July 24, 2013


'Smash Box' ~ nuno felted merino wool on silk

'Smash Box' ~ inside

I am inspired by the colours of the summer garden more than any other lovely thing in nature and my hands always seem to reach for wool fibres in shades of pink, purple, red, orange, yellow and green (even when summer is long over).  On the other hand I think that sometimes a change is good.  Still, I have to push myself into other palettes when making colour choices for new hats.  The colour for 'Smash Box' above was a stretch for me but in the end I do like it.  'Cerise' below is a more typical colour choice, making me very predictable I suppose, but every now and then I surprise myself with something different.  So...I'm aiming to use "other" colour choices for the next few new hats just to see what turns out...for a change.  I may have to tuck the pinks and purples out of sight... but just temporarily mind you.  This will be a serious colour challenge for me requiring some serious self discipline!  Hmmm.....    

'Cerise' ~ wet felted with merino wool & silk fibres

Hard to resist these summer colours

`Cerise`~ top view

Speaking of colour, recently I attended a fantastic gathering of the Belleville Spinner's at Grace's glorious farm in Northumberland County not far from Campbellford.  About 25 of us spent the day spinning and dyeing yarn, wool rovings, silk and cotton fabric.  This was the first time I'd ever actually put anything in a pot of boiling hot pigment with fabulous colour results.  I learned many useful things from this group of creative, interesting and wise women that day.  As we stood around our bubbling cauldrons of colour (OK, we actually used the barbecue), the witches scene from Macbeth suddenly appeared in my mind's eye and it occurred to me that, in a very contemporary way, we were continuing an ancient, mysterious and unique female tradition.  One of special secrets for which, had this been the middle ages, we would have been feared, shunned and probably burned at the stake for practicing witchcraft.  Now, more than ever, I'm pretty sure that witches cauldron was a simple pot of dye! 

"Eye of newt and toe of frog,
Wool of bat and tongue of dog."

"And now about the cauldron sing,
Live elves and fairies in a ring,
Enchanting all that you put in"   

I dyed wool to felt hats but of course it's pink and green so I won't be using it for a little while because of the new "other" colour challenge I've committed to (I'm sure I mentioned this was temporary... didn't I ?).    

Spinning on the porch at Grace's ~ photo
by Sandra Emlaw

Out of the dye pot and onto the line

Rosemary stirring the pot!

Lately I have had more time for knitting and less time for felting so I have made lots of wrist warmers and headbands.  Here are some photos of what I have been working on.

Frida Kahlo Headband ~ hand knit with felted flower

Frida Headband ~ hand knit with felted flower

Frida Headband & wrist cuffs~ hand knit with
felted flower, modelled by Anne Boleyn

Ruffled wrist warmers ~ hand knit silk and merino

Noro ruffled wrist warmers ~ hand knit

Ruffled wrist warmers ~ hand knit silk, merino & alpaca

Ruffled wrist warmers ~ hand knit silk & merino

Accordian wrist warmers ~ hand knit soy and mohair

Ruffled wrist warmers ~ hand knit merino & alpaca

Ruffled wrist warmers ~ hand knit merno & mohair

Ruffled wristlets ~ hand knit ribbon

Noro Fingerless gloves ~ hand knit merino and silk

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