Modern Stitch Off Adventure – 3

More Blends

More Blends

I mentioned in the first post about this project that I was planning to use what are technically referred to as “intimate blends” of fibres to create a more subtle colour range. If you click on the picture you will get a better sense of the varieties I am putting together.

If I were planning to spin these blends, I wouldn’t start from here. Some of the colours are lovely silky-smooth, long staple, Falklands merino, and others, labelled “Nepal Wool” in my local shop, are short staple, and very curly and springy. I’ve even got some very wiry undyed Devon and Cornwall Longwool, bought last Autumn at the Lost Gardens of Heligan (go, if you get a chance: we had a wonderful day out there!). So the characteristics are very different, and that matters quite a lot with yarn, although there is a way to do almost anything if you have the time to make it work. It matters less with felting, so some of my blends would make my spinning master splutter something like “Didn’t I teach you anything?”.

Beginning Central Section

Beginning Central Section

Fortunately, what I am attempting is based entirely on the colours.

The blanket became very unwieldy at this point. I’ve since found the label and discovered it weighed four and a quarter pounds before I even began!

However, that wasn’t really the problem. I didn’t want to have pins within the area I was working, because they’d be certain to get caught up and cause more breakages (by the action of what my father refers to as the Law of Maximum Cussedness). The central section is about two foot in diameter, so a lot of as-yet-unattached fibre was rather more free to move under the netting than I would have wished. Furthermore, because of this I was finding myself tensing up and pressing harder on the foot pedal, and that was when I would get out of sync and break a needle or two.


  1. Sue Jones says:

    I like the blended colours. The technique doesn’t appeal to me, but the pattern so far looks like one of those cloaks made of overlapping feathers.

  2. Janice says:

    The ‘leaf’ shapes look like they are pieces of felt that will be ‘appliquéd’ onto the blanket by the process of needle felting. Is this right? There’s a very three dimensional effect to your design. Pleased to hear you have developed strategies for preservation of needles!

  3. Penny Baugh says:

    I love “maximum cussedness” – I must remember that. These fibers are beautiful and complicated all at one time. I love it that you are always tackling what would be ‘impossible’ for most of us!

  4. Deepa says:

    Truly an adventurous task, isn’t it Rachel ? We look forward to the “happy ending” 😉

  5. Lady Fi says:

    Lovely blends!

  6. Alex Hall says:

    I really love those subtle blends and shades and take my hat off as ever to your perseverance!

  7. wendy says:

    it’s looking really interesting. Could you use some kind of basting spray to temporarily hold the fibres in place?

  8. Carolyn says:

    I love all those subtle colours and this looks a very interesting project.

  9. Susan says:

    I like your father already. From your description, it sounds as if there was definitely some cussedness, but what a beautiful photo I see. I hope you don’t find it offensive, but it reminded me very much of a soft Navajo God’s eye – not the kind that are just rough woven with sticks and yarn, but the artsy ones I’ve seen in galleries in the western US. So, so pretty a design you have, and I never realized how large it was, so I’m glad you put that in there, too.