a life of fibre

British wool book cover February 20th, 2017

In April I’ll be running a British wool book cover workshop. This example was created using a mixture of Cheviot, Shetland and Wensleydale wools.

I enjoy putting a few stitches into the wool at the prefelt stage. As I reached the pre felt stage I stopped and put in a running stitch where I wanted to site the main tree branches and then wrapped those stitches with a mixture of threads in brown, grey, black and amber after which I continued the felting process.

After felting the leaves were inserted on the tree with a mixture of coloured threads in french knots and simple bird silhouettes added to the sky for additional interest.

It’s edged with blanket stitch in brown and white embroidery threads. The same technique can be used for pictures as well as book covers. To come along and create your own unique piece of wool see further details and booking here.

Shetland wool handbag February 9th, 2017

Next month, on Wednesday 22nd March, I’m running a British Wool Handbag workshop and this is one of the examples I’ll be taking along to inspire people.

I’ve used 4 natural shades of Shetland: white, light grey, moorit and dark brown. Inside the bag is white and there’s one interior pocket.

The handle has the same 4 shades of wool and is attached by means of decorative french knots and finished in a curl.

For a closure I needle felted and then wet felted a ball from the light grey and white Shetland.

This particular style of bag is one of my favourites and if you’d like to book a place on the workshop you can find more details here.

Knitted scarf February 8th, 2017

Fortunatley for me I started this scarf in the summer.The pattern was simple and I memorised it but that didn’t seem to stop me from making mistakes which I only seemed to spot after I’d knitted another 9 rows!

It was so frustrating! With all the mistakes and lots of frogging back, added to which is the fact that this is a finer wool than I’d normally work with it took me flippin ages. I wasn’t working on it every day but even so…  I was very happy to finish it.

The wool used is Araucania Yarns, Botany Lace and I got both the yarn and the pattern from The Skep Knitting and Quilting Shop. One of the tings I like most about it is that although it’s a single colour it’s not a flat dyed single shade, there is variation. It has a lovely weight and drape to it and has been given away as a birthday present. There was wool left from the two skeins I had and I’ve made matching mittens and hat which I gave away before taking photos!  I love seeing it finished but I’m in no rush to work that finely again, where did I put that aran?

Nuno felt tree scarf February 3rd, 2017

I showed you this when I began work on it and here I can show you it finished.

For the background I used a hand dyed silk chiffon scarf in pale shades of green and lilac. I seem to have lost some of the green during the felting process although, when you see the scarf iin real life, you can still see hints of it here and there.

Loving the way this turned out and feeling inspired to make more tree scarves.

My next nuno scarf workshop is on Wednesday 14th June, bookings can be made direct here.

 

Wool vessel workshop February 1st, 2017

I’m running a British wool pot workshop on Thursday 2nd March at Clifton Village Hall, Otley. We’ll make two small pots during the course of the day, one moulded around a bottle or jam jar and one moulded free form. We’ll be using the seamless resist method which is a standard method for most 3D work.

There’ll be a number of British wools to choose from including; Shetland, Blue Faced Leicester, Cheviot, Jacob, Manx Loaghtan, Whitefaced Woodland, Swaledale, Herdwick and Wensleydale. It’s an abosrbing and fun workshop, you’ll love it.

The cost is £50 per day, which runs from 10am – 4pm, and includes all fibres and equipment. All you’ll need to bring is an old towel and a packed lunch. Bookings can be made direct here or to pay by cheque please call me on 07745 160090

Winter landscapes January 20th, 2017

I’ve had a fast and furious hour this morning where I’ve taught felt picture making at Moorfield School in Ilkley, our theme was winter landscapes.

Didn’t they do well? (How very Brucie of me!) So much fun but an hour goes by in a flash. As I entered the school I spotted the felt tree of life, which I created last year with the upper sixth, framed and hung in pride of place in the dining hall over the fireplace.

I only had a moment for the photo and sadly couldn’t find an angle where a light wasn’t reflected in the glass. Made me feel quite proud to see it displayed so prominently.

 

2017 Workshops January 19th, 2017

You may already have noticed I have listed some workshops for this year. As I said in my last newsletter, with working at wool shows and trying to find the time to visit our daughter at university, free weekends have become a scarcity. With this in mind all workshops this year will be mid week. My sincere apologies to those for whom this is a convenience but I really feel my sanity demands it!

This spring I wanted to focus on mainly British wool in the workshops, there’s so much more than Merino out there and British wool is the best, so come along and explore it with me.

British wool pots on Thursday 2nd March at Clifton Village Hall, Otley. We’ll make two small pots so an opportunity to try a couple of different wools, experience the texture, how the wool behaves. Cost is £50 including all materials.

British wool bags on Wednesday 22nd March at Clifton Village Hall, Otley. We’ll be keeping it simple for those new to feltmaking but for the more experienced we’ll be including interior and exterior pockets. The right wool is so much more hard wearing than the softer Merino. Cost is £50 including materials

Needle felted elephant on Monday 3rd April which’ll be held at Adelaide Walker in Addingham. In this workshop we’ll be using carded Bergschaf wool which comes in 5 natural shades or choose from the luscious dyed colours. Cost is £25 including materials.

British wool book cover on Thursday 27th April at Clifton Village Hall, Otley. Combining felt and stitch, no knowledge of embroidery is required a simple running stitch can be all it takes and it creates a lovely texture on the cover which can be reused for years.

British wool nuno scarf and flower on Wednesday 14th June at Clifton Village Hall, Otley. Combining wool and silk chiffon through the felting process to create a luxurious, yet lightweight, wool and silk scarf, perfect for the warmer weather.

All workshops can be booked direct or to pay by cheque please contact me.

 

On my table January 18th, 2017

It seems ages since I last made felt and I’ve really been enjoying working on this scarf.

The base is silk chiffon which I’d dyed a mixture of purple and green. I’ll give an update as soon as I finish. 🙂

First weaving January 17th, 2017

We’d been fancying trying our hand at weaving for some time. Knitting and crochet aren’t for Simon but he was quite interested in weaving and I was wanting to weave up some of my handpsun yarn.

This is Simon’s first scarf, keeping the edges straight is the hardest part but I think this is a great first attempt from Simon.

The grey and white is lovely. My turn on the loom next I hope.

Keeping busy January 5th, 2017

Our daughter loves to be kept busy and I thought I’d share with you a few of the items she’s recently finished.

We didn’t have a kit to hand so I quickly designed this for her on a scrap of aida, it was completed with cottons from my stash. Very peaceful colours.

This was from a kit supplied by her Gran. Vibrant colours but as it’s not to her taste it’ll be going to the charity shop to find another home.

I chose the colours for this blanket last winter and it sits very well with the other crocheted items in our living room. Charlotte made a special effort to complete this before her return to university and we’re glad she did as it’s so snuggly.