Sometimes Things Don’t Go According to Plan

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Here is a shawl I picked up at the charity shop some time ago.  It is just under 7 feet long and fairly wide (I didn’t measure).  As you can see, it is very transparent.  There was another sheer layer of fabric behind the patterned part, but  I cut that off to use on another project.  I decided to nuno felt the patterned part and leave the sheer ends.

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I don’t know what this material is made from, but in my mind, I should have been able to felt it.  The side with the pattern is quite delicate and you can see why it may have ended up in the charity shop.  I had it in my mind to make a pale pink shawl.  To be honest, I don’t know where my mind has been lately as I have been a little bit forgetful.  I thought pink would be a nice contrast to this mauve colored fabric, but I could have used others, and in a finer micron.  Most of the merino wool I have is from World of Wool.  Before I started making scarves, I have been using their regular 23mic merino.  This is probably the heaviest you may come across.  It is good for bags and hats.  I have made shawls with this, but you need to lay out the wool really fine and why I have been mainly making felting batts with it on the blending board.  They also sell superfine merino in 18.5 mic, but I am waiting to get some work before I order any more wool. I had ordered some fine and extra fine Merino from DHG in Italy after Christmas, when they had a sale.  Their fine wool is about 22.5mic and the extra fine is about 19mic.  Wingham Wool Work sells dyed merino wool in 21mic.  I haven’t used it before.  So getting back to the color, I chose a pink from DHG in 22.5 mic when I could have used the 19 mic in a darker pink or red.  I think I was having a senior moment.

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You can see how thinly I laid out the wool.  I only used one layer.  I then added sari silk fibers on top of that in a pale pink.  I really like using sari silk fibers as it is recycled sari waste and the color variations with the threads are very interesting.

IMG_6058Here it is all laid out, about 60 inches worth.  This took me over two hours to do.  It takes me a long time because I am fussy.  The sari silk fibers contain other threads with the silk and some of them can be quite thick and white.  I really don’t like the white ones and before I lay down the fibers, I check to make sure that there isn’t anything in there that I don’t want.  To look at the layout above, you would think that this is just pink, but there are lots of other colored threads mixed in there too.  After finishing this layout, I sprayed it with some water to hold it together and left it until the next day.

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I wet the piece out the next morning and sanded.  Here it is all wet and you can see the threads that are mixed in with the pink.  I went over the whole section and pulled out white and black threads that I missed.

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Just before I started fulling, I noticed that some of the threads were coming away on the sheer ends from the area where I added wool.  It seems that this material wasn’t really as sturdy as I thought it would be.  I thought I might be able to fix it by adding more wool, some extra fabric from the part I cut away and using the embellishing machine.  So I squeezed the water out and let the piece dry to have a go the next day.

Well, that day was today and I looked at it again and decided that extra work wasn’t really worth it and I might have made it worse.  So I just cut off each end of the shawl and trimmed the sides.  I was now left with a rectangle that was too small to make a vest and too wide for a neck warmer.  I nearly threw the towel in at that point, but no, I thought I had spent too much time with the laying out that I would try to do something – so I cut it in half and rounded off the ends and finished fulling both pieces.

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Here it is all ironed.  The silk is really soft and shiny and the whole piece is super lightweight.  I like the design on the back too.  Making this was a real learning curve.  There was no opportunity to make a sample as I was upcycling the whole scarf.  What I had in my mind was a scarf with sheer gathered ends.  Sometimes things don’t go according to plan, but if you don’t try something, you don’t know if it will work or not.  I don’t feel I wasted my time as I now have two pretty neck warmers.  You certainly would need one today as the weather has turned quite chilly! 🙂

5 thoughts on “Sometimes Things Don’t Go According to Plan

  1. Well done for persevering! When you invest that much time in something it makes you like a dog with a bone doesn’t it? Just as well because the neck warmers you ended up with are very pretty!

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    1. Thank you ladies! I was a bit gutted about the sheer ends I had to cut as that would have been very pretty, but you never know how things will really turn out if you don’t know the make up of the fabric. I had to try. I am so glad the rest of it felted well and I was able to do something with it. I can add these to the rest of my stock! What surprises me most is how light they are! 🙂

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  2. Good for you for persevering! I have a lot of AFOTEUWA projects (aim for one thing, end up with another) – I have probably learnt more from them than from the things that go according to plan.

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    1. Yes! Not everything works out even if your practical brain says it should. It is a good exercise in trouble shooting and making the best of a bad situation. If worse came to worse, I could have made journal covers or something like that! 🙂

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