Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Silk Rainbow

Like many of you, I've been busy with making Christmas gifts.  Each year I face the dilema: what to make for my co-workers?  By now, they must be pretty tired of getting scarves from me, and this year is no exception. But I did put away my knitting needles and got out the paint brushes. 

For my striped silk scarves, I mixed up fiber reactive dyes and mixed two colors in varing percentages (20/80, 40/60, 60/40 and 80/20) to give a color gradient. I then painted repeating stripes on wet silk, letting the colors blend at the edges.  I wrapped each scarf in plastic wrap and let them sit for 24 hours to set the dye.  Any wrinkles in the plastic wrap add addition interesting texture to the scarf.

Fortunately, each of my co-workers have different color preferences, so I have a veritable rainbow of silk:


Saturday, September 8, 2012

Tutti Frutti Scarf

A few years ago I dyed some yarn with Kool-Aid to create a bright rainbow yarn for a project.  Recently I mixed the leftovers with some other yarns to create this scarf:

As I was going over the finished scarf with a warm iron, there was still a distinctly fruity scent coming from the scarf.  Never underestimate the power of Kool-Aid!

Monday, July 16, 2012

And now for something completely different...

I finished the needle felted rug last night. 

This has been a very different type of project for me.  When I first envisioned a rug for my sewing/sitting room, I planned on something more traditional - floral, reminiscent of traditional hooked rugs, or perhaps a Jacobean design.  But the bright colors and an abstract design called out to me.  My room has pale gray walls, a charcoal grey floor and an in-between gray sofa - it called for color.

And Bijou the Siamese likes it just fine...

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Fiber Play!

My friend Ercil and I have had a couple of fun fiber play-dates recently.

In June, we visited Ranch of the Oaks in Lompoc.  Tom and Mette Goehring raise alpacas, llamas and Icelandic sheep, and have their own fiber processing mill.  Mette introduced us to the animals and Tom gave us a tour of the mill.

Ercil fell in love with a sheep – which she bought!

I was a little more restrained, I bought a felted bat right off the felting table in the mill.  I’ve been looking for an area rug for my newly redecorated sitting/sewing room.  When I saw the bat – all cushy and fluffy at the edges I had a vision – a needle felting vision!

Now, Bijou the cat thinks the plain bat makes a fine rug just as it is.

I envisioned something with a little more color.

Last week Ercil and I got together again for more fiber play in her shady backyard.  We laid out the batt and drew the outline for my design with a Sharpie marker.  Then we got started felting.

After the basic outline was in, we got out the drum carder and Ercil’s collection of colored rovings from Mielke’s Fiber Arts, plus some odds and ends from my stash.  We created some scrumptious colored batts for my design.

Back at home, I started filling in the design.  Needle felting has a much higher instant gratification quotient than most of my art forms – I can see progress right away.  In fact, I have to be careful to pace myself and not try to finish it all at once.  I want to make the fun last!