Collars for Marcia

I made a beautiful collar for another Mother of the Bride. She lives in Maryland and it happens that she also raises Border Leicesters which have been used to create the collar below:

Textural Collar Textural Collar Textural Collar

The brown collar was made with Wensleydale lambswool from JoAnn in Occidental, CA and then dipped in an Indigo Vat to get a blue background.

Wensleydale Collar Wensleydale Collar Wensleydale Collar

I swear I can’t ever get enough of these curls.

Patricia

One more project, almost done!

This dress isn’t quite finished yet. Still needs color, straps and some adjustments here and there. Hmm… I might even add some beads to it. But, I’ve been missing blogging. It has been a fun and busy summer with some up and downs. Heck, if it wasn’t for the downs, I wouldn’t be having the ups, right? Nothing too extreme, but when it comes to computers problems, it can turn your life quite miserable, especially when all that I want to do, is be outdoors.

By the way, the jewelry has been designed by moi. I’ve been having a ride making jewelry again. It deserves a later post.

Felted dress Felted Dress Felted Dress Felted Dress Felted Dress Closed up Felted Dress Closed up

Lastly, yesterday, my friend Charmaine and I went to visit my friend Mimi and came back home with a nice fleece with lots of curls and I want so badly to make something totally different this weekend…

Patricia

The Mother of the Bride

I had to admit, at some point I felt a little panic during the production of this dress (just a little). I tend to think about too many “what if’s” and I have to remind myself that I will be fine. I was checking my emails a few days ago, and the first email from The Mother of the Bride was on October last year. I met her in December and I agreed to design her a dress for her daughter’s wedding. Talking about a little pressure, right? I worked on it really slow and I took my time before walking to the next step. I guess I take dyeing for granted (since that’s what I generally do almost each week), because when I realized that it was the time to dye the dress, again my “what ifs” started to go around my head again. I don’t have a lot of experience with indigo. My friend Charmaine kindly spent an afternoon with me showing how she prepares her vat. So, I was on my own and I had to dye the dress with Indigo. I took my notes, and started my first indigo vat. So, one cold afternoon, I held my breath and I dipped the white dress in a stinky dark liquid hoping that the magic would do its trick for me… And it did!

The reds from the cochineal turned purple, the yellows from the Osage Orange turned green and the white wool and silk turned blue.

indigo Dress

Indigo Dress indigo Dress

The making of this dress tought me a few things. One of them was feeling ok with using buttons to fasten the garment. And the other lesson I learned is being p-a-t-i-e-n-t!

indigo Dress Back

The dress was modeled by my friend Gina.

Patricia

Easy Felted Scarf

Nuno Felted Scarf

I promised that I would post a photo tutorial and show how I use my Merino Wool Blends to felt a scarf. This is a fun, easy and fast project. Almost instant gratification. What I like about working with these blends, is that it is not necessary to purchase several colors of wool to make a multi color scarf, like the one shown in the picture, which can become quite expensive. Also, storage can be a problem for most of us. One braid of 4 oz can probably be enough to make a couple scarves. The tops are already blended, just the right amount, so the colors don’t muddy up once they are felted. They are great for beginners, since one doesn’t need a big investment on materials to make a couple of scarfs.Forest Jewels

For this particular scarf I used the Forest Jewels colorway (which is a blend of Merino with Soy Silk) for the front, and for the background I decided to used Merino in the Eggplant color which are both available at my shop. I also used a template for guidance, olive oil soap, bubble wrap and a pool noodle to be able to roll the project.Material used

I also found in my stash, some fun pieces of fabric and some dyed locks to add as decoration. This is a great way to use bits and pieces of fabric remnants from past projects.

Laying it out

Start by laying your bubble wrap with the bubbles facing up. Next, measure and break apart a portion of the roving needed, leaving some room for the shrinking process to occur. Forest Jewels roving

Carefully and with patience, start by opening the wool as shown below. Make sure that the fibers stay in a vertical position.

Here you can play with the design by leaving some holes on purpose if you want some of the background layer to show. It’s like making rivers of colors.Opening the rovingKeep opening the roving until you reach the size of your template if you are using one. I usually have one just because I don’t feel like measuring all the time.Scarf Tutorial

As you can see in the picture, I left a few holes, but I kept moving the colors around a little. This is the fun part for me. One important note: I usually work my way from the front to the back, meaning that I lay my materials facing away from me.

Laying out

Once I’m happy with how it looks, I move into laying out the background color, in which this case I used Merino in Eggplant.

Laying out the background

For this particular project, I also added some fun crinkle silk gauze at the edge of the scarf. If you add some fabric, make sure to sandwich it between your front layer and the background to secure it. Once I feel that I’m done with the design, the next step to follow is to wet the entire project with soapy water.Rolling the project

Now is the time to roll the project. I’m not going to go deep here, because there are many tutorials on YouTube to do this. But I usually do 12 min. on each end. After rolling from both ends, it is important to check and see if the fibers are already felting. If not, then it will be necessary to repeat the rolling stage again. Once you see that there is some felting happening, the last step will be the fulling which consists of throwing the project against a hard surface… like your floor. But before doing this, it is useful to get rid of excess water, otherwise, you will be splashing water and soap just about everywhere. I usually go outside on the deck to do this. Be cautious when doing this because here is where the scarf will shrink even more and faster. Keep checking the size constantly.

Once you are done with the fulling, make sure to always rinse your felted projects in water with vinegar and hang your piece to let it dry. I like to press my scarves to give them a nice finish.Finished Scarves

Sequins

Here is how the Soy Silk looks after it has been felted into the wool. It forms nice wiggles on the surface. Soy Silk

Crinkled Silk Gauze sandwiched between the two layers of wool.Crinkle Silk Gauze

The wool locks add color and texture.Wool Locks

This was a fun project! I think I will be working with the next color which is called Peacock. I will definitely post more pics.

Patricia

Domestic Targhee

Yes, Domestic Targhee. New fiber in my Etsy shop. Here is a little information about it: The Targhee breed was developed at the Experimental Sheep Station in Dubois, Idaho in the mid 1900’s. The foundation stock were ewes of Rambouillet, Corriedale, and Lincoln bloodlines bred back to Rambouillet rams. Developed, sourced and processed here in the USA!! The first impression is that I found it very similar to the Rambouillet top that I carry in my shop. Very soft and springy. I’m so looking forward to dyeing some…

Targhee Top

Targhee Top

Targhee Top

Anemones

After doing a demo at Windrush Farm last sunday on how to make felted flowers, I finished a bunch of them that were already felted and dyed and waiting just for the pin to be sewn on. I like how the muga silk grabs onto the wool and leaves a nice golden “dust” on top of the surface.

Felted Anemone Felted Anemone Felted Anemone Felted Anemone Felted Anemone Felted Anemone Felted Anemone Felted Anemone

Patricia

More Felting Done

More Felting Done

I made this dress for a window display in Pt. Reyes. The materials and dyes used for this project had to be all locally sourced. It was a lot of fun collecting the materials to create the garment. I tried the dress and I was very surprised that wasn’t itchy at all.

Felted dress

Felted dress close up

Back of dress


I finally finished this dress/coat that I’ve been working on for a couple of weeks. Since the walnut tree behind my Post Office is about to loose its leaves for the season, I decided to take advantage of it for the last time and harvest a handful of them to print the garment. I love the back, but I’m not so trill about the front. I have to think about something else to spice it up a little. I think that I jumped way too fast and didn’t plan well enough before placing the leaves. I’m already planning another version.

Dress before dyes Bundling the dress Back details Front Felted dress

Patricia