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: sarah@artyfibres.co.uk

Seascape - www.artyfibresyarns.com

Summer Fruits - www.artyfibresyarns.com


Stormy Seas - www.artyfibresyarns.com


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.

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

New Handspun Yarns in my Etsy Shop

I have been really busy this last week hand spinning some lovely new yarns for my Etsy shop. I have quite a few drying at the moment so I will be updating the shop again later this week. In the meantime I have just added four new handspun yarns to the shop. The first is a natural light grey Swaledale 2 ply aran weight yarn. This handspun yarn is perfect for outwear and rugs but could be knit or crocheted into a bag or even a basket!

Light Grey Swaledale
The second handspun yarn I have added is a beautiful natural chocolate brown Merino wool and Tussah silk. This yarn is also an aran weight yarn and would be perfect for any project which is to be worn against the skin as it is lovely and soft!

Natural Brown Merino and Tussah Silk
The third handspun yarn I have added to my shop has been spun from a blend of 65% Organically Farmed Falklands Merino and 35% Zwartbles in a beautiful Autumn Russet colour way. This is a DK weight yarn which is lovely and soft.

Falklands Merino and Zwartbles in Russet
The fourth handspun yarn I have just added to my shop is a gorgeous hand dyed Superwash Merino and Nylon which again is a DK weight yarn. I first hand dyed the wool tops in a blue and yellow colour way and then handspun it into a single on my Ashford Kiwi spinning wheel. I then plied it back on it's self to make a lovely 2 ply yarn.

Blue and Yellow Superwash Merino and Nylon
More shop updates soon! Don't forget I'm offering 10% off on all orders in my Etsy shop with this coupon code: WELCOME

Monday, 1 August 2016

Things I've Recently Finished & Begun

The last few days I have been beavering away on finishing a number of my works in progress and I have finally finished my garter stitch shawl in hand painted yarn. While we have been moving home this has been my go to project when I have needed to chill! The kids have called it my 'emergency knitting' as it has been tucked away in my handbag so I always had it on me! The yarn I can't remember for the life of me what it's called, but it's a 4 ply sock yarn. I love the colours and it has turned out really well. You can get the pattern for how I made it in a previous post. It needs washing and blocking yet and hopefully then I can get a picture of the whole shawl!


The other project I have recently finished is a hand woven scarf on my little Ashford SampleIt loom. I have woven it in a combination of commercial yarn and my own handspun yarns. One of the yarns is an art yarn I spun which combined lace. This again just needs washing and then when it's almost dry steaming with the iron.


I've just started a new triangular shawl which instead of being in just garter stitch I'm going to knit the main part in stocking stitch and then when I change colours the outer edge will be in garter stitch.
Depending on how much wool I have it may end up a kerchief rather than a shawl, I'm just winging it at the moment and not working from a pattern.

My new emergency knitting project

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Storage For My Yarn Stash At Last!

My New Ikea storage for my yarn, fibre, embroidery threads and equipment.

Finally my new yarn stash storage has arrived! At the beginning of the week our new Ikea shelving and his and her desk arrived and I was able to unpack my yarns, fibres and equipment. It also allowed myself and husband Andrew to set up our home studio space! I think I take up more space than Andrew in our home studio lol. He is very much for minimalism and only needs a small footprint for his equipment, whereas my stuff tends to take over and look like a tornadoes hit! Though I must say this is really super organised for me.

His and Her's Workspace

It has been a long few months of packing and living out of boxes then unpacking and still living out of boxes, until we could set up the studio. They say moving is one of the most stressful things to do and I totally agree. The way I usually relax is to do some spinning but all my fibre and equipment have been boxed up for so long! We are really happy now though, we are unpacked and starting to settle into our new home and lifestyle. The kids are really enjoying their new bedrooms and are loving their nightly excursions to the local beaches.

For me, I have finally got my spinning wheel out to relax and spin some gorgeous azure blue hand dyed superwash Merino and Nylon yarn.

Hand Dyed Superwash Merino and Nylon Handspun on my Ashford Kiwi

It has also been really great to finally put together my new Ashford rigid heddle loom and stand my husband bought for me at Woolfest. I have been itching to get it unboxed and ready to start weaving. I have a few projects on the go at the moment, so as soon as I clear the decks I will be warping it up. I am planning an Etsy shop update by the end of the week too as I have some lovely new yarns to add and some new stitch markers. 

Ashford Rigid Heddle Loom and Stand