Sorry. really I am, it was just too good an opportunity to pass up.
It’s not really the world, not even Ireland, but we’re hoping to attract a few spinners, weavers or dyers.
Sorry. really I am, it was just too good an opportunity to pass up.
It’s not really the world, not even Ireland, but we’re hoping to attract a few spinners, weavers or dyers.
I can hardly believe a whole year has passed again, Yarndale 2014 seemed like only yesterday and I almost missed it this year, due to the distraction that is Olann and.
Hubby needed to take a course in the UK, which we were able to time beautifully to coincide with the annual pilgrimage to Skipton and we’re lucky to have family in Yorkshire too. Handy for staying over and availing of all the Yorkshire bargains, my family are obsessed with bargains – 25% off a meal here, a free coffee there. It’s really funny and the subject of many a jest, but every little helps after all.
We caught the ferry in the wee small hours of Friday morning to give us a couple of days to spend in Yorkshire with the family. Saturday included a road trip around the dales, exploring some beautiful places and happening upon the Holmfirth Food Festival too.
Rising bright and early, we made our way to Skipton on the misty Sunday morning, stopping off for breakfast on the way (as you do). Despite arriving by 11am, the marts was already filling up and parking was at a premium.
Heading straight in as we’d pre-booked, we were handed our Show Guide, which contains details of what’s on over the weekend, all the exhibitors and a few lovely little knitting & crochet patterns. This years programme also contains a great interview with John and Juliet of John Arbon Textiles who won the best stand award at Yarndale 2014.
Having just closed a yarn shop, it’s fair to assume that I might have a few balls and hanks hanging around the house, so purchases could seem just a little extravagant. There’s so much to tempt you though that resistance is futile. I did buy a couple of books and some fibre to spin. I also bought some good old fashioned rug wool to use with my stash of weaving yarn. There were a couple of books and magazines too, but my hubby has it all with him in the UK to save me carrying it on the plane and he’s not coming home for a while yet. So it will be like Christmas when he does 🙂
You really have your pick when it comes to Yarndale, there’s stalls selling everything from fibre and spinning wheels to yarn and patterns. You can even enquire about purchasing an alpaca or two if you want. Setting a budget, is probably the safest option and then leave your bank/credit cards at home too. Bare in mind that there are bargains to be had, with many of the vendors offering ‘Yarndale Show Deals’ and ‘Special Prices’.
There are classes and workshops, but it’s better to book ahead as they fill rather quickly. Grabbing a bite to eat will no doubt involve queuing and seating near the food area is very busy. There are chairs set up in pens on almost every row throughout the marts though. So you can stop and rest your tootsies or even eat your lunch.
There’s a great atmosphere, with many attendees bedecked in their woolly creations and many of the stalls have garments on show for you to see in ‘the flesh’ and try on before choosing.
I could rattle on for ages about the things to see and buy, but maybe I should just let the photos speak for themselves? I took so many, but the lighting has meant loads of them are unusable 😦
With so many lovely places to stop for a bite to eat it would have been criminal not to partake of a cup of tea and a slice of cake before heading back down to South Yorkshire.
L👀k at that cake.
We took the scenic route back to South Yorkshire, enjoying the stunning views and beautiful Autumnal sun.
Well I’m excited anyway.
You might remember I’d said I was up to something when I closed the shop?
Well I was and……
Drum roll please
My very good friend Deirdre and I are happy to announce the upcoming lauch of ‘Olann and‘ an online fibre magazine focusing on the Irish market.
We’re busy working on the first issue at the moment and it’s due out the third week of November…. yippee!
Expect loads of fibre, yarn and crafty goodness and we’d love to hear your ideas too.
You can find us in the following places so far, with more to come soon, including a blog 🙂
Instagram = @olannandmagazine
Pinterest = olannand
Facebook = Olann and
Twitter = @olannand
We’d love to have as many of you on board, so be sure to come and join us.
Happy Fibre Crafting!
So.. I was checking out a few things on Ravelry, as you do when you’re trying to decide (avoid) what you’re going to do next and I stumbled upon something I never knew you could do.
Before I go any further, I should point out that you’ve probably been able to do it forever and I’m just late to the party as per usual.
As we all know my newly discovered obsession is weaving, well that and sewing, spinning, etc, etc. Anyway, for the purposes of this post it’s weaving.
I love Ravelry, it’s an invaluable tool for so many different aspects of fibre crafting and I know there’s weaving on there, but I’ve only been able to find it in the past, by looking at the finished projects from people signed up to the groups I’m in.
