Knitted vest

knitted vestA warm knitted vest like this is the best thing in winter. It can be worn under a jacket, if necessary, and really protects against the cold. Marjorie spun the wool for this and it is all natural colour and then she knitted it. It has a country look and would just as nice with a skirt as pants and a warm scarf would complete the outfit. We likes it because it was so soft. We don’t like scratchy wool and we don’t like the feel of harsh fibres which is why we often spin alpaca. Spinning the wool means you can select the right fleece so you get a really soft texture into the wool you spin. Marjorie’s vest is a classic piece and we loved it.

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Weaving wonders

weavingJohn and Peter are very productive and are always creating something interesting on their looms. Peter has really only just begun to weave but he loves it so he is learning quickly. John has a lot of experience and has been very helpful to Peter. We like seeing what they are doing and are always amazed with the level of skill and then the patience setting up the looms and making the cloth. Peter’s new pattern is coming along nicely and it is destined to be a rucksack. John is currently working on an American Colonial pattern. Those patterns favoured red and white and blue and white. Originally people were not allowed to weave in America. They had to send the raw fibres to Britain and then bring it back as woven cloth. You cannot stop people , though.   Weaving cotton, linen and wool was popular. John’s  red and white piece is looking lovely and such a good design.

Pomegranate dye

pomegranate dyeCathy dyed some English Leiceister fleece with pomegranate seeds and skins. The fleece was white but after being in the pot for hours it became, well, sheep coloured. A creamy, yellowish colour like wheat. Pomegranates are high in tannic acid so you do not need a mordant. The net bag got eaten through though ,which was a first for her  when using natural dyes. It wasn’t a problem…big sieves work well.

She carded it and is now mixing that to make wool batts which include a bit of sage green merino tops and some gold thread. All of that looks good together and we look forward to seeing how it spins up.

The yarn on the right has been dyed with onion skins and then there is some yellow merino tops and white alpaca mixed in.

Husky fur scarf

husky fur scarfRecently we showed Christine spinning the husky fur she had. She turned the spun yarn into a woven scarf and it looks different. Good different. It has a substantial texture without being thick. It has a real warmth and cosiness. The slightly open weave allows an appreciation of the fibre but creates air pockets for extra warmth. The fringe is a good idea because it allows you to appreciate the husky fur. This is no ordinary scarf and it’s a great addition to a winter wardrobe.