Saturday, 6 November 2010

Saturday 6th November

Finally the carpet has been laid in the workroom and the long dreaded clearout is finished.  My table, storage unit, sofa and loom have been moved into a better place which gives me more space to work.

I am now able to see, thanks to my new, clear storage boxes, my entire stash of yarns, equipment, books, patterns etc, all those essential items for creating.  I am now a very happy fibre bunny as there is even room for my spinning wheel so I can spin in peace away from the mad dogs.

So much of my time over the last two weeks has been taken up with sorting, and putting away my equipment and yarns.  Am I alone in the fact that I just didnt realise how much yarn I had?

As  Christmas looms ever closer I am spending most of my (limited) spare time in making presents for family and friends but at least it means the stash will go down as I have promised myself that one of my New Year resolutions will be to buy less wool this year - do I hear laughter? How many times do we all say that only to fall in love with the latest addition at the yarn store?

The clock change has meant that those longer, darker evenings are more encouraging to sit by the fire and knit, I dont find the t.v.all that inspiring most of the time.

My latest projects are using up some of my stash in designing some children's knitwear to sell online and as the new Alice Starmore Aran book has just come out I am attempting to knit myself one of the cardigans in there  using 5ply Guernsey yarn.

Frangipangi yarns in Cornwall are a great supplier of this type of yarn and I do believe that Wingham wool used to supply it but am not sure if they still do.

I have just completed knitting the men's fingerless gloves from a recent issue of the Knitter magazine which was a very easy project to complete and will make another present.

Do get in touch with pictures of your projects and comments, its good talk fibre!!

Tuesday, 19 October 2010


The Autumn chill has descended in Berrow and despite the sunny days the wind off the sea has definitely lost its balmy feel.

My thoughts have turned to Christmas this week and the making of gifts for friends and family.  I have constructed a list and last weekend I cast on for two pairs of socks and some fingerless mittens as well as knitting the camouflage type hat for my fishing cousin, using the handspun falkland roving that I was spinning up last week.   It helped that Film 4 were running a Star Trek weekend so I was able to settle in front the t.v. with an endless supply of yarn, my favourite way to spend a Saturday afternoon in Autumn!

Our thoughts also turn to thick, cozy jumpers and accessories as well this time of year and I am pleased to see that cables are making a comeback in fashion at the moment as well as the colour grey.  I do happen to have a large stash of Gotland yarn in double knit thickness and am hoping to use that up with handknits for the online shop. 

If, like me, you enjoy getting something for nothing then take a look at where you will find a whole pile of free knitting patterns in some pretty amazing designs.  All you have to do is register your email address and details and the patterns are accessible as pdf downloads.  Also this week I came across Patons website, where again you can access a whole lot of free knitting patterns and they have some wonderful afghan patterns or throws to knit.  You can save these to your "hive" on the site and download or print them when you are ready, saving on ink of course.  If anyone else has links to free pattern websites then please feel free to list them here so everyone can benefit.  If any of the links above dont work, let me know and I will check the web addresses. 

The loom is silent this week as I am concentrating on knitting items for the shop and spinning up some gorgeous Bluefaced Leicester and Tussah silk roving hand dyed in lemons, blues and pinks and mauves that was a purchase on etsy.

Have a good week whatever you are doing and happy knitting.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010


Forgive the long delay, again, life seems to have overtaken me.  My beautiful grand daughter was born on 5th October and all are well so now I can relax and enjoy being a grandmother.

Obviously a lot of my spare time has been taken up over the last months in making clothes for the new baby.  I am going to make a few more things for Christmas but now in bigger sizes as my daughter has been given so many clothes there will be no need to buy anything new for a long time to come. 

Consequently I have a lot of baby wool left over and began to think how I could use this up and decided to weave up some baby blankets using this.  I dont normally consider using acrylic fibres when weaving, I'm not sure if anyone out there does, do let me know.  However, I have warped up the loom using a four shaft, six treadle tie up which I found on the All Fiber Arts website, for a baby blanket.  I am using Sirdar Snuggly baby 4 ply yarn in a soft blue and the weft is a double knit acrylic yarn which graduates in colour throughout the ball.  The weaving is quick to grow and fast to warp up.  See pictures below.

