Friday, November 16, 2007

I have been spending entirely too much time on Ravelry and I have to agree with my friend, Sheree, it really sucks up your time. But it's fun. So, here are some of the things I've been working on in the past week. I bought this lovely yarn last February at Stitches West from Michele Camacho of Toots LeBlanc & Co. The natural gray yarn in these hats is a 60/40 blend of angora rabbit and Rambouillet wool. It blooms beautifully as you work with it. And I used some of my handspun yarn for flowers. The pattern is Toots LeBlanc's "Celtic Bunny Hat".

I loved the cabling on the top of the hat so much that I decided to use that cabling for a child's cap. And here's the result.

I have also been doing A LOT of spinning (my most favorite thing to do). Here is a skein spun from fiber I bought at Rhinebeck from Roclans Farm of PA. This is a 50-50 blend of kid mohair and Rambouillet wool. The taupey silver color is the natural color of the fibers.

This is a skein I spun from my randomly handpainted rovings. I plied a merino/kid mohair (70/30) blend with a merino/cashmere (80/20) blend. This skein will make a pair of lovely socks.

Here are two bobbins which I am in the process of plying together.
And here's the finished skein alongside my "Etoile" roving (a blend of merino/angora/silk) and "Johnny Jumpups" (superfine merino). I am going to spin more of this and probably use it in a shawl, using some 100% angora as accents.
So, now the fun begins!! Margie, my partner in fiberness, came over on Thursday. We had purchased nuno felt scarf kits at Rhinebeck and wanted to make them. It's a labor intensive endeavor, but in a nutshell, the project involves taking a gauzy woven fabric as a base and laying out roving on top of the fabric, drizzling soapy water on the whole thing and then applying pressure and agitation so that the fibers felt and become enmeshed in the woven gauze -- making a felted piece of fabric. Here are some pictures of Margie's project laid out and wet.

You can see the gauzy fabric and the opaque areas where white merino wool was laid down in a trellis design.
Pieces of colored rovings were used to make the flowers and leaves and vines.

This long piece is wrapped in bubble wrap around a PVC pipe or a rolling pin and rolled until the fabric begins to felt. When the piece has felted somewhat, you then take your piece and bunch it up and throw it (yes, I'm not kidding) on the table many times. Believe it or not, slamming this bunched up wet piece of fabric actually causes it to shrink and felt even more right before your eyes. This whole process requires a good deal of elbow grease and is not for weaklings. This is my piece in the process of being tortured.

Here are some pictures of our felted scarves drying out on the rack. Margie's is the one that looks like poinsettias. You can see how the base fabric became crepey looking.

Here are some pictures of mine.

Well, I had so much fun on Thursday, I just had to try it again on Friday. So here are some pictures of what I did yesterday. I can see all kinds of possibilities with this process. Here's my project laid out and wet.

Here's the finished piece. Dang! this is fun.

Needless to say, I have been enjoying all this creativity. So, you ask, what am I going to be doing this weekend? I think I may be slamming a bunch of wet wool on the table until my arms finally give out. I have a couple of very cool Japanese books on felting and I may try some projects from those books. I can't read the Japanese but the pictures are pretty explanatory.
And finally, I am so excited. I have been working so hard lately that I decided to reward myself with a new fiber bus -- actually it's a VW Eurovan -- that I picked up on Thursday. It's the perfect vehicle to haul all my fiber stuff around in.


shizzknits said...

Those felted items look like a lot of fun- and think about it: you're getting your exercise in too! LOL I can't wait to see the hat in person. Those cables are gorgeous!

Merna said...

Yay for your fiberbus! My Eurovan's red. Before that I had a Vanagon --WEVRVAN -- until it died.

Nice cables & felting, Lori.

Ma Belle said...

Lori, the pictures look great. I wore my to a football game on Friday night and it kept my neck toasty. Your new scarf looks good. What's next.