lundi 22 mars 2010

Empress trees on their way!!!

Here is a video of what an Empress tree looks like, trying to think where to put them now.......

lundi 8 mars 2010

Another quiet day in the Corbieres!: Quelque 'flocking' flocons

Another quiet day in the Corbieres!: Quelque 'flocking' flocons

Quelque 'flocking' flocons

Here we go again.......more least this time they forecast we could get a metre....we are up to 60cms already...........
Larry didn't seem bothered at all.


About an hour ago, before we started having power cuts which has made uploading pictures difficult.

About 50 cms of snow on top of the bird flight which had to be knocked down to save the netting from breaking.
Glad to have the old Land Rover back on the road for this fall of snow in case of emergencies.
It passed its control technique (MOT) on Friday to our surprise!!!

I spotted this just before the snow started yesterday, it is now under a heap of snow......

My first attempt at Nuno felting

Here are the pictures of my first attempt at Nuno felting.

I used a silk chiffon scarf for the base, which I had previously knotted and dyed in Australian Landscape dye - wild raspberry.

I laid out towels and bubble wrap on the table the length of the scarf. Placed the scarf on top of the bubble wrap.

I did not put a layer of wool as a base before the scarf as I wanted a very light almost cobweb scarf.

The carefully pull out very whispy pieces from a short length of merrino wool roving and make a fine layer over the scarf. I worked from one end until I thought I was running out of dark pink, then I started at the other end, intending to use another colour in the middle and change the design I had in my head. As it happened I had enough dark pink to make a fine layer (about an inch high - sounds a lot but it is miniscule).

I then used the bright pink to make a design on the dark pink, added some pre dyed and pulled thin silk carrier rods (see previous articles on here). I also placed some light pink Wenslydale curls on both ends of the scarf.

As I was not sure if the silk and curls would felt enough and attach I placed small amounts of the light pink merino roving across them to hold them in place.

When I was happy with the design, also holding my breath as the whisps of wool are so light I was afraid they would blow away. I had a dodgy moment when a cat jumped on the table……

The place the nylon netting gently over the top of your scarf…..very s l o w l y so as not move the design.

I mixed some savon de Marseilles soap with warm water in a bowl, then gently sprinkled the mixture on the scarf on top of the nylon netting. Olive oil soap is wonderful for your hands, avoid using specific wool soap as this may in some way prevent the felting process. Gradually wet all the surface of the scarf/netting, but not too much. If you press your hand down on the work there should be no water seeping out between your fingers.

Place another layer of bubble wrap on top of the wet work. Roll up a small towel to the width of the bubble wrap which is bigger than the scarf. Roll your work round this from one end and secure with cut off pieces of tights (panty hose). Start rolling - good description of this in the video below. After at least 100 rolls, unwrap and roll up in opposite direction. Repeat 100 rolls, unwrap and flip over, roll up again from one end and yes…..another 100 rolls.

At this stage you can unroll and check your work. It will have stuck a little to the netting, peel this off very gently, and check the wool has felted through the silk scarf to the other side. If you hold the fabric up you will see a halo of whispy hairs on the reverse of the scarf.

Peel off the netting, gently rub your hands over the work to start the process of shrinkage and fulling to finish your work. At this stage spread the scarf out and check the edges are as you want them, I had to trim off some odd ends, but you can fold excess under the edges and rub for a couple of minutes to felt the ends together. At this point you can pull the piece into the shape you want, or as I did I left the scarf pulled out to points at the end which I liked.

Now abuse your work………gather up together and put in a bowl of hot water, squeeze and swish about - in fact everything you are told not to do when washing wool. The plunge into cold water, then squeeze out excess water and throw the work down onto your work surface a few times, repeat these processes until you are happy that the fibres are as fulled as you want them.

At this stage some of the edges of my piece had stuck together where I did not want the to be stuck so I had to gently prise them apart. I spread out the work to dry and dried it really quickly on the heated towel rail in the bathroon as I was impatient to wear the scarf that evening. I wore it and it ‘felt’ (sorry) great, and was greatly admired.
The finished scarf was difficut to photograph but it is lovely to wear.