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Sunday, March 25, 2012

'Spring' Into Action!

Well, it's all happening!  With the Ottawa Originals Spring show just around the corner, a small package arrived a couple of days ago and when I opened it and cut the top off the vacuum sealed bag...poof!...more prefelt! So I set to dyeing right away. 

The great thing about the Spring and the warmer weather and no snow is that I can hang my dyed pieces outside on the line to drip and dry.... no dripping into our late cat's litter box in the basement!

I started with some Red/Violet and tossed in some Saphire....hmmm.
My thought today is that I've had 30 years of straight lines with my machine knitting and so much structure, I love the freeform of felting garments!

Yesterday I used some of the Chartreuse dye I had bought and adde a bit of green and then drizzled some red....hmmm.

What will become of these pieces. I have two of the purple ones and will attempt something with sleeves...then more vests.
Still have knitting to do for the Originals Spring Show so I'll have to balance my time.

I'm not doing the One of a Kind show this Spring. Life throws spanners into the works and I needed a break from the stresses of a big show (finances/stock/time/energy) to renew....however, my dear friend Sonja Fijn will be there.....check out her booth:


Saturday, March 03, 2012

FebFelt Felting Workshop

One Saturday in February an event was named 'FebFelt' and seven women got together to create.....a felted vest. On the suggestion of the women of the board of Kingston Arts Council, our valiant pres Joan Heaton in particular, at a slightly boozy brunch I got caught up in the tide and learned a lot more in two months.

Six of the seven 'veils' dance in the wind.

First, I dyed the seven pieces of prefelt for them to use. I had not dyed much before and handling wool is delicate as you can't allow it to get too hot as boiling will cause..of course...boiled wool, great in a bazer! I had a lot of fun doing this especially learning how different dyes work.

Through a series of emails over the Winter we put together stuff we needed, carpet rolls, pool noodles, bubble wrap, squeeze bottles and old towels etc.

Deborah offered her unfinished basement and it was perfect. Lots of room, cement floor that she didn't mind getting dye leaking onto it. great light from the windows and a laundry sink. We filled it with tables.

 I had the ladies roll out their prefelt and go to town with decorating. Creating a pattern, designs whatever took their fancy with silks and roving in various colours. Jennifer fancied a bit of a floral motif.

Deborah, working on a work bench in her basement, used a purple base and found some cloth and also a silk scarf she thought she'd try, she got good with the scissors.

 Joan was challenged with the brightest piece which was supposed to be chartreuse but was more yellowy, I tried to toss colours to her for her embellishments and I love the long winding 'road' of multicoloured yarn she has snaking across her whole piece. It turned out beautifully colourful.

Julia worked away on the old kitchen counter that Deb had replaced, she had a huge worktop and it was at a good hight. The purple piece I had dyed still had dye left in it so Julia and I went to parties that night with purple and red hands respectively. Deborah's Mum, a retired nurse, suggested bleach and Lux soap...I tried a mix the next day and it took off a lot of the dye. Thanks, Margot.

Elaine opted to cut her piece in half lengthwise and make two scarves...which became just one when she realized the work and the time it would take....I hope she gets to doing the second one later at home.

I tried to dye a red piece for Karen but it fell a bit short...even though it still had enough red in it to colour our fingers! I love what she's doing with the chartreuse silk chiffon and some dots of roving.

Christina wore grey and worked on grey but she is good with colour and got into the chartreuse silk and lots of roving

Finally all the designing and laying on of embellishment was finished and the felting started....lots of rolling in bubble wrap and old towels.  Here I think they've been working too long and need a break....
Ray arrives with bubbly to tell us lunch is ready.

After Lunch there's at least an hour more rolling then the rinsing, washing, rinsing.....

But the finished product is stunning, how colourful...
(mine is the only one that is dry!!!)

Great work girls!!