Friday, 13 November 2009

Today I have been working on producing a Fleece log booklet for spinners. I hope to sell this little A5 size booklet and all the proceeds from the sales will go to raise money for the CONI and CONI plus programmes, to buy monitoring equipment for babies at risk of sudden infant death. CONI stands for Care Of the Next Infant. CONI is funded by the Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths with the hospital and community health service. They are helping my daughter and providing her with special equipment to monitor her new baby when it arrives. Which could be any day now! She has gone past her due date of 12th November and we are all waiting and wondering if today will be the day we welcome a special new life into the world.

Monday, 9 November 2009

SMALL WEAVING PROJECT..... I wanted a small project to do that I could carry around with me. Something to do while sat in hospital waiting rooms for hours on end or in the
airport lounge etc. So I cut myself a cardboard shape with notches to weave a little bag. For this you will need some strong cardboard, a sharp craft knife and 2 D-rings. Make 51 notches evenly round the curved end of the card to hold the warp threads. At the other end of the card (see picture 2) make 2 or 4 holes through the cardboard to hold the D-rings in place. Sew the two D-rings into place through these holes, one on one side and one on the other side. Don't sew in place too tight or you wont get your needle through the D-ring when your warping.
Now you can start to warp up, tie your yarn to the D-ring go over the first notch, turn card over and take it through the D-ring on the other side. Go back over the second notch, turn the card over and take the yarn through the D-ring. Continue like this until you have warped up on all the notches, secure the yarn to the D-ring.
Now you are ready to weave. Work on one side right up to the notches then turn the card over and work in the same way on the other side, right up to the notches. Cut the sewing thread that holds the D-rings and ease the work off the card. Fill in the gape at the turn on the notch edge keeping weave pattern to complete. Make a handle to go through the D-rings and there you have it, a nice little bag that can hold your yarn and hang on your wrist while you are doing your knitting or crochet.
Now, I've not got round to finishing my handle for this little bag yet, it's still on my braid maker. I will post a picture when it's finished. In the mean time I have already warped the card up to make another little bag.

A NEW CAMERA... Back in June my husband Paul gave me a new camera for my birthday. How lucky was I to get a digital SLR Lumix G1 from him...xxxxx big kisses and big thank you to my man!
So I have been playing around with it and taking lots and lots and lots of pics. Then my friend Hazel told me about a photography workshop she had been on at Calke Abbey in Derbyshire run by Jean Napier and how good it was. So, I looked her up on the Internet and booked on her 'Intro to Close-up & macro photography' workshop. I spent a very informative day getting to know my camera and taking some great close-up shots. Jean runs some very good workshops in Derbyshire and Wales, check out her website on
The rather odd shot of the centre of a gala melon looks a bit grisly in close-up I think. The shots of the Melon, glass beads and flower were achieved using a x4 close-up lens that I borrowed from a lady on the workshop. So after attending the macro course I went straight out and bought myself a set of close-up lenses and had great fun taking shots of (what my husband thinks is rubbish) all sorts of things in close-up! Like this one....of him indoors...his eye, showing the distinctive cholesterol rings around the outside of the brown iris.

A DYEING DAY IN JUNE.... Back in June this year I set to dyeing and spinning the Cotswold fleece I had from Cath at the Derbyshire Guild. It was a lovely sunny day just right for getting the fleece dry outdoors. My colour choice was mainly down to what dyes I had left in my stash and I was feeling in a pink/blue mood. I know I should be thinking it through a bit more rather than just using colours that take my fancy. But that's how I have been since Reece died, in fact I have not worked through or thought out any of my projects this year. I have just let them develop. Anyway back to the fleece, the colours that took my fancy turned out ok and I spun up 700 grams of yarn from it. The hanks of yarn hung in the conservatory for months, mainly because I just liked looking at them. Then I found this Elizabeth Zimmerman pattern from the 50's for a waistcoat on the Internet for $1.00 plus p&p. That worked out at about £4.75 UK money. While visiting my friend Maureen, and showing her the yarn and pattern she offered to knit it up for me....what a great offer, yes please I said. Maureen is a great knitter and quick, not like me, I am so slow. So now I have this lovely waistcoat just in time for the cold weather that has now arrived with November! I just want to say thank you Maureen for making the waistcoat for me I love it.

Friday, 6 November 2009

3D FELTING.....I just love felting fibres and we had an excellent felting workshop at the Derbyshire guild back in April run by Penny Marsden.
It was called 3D Felting - 'Lets make a Mitten or Two' and that's just what we all did. I made a lovely pair of mittens for myself that have come in very useful now the weather is getting colder. In the photograph you can see some of the guild members showing off their mittens. I have, since then, made a second pair for myself and my 6 year old grandaught has started making a pair for herself too.

NATURAL DYEING DAY.... Way back in March this year we had a Vegetarian Platter of Dyeing workshop run by Mary Hawkins, one of the Derbyshire Guild members. We used red and brown onion skins, Beetroot and Red Cabbage to make these lovely colours. I am sad to say, to date, my lovely coloured yarns you see here have now faded some what. This is because the yarn I used was not mordanted. At the time I thought I was using mordanted yarn, but then when I got home from the workshop I found I had taken the wrong bag of yarn with me. Oh well, better luck next time.

SPINNING FOR COMFORT... It's been very hard to be creative this year. Grief robs you of any creativity you have in you. But I have found solace in my spinning. It's kept my hands busy and my feet from being fidgety. It calms me in times of stress and anxiety. I have spun up so much yarn since Reece died that I could stock my own wool shop. Being a member of the weavers, spinners and dyers guild has kept me in touch with like minded people and I have made the effort to take part in their projects and workshops.
I had a yarn dyeing day last week with a view to taking part in the Associations Exhibition next March 2010 titled 'Kaleidoscope'. I was pleased with the results and could not wait to spin the dyed fibres to see how they would look. I don't know what the end product will be yet but I'm sure the yarn will inspire me to come up with something. Kaleidoscope just said colour to me so that was my starting point, I will post any ideas that come to mind.
The fibres I used are Shetland tops and the dyes are 'Gaywool' acid dyes that I got from the Threshing Barn near Leek in Derbyshire.
The colours used here are
1. 'Honeycomb' this is dark Yellow,
2.'Tomato' a bright orange red, 3.'Raspberry' a dark pink,

4.'Azalea' a bright pink,
5.'Myrtle' a purple/blue and 6.'Cornflower' blue.
Some interesting greens and oranges came from were the colours mixed together in the dye pan.
You can see how the colours are blending as I spin the fibres. I will navajo ply the yarn to keep the colour sequence. I am now on the trail for inspiration for an end product.....what will it be?