I have found a fun new fibre arts activity that has been keeping me very busy. Weaving! I have bribed my husband into making me several looms of different sizes for my own personal use and for teaching classes.
The thing I love most about weaving is all the textures that are possible. 90% of the fibre that I use in my weaving are Merino Wool that has been spun and/or dyed by me. I do a lot of carding of different fibres to make amazingly appealing to the eye type of yarns to spin and weave with.
In this weaving, it is a very large piece so I felt that I needed a tight warp. By tight I mean frequent. You always want to pull it tight when you are starting the warp or you will have yarn and such all over the place. Each warp thread was about 1/2 a cm apart from eachother in this example. I have different looms that have different spacing. This can make it more time consuming for weaving, but when you have a large piece and large roving, you need that roving to be secure in the warp.
Once I started using large roving, I used two warp threads at once. This makes it stronger and can hold a heavier weight material.
When I added the circle, I started with a cut out piece of cardboard so I could to all of my weaving around the circle and then later fill in the hole.
The best thing with weaving is that you can play with different techniques. The white hooked yarn is a 100% Merino that I just pulled to the front as I was weaving it through.
Here you can see that I am almost done filling in the circle. I used overspun yarn to give it a bubbly effect. I love the bright splash of color in the middle of the weaving.
This particular weaving was for a show at the Vernon Community Art Centre. I added some clay pieces to it. You can add anything to your weaving. Clay pieces, paper, felt or even organic things like twigs and flowers.
We still have lots of colors left in the Etsy Shop that are included in the BUY 3 GET 1 FREE. All 19 and 21 Micron Merino Roving, Short Fibre Merino Batt, Maori Wool and Silk.
I was recently commissioned to do a wall hanging for a client. She had recently moved into a beautiful new home with nice white walls that were bare. I had a few colors that she definitely wanted in the hanging and the rest was up to me. This is what I came up with. I added some copper accent pieces and it is hung with hand spun Merino thick and thin yarn. I used Short Fibre Merino Batt in Natural, Dark Ash and Dark Storm. A Merino Prefelt was used for the colorful circle and the backing. I used 3 layers of the prefelt and cut it to the size that I wanted. When you are adding your pieces to hang it with, make sure that they are secure into the wool. I cannot stress this enough. For the copper pieces, I used a larger piece of copper from Michael’s Craft Store and cut it into circles. The wire came from Canadian Tire in different gauge.
It has been sometime since I have posted anything on this blog. I know, shame on me. I have been busy as I am sure all of you have been.
I recently taught a few classes at Leap Art Supplies and Gallery in Vernon, BC. I had a group of 6-9 year olds and 10 – 14 year olds. We did a “Painting with Wool” class and I chose Starry Nights for the older kids and a farm picture for the younger ones for them to interpret and create their own picture as they see it in their eyes. We started off with a prefelt first that was 12 X 12. I then had the kids lay out the wool and needle felt it in a bit so when the wet felted it, the fibres wouldn’t move around so much. We then placed the 12 X 12 piece in a large ziplock, added some ward water with Olive Oil Soap and felted away. Each students interpretation was so different and so amazing. These classes were so much fun and I truly enjoyed myself and seeing the kids create!
Now that Christmas is over and all the hustle and bustle is done, I can concentrate and getting some product made for summer shows and even fall shows.
I have found a new love for the Felted Bag. When I started Felting, I of course stated with felting scarves. As I have grown and so has my love of the medium, I find myself being drawn more to felting purses and bags. The process is definitely more time consuming gut more rewarding. I love making purses with leather straps as I find it makes them a little richer in texture. You can find my bags on my website at http://www.nickelbeeart.com
If you are as much of a fibre enthusiast as I am, you will love this Table Carder. It’s great for Felters or Spinners. It is easy to use and comes in 72 point or 108 point. Which ever one you go with you are going to love to use it. I use it to make rolags vs. roving or a batt. But if you did want to use it to make rolags, you will need a Diz.
I know that as a Felter and Spinner, sometimes it is hard for people to buy for me because they just don’t know what kind of Fibre I like or what kind of tools and equipment I actually have and what brand I prefer to use. Here is a list of the Top 10 Christmas Presents to get for the Fibre enthusiast in your life. Prices range from $6 – $300. There is something in this list for everyone and on every budget.
- Wooden Fulling Block – Felting blocks are a felters best friend. These are to be used once your project has been felted. However, I have used them at the beginning of a project as long as I have a piece of plastic on top and water and soap to let the fulling block move easier. The fulling block speeds up the process.
- Olive Oil Soap – Olive Oil Soap is the best soap to use for felting, hands down. It doesn’t get to bubbly and rinses fully out of your felted project. This is important for the longevity of the felt. No felter should be without Olive Oil Soap.
- Drop Spindle – Drop Spindles are great for the beginner spinner or even felter. I bought my first drop spindle so I could make fun yarn to use on my wet felted scarves.
- Blending Board – These are also great for both Felter and Spinner. Blending boards allow you to blend fibres as evenly as you want for making wet felted scarves or making rolags to spin with.
- Table Carder – Table Carders are a fairly new product but are great for blending fibres to make rovings or rolags using many diffeent tyoes of wool, silk and many other fibres.
- Needle Felting Kits – Needle Felting kits are a great way for beginners to get into the art of Needle Felting. They include all of the required tools and come in many different varieties.
- Spinner/Felter Sampler Pack – If you are unsure of colors that you would like or would just like a variety of smaller amounts, the sampler pack is perfect for you. Choose from a few different color choices.
- Hand Dyed Yarn – Nothing compared to some beautiful hand dyed Merino yarn. Knitting with Merino is amazing and buying hand dyed is even better. Buy local.
- Dyeing Kit for Protein Fibre and Yarn – These kits are great for someone who wants to get started with dyeing their own fibre to knit with or spin and felt with. The nice thing about this kit is that you get to pick your own Acid Dye colors
- Gift Certificates – Not sure which of the above items your loved one might want? Get them a Gift Certificate. Then they can pick their own and decide when they are ready. You never know, you might already have a great stash of fibre.
I am very excited to announce that I will be the Canadian Distributor and all Golden Fleece Carders’s products. I will carry a selection of Blending Board Cloth, Blending Boards, Hand Carders and Cloth and Table Carders. Their products are amazing and very well priced. Go to our facebook page and like this post for a chance to win a Blending Board and Fibre!
Get your shopping done now for those Christmas Projects. Some new colors have been added to the 21 Micron Count Merino Roving. Merino is great for spinning, fetling and other mixed media art pieces. It is extremely soft and very durable once felted. 21 Micron Merino Top