Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Mmmmmm! Leftovers

The question that all spinners face from time to time is what to do with leftover fibres?  Fill cushions? Run it through the trees for birds to use in their nests? What if it is hand dyed and ever so slightly felted?  What if it looks like this!

Well I liked this dye lot and had spun wool that was sold, with these being the leftovers. (Possibly could think of another way to describe them).

I decided to spin the fibres very thinly. I didnt check it wpi because I did want to spin freely but it's pretty much ended up being 4ply.  It was easy TV watching, no pressure, chatty spinning and great fun  Here are the singles still on bobbins and here is the skein.  Lovely, but not very much of it.

So I'm going to use if for a piece of textile artwork, I have a friend who is a screen printer and teacher and we're going to do some experiments and hopefully do some brainstorming and see what we can create.  Easter holidays are hurtling towards us so the college where she teaches will be completely free of students, allowing us time and facilities for our cunning plan.  That is the plan, unless gossip and coffee gets in the way.  I will keep you informed.  About the artwork.  Not the gossip.

The last spinning workshop at Knit-Wise went very well with the next one being on April 16th.  We're hoping to start a spin n chat (?), treadle n talk (?), each Wednesday, with biscuits and coffee and at only £2 per session it's a steal.  Anyone interested can turn up or call Myra at Knit-Wise for more information.

Knit-Wise                01695 580 590
Church Street

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Bowland Wool - Yum!!

The last few weeks have consisted of a lovely weekly hospital stay where the daily treatment consisted of free Jeremy Kyle (why, NHS why?), a spinning workshop at Knit-Wise in Ormskirk and a very interesting visit to Bowland Wool.

Our first Knit-Wise workshop was great fun, the ladies went home at the end of a loud day (laughing, not swearing) with a lovely skein of wool which Rennie said she would frame.  We should all frame our first skein, don't you think? And I would have done if my dog hadn't ragged it all over the place.  Although as it was my very first skein, it didn't look much different after she had finished than it did before!

The weather has started to pick up now, although it's still cold, and we made a start on the field!  It's a small miracle but we got our little plough out, which I think could have previously been owned by Noah himself and with the help of the weight of a small child we managed to plough over the field.  And then we found that if the small child drove the mower, the weight of a large man would make all the difference.

So our first beds are in, separated by laminate flooring boards and a bamboo wigwam.  We're ready to go.  Only another eight or so beds to put in and we may have the start of a kitchen and dye plant garden.

Last week's highlight was a visit to Bowland Wool in the forest of Bowland in Lancashire which is the most beautiful area to visit.  The land is owned by the Queen don't you know.  She allowed us access as long as we put our best accents on and promised not to touch.

Bowland Wool is run by Rosemary Johnson, who is championing the wool from Bowland Farmers.  The wool is Bluefaced Leicester, which is a favourite of mine because of the staple, which makes it easy to spin and it is also less irritating to the skin, so people who don't normally like wool on their skin can ofter tolerate BFL.  The palette she has chosen is lovely, muted, classic shades that will knit up beautfully.

She is passionate about keeping all the textile crafts alive and so there are workshops on quilting, knitting, dressmaking, and now spinning, as I will be running a workshop on the 9th of April!  There is also lots going on over the Easter holidays and I will post more nearer the time.  It would be lovely to meet any of you.

I would really recommend a visit to the area if you're looking for somewhere interesting or inspiring for a day out..  The countryside is just so beautiful, the forest of Bowland is famous for it's food.  Of course there is the Inn at Whitewell to visit for a meal, and then to Rosemary at Bowland Wool for your fix of all things textile.  Go on, you know you want to!

Root Hill Estate Yard,
Whitewell Road
Dunsop Bridge
01200 448005