Sunday, October 10, 2010

I am not Superstitious!

You can see the Angora and Gotland texture here.
Well, here we are on 10/10/10 and the world has not gone BANG once again.  I actually forgot about it until I looked at the date on the computer dashboard.  Having a head cold for a full week has a way of doing that to you.  Small Boy got a stomach bug and came home from school Monday and was ill on Tuesday.  The cold I thought was gone over last weekend came back, retreated, and came back again.  I think the strong winds that are blowing have got us all on the run, immune systems up and down.  It wasn't cold, but it has been wet and windy and, really, is there anything more annoying than a sinus headache?  I had one for four days this week and I have to admit that I was cranky.  Yes, I was cranky.  Why is that hard to admit?  I think it seems a bit childish for an adult to act irrational, but in this case I had a good reason: banging headache with nowhere to hide from it.

Can you help this beret?

I got two hats made this week in spite of all that.  The first is a beret felted with a resist.  It didn't turn out the way I wanted it to for two reasons: 1. I used gray Angora for the first layer so it would be nice and soft next to the skin and it migrated through the purple Merino and made it look dirty.  2.  I cut the head opening a bit too big.  I made the beret circumference a bit larger than the average beret on purpose, but you get a what-the-heck kind of attitude with a head cold and don't make the smartest decisions, so I just snipped a hole without thinking.  I am hoping to take it in a bit or perhaps sew a band of felt around the brim.  I'm not looking for a traditional beret look anyway.  I fixed the dirty colour problem by over-dyeing the hat with acid dyes after fulling.  I don't think I can felt directly onto the piece after finishing, can I??  Anyone know the answer to that?

The second hat had the same dirty Angora migration problem because my head was too locked to see the problem before I did it a SECOND time....sigh.  I over dyed it after fulling at is came out gorgeous.  Here it is on the right.  It was originally a bit more autumnal with oranges and reds and yellows mixed, but didn't have a great deal of choice when I had to cover the Angora.  The Alpaca also has long, fuzzy fibres and so it seems to be shedding a bit, which you can see on the closeup of the beret.  Will people have to keep it in the freezer???!  I am happy enough with the felting and style, but I might fuss with the folds a bit more.  I am going to stay with the hats this week and see if I can't add some spikes or something interesting like that....

I am finding Lizzie Houghton's book Felting Fashion: Creative and Inspirational Techniques for Feltmakers very, very good.  I am finally wrapping my head around resist felting and making progress on much neater finished products.  The beret would have been felted perfectly if I hadn't made a mess of the head opening and my Leaning Tower of Pisa hat looks good and feels better.  The book has clear illustrations and excellent photos for inspiration.  While the designs might look complicated, they are easy enough to follow and experiment with in your own time.  Felt Fashion: Couture Projects from Garments to Accessories  by Jenne Giles is the new book that I am hoping to get ahold of and peruse a bit.  I have a few on the slide show on the blog.  I really want Art Cloth: A Guide to Surface Design for Fabric by Jane Dunnewold as I hear she is amazing.  The problem with a lot of these techniques is that you really need a demo to get them as they are often complicated and it is the rare book that guides you through the process thoroughly.  Gorgeous colour pics of finished products are all well and good, but if you can't breakdown the process then the book is no good to you.

Meanwhile, my house is a mess and I need to bomb my body with fruit and veg today to make sure this cold is gone, gone, gone!  Time to prepare for the week! 

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