Last fall I started using more wool in my work and exploring adding needle felting to the mix. Through the kindness of a friend who was no longer interested in using wool, I was gifted a large bag of multiple colors of roving. Another friend sold me her embellishing/felting machine and later sent along a bag of mixed colors of wool.
My normal thrift shop haunts turned up some small bags of colors as well as a bag of raw wool. You can see it is really dirty, probably why it was only 50 cents! A bargain for a pound of wool.
Now my issue became how to clean this. An internet search produced a few possibilities. First clean it with Dawn basic liquid soap or Orvis Paste. Well, that got the dirt out but not the stains.
Internet to the rescue again. I found an older blog with experiments whitening raw wool with hydrogen peroxide. Honestly, what did I have to lose?
My first batch in the peroxide bowl did great. It whitened up to an off white color. I’m happy with that. The rest of the wool is being washed and then laid out to dry. I may try some hair lightening peroxide to see if I can get a brilliant white. Yeah yeah yeah…I know I can BUY white wool and white locks but what’s the fun in that? I will save some of the locks and curly bits to use for texture as is. The rest will be hand carded.
I used some of my Christmas money to purchase some high quality felting needles. I plan on using my machine for large areas and my needles for details. I have more wool coming in extra colors and I am watching some outstanding tutorials on YouTube.
I am excited about the possibilities to incorporate this into my work!
There is so much clothing thrown away around the world the practice just has to stop. Fast fashion and trendy styles are killing the environment. One way each of us can help this world problem is to be creative and find uses for what is thrown away. I purchased this gorgeous sweater the other day at a thrift shop. My intent was to reclaim the fabric in it to give it a second chance. One less sweater in the landfill.
After first disassembling the sweater into parts, it was time to put it through a first fulling. That simply means that using water, soap and agitation the sweater weave will close up and shrink in size. The fiber label on this sweater said it was 88% wool. I took a gamble that the woven stripe areas were the other 12%. It was a gamble that paid off. It shrank about 50% and resulted in a thick wool fabric.
I can’t wait to use this gorgeous wool in a project and not waste even one tiny piece of it.
I rescued a Bernina 1031 two weeks ago. Can I say it was filthy? It had been dropped and jammed the bobbin winder and the tension could not be adjusted. But is was really really cheap so it followed me home to my sewing machine hospital. (Even though Ron tried to stop me!)
I love a challenge. I rarely give up on a machine that is worth saving. It is a last resort to ever part a vintage machine out. Without a really long story I repaired the tension but had to remove both the outer and one of the inner shells. The bobbon winder requires removing the mother board and I decided not to do that just now. I have my homemade bobbin winder that I use to wind all my bobbins so repairing this one just isn’t important now.
A quick trip into Goodwill today yielded a silk wedding dress! Nearly all wedding dresses I find are polyester. So, to find an all silk custom made dress is a real treasure. Even the lace overlay and bustle are silk. I’m not a lace girl but who knows how this will get used? And the best part is they had thrown it into the costume category so it was only $10! I have big plans for this pile of silk!
Taking time to clean and toss/giveaway in the studio that will make my life easier. While in Alabama last winter a trip to the Habitat for Humanity Restore yielded commercial dishwasher cup trays for $1 each. They made perfect units for my large cones of thread.
My next addition is purely for my comfort. Sold for home manicure and hand treatments, it is wonderful for my arthritic hands after stitching. The heat is adjustable. I slip my hands in the pockets , relax and enjoy a little quiet time.
Its time to finish a few pieces to jury and the commission for White River Hope is coming along nicely.