a life of fibre

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.

 

Portrait 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.

Eco dyeing – free guide December 31st, 2016

A great opportunity for a free resource

 

An old textile 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 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 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.

 

In progress December 23rd, 2016

I’ve had this on the go for about 4 weeks but so far have had very little time to spend on it.

The paler green in the shot is mulberry silk which will be on the inside of the skirt and is followed by a fine layer of forest green Merino.

Then came an ultra fine layer of carded greens with dyed mulberry silk noil and some hand dyed Teeswater locks on the bottom.

The laying out took a whole day and then I felted it to the pre-felt stage

The original intention was to have a wrap around skirt but as it goes along I’m not sure about that, we’ll just have to see. I’m hoping to have more time to spend on it over the Christmas break.