A Winter Sunset Inspiration for a Felted Scarf

On a recent walk with our dog around sunset, the sky was unremarkable and muted; but then, slivers of gold appeared in the west, and minute-by-minute these bright tones intensified til the whole sky was glowing molten amber, with streaks of pale turquoise and coral.  It was a spectacular fiery sunset that contrasted the cold evening air, and I noted the colors so I could evoke the experience in my studio.

fullsizeoutput_2b87

I carded batts (on my Louet drum carder) of merino, alpaca, cashmere, silk, organic Polwarth, dyed silk noils, bamboo; and added some remnant sari silk threads and more and more silk into the layers.  In carding the fibers, I placed them carefully to create a color gradient from warm coral and gold tones to soft blue, with touches of white and turquoise.  In laying out the fibers, I preserved the color gradient.

img_3369

The resulting scarf is very light (2 1/4 ounces) and 64″ x 6″ inches.  It’s almost a cobweb scarf — delicate but with lots of texture, from the deliberate layering of different tones and textures.  There’s a lot of satisfaction in connecting deeply with the source of inspiration, and I hope this scarf sparks some of the awe of walking in the atmosphere of a magnificent winter sunset.

img_3359

img_3367

Advertisements
Published in: on January 10, 2019 at 5:01 pm  Leave a Comment  

Yak, Silk, Merino Scarf

I wanted to create a scarf that would be soft and warm, and contrast natural tones with warm reds and gold tones, so I started by gathering a medley of fibers…

img_3340

I layered the fibers and fabrics to provide a lot of texture and interest… img_3342

 

And worked this into “pre-felt” — yardage that is partially felted so it can be worked with and cut up as needed; and that is intended to be used for surface embellishment — but is not completely felted or “fulled” into finished form.  This partial felting keeps the fibers open enough to allow them to easily embed into the intended project.

img_3348The layout, dry, before wetting/felting/fulling.  You can see the three fluffy layers (yak, merino) as well as the shiny silk fabric strips and the strips I’ve cut from the pre-felt yardage.  I’ve added some fiber “dots.”  Fabricating the dots is so meditative…

img_3351The finished scarf, and a detail:

img_3352I’m pleased with how very soft this scarf is.  The yak fiber is short, which means that layout takes longer because I’m working with small tufts of fiber instead of longer-length fiber tufts; but this extra time is worth it, because the yak creates such a soft and finely-textured “hand” and luxurious drape — a lot of warmth with very little weight.   The scarf is 6″ x 60″ and weighs just two and three-eighths ounces!

Published in: on January 7, 2019 at 4:45 pm  Leave a Comment  

Felted Scarf with Prefelts and Curly Wool Locks

IMG_3246IMG_3247IMG_3248

Published in: on December 7, 2018 at 9:09 pm  Leave a Comment  

Felting Day

IMG_3234

Published in: on December 7, 2018 at 4:58 pm  Leave a Comment  

Felted Scarf: Pictures from a Studio Day

IMG_3234IMG_3236Layout begins

IMG_3237Three layers plus lots of embellishments — curly wool locks, silk, part of a carded batt, and some prefelts that contain silk fabrics.  Layout is done.

IMG_3241The completed scarf, almost dry.

IMG_3242Details…

IMG_3244

Published in: on December 7, 2018 at 12:47 am  Leave a Comment  

Carding Batts for Spinning Art Yarns

IMG_3141IMG_3142IMG_3144Merino, silk, Cormo, bamboo and other fine fibers, including some I purchased raw (freshly sheared, which I washed and processed; most purchased from shepherdesses who raised the sheep themselves); with the most exquisite curly wool locks and strips of silk fabric (including remnant sari silk fabrics) and tufts of hand-dyed tussah silk fiber as add-ins — a visual and tactile feast for spinning art yarns.   For those who like adventurous spinning or who are seeking novel fibers for felt making (my batt ingredients are suitable for both) who wish to place a custom order, please send me an email: aspangborn@gmail.com.  Thank you!

