Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Design Workshops

Those of you who know me well realise that "design" is my motivator.  I love the process of design and more than that I love to teach it.  It really lifts my soul to see those who are terrified that they can't paint and draw work with paper, pencil and paint, cutting and sticking and working through the processes to develop something beautiful.

About 18 months ago I visited a group of spinners near York who are working towards the National Association of Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers Certificate of Achievement in spinning to teach a Design for the Terrified 2 hour Masterclass!  As usual I got the same remarks I get in most classes: "I can't paint or draw", "science was my thing at school", "my art teacher kicked me out of the art class", etc., etc.  I find it so sad to hear these tales of woe.  I start by saying that the design process begins with observation and how may people in the group have to use that skill at work?

After a very intense 2 hours we had a group of spinners with some lovely design work from which they could design yarn, knitwear, weave, crochet, etc.  One student, Cath Snape, went on to gain a Distinction in her Certificate of Achievement in Spinning and produced an amazing sketchbook for her final project, a beautiful shawl.

Some of Cath's work produced in the Masterclass can be seen below.


Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Creative Spinning

In June I was invited to visit York and District Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers to tutor a Creative Spinning Workshop.

It was a beautiful day at the Museum of Farming, Murton, just outside the city, where the Guild meet and I had a group of 9 spinners keen to look at yarn design.  They all brought a lovely picture for inspiration and lots and lots of fibres.  The idea is that each spinner uses a picture that inspires them with regard to colour and texture and they learn a range of "fancy" yarn techniques that could be used to produce a range of yarns.

It was such a busy day that I forgot to take photographs of the amazing yarns that were produced, but two of the spinners sent me images of their yarns, for which I'm grateful!

This is the image that Bev Baldry used to inspire her yarns.

The two images below are the same picture with the two yarns Bev produced to be used in her lounge where the picture hangs.  Bev captured the texture of the deep plum flowers in the top picture and the softness of the misty sections in the lower image.


The image below shows Jean Stother's image and yarns that were inspired by it.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Make Works

This time last year I had been selected to be part of the new Derby and Derbyshire section of Make Works Website.  I was interviewed and filmed along with other makers and manufacturers from our region and the section is now live! 

Make Works has been live for a number of years and running successfully in Scotland and Birmingham and you can find out all about the organisation via their Blog here and Derby and Derbyshire in particular here.

If your interested in my listing please take a look by following this link and scroll down to see the video.

The team who interviewed and filmed me last year were so kind and put me at ease during the whole process and I'm pleased with the result.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Deflected Double Weave on a Rigid Heddle Loom

I've just been developing a simple deflected double weave that can be woven on a rigid heddle, so I thought I'd give you a series of short video's that will help to explain how it's done.
The warping is relatively simple using two rigid heddles of the same dpi that are suitable for your yarn.  I used a  2/6's wool yarn and so used two 7.5dpi heddles.

Warp in colour groups of four, that is 4 red ends, 4 black ends repeated across the loom ending with 4 red ends.  In this example the red ends are passed 2 at a time through the slits of both heddles, followed by the black ends 2 at a time through the slits of both heddles, until you have the width of scarf you want.  Wind the warp onto the back beam ready to thread as follow:


  • The first 2 red ends go through the front heddle slit and are threaded normally through the back heddle, slit, hole.  Repeat with the second 2 red ends in the next front heddle slit and threaded normally through the back heddle, slit, hole.
  • The 2 black ends are threaded normally through the front heddle and through the slits only, through the back heddle.  Repeat with the next to black ends.
  • Continue across the warp in this way threading 4 red ends followed by 4 black ends, finishing with 4 red ends.
Here is a link to my YouTube video showing how the warped loom looks:



Now comes the weaving, starting with the red ends.   Always pick up the red warps to make the down shed when both rigid heddles are in the down or lower position.  Always pick up the black warps to make their down shed when both rigid heddles are also in the down or lower position.

Here's a link to the whole process of weaving deflected double weave:




I hope you enjoy trying this technique on your rigid heddle loom.  I'd love to hear how you get on!




Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Pantone's Top 10 Colours for Spring 2017

I recently posted my Colour Palette for March with 5 lovely colours and while browsing the "net" earlier today I spotted a post on Design Taxi about Pantone's top 10 colours for Spring 2017 and noted some similarities to my colour palette!


The Pantone colours 13-0755, 14-1315, 17-4123 and 19-4045 are the ones I think are particularly close to my chosen colours.  Two of the other colours, 17-4123 and  18-0107 are close to two of my chosen colours for February 2017's Colour Palette, what do you think?

Monday, March 06, 2017

A Years Free Sewing Patterns from McCalls!

Follow the following link to enter the Love Sewing competition to get a years supply of sewing patterns from McCalls!  All you'll need to sew your handwoven fabric.
http://swee.ps/STzUArPg

Sunday, March 05, 2017

Colour Palette of the Month - March 2017

We are just five days into the Month and Spring is beginning to show in my garden with a few miniature daffodils and the last of my snowdrops.  There is a little warmth in the sun when it does shine, so I'm going to continue this cheer with my Palette of the month.
This photograph was taken a few years ago in the evening and the light gave the blue background which I love against the pale yellow of the flowers.  It would make some lovely striped fabric or an unusual and interesting tweed.
I used a quick Stripe Generator to produce the following pattern.  The colours aren't strictly true, but it gives you a good idea of what can be produced.

With the tweed design I wanted something a little different, not true checks or diagonal stripes, but a bit more broken.

I hope you like the ideas I've developed and I'd like to hear if you've had a go at reproducing your own designs or even these.
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