When I was six I cut holes in the CENTER of my bedspread. I also cut my own bangs and put my name in crayon on the bottom of all the dining room chairs in red crayon. I was a budding artist with time on my hands. I still love cutting fiddly little patterns into things. The other day I wanted to do some Nuno felting. I rooted around in the stash and found this piece of green and white merino that tempted me to take a pair of scissors to it.
Sometimes I feel guilty about things like that, one wrong cut and it is all over, hours of work lost, hopes dashed, blah, blah, blah. At least that is what my lesser demons tell me. But then I own up, cut a template or three, and slide those blades right in. I do suggest you make several templates to lay out ahead of your scissoring. It lets you map a path and avoid mistakes when cloth is limited, and certain colors become important.
I used oak board (stencil cardboard) for the templates, later on I can use them as a resist when dying cloth. By the way, this is something I love about working with fabric and paper, almost nothing gets wasted. The stencil bits become templates, which become resists… sliver sized bits of felt get scissored up some more and put into the yarn, like tweed. Scraps of silk get felted right back into the wool, fragments of paper get used for decoupage, and so it goes. It gives me great joy, makes me feel resourceful.
Onwards! Many, many, many…many…………………………..many… lay outs later I got to doing the felting. Four hundred rolls on the pool noodle and I had a scarf, but it wasn’t finished. Some of the felt wouldn’t stick all the way, some of it not at all, but no more then 5-10% of the whole piece, which I felt was a great success.
Here is the first rule of felting: DON’T PANIC (do you have your towel?), felt is very forgiving. It can be roughed up and re-felted. I made lots of little, inky-dinky cuts all over the backsides where it would be felted back into the fabric, and did the same around the edges.
Then, because I hate not getting my way, I stitched those unruly, uncooperative edges down, down, down!! I used rayon thread because it would add a soft hint of glow wherever it was going to be felted in, the stitches show on the back as texture and become nearly invisible.
Here is the end result:
One last note on the design itself, for many years I have been in love with silk, and kimonos are right up there on that silk list. I love that most of the kimono fabrics are one of a kind, hand painted, and all of them are always so delicate; I get glowy just thinking about it. With kimono fabric in mind, I was attempting to make the cut-outs look like paths through a garden, or mountains and valleys. The shapes softened up considerably and now look like falling leaves.
In a few weeks I shall have more of these scarves made for my Etsy shop and I will holler when ready. Tune in again next time for “The Coffee is in the Bathtub, Next to the Acorns!”