Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Perfecting Wool Projects

One of my goals for next year is working on perfecting a type of felted wool art project. I have been making several of my "dreads" scarves and trying different lengths, widths and manners of laying out wool. Here is my latest creation. I am very satisfied with the way it turned out. In laying out the wool I have pulled apart the long lengths so that they are very thin and airy.

The cross pieces have been woven in and out of the longer lengths. The important factor is to vary the weave so that the grid in not uniform. My next scarf is going to be layed out on the diagonal which I think will have an interesting effect on the dreds and the ability to make the scarf grid more varied.
I have also been working on the perfect length of scarf. For this dread scarf there are two measurements that are important -- the body of the scarf (the solid part) and then the length and width that the dreads add to the scarf. On a tall person (5'6" and up) the measurement that works best is at least 80 inches in the scarf body and then about 40 inches additional in dreds. The scarf pictured here (a Christmas present) is 120 inches in total lenght (10 feet). When wrapped around as a scarf the dreads are not too long and when used as a wrap the body of the scarf is sufficiently long to stay over the shoulder if desired.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Wow! Felting Lots of Scarves, Purses, Etc.

This has been a very busy time for me in the hand felted wool scarf world. I have been experimenting with different kinds of wool. Been reading my new favorite book: The Knitter's Book of Wool-The Ultimate Guide to Understanding, Using, and Loving this Most Fabulous Fiber by Clara Parkes. I received this as a gift and it has some really great info on wool fiber, sheep and the properties of wool. I have been using Merino wool which is characterized as a "next-to-the-skin" wool and is probably one the best known wools. Lots of sweaters are made of Merino wool and I think next to cashmere (not a sheep wool it comes from goats) is pretty well known. Another soft wool is Cormo and I've been using that in my hand felted wool scarves. It felts great! and is soft and a bit fluffier than Merino wool. Here is a great scarf that I made of the Cormo wool and cotton gauze fiber.
The wool is torn and laid out in squares and the cotton gauze is cut to fit in the middle of the square. The result is a very lightweight scarf with lots of beautiful texture.

I also used the Cormo wool and combined it with wool yarn for a fun texture in this red scarf. Again the Cormo seems to felt into a fluffier consistency than the Merino. I'm still researching why this might be and it works to create an illusion that the wool is even softer than Merino wool. Very good for those who thinks wool is difficult to wear on the skin.

I've been creating hand felted wool scarves with dredlocks and perfecting the different ways to lay out the wool, how much to use and how long the dreds need to be. Here are two of my latest scarves with dreds.