Just Doodling and Playing With Wool

After a heavy workout of felting a tote bag, I decided to take it easy and just play around with wool.  I have been inspired to try some of the exercises in the book Creative Felting, by Lizzie Houghton.  Although she explains how to make felt, pre-felt and other basic things, this isn’t really a how to book to make anything in particular.  It is a way of looking at colored wool and putting them together with other materials that you wouldn’t normally think about doing.

IMG_0678I decided to make small samples of 8 inch squares.  I did make an 8×8 inch template to work from.  I am trying to work in order.  These are the first three experiments.  The lower right is Merino with a little bit of viscose and silk fibers.  It isn’t easy making circles from tops. I wet them to make it easier.  I also deviated from the exercise by adding some yarn.  I ended up with a 6×6 inch square.  The top right is from the 2nd exercise.  We have Merino wool, sari silk fabric and sari silk fibers.  The sari silk fabric was a tight weave and I added a few fibers on top to help hold it down, but I don’t think that is necessary when using the sander.  This shrunk to 6×6 inches.   The third lesson was to make bark.  I used Merino wool in a variety of colors, sari silk fabric and a template.  The silk made some really nice texture and the template was a good idea.  I am working on a smaller scale than is suggested in the book and I don’t have all of the materials, so I am using what I have.

The next exercise called for making a shibori effect, but I didn’t have any marbles, so I used buttons.  I didn’t take a photo as I am not happy with how this turned out. This project called for just wool and marbles.  The buttons were too flat so I definitely need marbles and I probably needed to add another layer of wool.  No string was used in this project.  I just have a yellow square that doesn’t look great, but I will save it as I do with everything in case I can use it for something else.  I skipped the next exercise as I partly didn’t understand it and I wasn’t inspired to try it.  I did however make a sunflower.

IMG_0685I already had some green pre-felt, so I added sari silk fiber and glitzy merino for the center.  The flowers are made with two shades of yellow merino and sari silk fibers.  As the flower was rather large, I had to think how I would use it and decided to make a little wall hanging.  I had collected some embroidery hoops from the charity shops, and had bought some fat quarters from Lidl.  I used the embellishing machine to attach the flower to the fabric.  I have the machine, so I might as well use it.  I then embellished some throwster’s waste on the center and added some lovely blue beads.  My green center is a bit wonky as I had an unusual shape leftover from another project and just went with it.  I then embellished very carefully around the center as the piece was quite thick now and I couldn’t move it.  I just went over the same area a few times and then moved the piece around.  It is quite sturdy.

What is a sunflower without a bee?  I had plenty of space, so I added a bee to the mix.  First I laid out some black and embellished that in.  Then I added the yellow and white and embellished that in too.  Afterwards, I needle felted all the colors in.  I still have some needle felting wool in spite of selling off most of my stock.  I wanted a nice fluffy bee. I tried needle felting the wings, but that was taking too much time, so I used some commercial white pre-felt and needle felted that onto the bee for wings and then embellished the rest into the fabric to hold the wings down.  I think it looks cute now.  It makes a change from making a wearable or practical item.


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