I’ve just discovered that I can look at all of the finished weaving projects listed on Ravelry☺️🎉 ✌️
Here’s how –
Click on to the people tab along the top of the Ravelry home page and you’ll find yourself here. Where you will find lots of useful places to explore.
There’s your Friends Activity, where you can check out what your Ravelry friends have been up to.
The section – A Random Assortment of People’s Favourites or their ugh’s (projects people they’ve scored with the lowest satisfaction) is great for inspiration, or not as the case may be.
There’s show us your FO’s and lastly at the bottom there is a section called ‘Your Neighbours’. This is a great feature because these people and you have some of the same patterns in your libraries, therefore must have similar tastes. I often begin a search here first if I’m looking to knit something new, as there’s a good chance one of my neighbours might already have a design listed in their favourites or their library that I’ll like.
The section we’re looking at today is the ‘Show us your FO’s’.
Click on the search the finished FO’s tab.
Here you can click on the weaving projects and 💕 voilà 💕 – access to all of the finished weaving projects on Ravelry.
Better still, you can search the colour scheme of the piece.
The weight of yarn used (great for stash busting)
and what the project was, eg clothing, accessory, etc.
Of course you can also search peoples knitting, crochet and machine knitted finished projects too.
The only problem I can see, is that I’m going to be so busy looking at other peoples work, I’ll get none of my own finished 😳
Back to Ravelry, ehm… I mean work 😉
I’m dying to tell you all about my trip last week to Saorimor in Wales (that’s Rosie looking resplendent in her woven top outside her studio), but I’ve had this post sitting half completed in my drafts folder for some time now and probably should just finish and publish it first.
It’s pretty obvious at the moment that I’m a little hooked by weaving, not sure why it’s taken me so long to find my weaving mojo, but now I have, there’s no stopping me. Having said that, I’m still knitting and crocheting away in between and I’ve even got my eye on a sewing pattern that wasn’t available in Cork earlier today 😦
Some of you probably saw photos of pink/orange weaving on Instagram a couple of weeks ago?
Having only really woven the table runner previously with itchy, scratchy, coarse wool, I was keen to find out what weaving with softer knitting yarn would be like. Traditionally, knitting yarn is too soft and has too much ‘bounce’ to be used in tapestry weaving, but lots of the modern looms available have been designed with just this in mind. It’s also what led me to purchase my loom in the first place. I’d hoped my ever increasing yarn stash, would eventually begin to decrease, as it’s definitely quicker to weave a large piece of cloth than knit it, but it would be less bulky than crochet.
Unfortunately though, as quick as it is to weave, there’s just no getting round having to warp your loom. I’m sure I’ll get quicker at it, but don’t be fooled into thinking it’s a quick process. There are youtube videos that make it look like it takes minutes, there’s even one called ‘warping your rigid heddle in 10 minutes’ – total utter 💩detritus💩 for me anyway.
For this project, a scarf, I really wanted to use a yarn that I’ve knitted with to be able to compare the finished fabrics. I opted for the Cotton Premium sock yarn from Opal, that I used to make a pair of socks earlier in the year. The sock yarn is as we know, rather thin (4ply) and so I decided to use a finer reed than before. My 40/10 gives me 40 ends to each 10cm or 4 ends per cm – oh yes, I’m begining to sound like I know what I’m talking about 🙌🏼 Having warped up my loom and wound some bobbins, I knuckled down to a spot of weaving.
I love the texture of plain weave (under one warp, over the next and repeat) and to be fair, I’m not sure I’m ready for twills, waffles and dogtooth checks just yet. The first thing you’ll notice, is that having used the same multicoloured yarn for both the warp and the weft, a sort of chequered pattern forms where the same colours in the yarn cross.
This pattern, adds to the overall effect of the weaving and makes it look a lot more complicated than it really is 💃💃💃
The finished scarf is over 1½ metres long by about 25cm wide and the material feels very different to that of the socks. The socks are much softer and have a squidgyness that the scarf just doesn’t have. The scarf took approximately 1¾ 100g balls of yarn and is light, incredibly warm and I love it, even the mistakes.
Of which there are a few 🙈 🙈 🙈
Technically I could have fixed them and if it was a piece of knitting I’m sure I would have, but for some strange reason they just don’t seem to bother me as much.
Rather oddly I’m also loving tassels as a way of finishing off my weaving too and they’re not something I would have been too fond of in the past. Maybe it’s because I know they’re functional, who knows?
On the loom next, is a cotton something or other, but it’s going to be a gift if it works out – possibly. Blues might just end up being the completely wrong colour though, if you catch my drift 😉
Happy Fibre Fun!
