Thursday, 6 October 2011

6th October 2011

Hi everyone, wow hasnt the weather been changeable.  It was a good opportunity to get some lovely Wensleydale fleece washed and dyed though and this is now for sale in the online shop, (link to the right). 

I love Wensleydale fibre, I think the sheep have to be one of the most amazing of their kind and it is so sad that the flocks are getting harder to find in the UK.  I find the fibre so versatile.  A lot of my customers purchase the curls to use for detail in needlefelted projects and others to spin into art yarn, the results of which are quite something to see.  Imagine, if you will, a lovely chunky yarn with little ringlets of colour hanging down throughout, a bag or other accessory made from this yarn would be a very unique item, a piece of art in itself.

Aside from these uses the curls can be carded and spun, the long, lustrious fibres make for a gorgeous knitting or weaving yarn, again some texture can be left in if desired. 

I have been busy here with hand knitting and trying to bust some of my stash.  I have been making lots of pairs of fingerless mittens.  I am selling these alongside the discounted knitting yarns I have started to retail at a local car boot sale at Sanders Garden world, near Brent Knoll in Somerset.  These car boot sales are held on a Friday morning and are in aid of the Freewheelers Motorcycle charity that transfers blood, x rays and other much needed things between hospitals free of charge.  See for more information.

The discounted yarns are also available in my online shop. If you are UK based then do contact me for prices for postage in the UK and also for pound sterling prices as everything is listed in US dollars as this is a worldwide site that the shop is on.

The next thing that came to mind is does anyone belong to a local knitting group?  I would be interested to know how many are out there as not all of them are widely advertised and I do feel that it would be good to perhaps create a list of them available as links on my website.  If anyone is interested in setting up a link swap then please do get in touch at so that I can start to compile a list of various fibre related groups and organisations. 

These can be worldwide, they dont have to just be based in the UK.  Spinners, weavers and felters would be welcome too also if you do anything unusual with fibre then again I would be very interested to hear from you.

So, thats all for now, I will hope to get some more blogging done again very soon.

Have fibre fun everyone!!

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Saturday 3rd September

The girls have now gone back to school, it was very quiet last Friday with both of them out of the house.  Personally I think it was silly for them to have gone back only for one day but I suppose those in charge of education have their reasons?!

With life returning to its usual routine I need to knuckle down and get some more things photographed and put into the Etsy shop in time for the Christmas season which will soon be upon us.  Also the end of year accounts need to be prepared and handed over to the accountant.  In addition I have dyeing to do, silk rovings need to be dyed for customers in the US. 

I have just finished spinning up approximately 120g of hand dyed Corriedale roving which has come out in a double knit thickness and I am hoping to use it to weave a scarf on my knitters loom.

I have finally finished the handwoven cotton tea towels that were the first serious project on my table loom.  Below are some photographs of the warp on the loom and the finished towels.  They were made with 8/2 cotton that was a bargain last year on ebay.  I used some of it to make the cotton scarf on the knitters loom that was shown in my last post. 

The following pictures show the warp on the loom, the work in progress and one of the finished towels.  Further details of this project can be found on my projects page at  where my user name is
Lizziejane.  I belong to several groups on Ravelry and find it a great way to meet like minded people and swap information and show off our finished projects.

On the knitting front I am making an aran weight hooded jacket for my daughter's friends baby son for Christmas, using Hayfield Bonus Aran.  I shall probably make one similar for my grand daughter in Sirdar click aran. 

I purchased a ball of Rico yarn recently, the one that makes the frilly scarves.  I got two long scarves and one shorter scarf out of the one ball.  I felt this was extremely good value and purchased another ball last week to make some more, again for presents at Christmas. 

With the evenings drawing in again it means there are more hours for knitting and spinning and also weaving since the purchase of a daylight lamp, then of course there is that cross stitch picture that needs finishing....................

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Wednesday 20th July

Two posts in a week, must be something in the air.

I wanted to share with you the photographs of the finished cashmere scarf. 

the first picture shows the completed fringe, I twisted this using four strands of the warp yarn at a time, it fulled up quite nicely when washed. 

The second picture is of the main body of the scarf showing how the Bronson Lace pattern has fulled and is not quite so lacey as when on the loom.  I was a little disappointed because I thought it would have been the same but I will be trying this pattern again using a fine silk yarn and see how the pattern reacts after washing.  I will keep you posted.

In the meantime the loom is now warped with Sirdar Baby Bamboo yarn and Twilleys Freedom cotton in cream and pale blue to make fabric for a small bag.  Pictures to follow in the next post.

Happy weaving!