It has made me realise that I have had rather a blinkered view of weaving todate.  I have always used silks, and natural fibres for my items, forgetting the vast range of man made fibres that are available to use.  And what if, like my son in law, you are allergic to wool?  It makes buying handmade items very difficult.  Also there is the question of cost.  In our current climate it is difficult to price up garments made from expensive materials.  One is caught between the two ends of wanting to make a profit out of ones hard work but at the same time wanting to sell items regularly.  So either the profit margin is very narrow or the time spent making the item is not taken into consideration in the final price.  So to use cheaper yarns doesnt necessarily mean that the finished item will not be just as lovely as if you had used the finest and most expensive of the natural yarns available.

This week I am spinning up some hand dyed Falkland wool tops from Mandacrafts called Autumn to make a knitted hat for my cousin who is a keen fisherman and wants something to blend in with the background! 

I purchased a turkish spindle recently from the Etsy site, it is handmade in beautiful woods and the two cross pieces are similar in colour to the Knitpicks wooden needles, those lovely multi coloured ones.  See picture below.  It is a dream to spin with and solves the problem of not being able to take my spinning wheel with me when I travel.  This is small enough to tuck inside my handbag. 

I am also using my Ashford Knitters loom to make some handwoven scarves and bag lengths for Christmas stock in my online shop.  Keep a look out for these as they will be fairly reasonably priced and I am hoping they wont be around for too long.

So lots going on here and I hope you all have a very good week whatever you are doing.

Friday, 10 September 2010

Friday 10th September

Hello I hope everyone has had a good week.  Its been a hectic one here as it was the first full week back at school, its been hard work getting used to the new routine but now we are settled and looking forward to the weekend.

Its been a busy week on the fibre front as well.  I have started to organise the winter weaving and knitting for the online shop and had a dye run in the week as well.  Aside from dyeing up samples for a customer in the US of silk roving there are new hand dyed wool rovings for sale in the Etsy shop, do have a look, I am going to have a hard time letting these go!

On the loom this week is the lambswool and silk scarf I mentioned in last week's posting, pictures below,

This shows the work in progress, the ten outer threads on each side are just lambswool and the rest of the dents are threaded with one lambswool and one gold silk thread.

Here is a closeup of the pattern showing the "ridges" running the length of the scarf, these are made by threading 1, 1, 2, 2, 3, 3, 4,4, so a double half twill.

This shows a closeup of the warp threads so you can see the gold silk thread alongside the lambswool.

Also I am spinning up some Shetland Rovings that were purchased from Jamieson and Smith on the Shetland Isles.  I bought 500g of Black (which is actually dark brown), 500g of fawn and 500g of white.  Once these are spun up I am hoping to make a double weave shetland throw in a tartan style pattern and also knit some fairisle cushion covers.   Hopefully these will go into the online shop.  Unless they are snaffled by older daughters for their homes!!

Here is the first of the white being spun up and below

is the second hank of black before it was washed to set the twist.

So a busy week allround and I am looking forward to a little R and R this weekend.  Eldest daughter has come to stay so lots of fibery chat.

Have fun with your fibre, whatever you are doing and it would be lovely to hear from anyone with pictures of their projects and favourite looms/wheels.

Friday, 3 September 2010

Friday 3rd September 2010

Well, the summer holidays are over and the children are settled back into school.  Apologies for not having posted anything since the beginning of July but it has been an incredibly busy time.

During the break I have been busy sorting out my yarn stash, I am sure it keeps growing behind my back, I really dont remember buying some of it!!  Anyone else have that problem?

I shall be having a carpet fitted in my workroom soon so have got to get down to a major clearout of fibres and yarns, I may just have a sale on my etsy shop and clear some of it out the way for good. 

I shall be dyeing up lots more fibre and roving soon and putting that up for sale in my online shop so keep checking back for progress. 

Spinning up at the moment is 500g of brown wensleydale roving and hand dyed silk roving which together look very nice.  This is being spun very fine using the higher ratio smaller whorl on the Minstrel wheel.

I have a warp of lambswool and gold thread waiting to be put on the Glimakra julia loom and shall be threading up a four shaft pattern from the latest edition of Handwoven magazine.

My older daughter is now eight months pregnant and we are excitedly waiting for the arrival of baby and lots of knitting is still being done plus a floor quilt that I am making.  Hoping desperately to get it all finished in time.

