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Posts tagged ‘red’

Dyeing to show you Tee and Scarf

After about a year of drought in the creative department, I am happy to say I feel a sense of surge of passion for dyeing and felting again!  Here is a sneak peek of two eco-dyeing projects from yesterday. They’re still drying and will be washed and re-dryed to make sure there’s no mordant left before wearing, but I wanted to show you the results.

I used saved onion skins and various eucalyptus leaves from my garden.

This one is the silk scarf, still wet and just unbundled. The reds of the onion skins are showing well!

This one is the silk scarf, still wet and just unbundled. The reds of the onion skins are showing well!

Tee shirt onion and euc

This one is a close up of the tee shirt – showing how well the eucalyptus leaves and onion skins have developed. I also love how there are dark patches with white lines, from the string I tied the bundle with!

New hemmed silk poppy scarf

Hemmed soft, drapable nuno felted silk scarf with poppies at either end.

Hemmed soft, drapable nuno felted silk scarf with poppies at either end.

I was fortunate enough to meet a textile artist the other day who told me where to source hemmed silk scarves in Australia.

I liked that idea because during our summer months the heat and humidity does make the wool on the edging of even my summer scarves a tad warm.  Using hemmed scarves means I can still felt beautiful details and pictures onto the silk, but without ‘hemming’ with wool along the edges to prevent fraying, as I have done up until now.

Of course, I still love my tissue silk and will continue to purchase that as well, because the effect you can get on this lightweight material is gossamer fine.  The hemmed silk scarves I have just obtained are slightly less open weave than the tissue silk, but when I opened the pack, I blew through one and knew that with a tad more rubbing, I could still felt it.

These scarves are gorgeous, with such a sheer lustre to them, I couldn’t wait to felt onto one.

Hemmed silk scarf with nuno felted poppies

Hemmed silk scarf with nuno felted poppies

This morning I set about another poppy scarf as I loved the effect of the original one I made recently.  This one is a slightly different design but still uses fine merino wool as well as silk hankies and tops along with a little Angelina fibre to get that glow that brings light-catching properties to the matt of the wool.

Gawd, I love textile art!

Hemmed silk scarf showeing 3 poppies nuno felted at one end

Hemmed silk scarf showing 3 poppies nuno felted at one end

I figured wispy merino would probably migrate more through the netting during felting than onto the scarf, so I used prefelt pieces ‘stuck’ down with merino rovings, and with the wool and silk details applied on top.

I was right about needing to work it harder, but I reckon the finished effect is well worth the effort. During the felting, some of the red dye from the hand-dyed wool transferred to the white silk scarf, giving it a delicate hint of palest red, which works very well with the bold reds, black and green of the poppies.

Hemmed silk scarf so sheer you can see my hand through it!

Hemmed silk scarf so sheer you can see my hand through it!

The finished scarf is gorgeous! It’s lightweight, sheer, lustrous and has a lovely tailored look with the hand hemmed edges and the felted poppies at each end have a painted effect that I love.  I will definitely be felting the others in a similar way.

Hemmed silk scarf showing nuno felted single poppy at one end

Hemmed silk scarf showing nuno felted single poppy at one end

I reckon this will make someone a delightful Christmas present.  It is one of a kind, and art in textile as well as sumptuous materials, sheer for Australian summer yet warm for winter – that’s the beauty of silk.

New network scarves

As Christmas is around the corner with only three markets before then, I’m making more treasures for my stall.

The latest two little beauties are network scarves – one in reds and oranges, the other in blues and turquoise.

Each have inlays of silk chiffon, silk hankies and silk tops all of which I hand dyed first.  The silk ensures a fabulous lustre to the scarves.  That, plus dimensional yarn snaking along the length of each one, gives each scarf a rich, interesting finish that is enhanced by the complimenting, striking colours.

‘Roses on Black’ nuno felt scarf

Just finished this for a customer.

It is made with black tissue silk that has black and red merino wool, red silk tops and dimensional wool felted to it.

I have to say it wasn’t the easiest scarf in the world to do.

Not because I couldn’t lay the wool fine enough, or dye the tops the right colour, or make the ‘roses’.  This time, and for the first time ever (which was bit of a blow to my ego that likes to get things right immediately), I had difficulty translating what the lady wanted and making it reality.

This is actually version two of the scarf – the first one is shown in a previous post.

My mistakes

I made two mistakes:

1. Not listening to my intuition that told me it was going to be tricky when my customer wanted me to mix two different styles of felting (this fine nuno-felt style with cobweb style).

