Friday, 26 June 2015

Woolfest 2015!

I'm so excited I'm worse than a child on Christmas eve.... It's woolfest weekend!!

After a long drive (6 hours) yesterday I was relieved to find my room at the Old Ginn House is very comfortable (though I still haven't located the gin!). Brekky this morning was outstanding, fresh coffee and eggs benedict:

Woolfest was heaving as it always is and I don't think all the animals were enjoying having so many adoring fans, some of the sheep looked a bit stressed by all the attention, only the black nosed valais sheep looked chilled

These guys are so cute it was all I could do to stop myself taking one home, it wouldn't mind spending 6 hours in my hatchback would it?

The Herdwicks had a lovely red tinge to their fleeces, aren't his horns beautiful?

There were alpacas and angora bunnies too

There were some lovely felted exhibits, this "cobble coat" was made by Linda Chapman 

The ram's head is called Harold and he was made by Debbie Lucas 

And for the stitchers out there, this wrap, entitled Flora of the Fells, was made by Ruth Strong and was inspired by plants native to the Lake District.

Of course you can't go to woolfest and not supplement your stash, there are just so many beautiful products to choose from.

I seem to have been on a silk crusade today, when I unpacked my bag I discovered silk tops, hankies, thread and saris...

The 4 packs of sari silk came from Carol of Foxglove felts, we've never met so I am still stunned that she recognised me. I'm pleased to say her stand was one of the busiest that I visited, it looked like she was having a well-deserved successful show.

Woolfest also sell raw fleeces so I took the opportunity to buy some locks, these beauties are Gotland and Blue Faced Leicester

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Snowy night (in June?!)

This feels very strange. Posting a hanging of icicles and snow in the middle of June, but like so much I have done this year it has taken me 6 months to see it through to completion. This piece was "conceived" when I noticed some icicles hanging from a roof last November and was "born" in January when I started work on it. Every so often I would bring it out of the UFO box, decide it needed something else but unsure what, put it back into the box.

Here it is before de-tangling all the icicles...

Last week I added a couple of windows, I think the yellow and the orange in them helps to balance out all the blue.

I also added a star using some silvery thread to the top right but can't decide if I should add a few more (smaller ones) to "lead the eye" around the hanging, what do you think? Maybe some machine quilting on the sky? What would you do?

The fishy hanging is now dry too, I added some machine embroidery and silver Markal paint to the lower half but I still fee the reef needs a bit more definition, perhaps some splashes of red and orange?

And finally, a little teaser of some chiffon scarves I have been working on:

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Chinese year of the sheep

This weekend I felt (pardon the pun) inspired to make a hat in honour of this being the year of the sheep, it was inspired by the curly horns that some rams display. I took a bit of artistic licence with the colours...


I think I will add a few discreet stitches to make sure the horns stay in place and I'm also toying with the idea of adding some fabric stiffener. I have some spray on ironing starch and some CMC but have been reading that milliners paint on a specific hat stiffener on their felt hats. What do you all like to use?

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Some more dress-making, a sun hat and some fishes

Following on from Tatiana's workshop, I have been making more nuno felt yardage for dress making. This is a top made using the same basic pattern from the orange shibori jacket.

I started this sun hat in January, using some hand dyed merino, the variegated roving yields a lovely mottled colour when felted, I also felted in a piece of hand dyed silk for decoration and texture

Today, I started working on a new wall hanging of fish on a reef. I am using some hand dyed pongee 5 silk and hope that the ripples and sheen will give the impression of water.

The weather was lovely, so after making the nuno felt I moved outside to "work" in the sunshine.

I have just ordered some longer stretcher bars and hope to share the final hanging next week.

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Felt Shibori and Some Hats

As promised here are some photos of the jacket I made on Tatiana Sherverda's workshop at the end of April. The workshop was intended to be focussed on tailoring and pattern making but as you can see we went off on a bit of a shibori tangent! :)

Of course that did mean very few of us managed to finish our jackets during the workshop (I was still working on mine 3 weeks later...). I'm afraid I don't have any "during" photos but Terriea posted one on her blog, it's near the bottom of the page.

While making this I wasn't 100% sure I would feel comfortable wearing it (it is very OTT compared to what I would normally wear) but now I love it and can't imagine parting with it. I'm not sure why but something about it reminds me of Game of Thrones, there is something theatrical about the silhouette I think...?

Another long-promised offering (sorry I have been really rubbish at finishing projects this year), the brain hat that you all very kindly provided ideas on how to finish it. The brim won out in the end (although I really didn't expect it to) and I am rather pleased with how it turned out:

This is rather naughty, I know I should be making more of an effort to empty my UFO box but you know how it is when you get an idea for a new project....

This is my wooly prize from the IFA conference a few weeks ago, all along it has been crying out to be turned into an ocean / something watery.

When I started, I had ideas of waves of felt with white foam "crashing" over the surface of a hat, here it is at the layout stage.

The wool is English 56's, not a breed (I suspect it is a blend of wools) I am familiar with, but it feels quite course to the touch so I used a couple of layers of merino batts on the inside for comfort.

I have to confess the waves are looking more and more like whirlpools as this hat has developed but I think it still works, it's still drying, hence all the pins....

Just a few stitches and hopefully this one will never get to see the inside of my UFO box :)