Flax field

Flax field

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Little bit of This and a Little bit of That

I have been working on felt.  I think I have the basics going well, and just need to continue making it.  I love the feel of the yardage for jackets.  I wish I could take the time to sew some.

Here you can see the felt machine rolling away...but I got a little too much soap in the mix, too many suds.  It causes the machine to slip, the fibers inside to slip and more mess to clean up.  The next batch had too little soap and took longer to absorb into the fibers.  (I need just the right amount to break the surface tension and not soap up the garage.)  

This is how the batts come to me.  They are folded and separated with tissue paper.  I lay them out in even layers, I like to have two layers with the grain of the batts going perpendicular to each other for the fabric strength.

Here the batts are laid out about 45" wide and 4 yards long.  The is the longest I can lay them out, because I can only fit 4 tables in the garage!  The wool looks a little fuzzy, because it is covered with a sheet of netting so that I can wet down the wool and get it ready to roll up and put on the roller machine. 
This piece of felt (100% wool) worked out great and I sold it to be made into jackets.  I hope to have pictures of jackets sometime in the future.
Right now I have seven pieces of felt hanging around in the back yard to dry out completely and then measured, weighted and packed to mail out to the new owners.  There is a combination of heavy felt and light weight felt for jackets.  

Here are some slippers that I made out of the heavy weight felt.  I needle felted a pattern on the outside pieces then sewed the slippers together.  The pattern is free from Martha Stewart.  I though they would fit me (the smallest feet in the house) but I had to get my son to model them (the biggest feet in the house).  I will have to make another pair for me.  I have not decided what to do on the bottoms to make them non-skid.  I have seen several possibilities, but have not made a decision yet.  Do you have any suggestions?

I also tried some cobweb scarves.  Here they are on the felting mat.  The one on the left is wool and mohair on a silk scarf (It didn't work at all, there was no "bearding" through the silk).  The other two worked well.
First Scarf
This is actually the first scarf (before the ones above).  I just opened the roving and let it felt.  I didn't like the clumps of wool, maybe I should have spent more time getting the roving laid out better.

Here is the center scarf on the felting mat.  The fiber is a mix of merino wool and silk.  I love the way the silk ripples when it is felted.  This one was much more successful to me.  I spent more time laying it out and got a more uniform fabric.

And here is the other cobweb scarf for the three on the mat.  This one is wool and tencel.  The tencel does the same ripple thing the silk does.  I love the look of it.  Even though I like silk better than tencel, the tencel gives a shine that is hard to beat.

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