Thursday, June 28, 2012


The last few weeks were seriously busy.  I had a lot of sewing, a lot of golf, and a lot of family business to deal with.  At the same time I have been using my knitting for the precious down time I crave.  Here's some photos.

 This is a new visitor to the Japanese Maple outside my kitchen window.  He was making a cool tap tap tap sound as he checked out the various branches.
 I have never seen one so close to my house.
 Here is a new pattern, a DK weight cotton Union Jack sweater, in black and white!  I used black, grey and off white in a classic flag intarsia pattern.  This pattern will be posted along with the flag chart for those who like following charts!
 This one is half done, a cotton knit cardigan with lace on the back and sleeve, as well as up the front edge.  It has a hood.  The pattern in from Vogue Knitting, with some minor changes by me.  I will post changes and photos when done.
And this is the yarn I just received via Canada Post.  The denim is a cotton, and the brown is a wool blend.  Not sure what they want to become, but a swatch may help the yarn speak to me!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Even more leaves

Here are two close up photos of some leaves, with embroidered details and the curled edges.  The lemon silk fiber in the top photo gives some extra texture to the middle leaf.

Close up of the edge of one leaf.  You can see the dark under side curling over the top.
Apples next.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

More Leaves

The next step is shown here.  I made a felt piece that used several shades of green for the leaves of the Art Project.  I was thinking that some of the leaves will have really dark elements including a reverse side that is dark brown.  I laid the wool fibers from dark to light.

 One half has only light greens.
 Here I am pouring the hot soapy water onto the loose fibers.
 Rubbing and rolling for about 45 minutes, then hot and cold baths for about 30 more minutes.  Then I cut the leaf shapes and laid them on the background.... I think they will really work well!  You can also see the major tree branch that is growing up the project.  It is a four stitch knit, with two yarns, one suede and one boucle. The result is very bark-like!
 Here is the project with the photo of the project in the window.
I have started to embroider the leaves to give more detail, and then I will stitch them into place.  Just the apples left to felt.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Background Felting TWO

 Here it is drying on the sun-room floor.  Since I last posted, I rolled the felt in the wrap and noodle for about one hour (plus several times of unwrapping, checking and re-rolling in the other direction).  This is very physical work, especially in such a large piece.  I had to roll it until it looked like the leaves were completely flat within the fabric and the texture was firm, with just a hint of the "pebbling effect" that a finished felt piece has.  This means that the fibers are well linked together and that the whole fabric is starting to shrink.
 At that point, I release it from the bubble roll, and make the hot and cold baths.  I use my double sink, with one side as hot as my hands can stand (with a bit of soap added) and the other side super cold.  The fabric goes from the hot side, where I kneed and adgetate for about 5 minutes, then plunge into the cold for another 3 minutes, until the piece is completely cold.  After draining and pushing as much cold water from it, I throw it a few times into the empty sink, while I fill the hot again.  Then into the hot side and repeat the process, for 4 to 5 times (takes about 45 minutes) until the piece is well pebbled and quite firm, and also about 50% smaller.
The photos show the effect I was looking for, pebbled, and the leaves are well faded into the background.  The should look a bit softer than the forward leaves and apples that will be placed over the background.
I am very pleased so far with the piece.  Lots more felting and details still to come  :)

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Background Felting

 Finally a free afternoon to lay out the background sky and leaves for the felt wall hanging (photo hanging in the background... green apples.)  I prepped the pool table with cardboard and plastic.  Laid out the blue pool lining bubble wrap...
 then placed the rough batt of merino wool fibers.  It needs to be 50% bigger than the finished size to allow for shrinking in the felting process.
 On top of the natural colour batting, I places fine wisps of sky blue merino, first in one direction then in the other.  A criss-cross layering allows the wool fibers to grab each other during the warm soapy water stage.
 The photo above shows the first fine layer of blue merino, and the pile of blue roving that the wisps are pulled from.
 Next I cut leaves and stems from the pre-felt that I made a few weeks ago.  I placed them where the slightly blurry, background leaves and stems appear in the photo.
 A few more whisps of blue over the edges of the leaves should help the shapes to "sink" into the sky and be a bit less contrast than the larger leaves and apples that will be appliqued after the felting process.
 Above is the beginning of the wetting process.  I lightly sprayed warm soapy water over the details.  This is delicate, as a heavy spray can dislodge the leaves and the layers of fine merino sky.
 Once details are wet, then the whole piece is soaked in warm soapy water, covered in plastic wrap and rolled up in the blue bubble wrap over a pool noodle!  I tied it tightly and rolled it back and forth and back and forth.   So far I have rolled for about an hour.
I was too tired to do more, and the piece can sit like this for another day, so that's all for today.  More tomorrow!