Monday, September 12, 2011

Scarves for Japan

Scarves for Japan by pdugmore2001
Scarves for Japan, a photo by pdugmore2001 on Flickr.

On the weekend I made this for the Scarves for Japan project. I'm planning to do some more. If you're a knitter or felter or other sort of fibre crafter, you may like to check out the project information page and join in -

From the project page:
"What is this project?

Our project is to collect handmade scarves from all over the world and distribute them to the victims of Japan's earthquake and tsunami. This is one of the best ways to help Japanese people directly because what you send is brought directly to the victims. Monetary donations are a good thing, but sometimes you do not really know what your money is used for. Direct aid makes people happy and smile, and you know how it is used very clearly. "

I like the idea of sending something tangible, unique and made with thoughtfulness and empathy. The process of making it is meditative as I lay out the fibre and imagine the person who is going to receive it. The physical effort of rolling, and the fiddly embellishment with beads becomes imbued with more meaning.

I hope the person who gets this scarf will realise there was someone on the other side of the world who was thinking of them and cares about their well being.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

First day of spring!

And I'm at home with a bad cold.  Still, gives me some time to update the old blog.

On the weekend I did some more felting.  The wool I used was some dyed merino from a Felt member  Lynn to make this scarf.

A lattice style scarf (close up) Lattice scarf 2

Lattice scarf 1

Modelled by moi - I'm tossing up whether or not to felt some flowers to add to it.
#dailyimage2011 1 Sept flowers or not?

And another...

#dailyimage2011 28 Aug Paua Aroha

Paua Aroha

The other thing I tried was some dyeing with lichens. On our southern holiday I picked up some handfuls of lichens that had fallen onto the path.  I had a rather ancient book from the library Natural wool dyes and recipes by Ann Milner which has instructions for dyeing with this plant (and many others). Most natural dyes are quite muted colours so my expectations weren't high.  But I was pleasantly surprised with the nice tan colour that resulted.  I'm not totally sure of the lichen species as they are quite hard to identify without a flora, and even with one it can be tricky!  But I think the one I used comes from the The original colour is the cream on the bottom right.  Not entirely sure of the specific lichen name but I think it's one of the Pseudocyphellaria sp.

Lichen dyed tussah silk fibre

Now for some exciting news!

I have been fortunate to secure funding to attend a library conference in Wellington 29 Oct-2 Nov where I'll be presenting two posters.  A while back Beverley commented that should this occur, she'd like to do a felting class with me to learn to make these scarfs etc.  So, we've begun the arrangements for the class. 

It will be held 29th Oct - most likely at CraftHouse.  My plane gets in at 8am so I am hoping to get started 9.00am-9.30am or so.  Do you think I'll get my pool noodle I use for rolling felt into the overhead locker?  Hmmm...

There will be a cost for the class (something like $30), and I will make up some kits for participants to purchase should they wish it.  I'll also be providing a list of required materials and suitable vendors for participants who'd rather sort out their own.  Some sample scarfs will be heading down to Beverley for display purposes too.

It should be fun!  I don't claim to be an expert in felting but it is a forgiving medium and I am confident we can make something beautiful together.

Maybe I will see some of you there?