Sunday, 20 November 2016

Art Yarn For The Harrogate Knitting and Stitching Show 2016

handspun art yarn
Handspun "cloud" yarn 

After exhibiting for a second time at "The Knitting And Stitching Show" in London's Alexandra Palace this year, I thought I would pack up my trunks and travel with them to their northern counterpart in Harrogate, which is between the 24th and  27th of November 2016. Now, I've spent a couple of wonderful weekends in Skipton and Haworth in Yorkshire, but I have never really been to Harrogate before, and I'm really looking forward to it! 

So, I have been busy making pretty things to take with me, including some fun new art yarns. 

Me and my beautiful Mum (Karen) at the Spring Knitting and Stitching Show
Super Coil Yarn 

 I've mostly been experimenting with super coil yarns. These guys are seriously fun to make! Firstly, I gather all my ingredients ( hand dyed roving in merino and corridale, hand dyed wensleydale locks, glittery bits, Llanwenog farm fleece  for texture) and carded myself some big chunky batts. Then, I spun a thick n thin singles yarn, making sure to add slightly more twist than I would normally. THEN, here comes the fun bit, I plied it using a strong cotton weaving yarn, and kept pushing the yarn up and up and up until it created these gorgeous jumbo coils.

art yarn
Art Yarn
I just love they way they have turned out! It is pretty crazy yarn. I've taken to immediately winding them into skeins and then.. trying them around my neck as they look like arty necklaces to me. :-)

I also think this yarn would look gorgeous needle felted in lengths on a plain background , then cut and sewn into accessories- you could easily weave this too, making sure to weave some plain yarn in between rows to space it out a little, to really show off the texture.

The picture at the top of my post is another favourite yarn of mine I've called "cloud yarn" because the little white coils look like clouds! This is a similar techniques but with the super coil only in certain areas.

hand dyed roving
Hand dyed roving 

I've also been dyeing some Polwarth fibres, and carding my lovely balls'of'fluffness (AKA batts) in a rainbow of colours to take to the show.
This batt was made from merino, corridale, BFL locks, and chunky angelina in corals, midnight blues, purples and aqua. Yummyyyy.

art batt
Hand carded batt

Art Batt for Spinning and Felting 
Perhaps I'll see some of you in Harrogate. :-)

Saturday, 12 November 2016

The London Knitting and Stitching Show 2016

I thought you might like to see some pictures from this year's Knitting and Stitching show.
I decided to take up the offer of returning to the same spot as last year, but this time I made sure I made enough batts and spindles to last me the whole week! I was so overrun last year with customers that I all but sold out of things on the last day.
The Knitting and Stitching Show at Ally Pally is a five day show at the beginning of October in North London, and was always the highlight of my year as a visitor for many years.

Fiber booth
Bright coloured batts on my vintage dresser

I really liked my little corner of the show- which is MASSIVE by the way, in case you have never been before. The Knitting and Stitching show is made up of four ginormous halls full of exhibitors of all genres in the craft world - sewing machines, yarn, fabric, artist exhibitions, haberdashery, books, felting supplies, needles and notions and so much more. I was surprised anyone found me at all, so thank you to everyone who came to see me and supported me.

My stall - batts, spindles, spinning wheels, art yarns, roving, weaving looms! 

I started preparing for this show three months before. I made 250 batts for the show- Thats 25 kilos of fluffiness! I also made a similar number of drop spindles, and dyed up 50 rovings in fake cashmere and my favourite- polwarth too. I loved making and designing all my handspun yarns, full of texture and hand collected fleece.

Drop spindles
My handmade drop spindles 

Relaxing with mum at the end of day three, spinning of course! 
We offered to teach people how to spin on the stall, with a little difference from last year- this time we brought our spinning wheels too! Mum was so lovely teaching people on the (blue) wheel while I mostly showed visitors how to use a drop spindle.
There is always time for more spinning - we were kicked out most nights by the security guards for being the last ones there! 
Everyone loved my "Ice Crystal" batt - I think because the gold glittery angelina in the batt sparkled so much under the lights!
Ice Crystal Batts
I was surprised and excited to meet American superstar crochet designer Vickie Howell ( who popped by my stall on the Saturday with her film crew (eeep!) and got me to show her a few spindle moves. I also met the lovely team behind VAV magazine, a specialist weaving periodical made in Sweden with beautiful pictures and articles about the modern weaving community.
A shelf stuffed full of my hand carded batts
It was nice to be opposite my show pal textile artist Katie Essam again, who I met for the first time last year. Katie makes gorgeous embroidered and mixed media art pieces and it was lovely to catch up in-between the crowds.
We packed up after our five days in London and travelled home to Cambridge in no time at all. I can't wait to be back next year!
I will be taking my wares up to Harrogate later this month, so if you are nearby, come along because I'm sure you will have a fantastic day out.

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Making for Yarndale 2016

I thought I would spam you with some pictures from my studio this week. You don't mind do you? Thought so!

I've been making wild and colourful batts. This one i've named "Highlighter Rainbow" and I just can't stop looking at it. It's NEON. yes. NEONNNNNNN :-D

Rainbow spinning batt
Rainbow batt for spinning

I've also spinning yarns. I've made some fun art yarns with whole lengths of sequins spun in, and if anyone was to look up the definition of "mermaid yarn" in the dictionary i'm certain you would see a picture of my yarn in there. ;-)
Pretty spinning batts, drop spindle and art yarn

mermaid art yarn with sequins 
 I've also making many, many spindles. I've started experimenting with interesting patterned paper that looks a bit like some tie dye and also kaleidoscope designs. Can't wait to show you those! I may also have been making some fan fiction inspired spindles for Doctor Who and Harry Potter fans. :-D
I can show you some pictures of me pressing some Hydrangea's from my garden though, ready to set inside my spindles. I had such a relaxing evening pressing flowers.

Finally, here is a picture of my "E numbers" batt with one of my new disco "blingles"

I can't wait for Yarndale, and I hope to see some of your friendly faces there. L x

Saturday, 10 September 2016

Mint Green Painted Kromski Fantasia

My custom painted Kromski Fantasia spinning wheel 
I just got this baby painted a gorgeous vintage mint green for a dear customer of mine. I love it! I was inspired by this pretty picture of Pantone 345, with all it's 1960s vibes. Don't you think it's turned out gorgeously? 

Pantone 345

60's mint green painted Kromski Fantasia
This wheel was a surprise birthday present for a customer's friend, who was obsessed with green. Apparently she adored it. :-D 
Mint green Kromski fantasia
I'm planning on adding two more colours to my standard range of custom options for the Fantasia, to include a vintage lilac and pink alongside this mint green and my original baby blue wheel. So fun! I really love my baby blue Fantasia, it's so cheerful and uplifting to use. I particularly love the high shine of the paintwork too. Yum! 

Baby Blue painted Kromski Fantasia 

Someone recently asked to buy my wheel from my at a wool festival, and I didn't have the heart to say no as they were so enthusiastic about the paintwork. I really missed having my little bluebird around my studio. I've now got another wheel painted up and it's going to be mine,( all mine, all mine! ) I've decided to keep a couple of extra wheel parts painted up and in stock as they have been so popular, so I will never be without my blue wheel again. :-)