Monday, August 17, 2009

Three Ravens

I got the three ravens hooked today, but am not totally happy with it yet. I have to figure out how to get the legs to stand out and make the ravens themselves stand out better. This was after three other attempts at a background color combo that would work. I think I should have done it all in fleece instead of doing the background in wool strips, and strips I cut from some of my younger daughter's ex-clubbing clothes and an old paisley skirt. I wanted to experiment with alternative to wool strips and try other recycled clothing in this piece. This is still going on in as as insert in a felted bag I am making from a felted Shetland, Jacob, Alpaca, and Icelandic shawl I made 2 years ago that came out thicker than I wanted, but great thickness for a purse though. I'm cutting a frame hole in the shawl and inserting the hooked piece in then stitching around the hooking. I may end up whipping the edge with some metallic threads and adding some embroidery. This piece will be going in the Fall Festival stuff for sale.

I do my fleece hooking with a 'fine' hook for the most part. I'm using mainly uncarded fleece, but you can use carded. The ravens were done in Black Mountain Welsh, Jacob, and some Black Shetland. The blues, purples and pinks came from some food dyed Tunis, Lincoln, and Finn fleeces, the yellows from food dyed Lincoln. I use a variety of different fleeces for hooking as I am still trying to figure out which are the best suited for doing it. Merino is a no go as it is too soft. You need something with some body and crimp to it as well as a longer staple length something at least 4" long.

Alpaca is a pain to work with because it is so slick and slippery to handle. At least it is for me. I mix it in with the wools I felt with but I hate trying to spin it by itself because it will not hold together unless I have a very fast wheel going.

The nice thing about hooking with fleece you can mix your own colors even as you hook for shading. You pull up your fiber just like you hook normally, you also control the thickness of your stitches, Some times it's helpful to roll the fibers in your hand like you are making a snake and gently pull it taunt like you are making pencil roving. Your back is going to be a bit messy. Needle felting it gently will also help lock the fibers in place. Best backings are linen, burlap or a close weave cross stitch fabric.

I'm going to be doing the Green Cat rug all in fleece, so I'll be able to tell you more how this works on a large project. This technique would also be good for making hot pads. I'm just beginning to touch the surface of what can do with hooking with sheep's fleece.

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