a life of fibre

Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Knitted scarf

Wednesday, 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?

First weaving

Tuesday, 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

Thursday, 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.



Tuesday, January 3rd, 2017

My friend Kate Sutcliffe is a very talented artist and has recently  been busying herself with paintings on reclaimed slate. Instantly I thought what a good present it would make for my daughter to take back to university, a portrait of her cat Pan.

He gave it a thorough perusal.

And then his approval. Charlotte was over the moon with it, “it’s so cool, it’s an ace present”.

It’s a good likeness don’t you think? Kate is happy to undertake commissions but also paints subjects of her own choosing. I know she’s working on an online shop and I’ll be sure to let you know once it’s open.

An old textile

Friday, December 30th, 2016

It’s impossible to say when exactly I bought this batik but it is at least 24 years old. I bought it  stretched over a frame and it’s moved around various houses with me ending up on our stair wall. When we decorated in the summer we took it down and thgouth we’d have to dispose of it so badly faded as it was.

It had been so vibrant and yet some sections were just so faint. I did consider cutting it down and preserving at least a small portion and began to remove it from the frame. It was more fragile than expected, edges ripped easily and in a few places it had ripped along the edge of the frame but the best surprise was that when I turned it over the reverse looked as fresh as the day I bought it 🙂 🙂

It’s back on the frame and hanging in pride of place on our dining room wall. I repaired the rips and you can’t see any damage but whilst writing this post I’ve wondered why I didn’t put it on a carrier cloth to preserve it longer?  It’s too late now, a second reframing would definitely create more damage and I couldn’t bear that.

Christmas wrapping

Tuesday, December 27th, 2016

If I have the time I like to make presents look really nice and this year decided I’d print up some paper to use on family presents. Charlotte loves black and white photos so I took monochrome as my theme.

I love printing onto brown paper and I did a whole roll! Some sections are white, some black, some black and white and some grey. Most of the stamps used came free with magazines donkeys years ago and the paint was leftover from previous art projects. The acrylic white was so ‘left over’ that I had to thin it and remove the lumps before I could use it!

We also have a tadition of being a bit silly with the presents, joke presents, ones you can’t open and this year the largest tag I could find on the smallest present I had to wrap.

What have you been up to?


Paper stars

Saturday, December 24th, 2016

If, like me, you’ve been keeping up with a shed load of Christmassy things to make from Hawthorn then you may have seen the delightful origami stars.  I just knew it would be one for me and our daughter Charlotte to do together so I saved the activity pending her return from uni.

We began by making a few in 3 different sizes but then Charlotte got carried away and didn’t stop until all the old sheets of music were used up. As you can see, we are now over supplied with stars !

That’s not all the stars you know, there were even more that didn’t make it into the photo.

I bought this garland very cheaply at least ten years ago, each year it comes out and I dress it differently. The paper stars and white lights are just perfect.

There were plenty left over so some made it onto the tree.

Still more made it onto this jug full of twigs in the hall. Last used for an easter tree I just sprayed it with snow (can be brushed off later if required) and hung the stars on along with a few silver mini baubles. I love the hall this year.

Yet more have been stuck onto the hall mirrors which I know I took photos of but can’t find them anywhere :-(. You’d think that would have exhausted them but it hasn’t, the remainder have been put away for next year and I’ll send them to Charlotte’s student digs and they can be used there, they’re much too nice to waste.


Haworth Steampunk Weekend

Friday, December 2nd, 2016

The other weekend we toddled over to Haworth Steampunk Weekend, it was a late decision as I came across it on the internet only the day before. Haworth is near and we visit regularly because it’s such a nice place to go. Steampunk style is one of those things where you know it when you see it and I really fancied seeing lots of it.

We weren’t disappointed, people put so much effort into their outfits!



Isn’t the steampunk campervan a delight ?



It’s kind of a cross where Victoriana meets fantasy, meets engineering, meets explorer all kind of mixed together and goggles are de rigeur my dear. Above all, it’s fun and that’s rather appealing.



Not a great photo below as the gent was moving at speed away from me but I wanted you to see what is on his back – a converted tennis racket – ingenious!


These ladies are part of the Four Hundres Roses dance troupe. I thought they looked fantastic.






Notice the man on the right below – he’s half armoured!



I’m not one for fancy dress but some of this quite appealed to me. The huge dress I could do without but explorer style, now you’re talking.

Harrogate K&S

Tuesday, November 29th, 2016

I was at Harrogate at the weekend working as part of Adelaide Walker selling tops for felt making, spinning and arm knitting. Arm or extreme knitting is a recent thing and it’s very popular and seemed to appeal to the men too as I taught two of them to knit on Sunday.

The real joy of the show though is the exhibits and the guild demonstrations. Some of the exhibitors ask you not to take photographs but here are a few choice ones that I was allowed to take.


Interlace – cloth and concrete bowls which were absolutely delightful and looked amazing en masse.



The two works above are by Jan Beaney and are featured in the book Embellish and Enrich. Loved the texture!


Sluice Creek Cloth:  Sea Roar by Debbie Lyddon. The flow and calmness of the piece appealed to me.


I love circles but the colours also appealed to me, this is Trapped by Sarah Welsby. Below is the photo which inspired a piece by the Embroiderers Guild. I just love these kinds of textiles where each person takes a segment and interprets in their own way then it’s put back together as a whole.


The finished textile below.


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Isn’t it absolutely glorious, so much work and so much yummy texture. Must have a go sometime.

Barbara Takenaga

Friday, November 25th, 2016

Whilst in Totnes earlier in the month I noticed this calendar in a shop window. It was of an artist I didn’t know but the image intrigued me and so I decided to look her up upon my return home.


You must go look her up, you’ll find her website here , her work is stunning. I’m wishing now that the shop had been open as I could have bought the calendar then, now I’ll have to wait for the post. If you fancy the calendar you can find it here.