Thursday, 16 March 2017

Washing and Dyeing Hand Spun Ryeland Fleece

Today I have been busy hand dyeing some of my hand spun Ryeland fleece. I am using natural plant dye extracts to dye the wool as I want everything to be natural. For this mornings dyeing experiments I used Logwood Purple, just a 1/4 teaspoon will give you a lovely shade of lavender as you can see below. At first it looks like it is going to be quite dark but once 'cooked' and rinsed the colour is a lot lighter and produces a beautiful heathery shade.




Our lovely new cottage has a really big garden so I have decided to grow a range of plants for hand dyeing. I planted the seeds on Sunday and they have already started shooting, below are Safflower. The Dyers Woad I also planted has just started to appear as well.


I have also been busy wash some gorgeous brown Ryeland fleece. The fleece has lovely golden tips and hand spins beautifully. I have a few of these fleeces which I bought from a local farm so I may put some washed bags of fleece for sale in my Etsy shop if anyone is interested. It's been a pretty productive day and there is just time to fit in some hand spinning before tea!



Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Hand Knitted Hand Spun Festival Shawls

This last week I have been busy working on a new range of hand knitted "festival shawls". I call them this because they are bright and fun shawls you could wrap around you at a summer festival. I am totally addicted to knitting them as the pattern is quite simple and can be adapted to include different stitch patterns and textures. I have knitted each triangular shawl in my own hand spun, hand dyed yarns and art yarns on a large 10 mm chunky circular needle. The shawls will be available in my Etsy shop soon in various fibres including Merino, Texel, Corriedale, Blue Faced Leicester etc.





Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Shop Update - Handspun Hand Dyed Yarns, Cornwall

I've just added these lovely handspun yarns below to my Etsy shop www.artyfibres.etsy.com

They are as follows;

Porthcurno - Handspun Hand Dyed Kent Romney - 106 yards, 100 grams, 2 ply Worsted Weight.

Sea Glass - Handspun Hand Dyed Kent Romney - 103 yards, 100 grams, 2 ply Worsted Weight.

Peacock - Handspun Hand Dyed Super Wash Merino and Nylon - 203 yards, 95 grams, 2 ply Sport Weight.



I am currently spinning some lovely white Ryeland fleece which I am hoping to use in a weave and some I am going to indigo dye, more to be revealed soon! You can keep up with all my knitting, spinning, weaving and crochet projects on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/artyfibres/ Check out my Double Broken Rib Socks the pattern will be available soon!

Monday, 30 January 2017

Big Garden Birdwatch

Top left - Great Tit, Top Right - Blackbird, Bottom - Jay

This year we took part in the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch and were amazed at how many birds we have in our garden! The kids have had a fantastic time recording all the birds we saw as part of their learning. We made our own bird feeders out of lard, bird seeds, nuts, grated cheese and breadcrumbs.

Homemade Bird Feeders

The colours of the birds were amazing and I think this will inspire a series of hand dyed handspun yarns based on the colours of the birds we saw.

Robin and a Song Thrush

We took lots of photos and our son created a short video on some of the birds that graced our bird feeding station. The whole family has found a real interest in birdwatching and nature and we are sure to carry on trying to spot and identify the many species of birds that visit our garden. Just today we had a Spotted Woodpecker visit us!

Great Spotted Woodpecker

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Handspun Yarn Sale

I am currently having a small January sale on some of my handspun yarns in my Etsy store. These include hand dyed Shetland wool, Alpaca, Herdwick, Texel, Merino and Bamboo. Please click here to see all the handspun yarns currently on sale.

Superfine Alpaca, Falklands Merino and Mulberry Silk Handspun Yarn

Summer Wine - Hand Dyed Merino Wool - Plant Dyed - Handspun Yarn - NOW SOLD

Shetland Wool Yarn, British Wool Yarn in Buttercup - NOW SOLD

Handspun Texel Single Ply Yarn, Hand Painted Yarn, Fiesta - NOW SOLD

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Stunning Views at Botallack Mine, Cornwall

If you are thinking of visiting Cornwall on holiday this year you should definitely visit Botallack Mine. It is one of the most stunning places! Used as one of the film locations for the BBC's Poldark Series the scenery is breathtaking and we are so lucky to live only a short drive away. We walk there regularly and each time we visit my 8 year old daughter declares "it's beautiful mummy". It certainly is beautiful and rugged with the mines clinging to the edges of the cliffs. On a day like yesterday the sky was blue and the sun was shining and it was simply amazing, we even go to see the sunset too. Below are some of the photographs I managed to capture on my iPhone.

Botallack Mine National Trust

Wheal Owles or Wheal Leisure as it is known in Poldark



Sunday, 1 January 2017

Happy New Year - 2017

Wishing everyone a Happy New Year! Let's hope this year is a peaceful one! I have two new year resolutions the first is to be more productive and finish my WIP's! I am going to embroider more, knit more, crochet more and definitely spin more! My second is to learn to drive! How can I get to my age (not mentioning how old I am!) and not be able to drive, so this year is going to be the year!

I am going to be working on lots of new projects too, including some new tutorials and videos now I have the space! It's going to be a great year I can feel it!

This year I am going to get fit too and walk this guy more (see below) my beloved Border Collie Benji. Since we moved to our new house it's been great to get out walking him more now that we live in the countryside. We are also five minutes walk away from some of the most beautiful beaches and it's brilliant to know I can step out my door and walk to the sea! We have been living in Cornwall 6 months now and it is wonderful and the Cornish people are amazing!

Benji Woo Woo saying Happy New Year!!

The weather here has been really mild here but it can be a bit chilly first thing in the morning so I made myself a crochet ponytail hat yesterday!