2. Getting caught up in trying to adhere to my customer’s specific and detailed wishes and not putting in certain things – rather than listening to my intuition when I was making it, that told me to make it a certain way (which is basically how this second scarf turned out) in the first place.

Both of these mistakes feature my intuition and lack of listening to it.

When will I ever learn?


On the plus side…

So, two scarves later, I now have one satisfied customer and one extra scarf to sell to another owner.

That’s the beauty of making accessories and artwork, I make something and one day the person it’s made for turns up, falls in love and takes it home.  It’s so satisfying!

The original scarf by the way, is also nice. It is more subtle with more black and less red, and with slightly more felt coverage to the tissue silk. The roses are small and have little green leaves. Here’s a photo for comparison.

black nuno scarf

I’m thinking of making a massive big, bright red felt flower and attaching it to one end.

What do you think?

Two nuno felt scarves


I had a lovely weekend making two nuno felt scarves by commission from two lovely ladies.  One was in turquoise to go with the lady’s lime green and turquoise outfit and the other was a more subtle one in black with fine red silk tops and roses throughout.

Both consisted of merino wool and various types of silk (hankies, tops etc) felted onto tissue silk that I had hand-dyed the day before.

Turquoise nuno scarf

Embracing the square long enough to be creative

Most of my felting is very free form in the way I put colours and design together.

blue green wool layout

Wool layout for a scarf that turned into a bag – in navy, turquoise, aqua, cerise pink

It starts like this … and I feel my way with the project, which is a very organic coming together of colours and patterns until I love, love, love it!

If I’m working for someone, I focus on their energy while I’m working.  That’s something I can’t explain to anyone left brained enough to want proof, but it’s a thing I do when I’m making felt, that also helps me get accurate readings for folks when they come see me for tarot readings.  I think it’s a genetically inherited ability because my dad used to get psychic insights in front of those old roaring log fires way back when people actually used real trees instead of those ceramic logs that zip into flame with tongues of ignited natural gas.

Anyhow, I digress.

I’ve been thinking about felt designs today as I’ve rolled out pastry in my part-time job – which I have to say is the best little job in our small town, and which I sincerely try to fit into – but honestly, it’s a bit like a star-shaped peg squeezing herself into a square-shaped hole.  It’ll work some of the time, but the rest of the time either the star gets cramp in her pointy bits, or the square gets prickly trying to reinforce its shape.  (You’ve can’t help but feel empathy for both the star and the square really).  Again, here’s another area where I’ve done my best to conform, but my arty intuitive self just keeps failing!

Normally, I’d balk at the thought of failing at anything, but this time I’ve come to realise, failure can sometimes be a kind of self-preservation at the soul level. Being a bit of an intuitive people pleaser means I can’t stand to feel the square reinforcer’s (and I use that term symbolically to illustrate my point here) irritation at my inadvertent bucking of the system – or should I say systems – as the whole job is broken down into methodical, productive systems – but I’m learning to live being constantly corrected for the sake of my sanity.

I also admit that I can be a bit of a square reinforcer at home when my pointy star-shaped teenage son shines brightly all over the place but doesn’t stop anywhere long enough to finish a job… “Oy, empty the recycle bin!!”  Enough said.

So, there I was today, body doing the job, mind doing its own thing when it could, and I thought how nice it would be to embrace the square long enough to be able to do the part-time job better and also to create something more tailored than my usual freehand style of design.

I was commissioned at Christmas to create a black scarf with a “reserved pattern” for someone who doesn’t like to stand out in a crowd, but whom I’ve met once and was impressed by her vivaciousness which I think under other circumstances or cultural background may be more forthright.  The scarf I made for her was quite challenging at first, as I had to put some actual left-brain logical thought sequencing to the structure of the design and colours.

However, I think I achieved a nice marriage of logical and intuitive because the finished scarf was so lovely, I would have kept it for myself had I not promised it to my customer!  This is what it looked like:

Scarf in black merino wool with red silk hankies and grey silk chiffon inlays and rovings, nuno felted onto silk chiffon

Scarf in black merino wool with red silk hankies and grey silk chiffon inlays and rovings, dimensional wool, nuno felted onto silk chiffon

So despite my initial anxiety at creating this scarf, I fell in love with it.

And it is this boxy black and grey scarf that is the inspiration for my next work.  Simple, structured design but using colours that are bold yet harmonious.

With the Easter long weekend coming up, I’m looking forward to playing!

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