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Saturday, 1 October 2016

Weaving Weekend at Waddow February 2017!

There are just a couple of places remaining now for the weaving weekend in February!
It's from Friday 17th to Sunday 19th at Waddow Hall, near Clitheroe. The price of £250 includes full board (and I mean full!) in an ensuite room and all tuition costs. The workshop is suitable for all levels from complete beginner to advanced, and looms are available to loan by arrangement.
A deposit of £40 secures your place, with the balance due in mid November.
Get in touch if you would like more information!

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Waddow 2017

Places are filling up fast for the Waddow Weekend of Weaving from February 17-19th 2017. Once again, there will be a diverse range of looms and techniques being used and the teaching areas of my brain will no doubt be stretched to their limit as usual! Fortunately the food and accommodation is still as excellent as ever so I'm not too worried.
After the success of the first four-day weaving workshop, I have also reserved Waddow again for 31st August to 4th Srptember next year. It's a long way off, but I am now taking expressions of interest.

Saturday, 10 September 2016

Wonderful Waddow!

Had a great time once again-four days-lots of weaving, excellent food and good company-what more could we want!

Thursday, 10 March 2016


I can't believe it has been so long since I posted on the blog.....

I never made it to Kendal Wool Gathering, due to illness, and this year I have decided to make quite a few changes.

I shall be at the Rheged Knit and Stitch as usual on April 17th-18th, but this is the only event as such that I am planning on participating in this year, and where I shall be taking my Estonian wool, which is a real shame and I am so sorry to those loyal customers who love this product. But I simply don't have the time to maintain the website and keep up to date with orders as I am now doing so much more teaching. I am not applying to Woolfest or Yarndale but I do have some bits and bobs of stock left so do email me if you are interested in the Estonian wool-but I shall not be re-ordering for the foreseeable future.

The Shed is always full of people  wanting to learn to weave, and this means I have less room for stock and other paraphernalia. I still keep managing to accumulate looms though.....

This year I need to concentrate on my teaching and on my own design and weaving work-moreover, and probably more importantly, on improving my own health. As well as arthritis in the creaky old knees I seem to have developed a back problem for which I shall be having intensive physiotherapy.
This has prevented me from getting anywhere near a loom for the last few weeks other than to teach. Understandably this has made me even grumpier than ever....

In better news!!!! No creaking joints were going to keep me away from Waddow Hall and 15 of us enjoyed a wonderful weekend of weaving again recently. I wish I had taken more photos but those of you who were there please do send some on so that I can put them on the blog. There was such an array of different looms, yarns, apparatus, not to mention Carol and her "Spinning Corner", and the constant, well what is the collective term for the sound made by a roomful of weavers? A THRUMBLE maybe?

The four day course in September is now full apart from those last minute places which always seem to materialise and which I never seem to be able to turn down.

That's enough from me for now-what have I forgotten? Loads I'm sure.

Friday, 27 November 2015

Helmshore Xmas Fair-happy and yet very, very sad......

Tomorrow, Saturday 28th November, is the wonderful Xmas Fair at Helmshore Mills Textile Museum, with around 40 stalls, festive entertainment and great food.

However, sadly this may be the last such event at Helmshore, at least for the foreseeable future, as drastic financial cutbacks by Lancashire County Council have meant that the mill and Queen Street Mill in Burnley are due for closure early next year.

A campaign has been started to try to find investors, to fundraise and basically explore every possible avenue to keep this vital part of our cultural history alive.

Show your support by visiting the Xmas Fair and signing the petition, becoming involved as a volunteer, writing to your MP and anything else you can think of.

I shall endeavour to post updates as soon as I know what is due to happen next.

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Kendal Wool Gathering

I had a fab time at Yarndale-my most successful selling event to date! It was great to see so many familiar friendly faces and make contact with customers new and old. There was also a lot of interest in the September weaving course at Waddow next year. I need to update my website and get organised.
After a few days enjoying the sun in a camper van in Scotland (yes we really did!) next on the horizon is Kendal Wool Gathering in 3 week's time.
I need a couple of weeks to recover first.

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Fresh from the loom....

Getting ready for Yarndale in a couple of weeks...I have finally finished weaving the double weave windows scarves and they are waiting to be fringed, washed and pressed. Also finished is the iridescent double weave scarf in Tencel and colcolastic. Just labels and packing boxes to do and I will be ready....I will be on Stand 31 so come and say hello!

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Return to Double Cloth Windows....

After a couple of years away, I am returning to my first love of double cloth, and weaving two block/two layer double weave windows in 2/2 twill. If you do the maths, you will see that this requires 16 shafts! The yarn is 2/48 wool sett at 80 ends per inch-40 per layer-and 80 picks per inch-so progress is slow. The reverse will be equally interesting but we will have to wait until the first scarf is off the loom before I can post of photo of that.

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Follow the Thread 2015!!!

