Wednesday, 12 October 2016

My Spinzilla 2016 Yardage

Spinzilla is over for another year and teams and individuals are busy submitting their yardage. I managed to spin 3,988 yards of some gorgeous hand dyed and natural fibres. It's not as much as last year as at the beginning of the week I picked up a nasty tummy bug, which nearly wiped me out for the entire week! Luckily it started to subside by the end of the week and I managed to get a bit more spinning done.

It was great fun to take part again (despite the tummy bug) and my favourite spot for spinning was the Poldark mines at Botallack, Cornwall. I'm a big Poldark fan so it was fantastic to visit one of the spots where they film, we don't live that far away either!

All the yarns I handspun for Spinzilla 2016
Me spinning at Botallack mines, Cornwall

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

A Monster Week of Spinning - Spinzilla 2016

Once again I am joining hand spinners around the world in a monster week of spinning! Spinzilla 2016 will commence on the 3rd October - 9th October for a friendly competition to see who can spin the most yarn in a week!

I am spinning as a Rogue Spinner as I did last year, where I managed to spin 7,008 yards so this year I am going for double that!

If you are spinning Rogue too I would love to hear from you! If you are a hand spinner and would like to join in the fun sign-up closes on the 30th September just click here for details. There is a $10 sign-up fee and your spinner registration fees are donated to the NeedleArts Mentoring Program to create the spinners of tomorrow!

Below are some of the hand dyed and undyed fibres I will be spinning during my Spinzilla week!

Hand dyed super wash Merino and Nylon

Hand dyed Kent Romney

Wensleydale Locks

Merino Wool, Teeswater, Whiteface Woodland, White Devon

Jacobs, Zwartbles, Herdwick, Swaledale and Bluefaced Leicester

Monday, 19 September 2016

New Weaving Projects

I can't believe we are part way through September already! Since we relocated to Cornwall I have not been out of my flip-flops and I'm still clinging onto summer even though there is a slight chill in the air now. I am currently working on making myself some flip-flop socks so that I can continue to wear them for a few more weeks at least lol. I am writing my own pattern for handspun yarn, so if it works out I will share it on my blog if anyone is interested.

Over the last few weeks I have been busy working away on some new weaving projects. After I finished my last woven scarves in handspun yarn I wanted to work on some two colour plain weave patterns and they have turned out really well. The first scarf below is made in handspun Wensleydale which I spun awhile back. I left one skein it's natural cream colour and hand-dyed the second skein in a lovely purple shade. I'm really happy with the result.

Handspun, Hand-dyed, Handwoven Wensleydale Scarf
The second scarf is handwoven in a commercial yarn, cream and grey 100% British wool. I wanted to try out warping the loom with two colours and trying a houndstooth pattern. I thought it would be a bit fiddly to warp in a two by two colour method but it was quite easy! I'm planning on producing a few scarves in different colour ways for my Etsy shop.

Houndstooth Handwoven Scarf in 100% British Wool
The third is a long fringed wrap I wove in a royal blue and sky blue acrylic yarn. I just wanted again to experiment warping up my larger loom in blocks of colour. I haven't taken a finished picture of the whole wrap yet but the shot on the loom really shows how it was warped. Again I am planning on adding a collection of handwoven wraps to my Etsy shop soon.

Colour Block Handwoven Wrap
If anyone is interested in having a handwoven scarf or wrap made to order in either handspun yarn or commercial yarn, I am available for custom orders. Scarves start at £42 and Wraps £84 email: for further details.

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

New Hand Woven Scarves

I have just listed some lovely new hand woven scarves in my Etsy shop. The scarves have been woven on my small Rigid Heddle loom and use my handspun yarns as the weft and commercial yarns as the warp. Each scarf is ready to ship!

I also accept custom orders and if you would like a scarf made to order in a colour or fibre combination of your choice please email:

Seascape -

Summer Fruits -

Stormy Seas -

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Blocking Granny Squares

I’ve been blocking the granny squares for my Minecraft Creeper blanket so I thought I would share my technique for doing this.