Monday, 18 July 2011

Monday 18th July

I thought I would share with you some pictures of my latest two weaving projects using the 12 inch Ashford Knitters Loom.  I am quite enjoying going back to basics with this loom and have been also enjoying meeting up with some new faces in two Ravelry groups that I have joined.  For those of you not familiar with Ravelry, its an online knitting, weaving and spinning community where like minded fibre enthusiasts can meet to share pictures of their latest projects, swap advice and support each other through those tricky moments.  If like me, you are unable to get to a local group for your hobby(ies) then its a wonderful way to meet new friends and gain experience.

I have joined the Ashford Loomies group and also the Rigid Heddle group. 

Here is the first project below, showing the loom warped up using some swedish weaving cotton that I purchased earlier this year from ebay.  This was originally to make placemats but in the end I decided to use the resulting cloth as a scarf as I didnt want to cut into it, I was so pleased with the result.


The following two pictures are of the Knitters loom warped up with 100 percent Cashmere yarn that I purchased from Devon Fine Fibres a few years ago.  It has been mill spun and is very soft.  I wish I had made it a little wider but I was not sure I would have enough yarn.  I am using a pattern from the May/June 2009 issue of Handwoven and the technique is known as Bronson Lace.  This requires the use of a pick up stick to make a third shed. 

Rigid Heddle looms are suprisingly versatile and with the availability of different sized reeds and a second heddle kit for any of Ashford's rigid heddle looms now available the possiblities really are endless. 

I recently hand dyed some mohair curls and I am now spinning them up into quite a fine yarn on my Kromski Minstrel wheel.  The first part bobbin and the curls are shown below.



I hope you enjoy these pictures and that they will give you some inspiration for your projects.  If anyone has any questions, please dont hesitate to ask.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Wednesday 13th July 2011

Here we are halfway through July and I cant believe that the summer holidays are nearly here.  The girls are looking forward to a nice long lazy six weeks and to be honest so am I.  Getting up at six every morning to ensure everything gets taken care of before heading off on the school run can be a bit wearing.

First the chickens, rabbits and guinea pigs need feeding, then the dogs and cats and finally us.  After breakfast its chivvying sleepy children into doing their hair, teeth and retrieving their shoes from the last place they were thrown when they came home the previous evening.  It will be nice to have a slower pace of life for a while. 

Finally after getting them into their schools its time to walk the mad dogs on the beach.  After that down to work.

I have a three day craft fair to attend in August, it will be the 5th, 6th and 7th of August and takes place at Sanders Garden World at Brent Knoll in Somerset.  The proceeds of the fair go to the FreeWheelers charity, which is a group of people who transport blood, x rays and similar free of charge between the local hospitals.  It can help to save lives and is constantly needing funds. 

I shall be taking my fibre shop, with drop spindle kits, hand dyed fibres and yarns and some of my jewellery. 

I have been taking advantage of the hotter weather to get lots of dyeing and washing of fleece done.  I now have 5 lovely Jacob fleeces that were purchased in Somerset through a contact from the craft fair I attended in February this year.  I have also discovered two Bowmont fleeces lurking in my store cupboard and this is now listed for sale in the online shop.  I have assorted hand dyed rovings for sale, last summers stock is currently at half price and the new fibres are being listed as they are dyed and dried. I am waiting on some gorgeous Wensleydale fleece which should be with me by mid August.  This will then be dyed and listed in the shop.

I am currently spinning up some hand dyed mohair curls which I have dyed in shades of lilac and purple and these are coming out very fine and I will hopefully be making a shawl out of the resulting yarn. 

I have warped up the knitters loom using a 12 dpi reed and am making some place mats using some Swedish weaving cotton that I got as a job lot on ebay. 

The weaving bug is still biting and despite selling the beloved floor loom I am strongly considering investing in a small table loom to satisfy my urge to keep weaving.  The jewellery making means that I can just weave for pleasure and not for income so the strain on the back wont be so bad.

I should love to hear from anyone regarding their spinning or weaving projects, its  always good to talk fibre.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Tuesday 24th May

Loads to talk about this month.  I have had a very busy time recently as I made the sad decision to sell my Glimakra Julia floor loom at the end of April.  I have been suffering with osteoarthritis for some years and it is present in my upper spine and I had found that sitting at the loom was causing me a lot of discomfort.  I regretfully put it up for sale and achieved a very good price for it and it has gone to a good home.  I have now only got an Ashford knitters loom, 12 inch with two different sized reeds to make scarves with.  This will be enough to satisfy the desire to weave my handspun yarns from time to time.

I shall continue to spin and dye my own yarns and fibres but to replace the weaving I invested the money from the loom in jewellery making items and stock.  A total difference from fibre fun, I agree but something I can do sitting down and in comfort.  I am hoping to sell the items I make alongside my yarns and fibres.  Wish me luck with my new venture.

I shall continue to post here however and keep everyone updated on my spinning and knitting.  I am currently spinning up a baby alpaca fleece which is a lovely golden brown and white.  I have decided to separate the brown and white and spin into two different yarns rather than ply the two colours together.  I was so lucky to be given this fleece along with another baby alpaca fleece in black and an adult fleece in cream which I think is a suri cross. 

