I spend a morning shopping with a friend. I need a dress for my son's bar mitzvah and, in search of something interesting to wear, we explore several little stores in downtown Rochester Hills. While out and about, I spot a large wrap: a rectangle split up the center, length-wise, on one half. The two thinner pieces hang in front of the body and the uncut side hangs down the back. It could be tacked together on the sides to make a vest-like tunic, or it could be left as is so the thinner pieces can wrap like a scarf.
At home later, I sort through my silk yardage. Light grey silk chiffon with a bluish hue to it calls to me. I put another long table alongside my usual work surface to accommodate the extra width of this project. I have never worked this large before. Carefully, I cut the silk right up the middle and fold the edges over. Now the wool. Merino wool roving in a dark teal blue that I find I use frequently in my work. Another ball of roving in variegated shades of grey, black and white. More wool in a steely blue grey. Thick layers of all three colors along what will be the bottom edges when worn. I'm hoping for a wonderful ruffle of soft wool. Then I take wool and run it along the outside edges of this large work. The exposed silk edging should gather and mirror the wool ruffles along the bottom. I work similarly near the edges of the center cut. This will cover the cut edge as well as continue the ruffle idea.
But here is this opening that will sit on the neck and shoulders. It has a raw edge that needs wool so it won't unravel. I haven't cut it in such a way as to create a collar (maybe next time). As I start to lay wool, I use the combination of colors I used for the bottom ruffles. I have no precise idea as I begin, but slowly it becomes a small skyburst as I gently place whisps of teal against the grey.
It looks too flat. I fumble through my bin of wool yarns, pleased to find a silvery grey similar to, but not quite the same as, the solid grey roving. Always drawn to swirling shapes, I unwind the yarn in small loops along the sides and the bottom edges. I continue the skyburst feeling with streaks of silver yarn radiating outward from the neck.
Still something is missing. I can't find my embroidery floss. Did my daughter sneak off with it to make friendship bracelets? I really want to finish this. Oh, yes. I forgot about the silk throwster's waste I bought this summer. Pieces of teal that work brilliantly in scatterings all over the wool.
It looks amazing.
Now, how on earth do I felt a piece this large?
to be continued ....