I never did get to stitch the fish skin closure to the little felt phone cover I made yesterday afternoon. Stupidly I got impatient waiting for the felt to dry and decided to leave it in my oven for a short while. No problems there (I have used this trick before when I need a piece to dry quickly) except I forgot all about taking it out again and by the time I remembered the beautiful creamy white felt had become an aged yellowy colour!
Wool neps and hand dyed tencel surface decoration
I did however, manage to take a picture of the front with my iPhone, email it to mysef, save it to my pictures and post it here now, amazing! Once I get a few apps downloaded I hope to be able to post directly to the blog. The tencel shines beautifully in the light and the wool neps give a nice texture but I think that you should be able to see a slightly browner/yellower colour at the top of the little cover and the reverse view is even more burnt. I also have a small pocket on the back for my Moo cards, really handy and I am just going to use the cover for a couple of days until I get a minute to felt another one!
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.
I forgot to mention yesterday that I did weigh the Icelandic wool and divided it into two piles. There was just over 400g per layer and interestingly enough not much shrinkage overall by the time the rug was complete, possibly even less than 20%.
Starting to lay out the Jacobs fleece
Cotton fabric between the layers of wool
I should also have said that I used green silk hankies both within the fleece and at several points near the edge of the rug but that the white silk tops around the outside might not be silk at all but is more likely to be tencel. It felt quite different in the hand but as I don’t know where I got it from so this is just an uneducated guess!
Initially I worked the rug hard (several hours) by hand and sander on the reverse and eventually was brave enough to turn it over and work directly on the top. It took ages for the fibres to start coming together, possibly if I had laid two layers of wool on top of the fleece and then the fabric as the last layer it would actually have been a lot quicker. Whatever, another couple of hours later and things were beginning to hang together nicely. When I was absolutely sure that the fleece was not going to come apart I chanced wrapping the rug inside a piece of cotton and putting it through a wool wash in my washing machine! With the exception of rinsing Osman technique rugs or making beads from waste felt I never use my machine for felting, I prefer to do everything by hand. This time however since I was in an experimental mood and the Jacobs is extremely slow to felt I decided nothing ventured, nothing gained. After it came successfully out of the machine I worked it by hand again without any soap. Another while later I put it through a 40 degree wash and again worked directly on the surface by hand for approx another 45 minutes.
My finished hearth rug!
The finished rug is extremely tactile and will make a great fireside rug or else something to keep my toes warm during those cold Irish mornings! More detailed images of the final result are available in my Flickr photos.