a life of fibre

Inspired by ….. January 18th, 2016

I really love making the pleated bags, high relief 3D work is quite abosrbing. Hopefully you’ll be able to see that I was inspred by the art deco roses of Charles Rennie Mackintosh.


The interior is in Rose pink and the exterior is a carded combination of Rose, Fuchsia, Bright Pink, Coral and Pale Pink (all from Adelaide Walker).


I wanted the centre to really sing so  I used a hand dyed silk hankie for empahsis and am still musing about adding beads to the centre, maybe a few green ones?


I wanted the handle to be quite simple and decided upon a solid green in Light Grass which was hand stitched on afterwards.


I have more ideas waiting for a chance to be worked on and will be bringing them all along as samples for the pleated bag workshop on Saturday 12th March.

Crackers January 17th, 2016

That’s me, crackers about crackers. I’m often to be found with crackers and a dip, just love the texture and flavour of them. Peter’s Yard sourdough crackers are so delicious that I wanted to have a go at something different myself and came across this recipe for cumin flavoured crispbread.


I made only half the amount and it made over 60 small crackers so I’m glad I didn’t do more. I tried one of the first batch as it came out and it was still a bit doughy so I put it back in for a couple more minutes.


Some of them are a little over baked and even though I thought I’d rolled them quite thin they definitely need to be thinner. Time to find another recipe to have a go with.

Turquoise wrap January 14th, 2016

One of the samples that I made for the nuno wrap workshop last month. I always seem to be behind in blogging about them but I will make sure that you see them eventually. The turquoise devore behaved slightly differently to the other colours and lost dye during the felt making but nothing too drastic.


A flamboyant wrap needs a flamboyant corsage too.


Using devore gives a great texture to the wrap and makes it super warm too for the colder weather.



The coloured frill is so nice and really sets it off well if you use the reverse of the wrap. I always like them to be double sided and this side has dyed bamboo.


I’m very pleased with how it turned out, it’s so pretty and turqouise is one of my favourite colours.


Something simple January 12th, 2016

It’s a long time since I made such a plain simple piece of felt. My wool of choice was Icelandic as it felts very well and gives a lovely hardwearing felt.


It really is plain isn’t it?  I have a pair of beloved wool slippers that have stretched and are now a little sloppy on me. They’re expensive to buy and as there’s lots of wear left in them I didn’t want to go the expense of a new pair.


A pair of Icelandic wool inserts is my answer. The piece of felt I made is large enough to provide a second pair of inserts so I’ve put that away somewhere safe (will I ever find it again?) for future use.


Not only are my slippers less sloppy, they’re super cosy too!


Oh my! January 11th, 2016

You may remember that I was lucky enough to win the giveaway by The Skep Knitting and Quilting Shop last year and I duly toddled along to see what goodies I could find. There was a pair of wrist warmers on display in a lovely deep purple Debbie Bliss wool and I was smitten. The wool came with a free pattern called wandering cables so I was all set to go.

It’s a really easy pattern and as I decided to have them shorter it wasn’t very long before they were finished. With excitement I stitched them together with my newly learnt mattress stitch which gives an excellent join. I put them on and then oh no, realised that as I’d given the top and bottom of the wrist warmers different size ribs I’d actually sewed one up wrong.


It was no good I couldn’t live with it, I got out my scissors and snipped at the join, oh drat, I cut through one of the stitches not just the seam and it began to unravel. My rescue skills aren’t great so I went for completely unpicking it and starting again.

This left me somewhat disheartened and the project languished. In the spirit of finishing things I eventually picked it up again and soon had a brand new wrist warmer. I checked and double checked where to put my thumb hole and was pleased as punch when it was done.


I tried them on, bugger! I’d forgotten that I’d done the first set on 5mm needles and so had done the second one on 6mm – it’s too sloppy – wail!!!!  Perhaps I can live with it I tell myself, but you know what I don’t think I can :-(

New Year January 2nd, 2016

It’s traditional at this time of year to review the past year and to ponder on the one ahead. We’re encouraged to make resolutions and to start afresh. As a child and young adult I always did this and was then disappointed when I inevitabley failed to achieve the long list I’d set myself. Then one year I decided my resolution was to never make another new year’s resolution and I love the sense of achievement that this gives me each year!

this little chap has just spent his 58th Christmas hanging on a tree!

this little chap has just spent his 58th Christmas hanging on a tree!

