When guild members were asked to donate “something from nothing” for a raffle, I was prepared. The Conference of Northern California Handweavers
has an annual conference and CNCH 2014 will be at the Oakland Convention Center April 25-27, 2014.
There are vendors of gorgeous goods; galleries of glorious handwovens; a fashion show, and a raffle to fund scholarships to the next year’s CNCH.
With several deadlines for submissions to the galleries and the raffle looming, this week I set to work on a thrums hat to donate to the raffle.
It helps to be a pack rat if you enjoy creating “repurposed” art and every weaver has a pile of scrap yarn that probably exceeds her height. (We get shorter and the pile gets taller; how does that work?). I am currently making my 4th felted hat and my second thrums hat. The pattern for a Felted Hat by Arlene Williams is free on the web but is copy righted and cannot be sold. http://webhome.idirect.com/~quanah/patfelthat.html
and another one from chunky alpaca which gives a deliciously soft hat:
Then, as an repurposing project I made one hat of a solid green yarn carried with thrums of green and blue. It has been quite useful this past week to keep my head warm and dry in blustery rain storms.
This fourth hat is even more adventuresome because ALL of the yarn is scrap yarn. There are thrums that range from 2-3 feet. There are at least 50 horrid little 8 inch pieces that I cut off the fringe of a wool throw. (The yarn was expensive, I just couldn’t bear to throw it away). Little butterflies of wool represented the ends of bobbins and cones. I estimate that there are over 100 pieces of 16 different yarns in six colors.
Now don’t be fooled by the outside. Before felting the inside looks like this
Fortunately, after felting I will just wantonly clip off all the ends; no weaving in the ends!
The top always gives me fits and I felt it by hand to try to make it lie down smoothly before throwing the whole thing in the washing machine. I add a pot of boiling water to the hot cycle on my washer but with a front loader, it is a slow process. After 57 minutes, two cycles of hot wash and cold rinse and multiple checks to make sure it isn’t over felted, my hat is finally almost ready. The process of shaping it over bowls, my head and a hat rack padded with towels takes another two days until my hat is dry.