Friday, May 22, 2009

New Mini Mill in Derbyshire Dales


I've just been to visit a wonderful new Mini Mill near Sudbury in the south of the Derbyshire Dales. It's actually just off the A50 near the Ashbourne turn off (A515) and a stones throw from the Museum of Childhood.

Karen and Dave Griffiths set it up in April after several months of training in Wales and what's so great it they have very small minimums. Actually as little as a fleece! So if you've got a great fleece that you don't have time to prepare then Karen is your man! In practice, it's obviously worth getting much more processed, but Karen is keen to provide a service for anyone that she will process just one fleece. Take a look at there prices, by following the link above, which I think are very reasonable indeed.

Pattern Design

I've just found this wonderful resource:
It's all about vintage patterns and sewing using vintage patterns. But what I really like is that it can be used to produce contemporary garments too. I was very impressed with the detail about how to make a calico pattern and how to adapt it by altering dart positions and how to make tucks etc. I've not done this for over 30 years, so it's wonderful to be reminded of how to do it. It's certainly a site I'll be going back to!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Bella Award

I've been awarded a Bella Award for my blog, which is quite exciting for me, as I've never been given a blog award before.

Deb from Herbal Heaven has made the award. Her site is full of wonderful information on all aspects of herbs!

So now I've to nominate 5 blogs for the Bella Award, so here they are:

Growing Colour Tyfu Lliw -This is Helen Melvin's blog about growing dye plants and how she uses them in her work as a felt artist. Helen is a lovely modest person, who's work and practice I'm in awe of.

Jenny Dean's Wild Colour
- Jenny has been dyeing with natural dyes for as long as I can remember and what Jenny doesn't know isn't worth knowing! Her wealth of knowledge is huge and am very grateful for all the help she has given me through her books.

Curious Weaver - is a blog by Kaz Madigan from Australia. She is a very innovative and knowledgable weaver who is really great at passing on her skills.

A History of Colour by Deb Bamford (The Mulburry Dyer) is another fascinating blog. Deb, a re-enactor, is very passionate about Medival dyeing and another hugely knowledgable dyer.

Leighs Fiber Journal - Leigh is a very generous weaver and spinner who's blog is full of ideas and tips and is a great resourse for all new weavers.

The Rules Of This Award:

Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award, and his or her blog link.

Pass the award to 5 other blogs that you’ve newly discovered. Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

Thursday, May 14, 2009


I've just been updating some notes for a week-end workshop I'm tutoring near Scarborough in a couple of weeks time. I decided I'd add some photographs to replace the black and white sketches I previously used. As these first images are about making warps I thought it might be a good idea to add them to the blog.

On the left you will see the whole warp, 72", wound on the warping posts which I found on Ebay! They are super little posts, very sturdy and enable me to warp in a small area, ideal for workshops. I don't usually make two crosses, but for this project I needed two.
This next image shows the thread used to count the cross. After every ten ends I over-lap the thread at the cross and you will see in the image that I've counted 4 bundles of 10, then I had 9 ends to finish with.

You will also see the guide string I use. This has a loop at one end which goes over the first post of the warping board, a knot at the desired length, in this instance 72", and a longish tail to wrap round the last post on the board. I can then determine which is the best route on the board to take the warp for it's desired length.

As I had an odd number of ends, 49 in total for this project, I had to tie the last end to the post on the board, just disappearing out of shot on the first image!

Rhubarb and Custard Update!

Well I've finally managed to take a photograph of my Rhubarb and Custard scarf and here it is.
I can't give you the pattern for this one as it's copyright, but it's knitted on the diagonal.

I spun the Shetland fibres by taking alternate staple lengths of each colour, red lac and marigold. I didn't want precise staples so that I got a good mix of red lac with red lac and marigold with marigold and red lac with marigold when I plied the two singles.
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