Thursday, 22 October 2020

Mini Knitted Christmas Stockings


This year's version of my Mini Knitted Christmas Stockings.

My daughter-in-law is a teacher and every year I knit mini stockings for her to give to every pupil in her class. It has become a little tradition and as the youngsters move up through the school each one has a keepsake to hang on their tree for the festive season.

I enjoyed hand knitting these in a lovely mixture of yarns and colours with all the same matching white mohair top trim. 

I usually try and get some more knitted to sell at my exhibition At Quarr Abbey next month.
They make an ideal gift for a loved one, fill with sweets, chocolate. My customers often tell me they are just perfect to fill with some money for the teenagers in their family.
There will be some in my online shop soon.

I designed these mini knitted Christmas stockings many years ago for a magazine publication. 
"Making Gifts Magazine" which is no longer in print.

I will be adding the design instructions for you to purchase from my online shop shortly - download a PDF and start knitting up your very own!

~sitting knitting in an evening working on a small project is a relaxing mindfulness activity~

Friday, 18 September 2020

Outdoor Studio Space

This Summer I have been able to run some one to one tuition workshops in my Outdoor Studio Space!

With Covid-secure practices in place, it has been really lovely to offer spinning and weaving classes in my garden.  

I love working in the garden anyway, whether its taking my spinning wheel outside to spin to the sounds of the birds in the trees or setting up one of my small table looms to enjoy the afternoon weaving a bag, cushion cover or scarf and of course the knitting needles are so portable, I always have several projects on the go.

This week the outdoor studio became a weaver's wonderland!
A brand new Katie loom (8 shaft from Ashford) came to be warped and woven on for the first time.

And an "Inside set" was put on my Saori loom to dress with a readymade warp to be taken home and be woven.  

So it was a wonderfully busy day, making a warp, threading heddles, sleying reeds. 
All helped greatly with plenty of chat with tea and cake!

Now some of you who have a Saori loom may think the way I'm dressing the loom looks a little strange in the photo above.
Let me explain. Since having my David 2 loom (8 shaft floor loom) from Louet I have learnt a much easier and quicker way of warping up. I thought that I could transfer this method to my Saori.

I use two sticks from front to back to rest the reed and lease sticks on. 
I place the cross of the warp at the back of the loom and load it onto the extension rod, putting the lease sticks through the cross. I use a raddle clipped to the top of the loom shelf to spread out the warp. I wind the warp onto the back roller.

I thread the heddles from back to front.

With the reed laid flat it is so quick to sley.

Then its just a matter of  using the tying rod, hooking the treadles on and start weaving!
When loading a readymade warp as seen in the photo, I rest the warp on the lease sticks for easy access and have no need for a raddle as the warp threads are already on the roller in order ready to select.
It is such a simple way to dress a loom, in fact the Katie loom was done exactly the same way, no need  for double crosses as per instructions!
give it a go, have fun, happy weaving.


Monday, 17 August 2020

Spinning Wheel Repair

It is great that Skipper is a Wood Turner.

I have been running some "Learn to Spin" workshops and this Ashford Spinning Wheel belongs to one of my clients, she bought it along to learn on but it required some repairs, so a little visit to  "WrightTurned" workshop was needed.

As you can see in the photo, where the treadle connects to the main leg of the wheel the wood had  become chewed up allowing the treadle pin to keep falling out, it was held in place with some cord.

First the hole was drilled out to make a clean purchase for a new piece of wood. The new wooden plug was hand turned on the lathe.

Shaped to give a perfect snug fit and hold firm. Then cut to size and rubbed down.

This is called a visible repair. It has strengthened the working part, is functional and looks in keeping with this lovely old wheel. 
The wheel was then given a service, buffed, oiled, fitted with a new double band and was all set to keep spinning for many years to come. As you can see it spins a treat!

Wednesday, 15 July 2020

Summer Colour in Cloth

                                               Our garden is full of colour and inspiration!

I am always influenced by the nature around me, summer colours start to feed into my woven cloth at this time of year.
This month I have been making vibrant cotton warps for the looms. It is a nice break from working in wool on the looms. (I'm busy spinning on the wheel in the garden, so there will be plenty of woolly projects later in the year).
However some people have allergies and do ask me if I weave and knit in cotton, so its always good to offer an alternative. Also in the summer months its great to work in cool cottons and linen.