Published in: on November 17, 2018 at 5:01 pm  Leave a Comment  

Art Yarn Recipe

I start by gathering fibers… in this case, mostly bits and pieces that are leftover from other projects, and which I save in a large jar.  I’d call this a “destash” batt, and at first it looks like a mess.  There’s merino and lots of Cormo, and some silk and sparkly novelty fiber:

IMG_3034My initial idea is to work with mostly primary colors…

IMG_3035I organize the original selection of fibers, now it looks more orderly.

IMG_3036Layer by layer, I create a batt that will have texture and shimmer and interesting color combinations throughout.  I’ll use this batt to craft some art yarn for making notecard images, and I want the colors to be vibrant and the yarn to be thick and thin.  I’ll add curly locks and fabrics when I spin it.

IMG_3037To unify the many colors in the batt and to add more glow, I add some topaz-toned bamboo fiber generously along the top layer by placing the bamboo fiber directly on the large drum.

IMG_3038This is the underside of the batt, visible as I remove the batt from the drum carder.  Those bright warm tones are the basic color “theme” of the batt…

IMG_3041And this is the shimmering top of the batt.  I can’t wait to spin this, to see the uncontrollable ways these beautiful colors will dance together.

IMG_3043I carefully divide the large batt into 10 smaller batts, which I’ll further divide as I spin.  Very yummy.

IMG_3044I’ve selected a variety of curly, white wool locks and some white fleece — all from raw fiber that I washed, including some sweet Cotswold lamb curls and Finn lamb fleece and some fat long wool locks; and I’ve torn strips of fabrics that include remnants from sari silk and some hand-dyed habotai silk: this will all be spun into the yarn, using my favorite drop spindle, a turquoise ceramic one that’s just heavy enough to make yarns that are exquisitely thin or really chunky.

IMG_3045The resulting yarn is just what I need to craft cards that I hope will delight, comfort, inspire and please: some areas are over-spun and will be full of twists and coils; in some places the white curly locks will add whimsical softness; the silk fabrics will glow and some of the silk fabric threads will be left to extend beyond the yarn, adding more texture; other places are barely spun so they look pillow-soft.  Each of these different textures feeds the senses in different ways, and the senses are restored and nourished.

The cards I’ll craft from this yarn will express all of this; they’ll each touch each viewer in a different and personal way; my intention is to add beauty and gentleness to the world, and by my humble effort, make the world a more beautiful and gentle place.

Published in: on October 16, 2018 at 4:17 pm  Comments (4)  

Fiber Batt Inspiration

IMG_2699

Sari silk remnant fabrics, re-purposed, are the inspiration for a batt that I carded and divided into a mini-batt set.  I’ll spin some art yarn from the batts and silk fabrics (snipped and ripped into thin ribbons) and then felt some small mats, using the yarns and some other fibers for embellishment.   I added lots of hand-dyed silk fibers — in shades of bright topaz, raspberry, lavender, green, gold, pink — throughout the layers of mostly Falkland fiber, adding some dyed Cormo fleece for texture.   I look forward to seeing how the silk fibers influence the surface design, because I added so much silk to the layers of Falkland as I carded the fiber — placing all fiber directly onto the large drum of my Louet.  These pics are just the batts and sari silk ribbons; I’ll post photos of the finished work some time in the days ahead!

IMG_2700

IMG_2701IMG_2705

Published in: on July 22, 2018 at 12:51 am  Leave a Comment  

Inspired by Nature: “Plums” fiber batt

For spinning or felting:

IMG_2491IMG_2487

Published in: on June 16, 2018 at 4:02 pm  Comments (2)  

Felted Mat

This mat is for an exhibit with an “Animal” theme, that will be during the month of June at The Gallery Shop in Lemont.  I wanted to create a base that would look like an animal pelt, and embellish it with layers of curly wool locks that would create a lot of wild energy.  The dyed curly locks, that range from tiny little tight whorls to long loopy tendrils, are from a variety of breeds.  Felting is not an easy-to-control art form, but in this piece the results are what I hoped to create:IMG_2351Details:

IMG_2353IMG_2352

Published in: on June 1, 2018 at 6:40 pm  Leave a Comment