You might have noticed by now, that my knitting needles haven’t been getting much use of late?
Don’t worry, I’m not ready to put them away just yet, it’s purely an enforced pause due to the dreaded hayfever season. Sadly, along with thousands of other people I suffer horrendously at this time of year. To add insult to injury, I become sensitive to everything including dust, wool, my dogs and even the Vaseline you can dab on the outside of your nostrils to catch the offending pollen particles 😦
My poor puppy, ♥Errol♥ is having to make do with sitting on the sofa with me rather than on or next to me and the knitting, which is mostly pure wool, as it tends to be my favourite, is staying in my project bags most of the time.
However, a life without fibre, is in my opinion just not right and happily, I still seem to be able to play in other ways, with just the odd sneeze here and there 🙂
I’m rather ashamed to admit to owning quite a lot of fibery equipment that, in most cases, has never really been used. Some of them were ‘complete bargains’, gifts, specially made (sorry husband), or bought with the best intentions, but a lack of time to learn how to use them.
Weaving, is something I love and have been fortunate to attend a couple of tapestry weaving classes now and I always get far too carried away when I do basic weaving with the children I teach. Since Christmas we’ve made wall hangings and Gods Eyes and I’ve bought Hula Hoops to try and use them for a group project at some stage.
So it probably will be of no great surprise for you to hear that I own a few looms? One of them is a little bit intimidating (a floor loom, disassembled and stored) and falls into the ‘absolute bargain’ category. I also own a peg loom (thank you husband), several tapestry frames (husband again) and a Ashford Rigid Heddle Loom that I’ve been dying to play with if only I could find the time.
Cue hayfever and cut to the loom →
Along with the ‘complete bargain’ loom, there were several boxes of weaving yarn, warp thread, tools and equipment, which all just added to the ‘deal to good to pass up on’ feel of the transaction many years ago. The yarn is mostly the heavy weight, rough rug weaving type of thing that makes your neck itch just looking at it. I love the colours though and find the more than slightly rustic look of the yarn, quite appealing, I just don’t see myself wearing it.
After selecting my three colours and watching the Ashford How to Warp Your Rigid Heddle video on Youtube several times, I began to warp my loom.
At this point, I could lie and say “I’d checked the thickness of my yarn by wrapping it round a ruler to see how many strands it took to make a inch (WPI’s) and then selected the appropriate reed – that’s the plastic bit that determines the set (lay man term – spaces) at which your warp (up and down) threads run through your finished fabric. I didn’t though, I took the picture after. Instead I winged it and used the 7.5dpi (I think I barely understand what this means myself, certainly not enough to explain it yet) reed that came with the loom, which is basically the one for medium thickness yarns
Having warped my loom, which took much longer than it should have, I was able at last to get on with some weaving. I completely forgot to take photos of the process which was more experimental than anything, but happily it ended up being usable.
I didn’t make my warp long enough for my table runner to stretch the full length of my kitchen table, because it’s purposefully over long and rustic. If you’re wondering, my ever suffering hubby made it for me, it’s based on my dads work bench which I loved and reminds me of him every day ♥
The weaving was an experiment after all, even the pattern ended up being a happy accident, one which just evolved and then I repeated.
I think it’s rather lovely, even if I do say so myself.
Look at those tassels too (don’t look too closely at my edges please).
I found I’d enjoyed myself so much I couldn’t resist warping up the loom again. This time I’m using sock yarn and I’m hoping to make a scarf.
Happy Fibre Follies!
More confessions of a fibre strumpet I’m afraid 😉
I do love the word strumpet by the way, what word(s) do you like the most?
A couple of weeks ago now, I spent a beautiful Saturday afternoon enjoying myself in the sun with some of the lovely ladies from the Weavers, Spinners and Dyers Guild playing with indigo dye in Bunmahon on the beautiful Copper Coast.
Most of us will no doubt, have something in our wardrobe dyed using indigo (probably in it’s synthetic form) as it’s the dye of choice for most denim fabric as it’s extremely resistant to fading. My husbands 12 year old favourite pair of jeans are still very blue, they’re just falling apart, proof if ever it were needed.
Indigo for those of you that are interested, is an ancient plant dye, with evidence of it’s use going back to the 3rd millennium BC and it’s still being used all over the world today. Dyeing with natural indigo can be quite labour intensive and although using synthetic indigo still requires a lot of steps, it’s much easier and quicker to get going and we only had the day after all.