Instead, what I tend to do is when a lull comes along in my busy life I use it to do a very quick review. Kind of look at my path and readjust my heading a little rather than trying to do it all in one go. I enjoy these little interludes, they often only last a few minutes, perhaps ten or fifteen, as I laze in bed a little longer than usual, but I find them regenerating rather than burdensome. Attainable rather than difficult, that’s what works for me.


a goodly number for this one too

We did a lot of shows, as part of Adelaide Walker, last year and decided in November that there were 3 we wouldn’t bother with in 2016. It might not sound much but it’ll be 3 more weekends to spend with our Daughter before she flies the nest. As she heads towards 19 I’m not sure how much she’s looking forward to the extra time together :-)


a present from my Daughter

A little bit of ……. December 30th, 2015

A little bit of upcycling and upholstery. My Daughter bought these drawers for her bedroom, they looked a little sad and the worse for wear until she painted them up, changed the handles and finished the drawer fronts with a range of wallpapers.


We discussed topping it off with a seat to make a comfy reading corner in her bedroom. The foam has been waiting a long time to be used but yesterday was the day.


It’s not perfect but I’m quite pleased with how it turned out and it’s very comfy to sit on as it has a 2″ thick foam pad in there! The greatest satisfaction is being able to remove it from the to do list :-)

Twiddle mitts December 28th, 2015

Also, sometimes called twiddle muffs. I don’t know where the idea originated but they’re in use around the country by the NHS and nursing homes. People with alzheimers often have restless hands and like things to twiddle with. The muffs are knitted / crocheted cylinders with lots of interesting textures and bits to twiddle with.


Very easy to knit or crochet. Working with either a chunky yarn or two double knit yarns together cast on 40 stitches and knit/crochet until your work is 24 inches long.


You can see in the picture above that I crocheted this one and included some popcorn stitches and some holes for exploring fingers. Where I changed colour I’ve left the ends as a short fringe and I’ve included some dangling felt balls.


Buttons of different sizes and textures plus ribbon.


Crocheted flowers and felt leaves.


Plastic loops, wooden beads and even a bit of surface embroidery. Once these are on you can pull one end of the cylinder inside and then stitch the ends closed. You’ll have a 12″ long muff with bits and bobs on both inside and outside. Of course it’s reversible and I made sure everything I put on is washable too.

Lots of visual interest, lots of textural interest and it keeps hands warm! In fact, I’m sure I know a few folks without alzheimers who’d enjoy having warm hands. My first two mitts have gone to relatives of family and friends who suffer from this cruel disease, future ones will be gifted to my local hospital but I think I may offer them to a local nuring home too.

Whay not have a go, there is loads of inspiration on the internet and it’s great for stash busting. A quick look at images on Bing has already got me planning more.

Made with love December 26th, 2015

I saw this scarf made up in The Skep Knitting and Quilting Shop and was smitten. It’s a very simple but effective pattern (Chevron pattern) which is enhanced by the beautiful self striping yarn. It was brought home as part of the giveaway that I won (thanks Clare) and I then had to ponder on what I could do with it. Unfortunately I can’t wear wool next to my skin, especially round my neck, but I have plenty of friends who can wear it.


It’s rather beautiful and very soft and was gifted to my friend Sue for Christmas :-)

Beanie December 24th, 2015

If you recall, I won a giveaway from The Skep Knitting and Quilting shop and part of the stash I chose was some lovely russet coloured chunky wool. It was the colour I fell in love with and I put it to good use making a beanie for my daughter Charlotte.


Not the absoliute best photo but the only one in which she wasn’t gurning! It was simple to do and she must obviously like it as it’s been worn most days since it was finished. Never does she leave the house without one of her beloved beanies.

As there was some wool left I thought I’d have a go at making a hat for a baby. No pattern. I love the shape of it and it’s worked out well but it was hijacked by my daughter who thought it would look good on Tatty.


I don’t think Tatty agrees!