Well, it is lashing outside this morning and for those of you not familiar with Irish expressions lashing means very heavy rain! I had been planning on photographing some nuno felt scarves and wraps before uploading them to my new boutique but obviously I need to wait until we get a bit of a break in the weather.
The good news is that I had a guilt free morning finishing fulling a large piece of nuno felt, I laid it out yesterday afternoon and had got it to the rolling and fulling stage before having to call it a day. I love creating pieces that can be worn in more ways than one and this piece definitely fits the bill. Basically it is a large reversible square with a hole in the middle and worn with corners pointing down it is a poncho, corners to the side a cropped top and if you fold it in half along the diagonal and roll the long edge slightly it makes a great warm wrap perfect to throw over your shoulders when the evenings get cool.
I don’t know how I suddenly ‘re-discovered’ the lilac muslin yesterday that I used for the base but with a house as tidy as mine every day in an adventure ploughing through piles of ‘stuff’! Anyway, the lilac is wonderful with some of the beautiful sweet pea shades of light pink, blueberry and raspberry coloured kap merino from Wollknoll. I also had some stunning hand dyed silk lap left over from a project earlier in the year and this just gives nice extra colour and texture to the surface of the wool side. As the project progressed I was having huge debates with myself as to how or where I was going to cut into the square to create either an opening for the head or alternatively two arm holes which had also been in my mind. What I decided to do was wait until the nuno felt was almost finished shrinking and then pin or drape the felt over my manequin before making the decision. This worked well because immediately the poncho style looked good, now I want to make another large piece of flat felt but round this time. This one I will cut with two armholes and create a circular shawl loosely basing the design on this adaptation of Barbara Pooles. I think judging from my draping and folding this morning the circle will drape better for a sleeveles top than the square. If you haven’t already enjoyed this short video take a look now and I promise to upload pictures of my ‘Sweet Pea’ poncho/wrap/cropped top just as soon as the rain stops and I can take them!
Well, last night I had a big disaster in my utility room. Johnny, one of my felting students had given me a present of some beautiful Alpaca and I decided to try washing some of it in the washing machine prior to carding. Thanks Carmen for THAT tip, what a catastrophe!! I put the Alpaca in a pillow case, tied the top with cotton cord and set it on a cool silk and wool cycle. When the cycle was over and I opened the door an amazing amount of brown ‘gunk’ was pooling within the rubber of the seal and the pillowcase was extremely wet and heavy. Maybe I shouldn’t have then decided to rinse and spin the package on a higher setting but nothing ventured, nothing gained. Anyway, this morning I am the prowd owner of what looks like a raw fleece collar, some of the fibres felted together, some are shaggy and unfelted. Never mind, I learnt a lesson and in actual fact I think that with a bit of judicious pruning I may well set a new trend in fashion accessories this Winter!
Recently I had a visit from Anna, a regular follower of the blog and a great swap partner in the first Clasheen Crafty Swap! This photo shows Anna wearing one of my simple fleted necklaces as a hairband. Thanks Anna for the order of 4 more of these accessories, I will get them made and in the post for you next week. I will be offering these necklaces/hairbands for sale on my Etsy shop for E20 each and am happy to make them in any colours that might take your fancy. Please email me if you would like to order one if I have not had time to put them up on the shop, they would make a great Christmas present!
The dates for the 2 felted rug workshops with master Turkish feltmaker Mehmet Girgic have now been set. The first dates are Friday 16th to Sunday 18th January and the second workshop takes place from Tuesday 20th to Thursday 22nd January inclusive. Places are limited to 10 participants per course so if you are interested please contact me as soon as possible. Check out the workshops page for information re costs and venue.
Please also note that the 5 week beginners felting course that I am teaching will now start on the first Thursday of November. Apologies for any confusion caused, I forgot that I would be working on the Feltmakers Ireland stand at the Knitting and Stitching show at the RDS next Thurdsday!
After the success (or lack of success!) with my last attempt to insert wire within my felt I decided to try a small sample as before but insert the wire as soon as I removed the laminate underlay resists. It worked!! I laid out a small landscape in Bheda wool using the mountains and fields surrounding me as inspiration. I inserted the wire, finished the felting and fulling process and voila. It was possible to manipulate the wire to create interesting shapes within the finished felted piece. I can’t wait to try this out on a much more ambitious project but will have to wait until my work for the Green Energy Fair is over.