I would always be interested to hear from anyone who has any questions about spinning or weaving or just wants to chat fibre in general.

Signing off for now fibre fans, more soon.

Friday, 2 July 2010

Friday 2nd July

Personally I am glad the heat of the sun has abated a little. I was beginning to feel like a roast chicken, I dont think I have ever had such a good tan just from being outside in the garden, sorting fleece and walking the mad dogs on the beach.

I have managed to find a little time this week to progress with the weaving, a silk and merino scarf is almost finished on the Glimakra Julia loom, with a fine gold coloured silk warp and a hand dyed gold laceweight merino weft.  Done in a geometric pattern, its looking quite good.

The summer holidays are looming, if you will pardon the pun, and I am trying hard to get as much fibre sorted and dyed and in the shop before they start.  Not that the girls are too much trouble but I really do like to choose my own colours for dyeing, my eight year old's idea of colour is not quite the same as mine!!

Colour plays a big part in my life as I am sure it does in yours,especially with regard to the atmosphere in our homes.  The colours we choose to decorate our rooms for instance, have a big effect on whether a room is relaxing or energising.  Blue is cool and dreamy, red or orange vibrant and energetic.   So too with the clothes we wear so next time you are choosing some fibre for spinning or felting or some yarn for knitting or weaving or simply designing a project, give consideration to the colours you will be using and how this will affect your moods when wearing the finished article or if it is to be soft furnishings, where in the house it will be placed.  If you choose a lovely calming blue or green then will those gloves or mittens or even socks be a warm choice for the winter months or would you rather wrap your fingers and toes in some warm colours, deep browns, reds, oranges.

Again if you are making a shawl, will this be a lightweight shawl for the summer evenings and need to be a calming colour, pastel shades perhaps to go with the balmy mood of a summers night or if it is a winter shawl and to be in thicker yarn, then some deeper shades will be better.

There is such a lot to consider and if you manage to get all these things into place at the time of design then the finished article will give you so much more pleasure.

Right, more later fibre fans, the mad dogs are now demanding their daily exercise.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Tuesday 22nd June

Hello Fibre Fans, it is another lovely day here in Berrow and the perfect weather for dyeing.  Thus said the garden was filled with brightly coloured fleece yesterday, all drying in record time.  There are two new colourways now in the Etsy shop, see link on right, pictures below.

Jade Colourway

Spring Colourway

I am currently spinning up some of the lovely Border Leicester/Suffolk cross fleece that I have hand dyed for myself, in peach, mauve and blue colourway, blended on the hand carders

I shall use the resulting yarn to weave a blanket for the impending grandchild.

My weaving has taken a bit of a back seat lately with everything else that has been happening, apart from losing my dad, I have also had to change my car as it became quite poorly and would have cost more to put right than it was worth so that has now been sold and a new one acquired, a much smaller and more economical car all round.

Currently I am knitting a shrug for my daughter's birthday next month.  I am using Gotland yarn which I purchased a couple of years ago now from a farm in Devon.  Gotland sheep are quite rare,although Sue Blacker of the Natural Fibre Company has a flock and she will sell fleeces from these if you contact her.  Gotland is a mixture of shades of grey and the fleece is very curly, but very soft and easy to spin.  It requires little carding.  It can be dyed and produces lovely muted shades.

The knitting for the Etsy shop is a lace scarf knitted from hand dyed alpaca and silk yarn purchased from BlueFaced or I think the web address is if that doesnt work let me know and I will check out the proper address. Amazing prices on their undyed sock yarns. 

Also a pair of fingerless mittens knitted from a handspun hand dyed Shetland wool top that I fell over on Etsy, dyed in rainbow colours.

So, a busy week so far and if the good weather continues, many more colours of fibre going in the shop.

Have a good week.

Friday, 11 June 2010

Friday 11th June

Its been a while since my last posting but sadly my father passed away suddenly on 27th May and it was two weeks before a funeral could take place due to bank holidays and vicars holidays!  Now all has been dealt with and life can settle down again, albeit without the presence of my lovely dad.

Our trip to the Bath and West show was very nice, especially as the sun was shining down on us for the first time in three years.  The only fibre purchase I made this year was 100g of Llama fibre which I have never tried before.  It spins very well and goes a very long way.  I am spinning it unwashed but find that it has much less dust than alpaca fibre.  I shall post pictures of the finished yarn later.

