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!

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Some more shibori pictures and fabulous new wool arrives!

My second shibori experiment on St. Patrick’s Day was this simple cowl, again felted using merino, cotton gauze and silk. 

Spice shibori cowl

This time my design had a hole at one end through which the cords pull through from the opposite end to close the cowl, hope this makes sense!  I love the combination of cerise, orange and raspberry wool as I think it gives the cowl a lovely warm and spicy feel.  The cords were very easy to incorporate into the body of the felt and this is a design I am planning to play around with a little, possibly make my next cowl a little longer and a little narrower.  Check out my Flickr photos for a full range of images from both sides of this piece.

Yesterday morning my latest order of silk arrived from Wollknoll and boy am I EXCITED!  When Lyda Rump was here for our workshops in February she was saying that they now were dying some fantastic wool similar to that which I usually get from Filzrausch, a short fibred19 micron merino.  I asked Sonja Fritz is she would be able to include a kg of various colours with my order for silk and I was blown away by the subtlty of the shades and how beautifully soft and easy this ‘Kap’ wool is to work with.  There was a PERFECT rose shade (I have never got anything quite as beautiful in this colour before) and it just cried out to be felted with one of Lyda’s gorgeous hand dyed silk chiffon scarves. 

Hand dyed silk chiffon with the softest nuno shibori

Again I decided to experiment with a little shibori.  My aim with this scarf was to emphasise the gorgeous colours from Lyda’s dying so I decided just to add wool at either end and not cover the chiffon completely.  This created a fantastic and light scarf which would be an amazing present for someone allergic to wool, only the silk would be touching the skin when you throw the scarf around your neck!  I have uploaded both these shibori pieces and my recent Zebra cobweb felt scarf to my Etsy shop this morning so if you are looking to treat yourself to a little uplifting pressie now is the moment!

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.

1722 hits and counting

1722 sounds like a date but in actual fact these are the number of hits to date on this blog since I posted my first ramblings on 10th April ’08!  I am really delighted that numbers are multiplying month on month and have now added a counter at the bottom right hand side of the blog.

Because of my injured hand I have had plenty of time to think about my work and what I will be preparing for the Crafts Council.  To date I have made several pieces since I got selected to participate in ‘Breaking Out’, but as I really want to ‘wow’ them I still need to strive for that special piece to materialise.  I am intending on incorporating some found items into my work as well and hope that when I find those special items the piece will just come naturally, fingers crossed!  I have also been working on some designs for a couple of new bags and a vessel with some shibori elements, hopefully my hand will be healed enough next week to put them into action.  The Irish Green Gathering is also in the final 10 days of preparation so probably it is a good thing that I don’t have as much time to felt.