Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Bonfire Night

I'm planning to use some of these photos for my sketchbooks. Fireworks (when you can capture them!) are an obvious choice for interpretation into textiles but the photos of the bonfire have some fabulous movement, texture and shade that I think will be very interesting to explore.

This one was just for fun! I think it's called the frog - but it was very funny!

And one of my lovely niece and great-niece (none of my nephew as I couldn't catch him!)

And the grown-ups - yes, we got sparklers too : )

Monday, 23 January 2012

October Clubs - Jack O'Lantern

A warm and spicy shade for Autumn!

Shetland humbug...
 And alpaca/nylon sock...

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Northern Quarter Art

On a wander to meet the lovely Tracey for a bit of retail therapy (and an essential stop at the Sugar Junction, naturally), I spotted this...
Isn't it fantastic?

Friday, 20 January 2012

Hydrangeas in Bloom - September club colourway

Keeping up the momentum (and nearly up to date!), September's colourway was "Hydrangeas in Bloom".

By September a lot of our flowers have finished and we’re busy deadheading in the garden. However, we are still enjoying the lovely hydrangeas. I find it quite fascinating that colours can be changed purely by altering the quality of the soil. I use my alum mordant to get the blue-y purple shades in my garden as these are my favourites (and it’s a good use for my buckets of mordant water!).

And here is my interpretation of our hydrangeas, a lovely Merino Superwash sock yarn.

Making books, boxes and journals!

Can't believe I nearly forgot to post about this!

This was one of the highlights of the Guild calendar for me last year. Although we are essentially a Guild of Spinners, Weavers & Dyers we like to mix it up occasionally with something a little different. Judith Fearnley is a lovely lady who makes the most awesome journals, handmade books and boxes. I had a fantastic day making books with her in 2010 so I was delighted to hear she was visiting again in 2011.

This is how the day started (note how tidy and organised we were)...

A couple of hours later - not so organised but Julia and I were having a great time...

My work in progress - this will be a sketchbook for my OCA course

And our completed project for the day - cute boxes covered with old maps!

And two finished projects from Judith's last class..

Thursday, 19 January 2012

August clubs - Wheatfield at Sunset

Mmm, that glowing sunset is making me feel warm despite the cold weather!

Clubs for August were Superwash Bluefaced Leicester/nylon sock yarn

And a lovely Whitefaced Woodland roving....

I don't mind the winter because it brings its own beauty and without it we wouldn't enjoy the lovely plants and flowers and landscape that we do but seeing that picture does make me think "Roll on Summer"!

Club socks courtesy of Susanne : )

A special thank you to Susanne who came to my rescue in the hunt for the July colourway!

Here are some fab socks she knitted with her parcel...

Thanks so much for the pics, Susanne and love the socks!

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Club pics July, sort of - Scots Pine

The observant among you will notice the absence of July yarn and fibre pics (!). Not only do I not know what happened to the pics, other than knowing that the colourway was Scots Pine, I have no recollection of what it even looked like! What I do know is that the inspiration was my trip to Summer School in Edinburgh and that this was the photo-inspiration...
and this is how I described the colourway...
"The Scots pine is a particularly beautiful shade of blue-green, and is, as I discovered, quite elusive to capture in a dye. I have used a merino/tencel yarn to create the reflective quality of the pine needles and gentle combinations of dyes to give a subtly variegated colourway".

So club members, if you have a photo of your parcel, please do let me know, and for everyone else, I'm afraid I shall have to leave it to your imagination!

(And I do have photos for the rest of the year - I have checked!).

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Dyeing across the Pennines

More trips across the M62 in November for dyeing workshops at Baa Ram Ewe in Leeds and Spun in Huddersfield. (It takes a lot to keep a Yorkshire lass in Lancashire for too long!).

Getting busy with lots of laughs and richest rainbows in Leeds....

And creative fun and the best ever use for disposable plastic beakers in Huddersfield....

Thanks for two great days, girls - I do like to end the year on a colourful note!

And if you're feeling inspired by all these colour-filled adventures, you can catch me at Purl City Yarns in Manchester this Saturday (14th)

Year-End Gig Round-up!

Bit of a theme to gigs towards the end of 2011. As you know Pete and I are big fans of the King Blues (vis a vis the link. The King Blues' style is quite upfront so if you are not cool with bad language or you have youngsters nearby, you may prefer to give the link a miss). 

We took the opportunity to see them in Manchester at the Academy 2, then found out that they were one of the bands playing with Billy Bragg as part of his Leftfield in Motion tour back in my home town of Leeds so we got a second bite at the cherry, notwithstanding seeing Billy Bragg, too!

What a great gig! So, one way and another we started and ended 2011 with a King Blues/Billy Bragg sandwich.

Not forgetting Kate Tempest and fellow Londoners Sound of Rum who are another great band, well worth seeing if you get the chance.

Oh, and I get my official groupie award for having my copy Billy Bragg's new CD Fight Songs

...signed by the man himself! Yeay!

Monday, 9 January 2012

Onto June Clubs - Forest Fells

Apologies, only seem to be able to find one pic for this month!

June 2011 Roving Medley Club - Forest Fells

Soft merino blended with lustrous tencel
Not sure what happened to pics of the Sock and Fibre Adventure Clubs so if anyone has any piccies (of the originals or what you made from them - please let me know!).

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Clubs catch-up - May 2011 - Stained Glass

Hot on the heels of April's offering, I give you May club piccies -

Stained Glass...
(sunglasses recommended for the delicate of vision - or those with large, hi-res monitors!)

Roving Medley - Falkland roving

Sock club - Superwash wool/nylon

Fibre Adventure Club - Falkand roving, baby alpaca fleece (I could curl up and hibernate in this stuff!) and silk hankies.

Club catch-up pics - April - strawberrry truffle

As I am making way for what is arguably the most embarrassing blogpost ever, I'm going to get busy with a series of quick posts to round off 2011....

Clubs for April - Strawberry Truffle

Supersock Medley - Alpaca/nylon squooshiness 

Roving Medley -70% natural champagne alpaca/30% organic merino - softness to dye for!

Fibre Adventure Club - Alpaca/merino roving, Exmoor x BFL fleece and baby silk/camel blend.

(and the embarrasing blogpost? Well, you'll just have to wait - but it involves designing...)

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

I hope everyone had a lovely break! We had a few day's rest and relaxation, spending family time together, catching up on a 97% full hard-drive of recorded tv (!), eating more chocolate and cake than was strictly healthy and generally taking some time out.

2012 looks set to be a busy year with workshops and shows already filling up the diary - look out for details on the website soon. Writing on the book re-commenced as of yesterday ( 6   8 spreads written so far!) and some OCA sketching. We've also got an awesome new video camera so watch this space for news of some exciting developments on the teaching front!

I have a couple of posts to round off last year then it'll be full steam ahead for 2012. I don't really do New Year's Resolutions but I have got lots of ideas to share with you and I do have a couple of "old faithfuls" that will be on my list this year (more exercise, better diet, more early nights - sound familiar?). How about you? What's on your list for 2012?

Looking forward to reading your blogs, meeting up with you wherever/whenever possible and generally sharing our goings-on!

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