On Saturday and Sunday the 13th and 14th June, it will be the third Follow the Thread  event at Helmshore Mills Textile Museum! I shall, of course, be there again, demonstrating weaving and selling Estonian yarns, batts and pencil roving.....together with lots of other textile enthusiasts, including knitters, crocheters, spinners, embroiderers and others. There will also be alpacas to admire and opportunities to try your hand at a number of wonderful textile crafts.
See the website for more details!

Friday, 15 May 2015

Weaving in the Dordogne

I have just returned from a wonderful week in France, where I took part in a 3-day weaving workshop led by Marian Stubenitsky, based on her book "Weaving with Echo and Iris".
We focused on 8-shaft designs using network drafting to devise a threading in four colours, trying out a range of tie ups and lift sequences to create a variety of single and double layer fabrics, each one of which showed iridescence in a different way.
It was a fascinating, challenging and above all enjoyable few days in a beautiful Dordogne setting-with a great teacher and a group of like-minded weavers. Oh and not forgetting the excellent food and accommodation provided by our hosts, Gail and Mike Smith!

Monday, 30 March 2015


Well, it should be getting warmer but today there is a bitterly cold wind. In an attempt to brighten things up, I have some 16-shaft twill throws on the loom, in Estonian wool. The warp is red and I will use a different colour for the weft in each throw, together with a contrasting twill design for each throw. I wanted to add a contemporary twist by using some bright colour combinations.
On Sunday April 12th I will be at the Knit and Stitch show at the Rheged centre in Penrith so I had better get weaving!

Thursday, 12 March 2015

An Exciting New Product! Wool Pencil Roving!

I have not seen pencil roving like this for sale in the UK before! When I have visited the yarn factory in Estonia I have seen these beautiful multicoloured rolls of what looks like unspun knitting yarn and wondered what they were used for. Well, it seems one can use them in almost any textile craft there is, and they are widely used in the Baltic countries. Basically, the roll consists of a pencil thin length of washed, dyed, carded wool. The wool can then be rolled up into a ball, as in the photos, and knitted or crocheted as it is, or can be combined with a ready-spun yarn and knitted or crocheted, or used in all sorts of felt making, both wet and needle felting, to add fine detail. Moreover, the roving can be spun on a spinning wheel, again singly or in combination with other fibres and/or yarns to create original yarns, and used in the weft for weaving and tapestry weaving. So in effect it would seem to be a highly versatile item! I am starting to put together some samples which I hope to incorporate into my work and my teaching, and will be demonstrating its use whenever I get an opportunity. It is available in a wide range of single and mixed colours.

Friday, 6 March 2015

Why don't we have a UK-based weaving magazine????

Well, now I have decided to investigate the feasibility and possibility of publishing a magazine aimed predominantly at UK weavers and English-speaking weavers around Europe. There really is not anything available which contains weaving projects using yarns, materials and equipment widely available in the UK.
The Journal is certainly a fine publication for weavers, spinners and dyers but does not often contain projects and guidance for weavers.
Handwoven magazine has its merits but the ads are all for sellers in America or Canada and the yarns used in projects are often incompatible with those we use here in the UK-or at least, the terminology used to describe them often differs from the familiar usage over this side of the pond.
So, I am looking into it-I am putting out feelers, speaking with self-publishers and weavers-if any of you have thoughts, ideas or words of warning on this issue, please do let me know!

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Nearly February already......

Where has January gone???
I have been weaving samples for some new cushions, preparing for the forthcoming Waddow Weekend of Weaving next month and generally finishing off items for an Online Guild workshop-UFO's, or "Unfinished Objects"-a great idea for a new year project before embarking on new ventures.
So, here is a picture of my newly finished socks, including a nice shot of Tess's paw-she would not move out of the way-what a poser.

Exciting things planned for this year:

On February 7th I will be teaching another felt making workshop at Bridie's shop, Fine Yarns in Horwich. It is fully booked with a waiting list, and another date will soon be decided upon. This time, we shall be making a three-dimensional felt bowl.

My application is in for Woolfest, and I should hear in couple of weeks whether or not I have been selected this year.

20th-22nd of February is the Waddow Weekend! I can't wait! A reunion of last year's group together with a few new faces.

In May I am off to take part in the Weaving with Echo and Iridescence workshop with Marian Stubenitsky in the Dordogne for a week-well, somebody has to do it you know....

It will be the third Follow the Thread textiles event at Helmshore Mills Textile Museum in July and there are a couple of other workshop opportunities in the pipeline over the summer.

In September I take over the tutoring of the Loom Weaving course at Alston Hall. Scary but exciting!

Lots of other plans too, plus my usual weaving classes in the weaving shed.

I feel like a really bad penpal who is only just getting in touch after a long silence!!

Friday, 5 December 2014

Long time, no Blog.....

It has been so busy, what with teaching, events and family crises that I have barely had time to weave recently, let alone update my blog.
But here at last is a photo of one of my latest creations-a deflected double weave scarf in wool and cotton, fresh from the loom.
This Sunday, December 7th, is the Victorian Christmas Fair at Helmshore Mills Textile Museum, and this year I am donating all my proceeds to Northern Greyhound Rescue. We have had our beautiful rescue greyhound, Tess, for 2 years now, and can't imagine life without her. This organisation does a fabulous job but are always in need of donations and volunteers.

