Friday, 30 December 2011

Nice Surprise

I got a nice surprise in the post today from Ruth :)
Not so long ago we were talking about threads and yarns. Ruth had hand dyed her own threads and I thought I'd like to try it, but didn't know if the laceweight was the right size. Ruth offered to send me some so I could see for myself. I didn't expect it to come so soon over the holidays and I certainly didn't expect all the gorgeous extras Ruth sent me!
Apart from the whole skein of lacewight yarn all tied ready for me to dye, there is a gorgeous hand made card Ruth made from painted fabric and some Stitch and Tear stabilizer for me to try for myself. She also sent me the most gorgeous hand dyed threads from her recent Level II Hand and Machine stitch course.
Thanks, Ruth! I love them all :)

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year

I just wanted to say Thanks to everyone who's looked at my blog over this past year. I know I'm not a great blogger, and I really do appreciate all the lovely comments I get. I hope you all have a great end to the year and an even better 2012 :)

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Gorgeous Fibres

I had a surprise package from Karen yesterday. She had sent me the latest Felt magazine and some gorgeous fibres. There was some lovely Tissue Silk; which has an unusual texture similar to silk chiffon, some very shiny Mulberry Silk in gorgeous colours; some purple and red organza yarn, which I'd never heard of; some beautiful sari silk ribbon; hemp; and the softest Merino ever, Optim Merino, which is 18.5 micron merino stretched to make it 15 micron. Thanks, Kaz!

I'm really looking forward to trying it all, especially the hemp and merino. I recently made a scarf from 18.5 micron merino and that was unbelievably soft, and I'm really curious about whether the hemp is similar to flax, that looks a lot like dried grass, but is soft, shiny and a kind of platignum colour after felting.

Friday, 16 December 2011

The Felting and Fiber Studio Forum

We recently started a forum for felt and fibre enthusiasts to come together and share their love of all things fibrey. We already have quite a lot of members and there's a really nice community spirit. We'd love to have more members though. We don't have many members who's main passion is spinning, knitting, weaving, or crocheting and it'd be great to hear about a wider variety of skills and crafts. We'd also love to hear from fibre enthusiasts, whether it's wool, alpaca, cotton or even nylon (but not in the weird way, don't even look for it on flickr, it's not nice!). So, if you're interested in any aspect of fibre arts or crafts, from raising alpacas to dyeing cotton threads, we'd really love you to be part of our community to share your photos, give advice, ask for help and share the fun :)
The site is set to Private to keep out spammers and freeloaders, so you'll have to register, but we check often to approve accounts :)

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Dyeing Felt

After the Direct Dyeing post on The Felting and Fiber Studio site the other day, Shana asked if the same method could be used to dye already made felt. I'd heard about people dyeing finished felt, but hadn't tried it myself, so I had a go at dyeing a couple of recently made samples. They were both white merino, one with milk protein fibre, and the other with Egyptian cotton top. They turned out well for a first attempt. This is the sample with cotton top after dyeing:

If you'd like to see the full post showing the sample pieces before and after, click here. If you've tried dyeing felt/nuno felt etc, by any method it'd be great to see your results :)

Friday, 9 December 2011

Silk Throwster's Waste

Silk Throwster's waste is one of my favourite fibres. It's soft and fluffy and fibrey and like nearly all silk products, really shiny. It can be very expensive too, and you don't get much for your money. 'Raw' silk throwster's waste, however, is very inexpensive. Many people are put off buying it because it has to be de-gummed and dyed, two things which can seem daunting, especially if you don't have much room.
It really isn't very difficult at all, and you don't need any fancy equipment or hard to find products.
If you'd like to know how to go from this:

To this:

Please visit the Felting and Fiber Studio site, for the degumming tutorial and the tutorial for direct dyeing.
Both tutorials have lots of photos and easy to use tables for degumming or dyeing small amounts of fibre.
The direct dyeing method can be used for both silk and wool/other animal fibres and is particularly useful for those of us who dye small amounts, or use small amounts of many colours.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Plastic Fibre

This is my finished twisted plastic piece for the Felting and Fiber Studio quarterly Studio Challenge. The twists are made from a blend of merino and plastic fibre made from recycled plastic bottles. The plastic fibre feels really fluffy and 'bouncy', it blends with the merino quite well. I've used it a few times before and it's great for creating 'spongy' effects. The base is 3 layers of merino, and the twists were layed on top so that the tips went over the edge of the base . The finished piece is nice and thick, but doesn't feel heavy, and it's really soft.