I have also just finished spinning up the rainbow dyed shetland tops that I purchased a couple of weeks ago but the weaving has taken a back seat over the last two weeks so I shall have to take that up again next week.  The online shop has been stocked with lots of new hand dyed fibres so do take a look.

More later, have a good week everyone.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Wednesday 19th May

Time is creeping up on me again, can you believe its almost halfway through the year?  Another week and the girls will be on half terms hols.  We are planning a visit to the Royal Bath and West Show although it has been mentioned that I will not be allowed to visit the sheep tent this year.  I usually end up talking to farmers and buying fleeces despite the stack I already have - does anyone else have this problem?

This week I am spinning up some Falkland tops, hand dyed by Mandacrafts on Etsy.  These are called "Berry Berry Nice" and hopefully will make some fingerless mitts for someones Christmas present. 

Just off the Glimakra Julia loom are two scarves woven on a multicoloured hand dyed tencel warp, one scarf is woven with a wool and silk weft, again this is hand dyed and comes from Yarntopia on Etsy and the other scarf has a baby alpaca and silk weft which I have hand dyed in soft blue shades.  These are now for sale in my Etsy shop, see the link to the right.

This is the tencel and wool/silk scarf and showing a close up of the scarf above.

This is the tencel and baby alpaca/silk scarf, also with close up of the weave structure above.

These were woven on a four shaft threading for a diamond twill, the same pattern as the jade scarf made last month.

The rugs are now finished, although I am not sure I was very pleased with the results, I think that a lighter cotton warp would be better in future but for now I have to concentrate on producing some more items for the gallery.  I am now warping up the loom with a light green silk warp to make a scarf using a hand dyed laceweight merino weft.  The laceweight merino was purchased from Cold Harbour mill through their new company FibreHarvest. 

The warmer weather is a great time for washing fleece and I do have quite a lot sitting in my garage that really need to be sorted out over the summer, it would be good to be able to get them washed, carded and spun up, so lots of excuses for sitting outside in the garden.

Have a good week.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Tuesday 4th May

So, the loom tie up is completed and yes, it works, I have achieved a larger shed and with the non elastic warp that I am using for the rugs that is essential.  The first rug of the warp run is now completed and I shall take a picture tomorrow and post it.  I am very proud of my first rug!!

The weather here today has been lovely and we are looking forward to a few more days of sun before the next weekend which is supposed to be wet.  So much for weeding out the garden! 

The mad dogs are both confined to quarters with very itchy parts of their bodies and are both having to wear their plastic hoods to stop them chewing their back ends.  I dont know what causes this but every spring we get the same thing, they are sprayed with flea spray, bathed regularly and still they end up chewing themselves raw for a while.  So out with the antiseptic cream and on with the collars, one on loan from a good friend and one I had to go and buy today from the vets.  Fingers crossed this soon clears up as I dont think a large vets bill is a good start to any month!!

The cats freaked out at the sight of the dogs in their hoods and as the two youngest only have short tails due to a birth defect, they tend to look as though they are sporting bottle brushes on their bottoms when they are scared. 

Off for food shopping tomorrow, groan and then round to number two daughter's for coffee and cakes, well you've got to have some consolation for fighting your way round the supermarket!

Monday, 3 May 2010

Monday 3rd May


I hope everyone has had a good weekend, it seems such a short time since the Easter bank holiday and another looms at the end of the month.

This week I have warped up my Julia loom with some rug warp to make lightweight rugs for my kitchen and hall floors.  I am using up some wool from my stash to make these.  I have to admit to still wrestling with the countermarche tye up.  I now understand the theory but the practise is a little more tricky.  I have found a good article to download at an American website full of good information.  This article explains how to tie up the loom and get a much bigger shed or space between the threads.  This is achieved by tying up the upper lamms so that the end of them, the end not joined onto the rod, is only about 2 and a half inches away from the bottom of the shafts.  The warp should pass through the centre of the eye of the heddles on the shafts to give you some idea of height of shafts.  Now, dont do what I did for the next step, as the picture in the article shows the loom from the back and I was tying up from the front!

The next step is to tie up the treadles and ensure that they are all at slightly different heights.  You have to start with treadle one on the left and make this the HIGHEST treadle and then tie up the rest so that each treadle is slightly lower than the next.  I did this the other way around and made the first treadle the lowest so of course with the eighth treadle being the highest the upper lamms were hitting the bottom of the shafts and the shed was not opening properly. 

