Thursday, February 3, 2011

Something to wear

Have you ever bought something and just couldn't WAIT to wear it?! Going out with your new digs can give you a real lift. Now, have you ever MADE something yourself and were anxious to wear it out? An even bigger thrill awaits!
I have coveted the felted lattice scarves that I've seen here and there amongst felting circles, and was assured by my friend Dawn (whom I met at a felting class in Michigan) that they're really easy to make. Well, my first attempt was a disaster. I tried using pencil roving, and despite lots of rolling and rubbing it just didn't seem to want to felt at the joins and was a big, unsalvageable mess.

This time I used my own hand-dyed merino top, and made a sample first. The strips in the sample were a little too thin, so I drafted strips thicker than pencil roving and laid them out on bubble wrap, then followed my usual wet felting steps. That did the trick! Only one join isn't holding, and I think I can easily fix it with a felting needle.
Another big discovery was with my dyeing. Comparing dye results with others, I realized that I was "washing away" an aweful lot of dye after heat setting and cooling longer than the directions call for, and not getting the more vibrant colors I sometimes wanted. Hmmm, could it be our water? We have a well with sulphur water, and despite an elaborate filtration system our water quality can still be.... let's just say a challenge! I'm not the scientific sort when it comes to dyeing, don't use ph strips and such, but thought I'd trying adding some citric acid at the fiber/yarn soaking stage. Voila!
I'm wearing my cheery new scarf to a knitting/fiber retreat I'm attending this weekend with a few friends. I know, I know, another retreat? Life is good! In case I am sounding a bit too manic about this new scarf, consider that I have a teenage daughter that always sets me straight... when asked if she likes my new scarf, she scrunched her face and said, "No, not really..." Oh well, I guess this means I don't have to make one for her!
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4 comments:

Wooly Knits n Bits said...

That's a really neat looking scarf! You did a great job!

Dianne@sheepdreams said...

Love those vibrant colors! (There's nothing like a teenage daughter to keep you humble!)

Andy and Deb said...

Well I love it Lindy...I have to keep at this dying to see if I can colours that vibrant. As for your daughter not liking it, well that also means you don't have to worry about her claiming it as her own. lol

GILLIAN CHAPMAN said...

Lindy - I've only just discovered this fantastic post... These scarves are amazing! Guess what I'll be doing this weekend...
Gill