Sunday, 30 October 2011

Ahoy there

Not the nautical term but the name of the big exhibition centre here in Rotterdam, which this weekend hosted the "handwerk beurs" This is the Dutch equivalent of the knitting and stitching show at ally pally , but rather a lot smaller.

Its a good oportunity -- only a short Metro ride away to see what new in the world of wool, embroidery , quilting etc. 

There is always a lot of sock wool, as the Dutch are very dedicated sock knitters. I treated myself to two nice plain sock yarns, one of which the shop lady was determined was made with nettles and wool of course. This seemed a little surprising to me , but as the word is not in the dictionary or on a google translate, it wil have remain as nettles. It is a lovely Autumn colour.

I bought a small,amount of felting wool, for a bag I have now made for a posh dinner outing later in the week
I had lunch with some friends and it was great to catch up with all their good news. After lunch another spinning friend introduced me to a electric spinning wheel. I am not sure that is much of an improvement for me , if I was going to spin I think I'd chose a traditional wheel. But there is not time in my life for spinning and felting.

My purchases were complete with a random selection of fibres to incorporate into felted objects , some silk , including threads and some linen and a ball of Rowan yarn for my adventures into an online KAL for a hat which starts on the 1st November.

 Here's a photos  of my purchases, a bit of a random collection , but all purchased with a plan. 

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Mixed Media

I think I am having a mixed media week. 
I have been cutting and sticking copies of my collages and then painting then. Some were sucessfull and some terrible .  I have also been crumpling them and then and stitching paper copies. 

I have also been dying again, still banished to the garden , but now having to wear a hat because it has got so cold. The purpose was uneven dying , I struggled to decide between , yellow, purple or blue. Eventually I decided for the blue , with green and red highlights. The unevenness was very marked, which I think was the intent and the deep turquoise  was just as I had imagined.
All this dying is going to come together in two fabric representations of of course SAM mountain.  One just a collage with the recently dyed material and one using the original with stitching both very different and neither anything like the real thing. 
So definitely a mixed media week.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

A Bolt Hole

Not for me a place in the sun but a a quiet and peaceful location in the hills, with a view of a lake and fields of sheep. 
So we set off to our retreat with our old dining room table and four chairs in the car, along with our waterproofs and walking boots on the overnight ferry to the UK. 
The hills have held a magic for me that has never faded I love to climb up and look down at the countryside below me, I love the way the clouds swirl around the hill tops. I love the way the light changes as the rain clouds blow across the sky  and at this time of year the colours are especially beautiful.
This weekend the weather was kind, and for once I did not need my waterproofs.   
I am looking for many more days of walking with friends and family over the next few months and lots of inspiration for my felting.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

A felted picture

At last back to my love - felting! 
A painted felt picture, I am not sure about this. I am more into impressions of things and letting my imagination run wild. I have a bit of passion for the texture of rust and some people might remember me rambling on about one Saturday night after a glass or two or ...  But when I was told to draw a picture at school, my brain and hands could not make anything and I am worried this is going happen now.
On reflection this picture will have to be an impression as the much discussed mountain view is far to big for me to turn into any kind of a picture. 
So with the collage strip of the view from Sam mountain as inspiration.
I had fun with Usch's carders (thanks for the loan) making tones from of my bright orange and dark blue merino. Pretty hard work ,though to get just a small heap of fibres. 
I assembled my ingredients : merino carded and virgin, some hand dyed silk from last week dye in, some orange ancient Lambswool Pride left over from a knitted then felted bag, and just a little bit of my favorite blue silk threads. 
Inspired by the collage and these materials this is the result. 
I think now an impression of the view is possible with these lovely fibres and yarns and in some ways I'd like think to it even turned out to be a picture - certainly more of a picture than the sticky collage that inspired it.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

A slippery diversion

Felted slippers for four well there a challenge for a rainy Saturday in Rotterdam. So armed with a tutorial from Grazim Etsy shop and the lovely book Feltmaking and Wool magic by Jorie Johson for reference we set out to give it a good try.
First big question to make them right side out or inside out. I am a big fan of inside out myself, its more magical, but on this occasion decided just following the instructions would be enough. And then there was the choice of colours  and number of layers of each, so many different decisions.  Between the four of us, with our different ideas and experiences, we made a medley of the instructions . We like to use grated olive oil soap for the good of our skin and plastic bags on our hands for a delicate touch ,and we like inside out constructions and using many colours and different number of layers and layout patterns.  The list is endless of the things we did different from our very comprehensive instructions. 
It was so hard to keep track on where you were  with two items, and to control the lying of the fibres in all the right directions. Next time we need a better way for this, but perhaps less talking would have helped. Cutting the opening was also tricky and I have had to have a number of alterations to get my opening big enough for my big feet.
Inside out resulted in nice twirls and medieval like opening - these were not quite finished due to the extra work with the twirls. One pair quickly recovered from a near disaster with some beautiful home dyed fibre that seemed not to felt- and now you would never tell. It was quite hard to tell right from left so one pair cleverly resolved this with an L and an R. My pair were very purple, and my choice to go for 8 layers for hard wearing was maybe a mistake. Too much overlap fibre at the join but they are drying up well. 
Overall a success. 
Lets do it again.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Sunny Dyeday

I was banished to the garden for my first experiments with dying. 
Lucky for me we were having such amazing weather. I had to set up the umbrella in order not to get sunstroke. I chose orange and turquoise two of my favorite colours and in full protective gear started to dye.

Stirring two washing up bowls with chop sticks constantly for 10 minutes is quite challenge . But after that I sat back , continued my twisted sock knitting , that been giving me so much stress and stirred randomly.
I was allowed to rinse in the bath, otherwise I am sure I couldn't have managed at all to rinse, as I discovered dying uses alot of water.  
I loved the colours I had created. But what tangle my fabrics and yarns were in. I think I had been too vigorous in my stirring, probably a lot too vigorous. I was able to unravel the fabrics but the yarns were and still are in a complete knot. My 5 subsequent batches of dying a got stirred in a more gentle wafty type of a way.
What a mix of shades and colours, yet to be ironed and analyzed, but don't they look lovely.
A wonderful way to spent a sunny Sunday