Thursday, 29 March 2012

Wool and Willow

We have just spend a relaxing few days holidaying in Somerset. Glorious Spring sunshine for the whole of our stay allowed us to fully enjoy the wonderful countryside. We stayed on a farm in a beautifully converted Coach House.
The farm has a small flock of Jacob sheep. Here are some of the expectant Mums, lambs due any day now.

The farmer has just had the first delivery of mill spun wool from the Jacob fleeces. She had all the colours blended together and this has produced a shade of soft grey yarn. This being a new venture for her I was thrilled to lend my support and purchase some yarn for my knitting and weaving projects. It is particularly good to meet the flock, know where they live and of course buy British wool.

On one of our days out we walked the Willow & Wetlands and visited

A British company that is growing and weaving willow. I spotted in their visitors centre and museum a very old spinning wheel but more interestingly a woven basket named a "Crealagh" which is used to store fleece ready to spin. I think it is so lovely, simple in design, functional and aesthetically pleasing. It is important to store natural fibres in natural containers so as the air can circulate and keep them fresh. (I store my fleece in hessian bags).
Sadly they didn't have any such items available in the shop, but I'm sure I could order one be spoke!

However I did treat myself to this pretty little willow basket which I will use for my carded "ready to spin" fibres.
Wool and Willow.
Lovely reminders of a great holiday!

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

The Sailing Season Approaches

Spring sunshine, a fresh light breeze, the Sea is calling us again and our little boats seem to smile in the Sun as their covers come off and they get some tender loving care.
It's time to get all our little boats ready and shipshape for this year's Sailing Season!

First job on the list; Peewit our PBO Pup dinghy which Skipper built himself 6 years ago, is in need of a new coat of varnish on her gunwale (upper edge of the boat's side)

An afternoon was spent in the garden scraping off the loose cracked coat and sanding and preparing for the varnish.
She is now indoors drying with several layers of varnish being applied over this week and will very soon be ready to rig up and get down to the water.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Hand Felted Bowl

A Spring Time Hand Felted Bowl

At the IW Spinners,Weavers & Dyers Guild I attended a workshop held by Gillian Chapman
(to find out more about her work pop over to her blog at )

Usually I hand knit and then hand felt my work so this was a really enjoyable learning process as it is a totally different method of felting and although my finished bowl is a little wonky I'm pretty pleased all the same for a first effort!

I made the bowl with merino tops of cheerful spring time colours and for the design I twisted and curled a wool yarn around the 3d shape to represent a growing stem and used little tufts of pink merino to denote flower buds.

The inside of the bowl is made with a lovely Mediterranean blue fibre with pink fibres in the shape of a star.

I had a lovely day making this, it's always good to have a go at something new and now I know the basic technique I look forward to experimenting with different fibres and designs.