The synthetic indigo powder came from George Weil and we followed the instructions given by Vivien Prideaux in her book – A Handbook of Indigo Dyeing. Once mixed and ready the dye bath requires constant, steady heating for an hour or so before you can add your fibre or cloth, which provided the ideal opportunity to indulge in a little lunch of salad, home made hummus and rolls, followed by Irish strawberries and ice cream 🙂
Each of us had made up mini skeins of different yarns (about 20g each), so we could have fun observing how different fibres reacted to the dye.
My yarns were all commercially manufactured yarns, which can sometimes mean they’ve been bleached and may not take the dye, but I was under pressure and it was touch and go whether I’d actually make it on the day. Happily, all of the ones I’d picked took some of the dye and the result is a range of beautiful, blue hues.
From left to right the fibres are Ramsdale pure wool, merino, merino/cashmere/synthetic blend and lastly a bamboo/cotton blend (2 of them as I’ll probably use it as a warp thread).
I love the way the different yarns have reacted to the indigo. The Ramsdale, which is probably my favourite, was a mid grey to begin with, whilst the other three yarns were off white/cream before dyeing. All of my samples have had a couple of rinses, but I’m not sure if the bamboo/cotton blend would actually remain blue if I was to rinse it again.
I’m thinking of weaving a little wall hanging, or maybe even knitting it in linen stitch so it resembles weaving. For now I’m just enjoying steeling glances at the jar of mini blue hanks sitting on my desk. It’ll be interesting to see how the other guild members use their samples, perhaps they might let me take a photo or two and if so I’ll be sure to post them here.
As is so often the case when you’re enjoying yourself, the day drew to a close all too quickly and we were soon off and on our way home. With the sun still high in the sky, I couldn’t resist the temptation to pull in near a little pebbled cove, where I found a bum size rock to sit on and took my shoes off to let the heat from the warmed stones radiate through my feet.
I even found some lovely driftwood branches, bleached white from the sea and sun, which I intend to use in a wind chime project sometime soon.
If you want to know more about indigo dyeing, the history, how to and where to purchase it, these are the websites I’ve found useful. I’d also recommend Vivien’s book that I’ve mentioned above.
I’m figuring that I’ll have caught up with my Christmas 2014 posts just in time for Christmas 2015 at this rate. In truth I could just post every day for a few weeks, but then I run the risk of boring you all to death, so I’m hoping that despite this being another ‘Christmas’ themed post, it’s still interesting?
It comes as no surprise I’m sure, to hear that I love all things fibre and have been fascinated by weaving for some time. Rather embarrassingly, I actually own several looms, I say embarrassingly because I’m not sure who I was trying to kid when we purchased a giant floor sized loom years ago. Truthfully, my intentions were good at the time and it was a complete bargain, but really???
My smaller, more manageable looms sometimes see the light of day and I was very lucky to have spent the day Tapestry Weaving with the very talented Pascale de Coninck many moons ago now, but lets face it, I’m more than likely to be found with my needles.
I like to get the children I teach to have a go at making a secret Christmas gift for their favourite person, but it can be difficult to come up with something suitable. Some of the girls (they’re all girls at the moment) have been knitting with me for a couple of years now, whilst some are new to the hobby and need a little more time.
I spent ages researching different ideas and kept coming across weaving, particularly for wall hangings. They seem to be everywhere at the moment Pinterest is full of them and they’ve even made it in to several magazines.
Having taught weaving to a group of children before I dug around and discovered an old loom I’d made with strong cardboard years ago and copied it, cutting ‘teeth’ out every 1.5cms. Ensuring you have an even number of teeth to give you an odd number of wraps will make things easier (we had 9 warp threads) . I wrapped the warp threads and tied them at the back so the girls could crack on with the weaving.
Using a plastic needle threaded with the yarn of their choice, they wove a basic over and under weave, remembering to wrap the yarn the opposite way on each following row. We had a couple of mishaps with un-weaving to begin with
There were a few things I knew we’d struggle with, with the girls because of our limited time – namely the ends so I searched children’s weaving on Pinterest and happened upon artblog.com which used tape to secure the ends – perfect 🙂
Every time we added a new colour we used masking tape to secure the old and the new ends to the board. Try to make sure your masking tape is the easy lift decorating one or else you could end up damaging your fabric.
Having filled their looms we worked on securing the warp thread ends. Firstly I ran a line of tape up along one side of the warp threads on the back.
Before cutting them straight down the middle.
Flipping the work over to the right side, we knotted the warp thread ends into bunches of three. Then lifting the tape on the back off we did the same at the other end.
