Masham Merino Mixes

I am trying slowly to use more and more British or at least European fibre in my felt and dyeing work.  In pursuit of this aim , I bought some Masham fibre from Adelaide Walker at Woolfest. Creamy white and beautiful brown.

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Although I have this aim I do have  a large stash of coloured merino.   I decided to try working with the coloured merino and the natural Masham together.  I did not physically mix them , but have used them together to make a number of pieces.  The Masham is slightly more coarse than the merino , but they blend together beautifully and I love the mix of natural colors in the Masham with the bright colours of the merino.

Here are my finished mixed pieces.

chapters

 

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and here is a  small one, actually made with left overs before stitching.

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This post has been reissued due to problems with the original posting

 

 

Boring but ……

Over the last few months I have made quite a number of wet felted small vessels.  These vessels have been made out of different white fibers and then dyed.  At the time I made them I knew exactly what I had done ,  but coming back to them a few weeks later and I began to get seriously muddled up .  I was no longer sure which was the nettled dyed BFL , or the nettled dyed Polwarth (   Thanks to Teri Berry for these fibers they are great)

Time to take control and keep on track before I was totally confused. Better  admin was an urgent necessity? So I gave each vessel a reference number and a small label with the critical information.

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And I started I vessel register on a spreadsheet.  This feels a bit like work   But I know that the key to being able to reproduce these vessels in the future,  is to know for sure what is the fibre , and the shape and the dyeing conditions .  A lot of information , but put together with the  label and a photo of the vessel , I think they will be records that will serve me well in the future.

Here is 2015/ 13  sporting a small slate pedestal , a necklace of lace and dyed with onion.

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Followed by 2015/2 from March , also dyed with onion , but made with pale grey Shetland , so a completely different effect.

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Collecting all this information together has been boring in some ways , but I think its enabling in others.

 

Blackberry pink

Beautiful juicy blackberries growing in all the hedgerows.

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Good for eating and also good for dyeing.  I have to admit I am not a big fan of eating them straight of the plant , but I do like them stewed with some apples. But today I could not waste them by eating them as I wanted to check out the results of using them as an dye.

I first made a tiny little wet felted vessel, with  six points , which I stupidly did not photograph !  I then did some simple stitching on it with cotton yarn.  After soaking for an hour or too, it was plunged straight into the dye pot.  Just a few hours later a sweet little pink pointed vessel emerged.  I love both its smallness, it’s pointedness and its pinkness.

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Now I have heard that you can freeze blackberries and then dye with them , so I better get out and pick some more.

Brooches

I have discovered that of all the felt I make, I sell more jewellery than anything else.  Maybe it’s because its small and relatively cheap and can be given as a present ?  But I don’t really know why it sells better.  This fact frustrated me for quite some time , but now I have decided to embrace it.

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I find making jewellery relatively easy . More to the point is very portable  and with my increasingly  nomadic, two country, lifestyle that brings loads of opportunities.   Slowly as I travel I have been making the odd extra pieces.  The pieces were never all together until this week .  When I stopped and counted and realized I had 40 pieces !!  How did that happen ?    Most of them are brooches . This one is my favorite .

 

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I also have quite a few necklaces and have been experimenting with making fold flat stands .  The stand still need some improvement.

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How many pieces do I need ? Are my 40 pieces enough  ?  On Friday  I decided well maybe just a few more , perhaps with a bit of sparkle for Christmas.  So with some fabric and some prefelt scraps , another four are partly made , just ready for some stitching and beading.  More on them later .