When you create your granny squares there is ultimately going to be some curled up edges or distortion and so if you want them all to be the same size you need to block them into shape.

Blocking means easing the finished crochet into shape by pinning to either a fabric covered board and using an iron to steam the piece, useful for wool, cotton or linen yarns or for acrylic and other synthetic fibres a foam board is used and the piece is sprayed with cold water and left to dry.

The cold water method is what I have used for my granny squares as the yarn is 100% acrylic.

The foam board I have used is shaped like a jigsaw piece and other pieces can be added to create a larger area. I have also used some T-pins which are easier to push in than dress makers pins.

I knew that I wanted my granny squares to be 6 inches square and luckily my foam is already marked out in inches.

I pinned out my first square starting at the corners, then the centres etc. Use as many pins as necessary to get the square even.

I then sprayed the square with cold water and patted it down to help the water penetrate the fibres. 

You want the granny square evenly moist but not soaked!

All you do then is leave it to dry before removing the pins!

Happy blocking!

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Felt Making with Bubblewrap Tutorial

I am reposting my felt making tutorial here as I am closing my other blog to concentrate on this one!
One of the quickest and easiest methods to make felt I have found is using bubblewrap! I never seem to have access to a grass mat or some fine net so I have always made my felt using this technique.

To start I layout a large piece of bubblewrap on a surface close to my sink (just because it’s easier) and then I start to layout my fibres.

First I lay the fibres out in one direction going downwards.

Step 1
Then I lay the fibres out in the opposite direction.

Step 2
I continue adding fibre in different directions for about 5 or 6 layers or for the thickness of felt required.

Step 3
I then have a big sandwich of fibres ready to felt.

Step 4
I then spray the fibre with a mixture of hot water and washing up liquid in a plant spray.

Step 5
After I have fully soaked the fibre I lay a piece of bubblewrap on top and start to rub this all over. The textured surface of the bubblewrap on the bottom and the top starts to felt the fibres together.

Step 6
Once I have done this for awhile, applying more water and soap mixture if required, I remove the top layer of bubblewrap and pinch the fibres to see if they lift off together in one piece. If this happens I then rub the felt with my hands against the bottom piece of bubblewrap to make sure the underneath layers have felted together.

Step 7
I replace the top layer of bubblewrap and roll the whole thing up and then roll it backwards and forwards on the work surface.

Step 8
Once I am sure all the fibres have felted together I rinse the felt under the hot water tap rubbing the felt together to ensure it is fully felted. I then lay the felt out somewhere flat to dry. The resulting felt is really soft and I love the uneven edges and texture as this will make a great background for hand embroidery!

Finished Felt

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Sunny Days and Hand Dyeing

We have had some wonderful warm sunny days over the last week and living in Cornwall certainly has it's advantages! When we haven't been working we have been taking the kids down to the beach or on the moors at Bodmin looking at the amazing stone circles called The Hurlers. The kids were certainly intrigued by the three stone circles and they thoroughly enjoyed coming up with ideas as to what they were used for.  I think however the little one was more impressed with the name of the village they are to be found near, Minions! She loved the fact that the sign to the village actually had the Minion characters on it.

The Hurlers - Bodmin Moor
Mussel - Beach at Hayle 
Evening - Portreath
When we have not been at the beach or walking the moors, I have been hand dyeing some Superwash Merino and Nylon wool tops out in the garden. Were a bit short on space but I managed to paint the fibre out on the table outside then steam them on top of the gas stove in the kitchen. We don't have a utility like we did at the last house so I haven't been able to have a separate microwave to steam the fibre. It usually takes me about 5 minutes in the microwave steamer to set the fibre or yarn but the stove top steamer takes about 20 - 30 minutes. Either method though the results are the same and I managed to dye quite a bit of fibre. I started off drying them outside but in true form the English weather has took a turn for the worse and it has been threatening rain all day. So I am drying the fibre indoors until further notice! Here are my fibre dyeing creations below.

Hand painted super wash merino and nylon wool tops.