I now have to go back into the workroom tomorrow and re tie the treadles so that they are in the correct position, I just couldnt face it this afternoon and besides with two smallies home from school its not really fair to be shut away in my workroom all day.  Life is just too short for that.

So think of me tomorrow, I expect the cats will learn a few new words and I shall let you know the outcome.  If this doesnt work to give a good shed then it is back to the drawing board, suggestions anyone.

On other fronts, I am spinning up a very nice cream shetland fleece, a good swapsie from my friend Yarnspider, see, thanks friend.  This is spinning up into a very fine thread.

I am still knitting up a garter stitch shawl in Noro sock yarn, pictures to follow and that will go into the shop later on.

Next week I am heading down to Cold Harbour mill in Devon to collect some very nice finespun merino yarn which will be perfect for weaving in the weft.  Some serious hand dying will be following this.  For anyone interested in seeing Cold Harbour, it is a working spinning mill and they sell lots of yummy alpaca yarn which is spun in the mill and dyed and also some lovely machine woven throws and other accessories.  Well worth a visit and very reasonable to go in.  A lovely cafe on site as well. 

Have a good week.

Monday, 26 April 2010

Monday 26th April

The weather here has been so lovely over the past week, and walks on the beach with the two mad dogs are very enjoyable.  Last Friday, my eldest daughter Vix and I went to the Stitch and Creative craft show at Shepton Mallet.  A very enjoyable few hours out and for the first time in three years it wasnt raining!

After acquiring some bits and pieces, mainly fabric to make number two daughter's impending baby a cot quilt and some very nice hand dyed sock yarn that couldnt be resisted I am ashamed to say, although no doubt fellow fibre enthusiasts will understand fully that no matter how large the stash there is ALWAYS ROOM FOR JUST ONE MORE SKEIN!!

The Glimakra loom is working out very well and after the initial troubles the missing parts have now arrived and I am now weaving madly to catch up with my Etsy shop and also some more items for the Somerset Arts week at the Gallery later in the year.

I have now sold the Louet Kombo loom as there simply isnt room for two looms in my workroom at the moment.  I am hoping to get the smallest back room decorated this summer and then the sofa bed can be moved into there so that when daughter comes to stay it can be used as a guest room only.  Then there will be more room in my workroom for those much needed shelves to be put up.  So at least I can get rid of the table that does take up too much room and even the old wall unit.  Still, one thing at a time, for now I have to concentrate on getting wallpaper off the walls when I get a spare five minutes!

I am currently spinning up some Angora rabbit fibre from my lovely English White Angora rabbit called Rocky and am blending it with some lovely hand dyed silk fibres in shades of blue to make a singles slubby yarn for weaving.  Pictures to follow.

On the loom at the moment another tencel and alpaca and silk scarf this time in shades of blue and pink.  Pictures to follow when I get a moment.

Whatever you are doing, have a good week.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Tuesday 20th April

An update on the Glimakra Julia loom with the pictures of the first warp now mounted on the loom and about halfway completed.  This is a tencel/rayon hand dyed warp in shades of peacock green and jade and a hand dyed baby alpaca/silk yarn in laceweight, hand dyed in Malachite green.

The half completed scarf.  The threading is for a diamond twill pattern and is set at two threads per dent in a 12 dent reed, that is a 24 ends per inch.
The tie up is shafts 1 and 4, 3 and 4, 2 and 3 and 1 and 2.

Close up of the colour detail in the scarf.

More soon, in the meantime why not have a look at the newly listed items in my Etsy shop, link is on the right.

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Saturday 17th April

Well, another week gone by and my Glimakra Julia loom arrived last Thursday.  I was expecting it to be in all natural wood but ended up with the lovely bright red sides which will no doubt brighten up my workroom.  On opening the boxes, my ten year old daughter Meggie and I set to with a will to get it up and running asap. 

These pictures show the opened boxes and various parts of the loom as they were sent prior to construction.

Note the feet were not included!

This is the beater cradle, the reed will go between the two thicker pieces of wood.

