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September 9, 2009

Thank you everyone for the comments you left here! So you really come and read this?! :) I always think, there are soooo many blogs these days, so many of us who write…, is there anyone having time to read at all? I am going to keep you busy – I hope to post everyday – that is everyday when I have managed to do something creative :).

Fiona, it is comforting to know that you have similar experience with Procion dyes. With wool and silk I was used to having clear water after the dyeing is finished, with procion I could dye and dye getting paler and paler shades…. Will need to do some reading on this, Ruth Issett has written book on this.

Doda,  I am very well, thank you! And I have got an invitation for you and anybody close enough to come to the Beginners Feltmaking workshop organized by the Hihland Feltmaker’s Group. It is on September 26th, Saturday in Dingwall. There is more info about it here.

Marian, you are very close to it. I start seeing patches and squares everywhere now, have been thinking about making some clothes from fabric remnants I have had for ages…. but today I did this:

tissue pattern 1b

thinking, as you Fiona do, how to make something big in a small space I have available…

tissue pattern 2b

glueing, cutting, more cutting and then glueing. I remember one lady saying how weird patchwork is, you buy a fabric, cut it into pieces and then have to sew all of them again…mmm

And then I carded

carding 1b

hoorey, let’s play!

carding 2b

carding 4b

scarlet, violet and red dyed merino + scarlet dyed tencel

carding 6b

I use bamboo placemat to get the fibres from the carder. Roll in and then reroll, saw it on YouTube.

carding 8b

Finished. 100 gms in one hour. I measured the time today to see if carding is time consuming or if I just think so… still not sure, but feel more positive, especially when I see the results.

Fiona, I am using Louet carder, the wider one. But as I bought it second hand from Joni  I don’t know for what type of wool it is made – if for coarser or finer or what the market has to offer these days.

Today, also, my first hand spindle arrived! A year ago I never thought of spinning. Then I bought some wool and discovered that it is superwash = chemically treated so that it would NOT felt (thank you very much!). I mean A LOT of wool in different thickness. OK, I thought, I will try to sell it ( you can find it in my SoftFibre etsy shop). But I also thought, maybe, it is time to learn spinning…. Then in June I saw the book Intertwined and I was sure it IS time  to learn spinning, but didn’t feel ready to buy the wheel… until someone suggested to buy a spindle. Of course! So I did and it is here

spindle b

and apart from the spindle, atumn is here too! Look what I have found on the way back from the nursery…

autumn b

in two free hours

September 8, 2009

More dyeing today, cotton with Procion MX dyes, don’t like that the dye is not fully exhausted and rinsing takes forever – or am I doing something wrong?

more dyeing

and more patchwork notes – in patchwork shapes I later noticed. :) I might need a break.

patchwork notes


September 7, 2009

I was working with the theme “patchwork”. It has been on my mind for quite some time, back in July I made one mufler

patchwork scarf 1b

 but only after I was asked to make a patchwork wrap I sat down and gave it some thought….

So here I am –  looking for the ways how to interprete patchwork in felt

designing b

and dyeing some silks and cottons

dyeing b

dyeing 2b

You are right, either carding, or dyeing – such a good fun!


September 6, 2009

I promised in my previous post to tell you more about the scarf I am wearing and it has got something to do with carding. I bought a drum carder when I started to dye with natural dyes. Since the wool has to sit in the water for much longer than when dyeing with synthetic dyes it felted more and I had to card it to make it usable. But then I learned to dye without the wool getting felted (just watching the temperature carefully and increasing it very slowly…), I stoped using the carder. I knew I could use it to blend fibres or colours, but thought I can achieve similar results just by pulling tufts of several colors/different fibres at the same time.

I got very inspired when I saw this picture  on Flickr by  Julie from JSchubertDesigns. Only then I started to understand full potential of a carder. So I dusted mine and started blending. First in white for texture (merino with silks – nepps, cocoons, silk tops…) and then colours.

carding b1


carding b2

I found a bag of merino full of small bits of all possible colours which I used when felting with children. I thought what if I just card all this colours together. So I did and then used some of the fibre for making this scarf. Such sublte variations in colours I would never achieve had I just pulled these fibres at the same time. I am quiet excited about new possibilities (although I must admit rather time consuming as  carding is).

mamkin b

And yes, Mitsy, Marian and Penny – you are right in your comments to the last post, thanks to blogging/posting pics we sparkle each other’s creativity and venture into directions we might have never thought of (oh, that sounds very book-like :), I just wanted to say I will give the blogging another go :). Have a good and creative week!

