Nearly network

Is there a seasonality about textiles? I just ask because over the summer I’ve done absolutely no felting – just shibori, shibori, shibori. But now that the chills of autumn are in the air I’ve suddenly had a desire to go back to felt.

This may also have had something to do with the arrival of my copy of From Felt to Friendship by Chrissie Day and Nicola Brown. I know Nicola because she writes the excellent Clasheen blog and is kind enough to give me advice through her comments here. One day I will have enough time/money to go to Ireland for one of her workshops, but in the meantime I have the book to inspire me.

So, still thinking about Claudia Phipps’ glass wings, I wanted to make a scarf with holes in it (aka network felt). I’ve made these before, by laying out adjoining circles of wool and felting them together (left).

I’d read what seemed like an easier method, of laying the roving out in a grid, in both Lizzie Houghton’s Creative Felting and in Fabulous Felted Scarves by Chad Alice Hagan and Jorie Johnson. But the holes produced in this way were too regular and, well, grid like!

Then in From Felt to Friendship I came across one of Nicola’s scarves where she cuts slits in the felt to form holes after felting. She also included a method of incorporating beads by threading them onto roving and felting them in. Never known for my lack of ambition(!), I thought I’d give both techniques a go – and include some fringes for good measure.


This is the result. The holes in Nicola’s scarf were much smaller, but I wanted them quite large, and next time I think I will make them even larger and more of them. The scarf is made with only one layer of wool, and I actually made some of the holes by just pulling the wool apart in some of the thin areas, rather than cutting.

The beads along the fringes worked quite well, but you do have to rub well between the beads to get the roving to felt in properly.

All in all, a happy, productive afternoon. It was good to get back to felting after the break!

Friday favourites

Some more items that have caught my eye recently.

Kate of Tastykaeru makes beautiful, jewel-like brooches by combining handmade felt, beads and hand embroidery, which glitter like real gemstones.

Sivan Royz is an Israeli textile designer who makes amazing sculptural iPod cases and jewellery from hundreds of pieces of laser-cut silk held together by string.

Kate MccGwire‘s surreal sculptures – such as a stream of game bird feathers overflowing from a pot on the range – are on display as part of the House of Beasts exhibition at Attingham Park, Atcham, Shrewsbury, Shropshire SY4 4TP until 15 July 2012.