Knitting is currently fingerless mittens to use up the endless supply of sock yarn I seem to have accumulated.  I am making a pair out of Opal Sock Yarn, Harry Potter,"" Tonks which is a pink, red, yellow and grey yarn.  I also have a ball of yarn in the same series (not sure if this is the correct word here) in the shade "Ron"

On a lighter note we have adopted three ex battery hens that the girls have named, Florence, Doris and Princess Peach.  They have been with us for just over a week and are settling in nicely.  Our pet angora rabbit, Rock,y loves them and thinks its wonderful to share their corn.  So far we have had four eggs!  Very tasty.

Along with our newly planted vegetables we are hoping to be quite self sufficient this year.  Bring on the Good Life!!

Happy spinning everyone.

Thursday, 7 April 2011


Today I went to the Stitch and Creative craft show at the Bath and West Showground at Shepton Mallet.  It was a good show this year with some lovely stands.  There was a stand with the Lucet company.  I dont know if you are all familiar with a Lucet but it is a tool that was used in mediavel times to make cords to decorate clothing and to lace up clothing before buttons were used.  The man demonstrating the lucet was very fast at making the cord and there were lucets of different sizes there, some large wooden ones that were used to make strong cords out of hemp or thick string.  These cords could then be plaited to make thicker ropes for use such as dog leads or tie backs for curtains.  You can add beads and different colours.  Fascinating.

I also fell foul of some lovely discounted knitting yarn with the Black Sheep and a skein of sock yarn.  A good day out and well worth a visit.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011


Hi, the lovely spring weather didnt seem to last long but I am hopeful it will return soon.  In the meantime its a good excuse to stay indoors doing the things I love best, spinning, knitting and weaving.   I have to confess that the hour change last week made me feel very hung over for a week, does it have this effect on anyone else.  I seemed to spend the week chasing my tail!

This week I have on the Julia loom a warp using my handspun yarn.  The yarn is a Bluefaced Leicester/Suffolk cross fibre which was handspun with extra twist to make it strong.  I have to say I am very pleased with it, no broken threads.  I have wound quite a long warp using a four shaft tie up in an M's and O's pattern draft.  I am using Gotland yarn for the weft and making cloth to turn into bags for an upcoming craft show.

The weave looks quite open when you look at the first picture, but in the second picture you can see a sample that has been washed and fulled after weaving and there is quite a difference.  None of the tension problems here that were experienced beforehand. 

I dont have any spinning this week as I have been concentrating on the knitting and weaving.  A few more days and the children will be off for their Easter holidays.  I am hoping the weather will be good so that I can get some dyeing done, the fleece does smell so lovely when dried in the sunshine. 

Last Friday I visited a lovely lady near Weston Super Mare who owns Alpacas and Shetland sheep.  She approached me at the craft fair I attended in February and asked if I would be interested in buying some of her fibre this year.  It was lovely to meet her animals and she is obviously very passionate about them and very caring.  The Shetland sheep have been bred for their fleece as their owner is a handspinner and weaver so understands about the need for good quality.  They were very friendly and came up to be hugged and scratched, although I think the large bag of hay might have had something to do with their eagerness to say hello.

The fibre is very fine on both the Alpacas and the sheep and I shall be purchasing some later in the year when shearing takes place.  Also we have been promised a phone call when the baby Alpacas or Cria are born so that I can take the girls to see them.  I am looking forward to that.

I will ask her permission to take some photographs when we go and post them here for you all to see. 

Shearing season is nearly here and I have to admit its one of my favourite times of year.  Once again I shall be visiting the fleece tent at the Bath and West and no doubt will have to be dragged out by the children, loudly proclaiming "Mum!! You dont need anymore fleece".  But there is always room for just one more?

Happy Spinning.

Saturday, 26 March 2011


The lovely scarf that I was so proud of crashed and burned off the loom last Thursday when I took it off and realised it had gaps in amongst the weft, sob sob.  I have thrown this problem into the UK Weavers group forum on Ravelry and received some very good advice.  It would seem that the problem was poor tension.  This occurred during warping.  Warping alone can be very complicated in that it is difficult to maintain correct tension when winding on and trying to hold the warp in one hand and wind on with the other.

Now I have been advised that to maintain good tension when warping alone I can tie some weights onto the warp and that will maintain the tension whilst I am winding on.  Now collecting milk bottles for the next project. 

If you are stuck on tips for weaving, the books are good but there is nothing like receiving help from people who have been there and made the same mistakes.  Weaving lessons are not an option for me as I dont have the money to spare to pay for them at this time in my life.  But free advice is brilliant on this group.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011


Feeling rather ashamed here of not having posted for ages.  No excuses other than life taking over as usual.  I cant believe its nearly a year since I started this blog.  The days seem to merge one into another. 