Being Back

September 5, 2009

It seems like I never got back from the course with Charlotte Buch about which I wrote in my last post… But, of course I did, I just never made it to my blog. Life has been hectic, with exciting as well as less pleasant events. The summer seems to be almost over, the school is back and I have more time to be creative again. Hopefully, I will summarize those three months of my absence at least in some pictures. But I will keep it simple. I have been thinking if to keep the blog or not, why to keep it and how…  I am not a great writer and often I feel comfortable to keep quiet. Making is important to me so I rather make than write about it. But since I still try to fit in my making into family life and houswife duties sometimes I feel time has passed and I haven’t made much. So for now my blogging will be about  keeping a record of my creative progress in some simple way.

Now, let’ s get back to the course. I had fantastic time!!! Here you can see me wearing the fruit of my 4 days labour. :)

jacket b

jacket and mum's scarf b

The first two days we spent sampling, looking for a design for a garment we were going to make later. I decided to use navy (on the top) and cream (at the back) fibres. As the cream fibres migrated through, they softened dark navy colour and the result is light grey/bluish cloth. I am wearing a scarf which I made later at home, but I will tell you about it in my next post.

I would like to thank Hi-Arts a lot for the financial support I was given, which enabled me to go on this (expensive) course. If you are anywhere in The Scottish Highlands, do check their site full of interesting and helpful info for all crafters, artists and designer-makers in this area!

AND, I would like to thank to all of you who left such  positive and encouraging comments on the previous post!!! As one lady on the course said about another workshop she had attended before :”Yeah, I also found it difficult to leave the kids, but by the end of the  cours, I was already looking for the next one to go to …” And I was the same. :)

before I go…

June 13, 2009

yes, mummy is going away – and is finding it – well, not easy…

I am leaving my nest for almost a week, I think it is the first time ever since I became mum that I am leaving our little family and going far away to England for a felting course on making seamless garments with Charlotte Buch. I booked a place long time ago as there are only 12 and the time has come. Of course, from a felting point of view, I am looking forward. I haven’t been on any course yet and I look forward to meet the feltmaking master as well as other feltmakers, to learn and share – and come back :)!

But before I go and come back :) and hopefuly have some garment to show you, I would like to show you what I have been working recently at. For a change, it was in black now.

Again and again I am drawn to the concept of combining felt with yarn, most of all I like how the yarn gives a bit of weight and hence good drape to felt, as the wool on it’s own is quite lightweight. Also, combining these two materials enables me to creat various textures and structures – and I feel there are still few things to be explored. In this scarf, I combined chunky acrylic yarn with fine merino and mulberry and tussah silk and then overdyed all with black acid dye. I wanted to achieve black as well as different shades of grey and charchoal, so I stuffed the scarf in a small pot and didn’t move it when dyeing. The scarf is almost 2 m long, yet soft, a bit chunky, especially when wrapped around the neck several times – and with a good drape.

bb b

And this is my second shibori piece. Again, I worked in white, merino embellished with mulberry silk. I was trying to make thin, but not cobweb cloth. Then I made a swirl and overdyed it with black. But, the end of the swirl opened and one end ended up being much darker. This turned out great though, as I feel unevenly dyed ends of the scarf just add interest to the beautiful pattern. I was tempted to leave the scarf to dry in a swirl shape, but my curiosity prevailed as I wanted to see tha patter. But I did’t iron it, so there is still a bit of texture there.

shib b

I wish you all have a good week! Speak to you when I come back!


my week

June 8, 2009

It was very hot and summery the weekend before the last one so I took my crochet hook to a (rather crowded) beach. Frist I made a circular piece, free form, just following my muse. It is too small for a brooch, so I am making a strap and it will be a cuff. I will dye it, am not sure about the colour yet. Either with tea, coffe or onion skins.

crochet b

And on Thursday I finished my first wire piece. Here it is. Silver plated and silver sterling wire + a square bead, just what I had in my stash, not much as I haven’t worked with beads so far.

wire ring b

And the rest of the time I spent with my white/wedding collection. It takes so much time to take/edit/upload pictures! But, it is all done now, hoorey!

mosaic wed coll b

PS: I was asked in the comments part if I made the collection for someone… I didn’t, I just had this need – after all those colourful pieces I made – to calm down :).  I also wanted to try out few different ways of combining the yarn with fleece and other designs of collars and felt brooches. I love colour, but I love  working in white too. It enables me to concentrate on texture and structure and push design so that it would be interesting even withot adding colour to it.


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