Since we went into lockdown, I had to withdraw from my contract as they wanted me to continue working at the office. After a week of faffing around and not being flexible about letting me work from home, I had to draw a line under it, which was rather disappointing as I have never done that before and the fact that they are a government body. So, I am back to where I was in March last year, with a lot of free time on my hands.
Before Christmas, I had purchased a couple of scarf classes by Katerina Korshun. I mentioned those before as I had recently completed the leaf scarf tutorial.
Katerina is a very impressive young woman and her background is mainly fashion design. She is one of many talented Russian feltmakers. Patricia Spark has been influential in sharing information about the Russian feltmakers also. When Pat suggests something, I tend to jump on it. She has been around for some time, so her experience has some merit. That is why there was such a buzz about the French Scarf. Because I am a certain type of person and I like to do my research, I have been spending a lot of time looking at Russian felting videos, even more than before because I now have the time. If you had a look at the French Scarf tutorial, then all you really have to do is go and look at all the others from that YouTube channel. Although the Sherstival videos are mainly about promoting master classes, there is some free tutorial content. I watch them from start to finish, most of the time, even if the translation may be out of whack as people give out tips and tricks. That is correct. Tips and tricks are the key here. There are tricks to watching videos too. You can scroll ahead. Sometimes the translate feature is not available, but I still watch as that is how I learn, by looking. I watched a video the other day on how to make wet felted roses, but without the translator as that feature wasn’t available. I took notes and video snips. These people actually make it easy to learn. Sometimes I watch the videos with the sound off if my husband is watching something on TV. You don’t need sound if someone demonstrates well. Take notes. I need to take notes, because I am of a certain age and may forget things. So, the thing about the Russian feltmakers is this, there are many talented folks out there that make the most amazing felt. Many of them have a fashion background and others don’t. You will learn a lot from them even if you do not buy a class. The option is always there. That is all I have to say about the Russians, that and how grateful I am for them sharing.
So, while I was looking at one of the videos, there was a segment from Katerina Korshun on how to make Alternative Fur. I thought I would give it a go. Here is the link for the section of the video I watched without you having to look at stuff you may not want to look at. Although a template is shown, there are no dimensions for it, so you will have to work it out yourself or make up one of your own. I even asked her for the size, but she couldn’t remember as she made this in 2019. I don’t have process shots as you can watch the video. This is what I came up with.
My template was longer and my yarn was thick and thin, but this is how it all turned out after felting and drying. Ideally you want a single ply yarn or you can use the super chunky from World of Wool or similar. The great thing is that you can experiment with your yarn. Just do some samples. I used this yarn for this French scarf.
And I also used it in this one I sold recently.
This wool yarn is hand spun in Uruguay and I got a 100g skein for about £9 on sale. It is very soft. I have another colorway that is more blue and will have another go. I used natural merino pre-felt as that matches the white in the yarn. The most time-consuming things are punching the yarn and cutting the loops. I’ve ordered a punch needle tool for chunky yarn to make things easier. I used almost a whole skein of yarn and could have used a bit less, now that I know how this particular yarn fluffs up. You could sew snaps on and attach it to a coat with a shawl collar. I really like it as a scarf. I made a slit at one side to pull the other through. I’ve also ordered some hooks as a clasp to try on the next one.
I have some super chunky yarn in natural merino that I will also use. I think it would be fun to dye them. I really enjoyed making this and I can punch the yarn while watching TV so I think there will be a lot more of these on the cards. Watch this space.