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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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


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