Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A tale of two scarves

  I had my first studio visitors a few weeks ago. The studio is still not finished, but that is another story, and Eva and her friends were very keen to come by...It was so delightful to have people come to my own space, talk to them a little about what I do, show them materials and finished items and take an order. A great experience!
   Eva chose two scarves in a light nuno patterning, using silk gauze and Canadian uncarbonized merino as the base.  She called after her visit to see if I could make the scarves a little heavier, to be more warm for the winter. I didn't want the scarf to become too rigid, or the wool to be too heavy in relationship with the silk, so I added a light layer of alpaca roving instead...Oh! What a dreamy felt this makes!
   I laid out the leaf designs, keeping each a little different, using handmade prefelt from the merino. Once the wool fibers had worked through the silk, I stopped felting and left the scarves to dry...ready to add stitch lines....paths...connections....following along how we meet, what paths lead us to another, where does our connection take with many things, it is not necessarily about the finished product, or effect, but our intention and how we get there...
 These looked so beautiful hanging in the window- they'd make such lovely, delicate, feminine curtains...I'd love to have a pile of scarves made up, all in white, ready to be dyed, and available to be draped at will or whim, randomly about....mmmmmm....good goal!

 Eva asked for one scarf in off white...kept natural, but toned down with a brown tint. I added some gold/ochre/green highlights using pencil rovings...working with some of her favourite colours that she mentioned during her visit.

And her second scarf was to be in green and blue shades. It also has stitching throughout, all overdyed. As I dyed the scarf, I felt it needed a little extra colour boost, so I cut some leaves from scraps of merino felt, and dyed them chartreuse, then stitched them on after the scarf was finished and dried.
 Normally I don't add lattice work on the ends of my scarves. This was a special request from Eva, so she could pass one end through the other, using the openings, to tie on the scarf. An interesting experiment for me. At the prefelt stage, after stitching, I cut the wool openings to be shaped like leaves, to carry on the theme from the body of the scarf. I love how it looks in the picture below- like a tree growing up my wall, with it's branches starting to open at the top.
 Usually I produce my work as it appears through my imagination, often designing as I lay out the fibres, or work with the dye baths.  This project was very much a collaboration between my customer and myself. A collection of ideas, played with creatively. I met Eva again while in Vancouver to deliver her special order. It was a nice way to finish...the felt and stitches connecting her ideas and mine....crossing the Salish Sea- her coming to my studio with ideas, and me meeting her in Vancouver with her finished felts.... 
 Also a very nice way to get back on my felting feet!
Warm wishes,


  1. Hi Fiona, glad you're back on your feet and felting again! These scarves are great: Eva will have been one happy customer!
    The off-white one is very delicate (I love the idea of curtains like that), and the light green leaves on the green and blue tree shawl are a wonderful combination: a good job!
    Happy felting

  2. Oh I love the blue/green one. What a great hanging for a child's room that would be. The stories that could be spun from that tree...
    Beautiful work as always. So glad to hear you are up and about again!

  3. Hi Fiona, these are exquisite!!!! I would so love to see you in the creative process...

  4. Thanks, Els! I still have to get to my full moon project, that came to mind reading your blog post...I think I'll draw it and descibe it, and let it simmer until next full moon!
    Hi Jennifer, I love the idea of these as a storytelling felt in a childs room. That would be so great to make...and a focus point for a parent to tell a story and a child to dream, love, love this!
    Thanks so much, Crstyal Cave! I love to work with other people...if you ever visit BC, come by!

  5. Hi, what do you use as "thread" when you stitch your lines? Thanks so much.

  6. That's so beautiful and inspiring! thank you so much for sharing!!!