Scarves galore

Occasionally I run felt making workshops for Sedbergh Community Development Council up in Kirby Lonsdale. The pictures below are from the lattice scarf workshop I think they all look lovely and wearable.


I also ran a felt for Christmas workshop but for some strange reason didn’t get any decent photos. However I was very pleased to receive the following feedback

Kathrine said “Just a quick message to say thank you so much for such an enjoyable and inspiring day. I have really wanted to do felting for ages and your workshop today has wetted my appetite for doing it even more, I just loved working with the wools and threads, you really gave us a wonderful day, thank you so much!”

Kirsty said “Thanks for a great workshop today. Everyone at home was impressed with what I had produced!”

How very kind of people to let me know they’ve enjoyed the workshops. 🙂

What a brilliant day

I spent yesterday teaching a lovely group of people to make nuno felt scarves and we had a brilliant day together.We began by dyeing the silk chiffon for the scarves, which challenged us as we dragged colour mixing from our memories and set about the task.

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After dyeing we set about sampling the nuno technique using cotton muslin and a synthetic material, You can see some examples above. We had two synthetic fabrics, one of which felted very well, the second wasn’t very successful. Lunch gave us the opportunity to reflect on the samples and decide on a design for the finished scarf. As you can see below, the results were stunning.

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It constantly amazes me that we begin with the same resources but produce such very different and unique results. I really do think that this was a particularly successful workshop and the people involved were very creative. If only I got to keep what they created. I think they had as much fun as I did and I also have to thank them for leaving me some cake.

Didn’t they do well

I thought I’d share a few photos with you from the bag workshop on 17th October. Unfortunately I didn’t get a picture of all of them but here are four for your interest.

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In order of appearnace the bags were made by – Jennifer, Sam, Lauren and Mel. Sam hadn’t made felt before so I think she did very well. It’s always so good to see how different the designs turn out. Mel’s bag was inspired by a stripey felt hat she’d seen in a book.Lauren and Sam had a go at working with pre-felts. It was an interesting day and as usual I wanted the bags for myself.


I’ve run a couple of workshops lately and been pleasantly, in fact, very pleasantly surprised to receive the following feedback:

“Just a note to thank you for introducing me to felt making. I thoroughly enjoyed your workshop & hope to pursue the scarf theme though it may take some time for me to be able to do much in view of what remains to sort out in the house!” Jose (Cobweb scarf workshop)

“Just a note to say thank you for a wonderful course. I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I feel like I’ve opened a little door which I now want to push wide open! I’ve been walking around showing off my two pieces feeling very chuffed with myself. I’m already thinking of other projects I want to do. It was very kind of you to point out that I can be creative as I now feel inspired and more confident in trying some more ideas.” Mel (Texture workshop)

That was so nice of you to say so – thanks!

Bags of bags

It was a lovely group of people last week and some fabulous bags as I’m sure you’ll agree.

One of the people who attended was Christine who was kind enough to say “Thanks. I meant to say how much I enjoyed the workshop on Thursday. I never knew felt could be so exciting.” That made my day 🙂

More about rugs

It’s traditional to toast the felt rug before the final unveiling. We had a go at the workshop at penning our own with each person contributing one line.

May it welcome many friends both two and four legged,
We hope the love in its making is somehow reflected,
And joy in the heart in the friendship and humour it gave us all in its making
May our muscles recover and our laughter continue
In celebration of new skills discovered in our pairs,
As it sits in our houses collecting memories all year through

Below is the front and back of the rug by Julie Blyth, brilliant when you consider what a novice Julie is.


We also discovered that we had a poet amongst us as Alison Brindley came up with her own uniue toast.

Ode To The Felt
 Our patterns we laid on the front and the back
We used all the wool – in fact a whole sack!
We rubbed it and bashed it and threw it around
We rolled it and thrashed it down there on the ground
We took it outside and got lots of strange glances
As we pranced up and down doing weird rhythmic dances
We’ve learnt to distinguish the fleece from the tops
We’ve dried up with towels and wrung out the mops
We’ve waded through water and formed a small lake
But had lots of laughs and some rather nice cake
We’ve all done so well and are feeling quite smug
As we each head back home to show off our new rug
So let’s raise our glasses and let’s make a toast
To Angela Barrow our wonderful host!

I know I enjoyed the workshop and most have been kind enough to let me know they did too so it looks like I’ll have to repeat it next year. Jeni said “I had a really enjoyable two days so thanks for your company and support.”

Remarkable Rugs

This weekend is the first time I’ve taught a rug making workshop where there have been four rugs on the go at a time. I like to mix up approaches from different countries. It’s a good way for people to experience a range of rug making techniques but it also allows the body to have a breather as we change from one method to the other. At the end of the workshop you have a good idea of techniques available to you but also which ones you like, which can be done alone and which are communal activities.

We’ve used: rubbing, rolling with hands, forearms, legs and ropes, walking on it, bashing with stones, a mallet and a home made tamping tool. This last, thanks to my husband Simon.

Wooden tamping tool
Wooden tamping tool

It’s made from an old gardening tool handle and a piece of tanalised timber and was well received by most. Ali used it whilst walking on her rug and only hit her foot twice. Result!

We’ve had a really good weekend and there’s been some stunning work produced, which is all the more remarkable when you consider how little experience some people had. I hope to show some more photos soon but here’s a few to be going on with.

rug by Gill Manthorp
rug by Gill Manthorp

rug by Liz Stanley
rug by Liz Stanley

rug by Alison Brindley
rug by Alison Brindley

rug by Yvonne Le Mare
rug by Yvonne Le Mare

Alison was also kind enough to say “thank you for a super workshop.I had such a great time, as I think everyone did, and am so pleased with my rug!” Thanks Alison.