Goodbye 2016 …


I’ve enjoyed 2016, there’s been so much to be thankful for. I’ve been delving deeper into the floor loom weaving world as well as spinning and dyeing my own yarns. Above you can see I’ve been using some tapestry bobbins for weaving (they also fit perfectly into my new electric bobbin winder). They are handmade from rosewood such a beautiful object. I personally love the look of tapestry weaving and have tried it myself but I’m finding myself always drawn back to my traditional weave.


Above is my latest Rosepath cloth that will be cut up and turned into little bags or pouches. Into it I have woven Alpaca, wool and linen. Today I’m hoping to cut it off the loom as well as starting to tie on a new warp for some finer spring/summer scarves.


Here is the current warp, I was very happy with the colour combinations.

I’m hoping to travel some more this year even if it’s just around the UK. So excited for what 2017 will bring us.

🎉 Happy new year everyone 🍾

Knit1, Frog1 …


It’s a shame but also a necessity of knitting that some projects just aren’t going to work or could work out easier crafted differently. I had tried to knit this fair isle mitten one side at a time, however I was already quite certain I wouldn’t be successful in completing 4 of the same. So alas it is a goodbye to this project and onto the new Addi DPN 3mm needles I have just received to re-cast on my hand dyed 4ply. I will be sharing progress soon…

Why choose hand dyed yarn?


Why choose to buy a hand dyed yarn? Well apart from supporting small independent start ups the colours available commercially can be quite bright and too uniform. I dont always find the colours available at the hobby store are easy on the eye, natural tones are not easy to find. However a hand dyed yarn usually takes on a very pleasant natural look, I knit and weave with it myself and find the small changes in shade throughout the hank of yarn creates a more natural looking colour that is less ‘machine made’ and if I’m spending some time on a fair isle style project I don’t want it to look machine made or overly saturated in colour. The slight variations in the colour can help to retain the home made, authentic look of the Fair Isle style knit or stranded knit as it is also known. I also like to mix my dyes so hopefully I can create a colour that isn’t available elsewhere. My latest batch of colours will be available soon after they’ve finished drying mainly 4ply for the stranded knitter and weaver.

Oh Brother …

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My recent trip to West Yorkshire was a mission to collect a Brother KH230 knitting machine. This particular machine knits from dk up to a chunky weight yarn. Here I have a 8wpi dk Patchoulipeople hand dyed superwash merino yarn and I calculated I would need to cast on 60 sts, which seems like quite a lot when you look at the length of the bed but after doing a swatch test that’s how it worked out as the knitting shrinks together as you remove it from the bed. I decided I wanted a contrast colour band to manually rib (to match a pompom). There are a few different ways to make a hat on a knitting machine, YouTube is a great resource and try searching ‘charity machine knit hat’. I’m wanting to do a few charity hats myself but I want to work out the best method first. I like to cast on using the crochet method as it doesn’t ping back off if you loose tension. I also found that thelittle weights must be placed right at the ends, even a little over the last stitch, to prevent the last stitches from pinging off whilst knitting the first few rows. The cartridge was tougher to move than I had imagined as I was afraid of damaging the fragile little needles I took it quite slowly especially for the first few rows. As I spin some of my own yarns I’m hoping that I can use them on this machine with it being a chunky version. My first project for myself will be a new cardigan that I’ve been promising for about a year now but it will knit up faster now on the machine. For the hat I decided to finish it inside out. I just preferred the texture and overall appearance of it.

Trouser Town


we were very lucky this week to find ourselves passing through Hebden Bridge, also known as trouser town due to its history of mills and textile industry including specialising in corduroy. We stopped for a couple of hours to sample some of the street food in the market (lentil dhal with rice followed by a vegan lemon slice), we weren’t disappointed! And also to enjoy some Christmas charm of this small but thriving town. I was particularly interested in some of the locally hand made goods, Hebden Bridge is well known for its creative population and studios ranging from textiles to printmaking.There is a very special shop ran by two nice gentlemen who had a chat with us about hand woven rugs. The Afghan Rugshop is a space filled with colour and pattern. I carefully stepped around the rugs on the shop floor as I know exactly how much work goes into making a hand tufted rug.

I was amazed at the work, colour and finish in the rugs and the stories behind them, some quite sad events leading to the making of ‘jail rugs’, but true masters of their detailed craft. Yarns would be spun and dyed using natural dyes. A rug would be woven by a family or close group who take shifts over a period of months to complete one such rug. Once a rug is finished it is laid down upon the road and ran over by large vehicles to soften the look and feel of the weave.

Other shops in the area are predominantly independently owned, offering a large selection of artist prints, ceramics, books, homewares including a woven chair!

I personally fell in love with the above print by a Racheal Bell you can find her work here: http://www.rachreddesigns.co.uk/

This town is wonderful, I would wholeheartedly recommend a visit.

Lincoln Christmas Market

 

 

 

 


I had heard about the Lincoln Christmas market a couple of years ago but have never made the journey. From our home it took a little over an hour, I was very excited. The market is one of the largest in the U.K. and is well organised with a park and ride offering plenty of Christmas bus rides into the town centre. I was overwhelmed by the amount of visitors, it was lovely to see such a thriving market. I always find myself quite keen on the street food stalls and as a vegetarian I was so glad to see a falafel/haloumi wrap stall amongst all the German Brockwurst sausage sellers, and it was so tasty! A little later we treated ourselves to a Belgium waffle with cherries & cream, it would have been rude not to. There were many stalls offering seasonal hot spiced wine which I didn’t try as I was driving but the smell of them around the market was divine. My favourite gift stall had to be the Star light Christmas Star stall, I bought one for our home and one as a gift for my sister, it took me a long time to decide which Star to bring home but fortunately it took only a few minutes to put up.

A Quiet Wander

I was very lucky to be outdoors on Tuesday, the clear sky and low early winter sun was a real treat in the Grenoside woods. I walked with my companions along the pony trail where there was still frost where the sun had not reached. A crisp ground still full of leaves, though they were losing there vigorous orange tones, it seemed like we could be miles from anywhere though the city was just over the hill. That is the beauty of living here in Sheffield, we are surrounded by green land, forests, parks and reservoirs.