 Hand weaving the Saori Way along with more tradition weaves of stripes and squares in gorgeous colourways.

 New cloth fresh from the loom.

Beautiful Summer Wraps/Shawls in soft cotton. The perfect "go to" accessory for the Season.

Wednesday, 10 June 2020

Always Room for an Inkle Loom!

 I have been given a lovely old Inkle Loom.
 It is solid and has good long warp pegs so I will be able to weave bands and straps of fabric up to 6 inches in width. Inkle looms are so useful for weaving webbing, straps for bags, belts etc. There are so many ways to weave on this type of loom to produce wonderful patterns and intricate designs.

 To just get this little loom up and working again, it first got some TLC in Skipper's workshop, a light rub down and some wood polish, a check over to make sure all pegs were firmly set and an addition of a ring to tie on the first warp thread at the base and it was ready to use.

Meanwhile I made some red cotton heddles and picked out  a self patterning yarn from my stash to make a warp.
Inkle looms produce warp faced weaving, so I decided on a plain blue yarn for the weft.

The weather has been so lovely here on the Island, as the Inkle is so small and portable, it was a perfect little weaving to do outside in the garden.
I wove a simple plain weave narrow band.

Always room for a loom in my house, so pleased to add this one to my collection.

Wednesday, 13 May 2020

Home and Nurture

Being home has had its blessings. I made a decision to use the weeks to nurture home life and do all those projects that have been on my list. Probably like most folk I set to, sorting and cleaning and Skipper got a few DIY and painting chores done. What has been much more fun however has been delving into my weaving, spinning and handknitting for our own home

Also the garden has my full attention, over these past weeks and months the greenhouse is full of seedlings, the raised beds planted up with salad and veg as well as my annual flowers for natural dyeing of my wools. Happy days spent in the garden with the spinning wheel working through my stash of fleeces. While Skipper has been busy in his workshop wood turning I have been in my workroom busy weaving. 

A project that has been waiting for some years! I bought the wool, stored it thinking to make a throw/ blanket on my Saori loom knowing that I would have to weave it in panels and sew together due to the loom's width. Now I have the David loom I was able to weave it in one piece.

Checks and Stripes, simple plain weave. A warm, snuggly blanket with red detailing.

A piece of cloth in a twill pattern, woven free style. I will make cushions and a runner from this piece.

Using the same warp as the previous free style weaving-having dressed the loom with over 8 metres so as I could do both projects from the same warp. I then "opened the sett" which entails re threading the reed for a wider cloth. Then I changed the treadle tie up from twill, back to plain weave and using a different colour palette wove this small throw.

And my loom has got a little top runner to protect and decorate. A Rosepath design on cotton and linen.

It has been such fun to make some items for our home. Giving our home a hug as it takes care of us.

While I will have to wait until I can re start my weaving workshops and there are no craft events or outlets open on the Island to sell our work for some time. I will continue to weave, spin and knit supplying our online shops with new stocks of goodness for you and your home to purchase.
Thank you to our customers for keeping us going.
Keep well and keep safe

Wednesday, 15 April 2020

Sunrise Weave

 Back in February (see Feb blog post below).I took inspiration from a beautiful
 Sunrise over the South of the Island. Here is the scarf I wove on my Ashford Knitters Loom.

I selected a squishy, pleasing bunch of yarns from my stash that reflected the colours of the Dawn -  wools, mohair, and various mixed fibres
I love this simple "make it up as you go along" style of weaving. A rigid heddle loom is ideal for this as I'm able to use the direct warping method- choosing the colours as I dress the loom. I decided that the weft for weaving needed to be 2 strands of yarn; one pale white of a brushed wool blend and the other a pale peach in mohair. This gave me a slightly fluffy woven scarf with a soft squishy feel and allowed the colours in the warp to define the pattern. I twisted the fringes to finish.

It was a fun happy little project. I shall be putting it in my Etsy shop.
 if you wish to purchase it .

Our online shops 

To you all I send good wishes, stay safe, keep well.