The tricky part was removing the weaving from the board, ideally when you weave the ends are woven in as you go, but that would have been far too time consuming.
I had the wonderful task of peeling of the little bits of tape so we could lay the ends flat against the back of the piece.
After a little trim, here’s where the magic from Bar Rucci’s post comes in handy – Gaffer Tape 😍 Using the super strong tape I ♦obliterated♦ the ends. The tape also made the weaving firmer and less likely to sag. Win, win 🏆
You can never have too many pompoms, so we added three to our wall hangings, which we tied to one end of the warp threads. Covering our ends with a little more gaffer tape.
Lastly, we ran a stick through the top set of warp threads to hang our wall hangings with.
Weaving is a great way to use up odds and ends of yarn and you can add lots of interest with funky fibres or strips of material. Each of the girls chose their own colours and textures making each piece individual.
I think you’ll agree the girls wall hangings turned out lovely and festive (even the ones that are back to front 😶)
I think they all enjoyed it?
I’ve always been fond of looking at pretty pictures of things that people have made, what’s not to like? Recently though it’s fair to say I’ve become more than a little obsessed with looking at people’s creations.
First there was Pinterest, well actually there’s still Pinterest and then there’s Instagram. I’m a massive fan, never really one to grasp the concept of Twitter, I completely get Instagram. It’s so easy to swipe my way through other people’s photos on my phone and I love commenting on the beautiful things people have made or are trying out. I’m happy to share my pics too and whilst it’s mostly of my knitting or crochet, I also post photos of my baking, travels, odds & sods and of course my family (they’re the odds and sods ;-0) I find it a great way of communicating with people whether I know them personally or not.
Now though, I’ve gone and installed the Bloglovin app on my phone and I can’t stop trying to find new blogs to read. Between Bloglovin, Instagram and Pinterest I’ve become hooked and could merrily spend a large portion of my day sussing out new ideas and then use the rest of the day playing. Who needs to work, feed the family, dust (I only ever dust what I can see anyway and I’m a little, shall we say, vertically challenged).
The blogs I’m loving at the moment are
Annie’s Place Sharron’s blog is full of pretty photos with crochet and baking thrown in.
Attic 24 Lucy is the crochet queen. Her blog is a riot of colour and family fun.
Brooklyn Tweed So I can drool over the knitted heaven that is Brooklyn Tweed, they’re new BT Kids patterns are soo yummy.
Cherry Heart Sandra’s blog is full to bursting with crochet, knitting, sewing, weaving and baking.
Dada’s Place Dragna’s blog is crochet heaven
Everything Etsy is areally cool blog, packed with ideas and tutorials for you to have a go at anything & everything.
Fiber Flux Jennifer’s blog contains lots of lovely, free crochet & knitting patterns
Handmade Charlotte A great place to find things to do with your kids and as a family
Heart Handmade UK All things crafty, shabby chic and inspiring.
Hopscotch Lane Becky’s blog is full of pretty photos of crochet & lots more. She has an Etsy shop too.
Little Woollie Jules blogs about her crafty adventures & family life.
Mollie Makes – An extension of their magazine
My Hobby is Crochet Lots of crochet goodies
Oh She Glows Meat free recipes, many of which are vegan too
P.S. I Made This This blog has a litle of everything from fashion to craft
Sarah London Crochet beauty
Sew Scrumptious Sewing, sewing tutorials and home of the pillowcase dress charity initiative.
Simple Fare, Fairly Simple Valerie’s blog is full of yummy recipes.
Simply Notable A little bit of everything here and it’s where the pattern for the washcloths comes from too.
Simply Recipes Elsie’s blog does exactly what it says on the tin.
Smitten Kitchen More recipes
Sweet Beet and Green Beans Recipe time again
Tatertots and Jello Jen’s creative blog has some really cool ideas
Thrums Susan’s blog is a wealth of information on weaving
Tin Can Knits Because I just love all things Tin Can Knits
Weave Away Amanda’s weaving blog, lots of lovely weaving ideas.
I’m never short of ideas now, just time.
This is a blog recipe from Oh She Glows. It’s the Green Goddess Dressing which I discovered and thought I’d try. I like my dressings a bit thicker so I didn’t use a s much water as specified.
Dolloped it over my salad and gave it a good toss around.
Happy to report it went rather well with my dinner of Quorn, spicy rice and peas and I’m not usually a fan of advocado.
If you’re stuck for inspiration go and have a look at some of the blogs I’ve mentioned and if you think there’s one I’d be interested in reading let me know so I can check it out.