Crazy cowls from gorgeous weavers waste!

Far too much going on at the moment with not enough hours in the day to write about it properly either here or on my main felting blog Clasheen but I just HAD to share with you my latest happy accident!  On Friday evening and Saturday morning some American fibre friends called to visit with me and we had a great time discussing all things Ireland and all things wool, yarn and felt related.  I am not going to mention their names yet from a security point of view until I know for sure they arrive safely home but as soon as I know their 4 week trip to Ireland and the UK is over I will link through to their website and hopefully you will see all the exciting textile adventures that they have been filming along the course of their travels.

Lilac mohair crazy cowl!

AARGH!!!!! 

I have just lost all the rest of this post in the publishing and unfortunately I really don’t have enough time to write it all again.  Forgive me for the resulting brevity now but what I really wanted to mention was the gorgeous weavers waste I picked up at Cushendale Woolen Mills over the weekend.  These balls of wide wool ‘yarn’ are off cuts from the selvedge edge of some of the mill’s woven home textiles and wearable wraps, I think that they knit up into wonderful and funky cowls!  Check out Flickr for some more detailed images of this lilac and an ocean blue cowl but if anyone is interested in purchasing one of these cosy and fun pieces I am happy to bill you directly through PayPal at a total cost of $38 including P&P to anywhere in the world!  Please email me if you would like to order either the lilac or the ocean blue cowl.

Stimulating weekend and last chance to book fibre workshops!

We had an amazing time over the last few days experimenting and creating with Dutch felter Lyda Rump!  All the participants had a brilliant time as Lyda is both an inspirational artist and a highly accomplished tutor.  Over the next couple of days I will be uploading more images to Flickr and blogging about the workshops on Clasheen.   Pop over there if you are interested in a little more information about what we all got up to from Friday to Sunday but here is an image of Gerd’s gorgeous hand dyed silk chiffon and merino neckpiece to get you inspired. 

Gerd's beautiful silk and merino neckpiece

If this has got you interested in a bit of fibre experimenting why don’t you come along to the next ‘Pick up your Needles’ session on Sunday 21st February at the Tinahely Courthouse Arts Centre, Tinahely, Co. Wicklow?  These great sessions are organised by Irene Lundgaard and Stephanie Kennedy, felting, knitting, crochet and spinning are on offer (obviously I am facilitating the felting!) and any workshop is available for the special price of  E55 to include all materials plus ongoing tea, coffee and homemade cookies throughout the day!  If you are interested in learning a new craft or honing your skills click here to book your space or read a bit more detailed information.

Thanks, completed top and great swap package arrives!

Wow, I’m blown away by the response to this new blog already and it’s only two days in existence.  Thanks so much for all your lovely comments and messages of support, I hope that I don’t let you all down!!! 

The woven cropped top is now finished and here is a picture of the completed piece. 

My first woven garment!

I have had a question on Ravelry about how I stitched it together without cutting so here is the simple (hopefully!) explanation I posted in response.

  • Fold the two ends together to form a large tube and stitch up just inside the fringe, this is the only sewing involved. 
  • Lay the folded fabric on your table, have a look at it and decide where you want the fringed seam to be positioned.
  • The total width of mine was 91cms (it could have been wider but this was enough to work) when folded so I allowed an opening of 27cms on the upper side for my head, stitched approx 6.5cms seam on each side of this for the shoulders and then left the remaining approx 26cms on either side open to allow for the sleeves.
  • When I had got that done I tried it on and decided how much to seam the bottom edge, just crochet it together and allow plenty of space around your middle for movement!
  • When laid flat the shape is a perfect rectangle with the sleeves actually on the top line.  This sounds strange but believe me it works and when you put it on it forms a simple batwing shape and drapes nicely under your armpits with a fluid line across the shoulders!!

This would be a really fantastic project with some nuno felt or even two bought wraps stitched together along the top, it’s best if the fabric is drapable and not too stiff.  Let me know if any of you try out the design and I am sure that we would all love to see some photos!

Speaking of Ravelry check out this amazing swap package that I recieved yesterday from my Going Green swap buddy Gretchen! 

Fabulous swap package from Gretchen

To see all the gorgeous goodies that are stored inside the upcycled bag and also to check out some detailed shots of the seaming in the cropped top have a look at my Flickr images.

I have also just uploaded the large felted Irish landscape that I blogged about today on Clasheen to my Etsy store.  This is a special opportunity to snag an experimental piece of felt which is perfect as it is or for those of you handy with a needle an ideal chance for some stitching and embellishing!

Welcome to Clasheen Uncut and weaving a cropped top!

Welcome to Clasheen Uncut.  This new blog will run hand in hand with Clasheen, my online diary documenting life as a rural felter in Ireland! 

Here is the space where I will share all sorts of weekly trials and tribulations with you, felting, weaving, cookery, woodland managment, golf, travel and Irish country life in general.  Clasheen will remain as always dedicated to my biggest textile love which is felting, Clasheen Uncut will give you a glimpse of my emerging textile or art related endeavors!

I am not going to give you any speil about myself to start with here, all that may be found over at Clasheen.   Suffice to say that since 28th December 2009 (due to unusually cold weather conditions here in Ireland) I have been living without central heating and water for almost all the time and my electricity and internet connection has been dreadfully patchy!  As a result I have had to be inventive with my textile adventures. 

Felting requires water and believe me when you are gathering and melting snow to make a cup of tea embellishing and altering previously felted work combined with other textile disciplines come more to the forefront!  My enforced absence from felting has had an up side, it has given me the time to try and get to grips with my Ashford Knitters Loom. 

First attempt to warp the whole width

My first project was a dark purple and yellow scarf (photos on Flickr) and then I decided to try and warp the whole width of the loom, weaving is quick while I am finding that for me warping is time consuming.  Warping the whole width gave me some freedom to practice my weaving and feel like I was actually creating a piece of ‘cloth’ as opposed to just a scarf.  I adore scarves and am always creating them in felt but for my weaving I would like to create clothes and fabric to incorporate into my felting hence the wider warping width.   Earlier in the year I felted a cropped top which was a prototype for an exhibition I wanted to submit for.  Unfortunately I never got it together enough to actually expand on this shape but for my woven cropped top I had a couple of ideas in mind to try and put into practice.  Those of you who have been following Clasheen over the last year and a half know how much I try and avoid sewing (and in fact any of the small finishing tasks that go to complete a project!) so I was thrilled to discovered how easy it is to crochet seams together with hand woven fabric, a whole new world has opened up to me!  

Ella uncut

I named the cloth ‘Ella’ in memory of my grandmother as it is woven in some of her favourite colours, I can just see her throwing the fabric jauntily around her shoulders to ward off the cold. 

Seams crocheted and finishing the edges

Here is an image of the top as I was seaming and finishing the edges.  My next post will reveal the finished top but for now you can view some more images of the process to date over on Flickr!