Monday, November 16, 2009

The Making of a Scarf/Shawl/Wrap

I've been working on this scarf for a couple of days. Just to give you an idea of its size, the table is 72" round. Laying out the dry wool took me about 3 hours and 4 pounds of wool in black and gray. Merino of course. The dry size was 24" by 93" -- the largest one I've ever done. I've made two other shawls but not in this format.

Here I am hand rubbing the wool. The whole felting process took about 8 hours over two days (not including the time to lay out the dry wool). The dreds dry range from 45" to 30" and each dred needed to be rolled on a piece of non-skid cloth.
I was so concerned that the dreds would either come off or be felted together that I was only able to roll the body of the scarf for a short period. Which meant much more rubbing to felt all the grid together.

Here are pics of the finished scarf. Four pounds of wool is very heavy and the volume is really too much to handle easily. After I got the scarf to the soft felted stage I began to throw it on the table to harden the felt. I couldn't see trying to rinse the scarf in my sink as I do with my others, so I filled the washer with water and vinegar and rinsed it in there with as little agitation as possible. This really saved my arms (which are quite sore today). I also spun the water out in the spin cycle and then put it in the dryer with my trusty tennis balls. The finished size of the scarf is 19" by 63" and the dreds average about 30 to 35 inches with a couple of them quite long. The dreds turned out quite thick. I was worried that they would be too thin and would be out of context to the rest of the scarf.

The mannequin stands about 4" 10" and I don't have any sun today which is why the pictures look quite dark. The flash just makes it worse. The black side of the scarf is much more of an open weave than the gray side.
It is really an amazing scarf. Very dramatic and will look really great and be quite warm.

Friday, November 13, 2009

More Playing Around

This week I've been playing ... again. Its become a daily thing! No more work, just play. Love it! I made a prototype for a large custom scarf (pictured here). This turned out even better than I imagined. The scarf is of soft merino wool and the dreds are just a playful addition. Wonderful. I might have to keep it for myself.

Earlier in the week I played with my new felting machine. I love the fact that I can create big sheets of felt and not have to kill my arms and wrists doing it. So, I made some journal covers using different wools and textiles, silks, yarns, etc. Really --AnyThing felts! Just not fingers. :)