Friday, 20 April 2012

February clubs - Golden Daffodils

February's club yarn was a bit special as it's one of three new yarns I'll be showcasing at Wonderwool at the end of this month.

All three new yarns are a blend of beautiful fibres from British sheep and are a little unusual for us in that they are marls rather than being pure white. I designed them specifically to allow interesting dyeing effects to be created by combining white plies with naturally coloured plies. (And the natural colours are so pretty they're equally nice undyed!).

Anyway, I digress!

So for February club members there was a sneak preview of one of these yarns, hand-dyed to reflect the fabulous colours of spring daffodils. As the darker ply runs right through the yarn it gives a lovely strong background of continuous colour against the brighter, tonal shades of the dyed plies. As you can tell, I'm having a lot of fun with this process so watch this space!

Here's Pipit, two white plies of lovely Exmoor Blueface and one of Zwartbles...

And to complement the marl yarn, a humbug roving in lovely British Bluefaced Leicester....

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Didn't we have a lovely time... the Stitch & Craft show in Birmingham!

With not one, but three halls, it was quite an achievement just to get round it all!

Nonetheless, Julia and I are never ones to pass up a challenge (particularly of a retail/crafty nature!) and we had a fab time. It's so long since we've been to an event together, it was great just to spend a full day spoiling ourselves with lots of chat, exciting displays (and not a little shopping - well, I don't get much chance as I'm normally trading - and that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it!).

We were very good, with judiciously chosen purchases and we're now planning some playtime to have a bit of fun experimenting with our new goodies.

Here's my little haul....

Fabric for my OCA course - mainly small oddments and offcuts in scrummy colours (and for charity so entirely justifiable);

A screen for some screenprinting (new project in progress - more news to follow!);

An amazing new product called eco-plastic for making jewellery and accessories (gratuitous treat)

Oh, and we got a very useful (and essential as it turned out) freebie bag from Crafty Bob at Craftsuprint.

I also purchased some super books by the talented Helen Deighan (this is one of her projects - isn't it awesome?)

And it would be rude of me not to share some of the fabulous work that was being exhibited, wouldn't it? Here is a very small selection.....(with apologies to anyone whose name isn't on the pic with their piece. I did try to get names as well as pics of everyone's gorgeous work).

Costumes from Downton Abbey

 The Postcard Challenge by the West Country Embroiderers

Rainbows and amazing work in quilt and stitch by members of the Quilters' Guild

Look out for more pics on my Pinterest boards :-)

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Club piccies - January - Star Garnet

 The birthstone for January (and very pretty it is too), characterized by inclusions of rutile, located in the stone so as to reflect light in a star pattern. My pics don't really do the colours justice as they were rather richer and more intense in real life, but I thought you might like to see them anyway :-)

Pure Merino fibre
 Merino fibre, Wensleydale fleece and Kid Mohair roving (not very visible but takes dye beautifully)
 Pure Merino superwash sock

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Advanced Dyeing at Spun

Lots of fun and exciting results at Lydia's lovely shop, Spun, in Huddersfield!

This course focuses on exploring new techniques such as long-skein dyeing for self-patterning yarns and creating customised colour palettes to match a mood board or colour theme.

We also experimented with dye thickeners and resist techniques, great for knitters and weavers alike!

The group did a fantastic job, recreating their chosen palettes and translating them into lovely skeins of yarn, ready for knitting.

If you missed it, or if you'd like to try your hand at dyeing, brushing up existing skills (or just having a dyeing day!), there's another chance to join us on 12th May for a day's colourful fun on my Dye Your Own Yarn course. If you're already familiar with dyeing don't worry, there's still plenty to do as the course caters for all levels.
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