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KathyR
Permanent Resident

New Zealand
2969 Posts

Posted - 11/15/2005 :  2:52:52 PM  Show Profile  Visit KathyR's Homepage Send KathyR a Private Message
Perhaps not the best place to put this but I'll try here to start with. Maybe it is cheating but I need ideas for our spinning group. Our national group (New Zealand Creative Fibre) has issued a challenge for all areas using a coarse (strong) fleece to showcase that particular type of fleece's properties.

We are using a Border Leicester fleece (less than 1 kg - 2 lbs) and are to make a cushion from this. Part of the challenge is that the fibre needs to be hand dyed and we need to use some locks in their raw form. We may spin, knit, weave, felt or whatever the fibre.

This project needs to be completed by the end of March next year which is part of the problem - our group is in recess for the summer until early February.

My question - does anyone have any wonderful, innovative, quick and relatively simple ideas to construct a cushion within these parameters? Any and all ideas welcomed!

Thank you in advance!

KathyR

Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.

truly violet
Permanent Resident

6398 Posts

Posted - 11/15/2005 :  2:56:53 PM  Show Profile  Visit truly violet's Homepage Send truly violet a Private Message
felt it all onto a silk backing and then use acid dyes ( like food coloring in vinegar) in spray bottles to dye it
?

does that sound fast???
maybe spin some yarn and use that to needle felt a design on the front????



none of this will matter in 100 years.......
except I will finally be at my goal weight...vi
http://notashyviolet.blogspot.com/ ~now with chickens!
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celia
Permanent Resident

Australia
2454 Posts

Posted - 11/15/2005 :  3:32:20 PM  Show Profile  Visit celia's Homepage Send celia a Private Message
I think you will find the border leicester's fleece coarse and wiry to work with (I personally dislike it). perhaps it is best suited to a rustic style cusion - I am thinking hemp cushions here. You know the style I am talking about? As for colours, perhaps use vegetable stains to dye it so the colours are muted and you can still see the original colour of the sheep's fleece.

celia

My blog is here:
http://celiaknits.blogspot.com
I am destashing here:
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KathyR
Permanent Resident

New Zealand
2969 Posts

Posted - 11/16/2005 :  2:26:18 PM  Show Profile  Visit KathyR's Homepage Send KathyR a Private Message
Vi - I love your idea but as Celia says Border Leicester is rather strong and it doesn't felt very well. Nice idea for a softer fleece, though.

Yes, Celia, I agree with you. I am not that keen on this wool either, especially after I felt a spun sample of it. But it does have its uses and cushions made from it should be fairly hardwearing. Dyeing is not really a problem as we have access to a good amount of dyes. We are supposed to showcase the qualities of the fibre such as crimp and formation of the staples (a little like ringlets) not necessarily the colour (it is a white fleece).

One of our members recently had heart surgery and is not able to do any craft (she LOVES felting and knitting) for quite some time. She is very clever with colour and design so I have asked her if she could try nutting out some ideas, too, when she feels up to it. I thought it would be one way to include her as well as take a little pressure off me! She was most receptive to doing this, fortunately.

But, please, I still need ideas if anyone has any.

KathyR

Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
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hobbitknitter
Permanent Resident

USA
2285 Posts

Posted - 11/16/2005 :  2:54:46 PM  Show Profile  Visit hobbitknitter's Homepage Send hobbitknitter a Private Message
okay...

how about weaving the back of the pillow with a plain pattern.

then for the front, knit it! you could use a tufted border (like the insides of thrum mittens) or place tufts diagonally to showcase the locks.
for the yarns, spin some different skeins with different techniques (navajo ply, 2 ply, cabled (?), woollen, worsted, etc.) and stripe with those... you could dye each yarn a different color (I'd use muted landscape colors that blend with eachother well)
Something like this?
http://img178.imageshack.us/img178/795/pillowdesignsketch0ir.jpg
the squiglly things are supposed to be tufts, and the colors are random combinations I came up with from my color selection on my paint program (which don't blend together as much as I envision, lol).
Hope this helps!

~Sarah Elizabeth
 Spinners make the world go round.
Keep on knitting on!
~did I do something wrong, or has the world always been like this and I've been too wrapped up in myself to notice~
http://knitonespintoo.blog-city.com
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truly violet
Permanent Resident

6398 Posts

Posted - 11/16/2005 :  3:20:54 PM  Show Profile  Visit truly violet's Homepage Send truly violet a Private Message
you can needle felt it
even polyester will needle felt.....
ask me how I know
hahaha
vi

none of this will matter in 100 years.......
except I will finally be at my goal weight...vi
http://notashyviolet.blogspot.com/ ~now with chickens!
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celia
Permanent Resident

Australia
2454 Posts

Posted - 11/16/2005 :  6:30:48 PM  Show Profile  Visit celia's Homepage Send celia a Private Message
KathyR, are you going to just flick it and spin it that way? I agree with Sarah E re weaving it. Probaby easier on your hands. The BL fleece I tried had quite long staples and I am not sure it will work if you insert tufts.
I am not sure how yu are ging to showcase the crimp, unless you spin it into a boucle wool.

celia

My blog is here:
http://celiaknits.blogspot.com
I am destashing here:
http://celias-basket.blogspot.com/
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Valk_scot
Permanent Resident

United Kingdom
1281 Posts

Posted - 11/17/2005 :  01:36:30 AM  Show Profile Send Valk_scot a Private Message
Peg loom? Very, very quick and very suitable for coarse fibres. Make a floor cushion with a decorative front and plain back. That cuts half the work (the back could be toning dyed stripes...still simple but good enough for Kaffe Fassett waistcoats!) and the front could include the locks. How about...errr....a sunflower or simple shape like that? You could hook in dyed locks for the outer petals.

And you don`t need to spin fine fibre for peg looms. You can use roving, thick and thin "designer" singles or ply. Different spinning techniques for different areas? The centre of a sunflower would be an ideal place to show off crimp, for instance.

Just brainstorming! But a simple shape and technique is usually best if colour and texture are the details you want to show off.

Val.

[img]http://smileys.smileycentral.com/cat/26/26_9_21.gif[/img]
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KathyR
Permanent Resident

New Zealand
2969 Posts

Posted - 11/17/2005 :  1:35:57 PM  Show Profile  Visit KathyR's Homepage Send KathyR a Private Message
Great ideas, guys! Thank you so much! I like the idea of plain weaving on one side - several of the members would be able to do this - in stripes,perhaps, using the same colours as the front.

Vi - I wondered about needlefelting but wasn't sure if it would work or not. I think one or two members have dabbled in that so perhaps they could do some of this at the end.

S.E. - I liked your ideas, especially using the different spinning techniques. Interesting idea. Your colours were cool, too. Not really my forte, choosing colours to combine.

Celia - I think we probably will need to flick the staples as they are probably too long to card. Also more work! I was playing with the idea of hooking the locks in as if we were making a hooked rug. I don't think the length would be a problem for that.
I will copy these ideas out and take them around to the member who is recuperating from heart surgery and see if we can nut something out.

Any other ideas are also welcome! Thank you!


KathyR

Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
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