Archive for April, 2013
I missed posting yesterday, but I didn’t skip the challenge. We visited my parents and I was tired when we got back. I forced myself to do a bit of felting, but that was all, since the challenge never required the blog post to report it.
It was just a trial of a spiral with some interesting yarn. I think it looks a bit like a comet, though I was thinking of a flower or bud sort of thing to go with the leaves.
Today’s experiments have been a bit more interesting. Inspired by something the pastor said in church I was thinking about the ripples on a pond and how I could make felt to look like that using the single needle.
The centre is a blob of fleece, surrounded by a strip of fleece, then thick grey yarn. First I anchored the edge of the blue, then the edges of the pale green. Then I did a line in the middle of the green and a circle inside the blue. Finally I added the grey by its edges. This is the back:
I think this is pretty cool. I tried again with just a layer of a single colour of fleece, but my photos of that have not come out well enough to bother posting. I also did this one:
I like this technique. It works best if I make sure the wool is nice and puffy, not pulled too flat. Also too much needling can pull too mush of the fibre to the back, which is why the middle of it looks a bit thin.
I managed this a bit earlier today, not leaving it until the evening 🙂 Maybe because I had a nice lunch, which I tend to skip these days. The husband has been working hard all week so he took the afternoon off and we went for a little jolly in the sunshine. It is so nice to see spring at last, buds and blooms everywhere. I had a lovely late lunch of smoked salmon and cream cheese panini, delicious, and he had Earl Grey tea and hot buttered crumpets – he is so English. Then we popped into the charity second hand bookshop and I may have come home with a few little books… 😀
When we got back I felt like felting! I made some little leaves by drawing the vein and outline in yarn, leaving a stalk and cutting them out. It is a nice quick and easy way to make leaves and stops the fabric fraying. Some fabric worked better than others though.
The lace (far right) did not really work well. It did not stick down: it was stretchy lace so maybe non-stretchy lace might work better. I like the idea though as it is a bit like a skeleton leaf. The one next to it is also like a skeleton leaf as the fabric is so thin and filmy, also because it won’t take much needling and gets a funny crinkly texture. It was hard to use but I like the effect so I will make a few more from it I think. Actually, it might be good to skip the vein and make them round like Honesty.
The two on the left were made first. I still cannot get on with the foot of this machine. Even after three weeks of using it every day I still cannot make it work slow and smooth, it will hare off at the pace it wants to work, which is fast, faster or so insanely fast my whole table rocks. It’s like a car that won’t go below 30. If you go below 30 it stops dead, then you move off and it is right back up to 30, or faster. Argh! It might suit some folks but I like a bit more control. I was yelling at the machine, which of course did nothing to either slow it down or make me feel better.
So I tried the foot from my sewing machine, which is the same brand. I did email them before risking that and they said it should be safe but might be loud. It was not loud. It was safe. My sewing machine foot has two speeds, high and low. I tried on low but nothing happened and I was a bit gutted, but not about to give up easily I switched it to its high speed. That worked! And bizarrely it was slower and more controllable than the felting foot. So I made the other 3 leaves.
There are many things I could use them for. I could decorate a bag or a hat or a t-shirt. I could make a garland. I could felt them together and make something. I like the strange colours, but I might also make some in spring greens or autumnal shades. It is a great way to use up scraps. I have a feeling I might be making more of these.
We were not the only ones to enjoy the sunshine.
Because what is the internet without cute pictures of cats? 😀
I thought I’d try some runic yarn writing today. It was good practice, I think the way to stop the fabric puckering is to hold it tight and let the yarn run loose, but that is tricky. It is also tricky to start a bit of yarn, it helped to anchor it with a bit of hand needling. It was very hard to keep it all even, it might be better to draw an outline.
The most embarrassing thing is that I made a mistake. The thing is, there are several variants and I did not want to mix them up. I decided to go for the Elder Futhark – the difference first shows up in the fourth rune, although the short twig might have a less fancy ‘f’ rune. But by the time I had written ‘futhark’ I was getting tired and I automatically made the two dots to divide it from the next group of runes. Except there are 8 runes in the first group in the Elder and Anglo-Saxon variants, not 6 as in the Younger ones. So I had to try and put a ‘g’ over the dots as I couldn’t get them out. But the shape of ‘g’ rune I had to use to squeeze it in is a form I only know from Anglo-Saxon runes, which have an ‘o’ instead of the ‘a’ and is called ‘futhorc’ as it also has a different shape for the 6th rune…
So it is not at all a good bit of runology. Nor is it a great bit of needlefelting as it is not as even as it should be, the runes get slightly smaller towards the end and it is slightly wonky.
But it is only a trial sample, it does not matter.
I would quite fancy a bag with all the different futharks on, that would be cool. And a futhark belt. Or maybe a belt with ‘this is a belt’ on it 🙂 but I’d better improve before I try that…
I can’t quite believe it is two thirds through! Apart from that one hiccup I have managed every day and blogged as well, which was not part of the initial challenge, but is a useful side effect. Of course some days I have done better than others, but I have sat down and done something on the machine every day. I think I am getting a bit better at the foot control, though I would still prefer a slower pedal. Today I did more of the same sort of thing as yesterday.
I like the two strand part as a kind of edging border to clothes perhaps. But it does pucker the fabric, so either I would want that to be a feature, use it to gather a loose edge, or work on making it not pucker. The back is quite nice too, and if I work it from the back it makes the front more fluffy – as it is it looks almost as if I just laid the yarn down, or glued it on, or even couched it finely, except at some of the corners. That would also fill out the gaps which show more in a photo with flash.
I still feel a bit frustrated with myself for not managing something big and spectacular yet. I do need to be patient with the learning process, but I would love to be able to produce something really good for the last third of the challenge. Or at least by the end of the challenge. Apart from the gift of course, that was not bad. Maybe I need a specific goal?
So tired now, can hardly think straight. This is what I did earlier with the single needle. It is good at putting in single strands, quite controllable, like writing or doodling with yarn 🙂
I couldn’t change the needle myself, it was screwed in too tight, so I had to get the husband to do that.
Not the best day so far for this challenge – I broke my second needle, but annoyingly a smaller tip broke off so it is actually unusable as a non-sharp bit would actually be penetrating the fabric. 3.5 needles are worse than 3 would have been. So I shall have to change the needle, which is something I would rather do tomorrow in daylight feeling fresher.
It does give me the change to try out the single needle unit if I feel like doing that tomorrow, which might be a good idea as it is more suitable for following a single strand of yarn. I was going to wait until I had exhausted trying things with the multi needle head, but if my hand is forced then I may as well try something else new.
I was reinforcing a thin patch on my slippers, not even doing something interesting. Maybe it got a bit overfelted or maybe the needle was weakened.
At least I was managing to felt slowly, maybe I am getting better at it? 🙂
Not a bad day, although I was a bit tired I managed to get to church this evening. I found a fun idea on Pinterest to make a treasure island map so I tried a little one. I like the hills, the beach is not bad, the rocks do not work at all and the water is a bit mixed – I was getting tired but wanted to finish putting sea all round it.
I quite like the side view showing the 3D effect, but it either needs a bit more work or just doing again but with a bit more planning and slightly bigger – it is only about 3 inches across. The sea could be better as fabric, I shall try that next time. Scrunched up fabric might make better rocks too. Wool is fine for smooth boulders or pebbles, but not for jagged cliffs. I love the idea though.