The instructions that were included with the loom kit were, I have to say rather limited.  They were basic diagrams but I have found one or two of the pieces would have been better added earlier rather than later.  I had assumed a dvd was to be included to show how the loom should be constructed and tied up but I was told by Glimakra that this is only usually distributed with looms in the US, however they have kindly said they will send me one and include it with the missing treadle spacers, that is the little wooden discs that are threaded onto the rod between the treadles.  One point to bear in mind here if you are considering buying one of these looms, do place the treadles onto the metal rod on piece A as per your instructions first before the whole loom frame is constructed as it is near impossible to do so afterwards, my fingers narrowly avoided being broken by a springing metal rod!

Sorry, just realised this shot is at an angle, but if you turn it sideways it shows the back of the loom, first side piece and the part A, the natural wood piece with the three metal rings and the treadle rod I mentioned above, this is when I think the treadles should be added.

A close up of this piece.

The loom constructed and on its side before being raised up, note the black metal rod is not needed in the eight shaft countermarch make up as I found out this morning when the jacks would not sit up against the beater cradle with it in place, I loosened off the loom to remove it but again this is not mentioned in the instructions so do be warned.

A close up of the inside of the loom before the cloth beams are added

The top of the loom, showing one of the beater cradles, there are several different positions here so that instead of advancing the warp you can move the beater back. 

The cloth beams are now in place and I have hung the beater here to show it in proportion to the front beam.

A shot of the loom before the shafts, jacks(shaft controllers) treadles and lamms are added.  All the tie up cords do come ready cut tos size and colour coded with different colour plastic ties which correspond to the tie up diagram.

The treadles and lamms are now added.  There are two sets of lamms, upper and lower and eight treadles, so I suppose in theory you could do a direct tie up, one treadle to one shaft if you wished.  I have to say that the tie up diagram for the horizontal countermarch was a little confusing.  I have not used a countermarch loom before and found a very good tie up diagram on the All Fiber arts website, link here and then search for countermarche tie up, the one I used is type B tie up.

This is for the horizontal countermarche tie up and they give an alternative for another style of countermarche

A close up of the first warp to go on the loom, a 92 inch warp in tencel and rayon hand dyed by Yarntopia Treasures from Etsy.  Wonderful colours, also has a website

This will be for a scarf on a four shaft threading with a small diamond pattern, the weft is hand dyed laceweight baby alpaca and silk in a light green colour.  The photo doesnt show the colours of the warp yarn too clearly but they are in shades of jade.

Pictures to follow when the loom is warped and ready to go.

For now happy weaving!!

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Wednesday 7th April

Its amazing how fast the time seems to pass me by.  I have spent the afternoon dyeing up some hanks of yarn that I purchased for weaving.  Five 100g hanks of silk and alpaca in laceweight and five 100g hanks of laceweight bluefaced leicester yarn are now dyed and drying out.  Photographs to follow when dry.  These will be used in future projects.

On the spinning front, some hand dyed merino rovings in a burgundy colour are being spun up on the Kromski Minstrel at present and the hand knitted scarflette in Jade mohair and silk is almost finished.  The Easter holidays are here at the moment and the girls are home from school so its not so easy to concentrate on more complicated projects when my bottom hardly seems to touch the sofa for more than five minutes at a time!

The first bobbin of merino roving spun up

Showing as slightly lighter than the original colour, the merino roving waiting to be spun.

I have just purchased a polystyrene bust to display my handmade items on for photographs.  I felt this would look better than the dining chair! This has been christened Doris! 

On the loom this week is a plain weave scarf using a silk and wool warp hand dyed in multiple colours and the weft is a fine two ply lambswool yarn, undyed from Texere yarns.  The lambswool is very soft and I wanted something neutral to show off the colours in the warp yarn.  Plain weave is very easy, just being a straight four shaft draft, one thread in each shaft, one to four repeated across all the threads.  I used 96 ends and with plain weave you dont need to set up selvedges.  For those of you who are not familiar with weaving selvedges are the edge threads that form the neat side of the weaving.  There are several ways to do this but mostly I use two threads threaded in each of the first two heddles, so four threads on each end in all.

Close up of the plain weave scarf with multicoloured hand dyed silk and wool warp and two ply lambswool warp.  I like the way the colours are showing up through the lambswool.

This picture shows the warp and the fine lambswool weft on the shuttle.

More soon, have a good week.

