One very welcome spin off from my recent adventures in freestyle knitting has been discovering some of the amazing natural and man made yarns now available online or in specialist shops. I felted myself a little clutch bag (purse for our American friends!) on Thursday afternoon and decided to add various yarns from my Blade scarf into the surface layer as an experiment to see how they would felt. The most amazing revelation was the huge success of some Tilli Tomas beaded silk! This is a very beautiful but expensive yarn and I had a small bit of discarded knitting with some cut threads which I really didn’t know if it would be possible to incorporate successfully into my felt. I laid out the bag around a resist as normal, decorated the surface with the scrap of beaded silk knitting, some artificial sari ribbon and some swirls of a Rowan wool/silk yarn and a silk/cotton combination. Some of the beaded silk I covered with the finest wisps of fibre and other areas I left uncovered. I needn’t have worried, the beaded silk felted beautifully and actually needed no covering wisps at all.
Clockwise from left - sari ribbon, silk-wool, silk-cotton and beaded silk
I love the way the knitting has become distorted and the little seed beads gleam and glisten as they catch the light! The sari ribbon also became incorporated really easily and it was actually the silk/wool and silk/cotton combinations that needed a little extra care while rubbing before they felted fully into the wool. I love the effect of all the different yarns in the finished bag and know that it will get lots of use over the coming months, green is after all the colour that I am most often to be seen wearing!
I have been really busy this week catching up with all the jobs left undone over the last while and preparing for my Lady Captain’s Day at Borris Golf Club which is taking place tomorrow! On Wednesday I had an interview at the Crafts Council which might lead to me being on a panel of makers called on if residencies or projects are looking for textile artists in this area although because I have already participated in a project last year they have said that new makers will get preference. Today Carmen and I are giving a felting demo at our local country market in the morning and this afternoon I am invigilating at the Blueprint show in Carlow. Yesterday night I as I followed the latest matches of the World Cup I cast on for Jane Thornley’s stunning Feather and Fan organic wrap because I wanted something to do while I was sitting in the exhibition space minding the work. Yes, this is knitting I know and I never thought that I would be enjoying getting stuck into any knitting project except something chunky worked with recycled fabric or plarn! Purely by chance as I was searching the internet seeking patterns for torn fabric worked on huge needles I managed to stumble into Jane’s site and info re. a knitting retreat in Taos, one of my all time favourite places in the world!!! I became totally hooked instantly. The organic mix of yarn and fibres which Jane champions really appeals to me and the freestyle shapes she has designed look a perfect match for some of my Blue Fish linen and hemp! Still no word from the American Embassy re. my vias requirements so I am planning on trying to actually see someone when I am in Dublin next week delivering my piece for the final round of the National Crafts Competition judging. Ordering the wool today for the rug that I have been comissioned to felt, should have probably ordered it a week or so ago but just don’t seem to have had the time to settle down and deal with the ordering process!