I am glad to see Spring is coming to Berrow again, the lovely flowers throughout the village are testimony to that and my beautiful Magnolia tree is out in blossom once again.

I am currently weaving a scarf on the Julia loom, using a four shaft, straight twill threading, with a hand dyed tencel warp and a hand dyed tencel  and merino weft.  The merino yarn is laceweight and was produced at Coldharbour Mill in Devon although I understand that they no longer have their mill shop on site due to flooding, it is being moved to Lynton on Exmoor, which is a shame as that is rather far for me to drive so hopefully they will post yarn if I wish to purchase any.

The hand dyed tencel came from Yarnstopia on Etsy and is gorgeous.  I have to admit that the tencel yarn does tend to wear as a warp yarn, perhaps rayon or silk would have been better.  I am using four picks of hand dyed tencel, and four picks of hand dyed merino.  It seems to be working quite well and I am fairly pleased with the results so far. Once its off the loom and washed then I can see how successful it has been.

I warped this up at 12 epi using a 12 dent reed. 

On the Minstrel wheel is some fairly coarse wool fleece that is a Border Leicester/Suffolk cross and was purchased locally.  I do seem to have quite a bit of this lurking in the garage, but I'm not confessing to anyone else about this.

This will be spun up for warp yarn and I am putting some extra twist into this to give it the strength it will need for warp.  I shall thread this up at 8epi using an 8 dent reed.

Here is one of the completed hanks.

 Then I will spin up some more with less twist for the weft.  I hope to hand dye some of the yarn to make cushion covers.  I am going to experiment with some drafts found on and see how these come out.  If the wool is successful for warp yarn then I may spin up some more and have another go at doublewidth weaving. 

A little while ago I purchased Jennifer Moore's book on doubleweave.  Its a fascinating read and I did have one attempt at weaving a doublewidth throw in aran weight yarns.  It was amazing to watch the cloth grow and to see it bind together at one side but unfortunatley I did have quite a few skipped threads which meant that it didnt turn out to be very attractive.  I think a finer yarn may work better next time.

So thats all for today, and a final thought there are some great groups on Ravelry and some of the members of the UK weavers group have been amazingly patient with some odd questions I have put to them lately so dont be downhearted if your weaving goes astray or even if you just want to ask questions about it, free to join and good company, who could ask for more.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011


Its been a hectic time since my last posting.  After getting over the 'flu and nursing sick children I decided to re-enter the world of craft fairs.

The girls are getting older now and are much better at staying with a sitter for the weekend whilst Mum takes her shop on the road.

I have just spent the weekend at a local garden centre taking part in a craft fair in aid of  FreeWheelers motorbike charity.  Free Wheelers carry blood, x rays, breast milk etc for the NHS, free of charge between hospitals in emergency situations.  Obviously this takes a lot of money to run and so much fundraising has to be undertaken. 

The charity takes its funds from the prices paid for the stall space by the craft workers. 

It was well attended and I felt very pleased and surprised that many people were so interested in my items.  I took along a selection of my hand dyed fibres, yarns and handwoven and handknitted accessories. 

I also made some useful contacts including a wood turner who is going to be producing drop spindles for me so that they can be handpainted and sold in my shop. 

The next fair is due to be held in August and I am hoping also to do another one in December this year.

I will post dates and locations nearer the time.

Below is a selection of pictures of items from my online shop, there is a link to the right of the blog.

Have fibery fun people, its almost time for small people to return from school.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Sunday 9th January 2011

Firstly I would like to wish all fibre fanatics everywhere a very belated Happy New Year.  The Christmas season overtook me and the bad weather too has meant very limited time for posting.

As I write I am looking forward to trying out some new weaving patterns this year and have been wandering through my pile of Handwoven magazines for inspiration.  I should very much like to add a larger floor loom to my workroom this year, but must first work out the logistics here, especially with number one daughter using the sofa bed when she comes to stay, at present the Julia loom pushes easily aside but another loom may present problems.  I love the Julia loom but would like something with more width, currently being limited to 26 inches is a bit fustrating when wanting to weave larger items. Many visits to the Loom Exchange anticipated here.

My spinning consists of working through my stash of alpaca fibre and then using the yarn in my weaving and knitting.  I find that washing the fibre first works best for me as the dust from the unwashed fibre gets into my throat.

I am about to warp up my loom to weave a frilled scarf.  By using yarns that react differently to fulling, I am using merino and rayon in alternating stripes in the warp and merino and a small amount of rayon in the weft, when washed the scarf will "frill" up as the merino will full or shrink more than the rayon.  I shall try and remember to post photographs here.

I am looking forward to the evenings getting longer and lighter and the days becoming warmer so I can get some fibre dyed up to create some different colourways in my weaving.