabric stiffener with these sculptures as I would really like the tactile nature of the felt to shine through.  Whether this is totally practical for the outdoor pieces or not I don’t know yet as the design is tall and narrow but we will just have to wait and see.

Needing to sell some felt in order to spend time experimenting on this exhibition type work has brought me full circle to rivisit the pricing debate yet again!  Pop on over to Clasheen Uncut to take up the cudgel and if you have any suggestions re. online sites to sell from please make sure to leave a comment.  I have also posted there today about a new craft related social networking site that I discovered last night called My Craft Corner, one to watch in the future I think.

Gorgeous gauze for shibori experiment

My felting experiments yesterday were fun, fun, fun.  Amazingly I had decided to experiment with a shibori felt wrap/cowl affair only to discover when Carmen arrived that shibori was also what she had planned to do and neither of us had breathed a word of our intentions beforehand, incredible! 

Working the shibori wrap

Anyway, as part of the ‘Secret Swap Exchange’ I am participating in on Ravelry I needed to make a whimsical cowl for my swap buddy using yellow as the base colour.  Thanks to some shibori tips from Chrissie Day I decided to tackle this project for some St. Patrick’s Day fun and here is what I have come up with!  Using cotton gauze as a base I laid out a layer of short fibred merino which I then embellished with loads of gorgeous gold and maroon coloured mulberry silk.  When the fibres were starting to penetrate the gauze fabric but before the piece was shrinking I tied glass nuggets into the felt securing them with rubber bands.  I continued felting and fulling as usual and when the piece was totally shrunk undid the little bundles and pushed out the glass nuggets.  Some of the resulting bubbles I left as was while others got pushed through to the other side to add contrast and interest to the surface detail.  When I put the wrap on my manequin to take some photos it was interesting to see how reversable it actually is and to play around with the many ways it is possible to style it around the neck.

Nuno neck wrap - merino and silk side out

Hopefully my swap buddy will like her new neck wrap and for more images  and some detailed shots of the gauze side please check out my Flickr photos.

If any of you want my fool proof receipe for English Sherry Triffle (with my secret Irish ingredient instead of sherry!) head on over to Clasheen Uncut  where I am going to post it a little later in the day.

Back in the felting saddle at last and new companion blog Clasheen Uncut!

I had just written a long post about my first felting workshop o f 2010 and aggh, the internet connection went while I was uploading the data and for some obscure reason the whole post was lost bar the tags.  Forgive this extremely short and abbrigged version but I am terrified that the link will go again and  just want to update you on Saturdays return to the felting saddle!!!

On Saturday printmaker and papermaker Sylvia joined me in the morning for her first felting experience.  Luckily the water was back in time although since I’ve been on the computer this morning my immersion has given up the ghost, loads of loud electricial noises and now the wretched thing appears to have stopped functioning.   Thankfully the kitchen range keeps the downstairs of the house realtively warm while the central heating is not working so once Sylvia had selected her wool this is where we decided to lay out her vessel.  She used a combination of apple green, teal and white Icelandic wool with some blue mulberry silk, white cotton gauze and white tencel tops (at least I think that they are tencel!) for surface decoration.

Sylvia working the inside of her felt vessel

 

If any of you would like to have a go felting with the Icelandic wool it is GREAT for vessels.  I am offering simple felting kits and wool for sale through my Etsy shop, just let me know if there is any special colour that you require. 

Sylvia with her beautiful completed felt vessel

 

I am sure that you will all agree Sylvia’s finished vessel is amazing, what a great first felting project. 

Before the internet connection gives up the ghost I just want to announce my new blog Clasheen Uncut!  This is the place where I will ramble about all my non felting projects so why not pop over and have a look if you can spare the time.