Thursday, April 10, 2008

Vessel # 1 started

It doesn't look like a vessel here, but trust me.

I wanted to incorporate a lot of different yarns in a vessel, following up the inspiration of free lace felt. But dealing with all those wiggly lengths of yarns, sliding around on the ball was not going to be fun. So last night I created a prefelt, by laying out the yarns on a length of bubble wrap and topping them with two light layers of cobalt blue Harrisville fleece, which will be the color of the vessel. I wet felted this enough to hold together and let it dry overnight. This allowed me to handle the yarns without them tangling and slipping off the ball while layering the design on the ball.

Today, I layed out the prefelt on the Gertie ball after covering the ball in dish soap first to make it sticky. I also added some silk before layering on the fleece. After wetting, I rolled and bounced the ball in my kitchen sink for a long time, then threw it in the dryer with a wet towel and some small balls for a few cycles. It still feels somewhat spongy, and there is one place (but only one) where the ribbon yarn is not attached to the surface of the vessel. I will need to finish the felting stage before I take it off the ball for fulling.

Oh, I forgot. I also added a few resists between layers of fleece, making sure they were not under the rows of yarns.
Tune in tomorrow for pictures.

While I was making the prefelt last night, I also played with my silk for a while. I took a thin layer from a green silk bell (cap) and cut it so it would lay flat. Then I added some whisps of silk roving in various colors, sprayed with starch and pressed it in some parchement paper to make a sort of silk "paper" that I can cut shapes from. I wasn't thinking ahead enough, though, I should have added a tiny bit of matching wool between the cap and the roving, so that it will felt better in the end. I'll just have to remember to sprinkle a little bit of wool on top when I use it, so the layer of roving will stay attached.

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