Sunday, May 26, 2013

My First Handspun Yarn

I bought a spinning wheel, a single treadle Kiwi, at the flea market a few years ago.  It was only $45 and didn't need anything but a new belt.  Well, it sat for a long time until I finally decided to take a beginning spinning class.  It was only one session, but I learned enough to give it a try at home, with the help of a beginners book.  I practiced with a lot of crummy roving and batts that I had picked up here and there to use for felting, and I could spin it, but it made some ugly singles.  Then I worked with some gorgeous Romney batts, from a fleece I bought several years ago, that went much better.  At the Shepards Market in Rush a few weeks ago, I finally bought six ounces of  good spinning wool. Here is my final result.  It isn't perfect, but it stays together and is knit-able.  I am going to make something for myself for a change, it isn't good enough to sell! The spinning process is enjoyable and I have always admired the spinners who make it all look so easy, so I will keep working on it. Some hand dyed roving is my next project, but it handles so much differently than the batt...

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Felted Vessel Workshop with Andrea Graham

Last week I had the opportunity to participate in a felting workshop with Andrea Graham.  We learned to make seamless felted vessels and how to make pre-felts and use them to incorporate marbles, fins, spikes, and other items into the surface of our vessel.  I took lots of pictures that show the process, which can translate to hats, bags, or whatever you want to make with felted wool.

The colors of wool I selected to work with, from Harrisville Design.

Laying out the pre-felt

The pre-felt cut and wrapped around marbles to
create surface designs.
Laying out the inner layer of wool

Layout of fins with a resist inside.
Layout completed.
Layout after wetting and rubbing
and rubbing, and rubbing...

Andrea demonstrating the use of a resist
to make a seamless vessel.
My finished piece, incorporating a long
spike that goes around the vessel and
through a loop, marbles, pom poms,
tufts of silk fibers, locks, fins, and a
strip of silk that holds a leaf bead.

The finished vessels from the class.

I really enjoyed this workshop and could not believe how each person in the class had such a unique vision for their vessel.  After my piece dried, I steamed it, shaved it, and hung a little stone leaf from the strip of silk hanging from the front.  I am anxious to get into my studio and experiment with these techniques some more.