Friday, 26 September 2014

Yarndale in Skipton!

Don't forget it's Yarndale this weekend if you can get to Skipton-just click on the badge on this blog homepage to go straight to the Yarndale website.
As well as my usual yarns and wool batts, I will be taking these fine wool scarves, handwoven in a 16 shaft herringbone design. I really must get that new camera-or a new phone with a better camera on it!

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Forthcoming Felt-making Workshop

On Saturday 4th October I shall be running an introductory workshop in making felt fabric from wool fibres, at Fine Yarns wool shop in Horwich, near Bolton. Places are limited, so for more information ring Bridie on 07846 164589 or email me via this blog.

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Wonderful Woolfest!

Had a great time again at Woolfest-wonderful to catch up with old friends and make new ones, and put some faces to names! Many thanks to my team of helpers-Pat, Alice and Louise-especially for being such stars at packing up time on Saturday! We were up and away while others were still scratching their heads! Roll on next year!

Friday, 6 June 2014

Saturday, 10 May 2014

New Stock in my Online Shop!

I have been busy on the computer adding lots of new shades in the Estonian wool batts to my Online Shop! There is now a great deal more choice of colours in this beautiful product, which is ideal for all types of wet and dry felt making as well as for spinning on a drop spindle or spinning wheel. Here is just a selection to whet your appetite.

I will shortly be adding my new range of colours in the 8/3 and 8/2 wool yarns, so keep a look out for these.


Wednesday, 23 April 2014


I shall be having a stand again at Woolfest in Cockermouth, June 27/8th and Yarndale in Skipton, September 27/8th so do come along and see me!
I have just had this new delivery of beautiful Estonian yarns and batts-the photos don't do them justice-I need to start using a better camera-and soon!

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Tablet Weaving

My first attempt at tablet weaving on the Schacht Cricket loom, in preparation for Anglo Saxon school workshops at the end of this month. A few technical hitches to start with but going well now!

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Fine Yarns Wool shop opens in Horwich

My lovely friend Bridie has just opened a brand new wool shop in Horwich, so I just had to pop down and wish her well in her new venture. Photos are a bit blurred as taken on my phone. But all looking fabulous!

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Knit and Stitch Show at the Rheged, Cumbria

This Sunday 6th April I will be at the Rheged exhibition centre in Pentith for the Knit and Stitch event, open from 10am to 4pm.


I shall have a selection of wool yarns and batts and some of the lovely new wool and linen yarns, as well as felt making kits and other textiley bits and bobs. Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Gremlins banished....

The website Shop is now working properly again. The problem was due to an update to the plugin interfering with the settings. Oooh! I sound like I know what I am talking about!
All I need to do now is upload details of all the new stock, especially the wool/linen yarns.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Website gremlins.....

Huge apologies to anyone who has been trying to buy any wool or yarn from my website recently-a customer has just alerted me to the fact that it is impossible to proceed to Checkout-I thought things were quiet- so if you would like to order anything just email me and I will process the order that way. I hope to get things sorted out as soon as possible! Grrrrrrr

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Weekend of Weaving at Waddow

Well, the weekend is over and my head is slowly ceasing to spin. Lovely to meet up with weaving friends and make new ones too. I thoroughly enjoyed every exhausting minute of it and have already booked Waddow Hall for a return visit at the same time next year. Quite an assortment of looms, projects, colour schemes and personalities, all rubbing along well together. Roll on next February!

Monday, 17 February 2014

Memories of Traditional Textiles in Peru

I have been preparing a short talk for during this weekends workshop in Clitheroe, and just wanted to share some of the photos I have just rediscovered. Taken in 2008 during our visit to the Centre for Traditional Textiles in Cusco and to two remote weaving communities in the surrounding area, Chinchero and Pitumarca, under the care and guidance of Nilda Callanaupa. Happy days and glorious memories.

Busy, busy, busy....

It's been a hectic few weeks....the horsehair weaving is finished, a shipment of beautiful new wool batts and yarn has arrived (and the website needs updating) and I have been doing lots of teaching.

Below are 2 photos of a scarf designed and woven by Jen, who came for a day of weaving after her husband bought her a day of tuition with me as a Christmas present!
We had a lovely day and the resulting scarf is a wonderful example of what a complete beginner can achieve!

Next on the agenda is the Wonderful Weekend of Weaving at Waddow which takes place this weekend in Clitheroe.
I am looking forward to seeing old friends and making new ones as we indulge our passion for weaving in scenic surroundings.
Then I need to update the website with details of all the lovely new stock!

Friday, 27 December 2013

Belated Season's Greetings!

Festive greetings from Tess and the Weave Shed! Now back to work on the horsehair project!

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Horsehair project progress

The first warp length is now off the loom-a 6.3m length and a sample length and I am so pleased with how it looks! It's remarkable how soft and "fluid" the resulting fabric is and there is a definite lustre to the horsehair. The next two 15.5m warp bundles are wound and chained and ready to be beamed!