Friday, 2 April 2010


Well, its been a very wet and windy start to Good Friday here in Berrow but at long last the rain has stopped and the sun has come out.  We are off to our local riding stables for their annual easter egg hunt.  I have a grown up daughter who is a riding instructor there so we usually take part.  I have packed spare clothes for the younger girls as after an hour of rummaging in the mud and wet fields they will probably need hosing down before returning home.

I have just finished the tencel and mohair wrap that was on the louet loom and I will be adding pictures later.  It has been fulled and is waiting now to be photographed and put into my etsy shop - Purely Inspired.  Pictures below.

The tencel and mohair wrap on my eight shaft louet loom.  The warp is hand dyed tencel from Yarnstopia on etsy and the weft is some mohair yarn that I have had in my stash for a long time however it was bought without labels so I cant identify the mohair content or the producer.

This view shows the colour and weave pattern more closely, the draft or pattern is a twill variation, and is threaded over four shafts.

This is a close up of the pattern of the wrap showing the twill points, it almost gives a 3D effect.

I am very excited as I have just ordered a Glimakra Julia loom from Fibrecrafts.  They are very helpful there by the way, if anyone is interested in weaving and wants to have a chat about it as I know from experience it can be rather daunting when you start off.  Susan Litton who works there is a very knowledgable weaver and has been so helpful to me.  If you are able to travel to their shop then you will be able to try out the looms and wheels before you make a purchase.  Google maps do a very good set of directions.

Anyhow back to the Julia loom, its a floor loom but only measures about 28 inches wide, the weaving width is 26 and a half inches.  It can be purchased as either a counterbalance loom (two corresponding shafts have to be raised at the same time) or countermarche which means that only one shaft has to be raised at a time, although in practise multiple shafts are normally lifted. You start with two shafts, it comes with those as standard and then add on kits are available to purchase with an extra two shafts, floor pedals or treadles and the lamms and the tie up cords included.  You can according to Glimakra put up to eight shafts and treadles on the countermarche style loom and up to six shafts and treadles on the counterbalance style loom.  Have a look at the Glimakra website to see pictures.

Whilst on the subject of suppliers, Wingham wool work are very helpful regarding advice and their fibres are lovely.  I recently purchased a Kromski Minstrel spinning wheel and got a £25 voucher for fibre and purchased 600g of their dyed merino and silk blend.  300g of Jade colours and 300g of Purples.  The Jades are being spun at the moment and two hanks have been knitted up into another scarflette using a pattern by Evelyn Clarke from Fiber Trends.  That too will be in the etsy shop soon.

Well, whatever you are doing this holiday weekend, I hope you have a good one and apparently its going to be sunny on Sunday! 

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Sunday 28th March 2010

Hi, good to meet you if you are reading this.  My name is Liz and I am 47 years of age and an avid fibre fan.

I have been spinning and weaving for approximately six years now.  I run a small business selling hand dyed fibres, handwoven and handknitted accessories.  The name of my business is Pure Inspiration and you can find my website and link to my etsy shop at

I am currently selling some of my handwoven items at Air Gallery in High Street, Well, Somerset.  Its been open for about four months now, so fingers crossed for the owners it works out well in these difficult times.

The rest of my items are for sale at my etsy shop

The latest batch of hand dyed fibres will be available to view at the end of May. 

To tell you a little about myself and our family.  I am a widow and have four daughters, two of whom still live at home with me, the other two are grown and flown and one is married and expecting her first baby in September so I am very excited about becoming a granny.  Obviously little one will benefit from lots of hand knitted goodies.

We live very close to the sea in Somerset and share our home with two dogs, Jazz and Max, five cats, Splodge, Topaz, Amythest, Periodt, and Rupert, four birds, Bill, Ted, Snowy and Lily, two guinea pigs,  Rose and Bramble, an angora rabbit called Rocky and two african snails, Daisy and Onslow, a hamster called biscuit and two gerbils whose names escape me at present, they do seem to change on a regular basis!  Finally, there are also two spinning wheels, an Ashford Traditional, a Kromski Minstrel, a Louet Kombo eight shaft table loom and endless supplies of dye, fibre and yarn.  How everything fits into our little two bed house is a miracle to me!  I am sure one day everything is going to burst out and land in the road. 

Life is very hectic, chaotic and generally disorganized but we muddle through, so I hope you will enjoy following some of my thoughts, my projects and my days.