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Sunday, 30 December 2012

New Helper in the Weaving Shed!

Here is Tess our new rescue greyhound, making herself at home in the shed whilst I weave on the Megado loom! She wasn't too sure about the noise at first, but after about 2 minutes she settled down for a kip-horizontal is her favourite position!

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Happy Christmas!

The completed Christmas tree made at Castle Hill Primary school during Golden Time and Knitting Club!
Sadly you can't see the woven Ojos de Dios woven star on the top, but the techniques used on the tree (entirely constructed from textiles) include finger knitting for the branches of the tree, kumihimo card braids for bows and candy canes, knitting for garlands, the trunk and pot and pom poms for baubles. Oh and a bit of lucetting and french knitting too. Thanks to Mrs Heyes, Mrs Owen and Mrs Platt for their invaluable assistance and skill!

Saturday, 8 December 2012

New Wool Batts and Yarn!

Last week I took delivery of an exciting box full of beautiful wool batts and yarn from Estonia, many in great new shades and colour combinations. Don't forget to keep checking my website www.janeflanagantextiles.co.uk as I will be updating it very soon with full details and photos. If you can't wait, email me for samples!!!!

Monday, 26 November 2012

Christmas Fair at Helmshore

Next Sunday is the Friends of Helmshore Textile Museum Christmas Fair, open from 10.30-4.30! So I have been trying to think of small saleable items and decided to use up some scraps of hand woven fabric to make these lavender bags. There is now lavender all over the kitchen worktop!

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Proddy rugs!!!

In the Tuesday craft sessions at school we have started our miniature proddy rugs, and the children in Year 4 are all doing beautiful, creative work! We listened to a CD of wartime favourites and pretended we were sitting around the wireless as we worked on our rugs. More photos to follow, but this is just the example I used when demonstrating the technique.
This is the second half of a seven-week project on Recycling, Re-using and Recreating. In the first few weeks i showed the children how to use plastic bags to make plarn and they did lots of beautiful weaving on peg looms and board looms. Great fun, but also lots of history, environmental issues and new vocabulary, as well as craft and design skills!

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

New yarn and felting wool on their way!

Today I have placed an order for more of the beautiful Estonian wool batts for felt making and the gorgeous wool yarn for knitting and weaving, including some fabulous new colours and mixes! Full details will be appearing as soon as the huge package arrives!

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Weaving Taster Sessions at Helmshore Mills Textile Museum

Just recovering after teaching for two days. Two lovely groups of people, very keen to weave and producing lots of beautiful fabric! I loved every minute of it, but now need to recharge my batteries.

Friday, 2 November 2012

Wool Event at Helmshore

It was a great day on the 21st October-lots of fun with the 7 Ouessant sheep from Greenlands Farm Village, and plenty of woolly activities enjoyed by adults and children of all ages!
Here are a few photos of the proceedings!

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Wool-A Celebration at Helmshore Mills Textile Museum!

On Sunday 21st October from 12-5pm we shall be holding a fun event as part of Wool Week at Helmshore Mills Textile Museum, Rossendale, Lancashire, BB4 4NP. With demonstrations and hands-on sessions in weaving, felt making, guerrilla knitting and much much more, we want to make this a celebration of the wonders of this beautiful, versatile and natural product! Do join us!

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Weaving yarns for school textiles session

Here is the colourful palette of yarns for tomorrow's school session-weaving with wool on board looms. This will be followed by sessions of weaving in the round on polystyrene plates! The yarns are all surplus tapestry wool donated by my mum's friend Gabby which she no longer needed. Thanks Gabby! We just love being thrifty! To keep the yarn lengths in order I have used some of the dolly pegs we will use for making our proddy rugs!

Proddy Rug!

Here is a photo of my attempts to design a proddy rug workshop for the children in my textiles sessions in schools. I found dolly pegs online and hessian in my fabric stash- a few cut-up old rags later and away I go! Great fun!

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Same weave structure and materials as last winter but in a new colour palette, these wool and cotton scarves exploit the differential shrinkage qualities of the two fibres. Beamed separately but woven together, on washing the wool areas shrink and almost felt, pushing the cotton areas into relief to form three dimensional shapes.
This Sunday (23rd September) I will be participating in an Art and Craft Fair at Hurst Green Village Hall, near Clitheroe (BB7 9QB) so I needed some new stock to display alongside the Estonian wool yarns and batts and the Lancashire Farm Wool. I don't often do fairs anymore but as this is in a lovely Lancashire village I am hoping it will be well-attended and high quality merchandise.
I have also been asked to exhibit again in the Winter Exhibition at the Platform Gallery in Clitheroe, so am busy weaving a collection of new scarves for this. What with two new weaving students and starting the textiles in school again, I have plenty to keep me out of mischief!

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

New Batch of Lancashire Wool Throws

The latest batch of throws woven in beautiful wool from Lancashire sheep has been woven, fringed and finished and will soon be winging its way to Kate Schofield of Lancashire Farm Wools. The wool has a lustrous sheen and a soft handle-this made it a challenge to weave but a delight to touch!

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Exciting Forthcoming Event!

In my capacity as a Friend of Helmshore Mills Textile Museum I am currently co-organising a fun day in celebration of Wool. This is in recognition of International Wool Week, which this year runs from 15-21st October.

Helmshore Mills Textile Museum is a wonderful resource near Rossendale, Lancashire and well worth a visit at any time. In addition to the usual demonstrations of spinning equipment and many exhibits related to the textile history of the region, on Sunday 21st October from 12-4 visitors will be able to watch, try and learn a range of textile crafts using wool, including weaving, spinning, knitting, felt making and many more. Wool will be at the centre of the event with live rare breeds sheep coming along for the fun too! We want the day to be fun, informative and inspiring! Further details will soon be available on the website at www.lancashire.gov.uk/museums  or via email at helmshoremuseum@lancashire.gov.uk and I will add details here as things progress!

Wednesday, 22 August 2012


No new pictures for the moment, as I have been busy teaching, helping to organise a Wool Day at Helmshore Textile Museum, planning future classes, finishing Lancashire Wool throws and generally spending time with family and friends.
It's all go. Plenty of interest in learning to weave at the moment!
I have been asked to look at some floor looms at Helmshore with a view to making them fit for purpose and teaching demonstrators how to use them in their interpretation, and will also be running a weekend taster workshop there in loom weaving in the autumn. More details of all these events to follow.
Exciting times.
I now need to find time to design and weave my own projects in preparation for the winter exhibition at The Platform Gallery, Clitheroe, where I am delighted to have been invited to exhibit once again.

Monday, 9 July 2012

New scarf

This  project was planned to show some ideas of the different effects that can be created on a very simple loom. The knitter's loom (rigid heddle) was warped up using several varied yarns of different fibre type, colour and texture. Some wool, linen, cotton, acrylic and mixed fibres with a linen weft. So long as care is taken with tensioning whilst beaming the warp, there are no particular problems on a short warp length, although this might become a problem on a longer piece. This was also an experiment with different colours for me-quite a change from my usual palette!

Monday, 18 June 2012

More visitors!

Really busy day on Sunday-the fine weather brought out lots of people- a mixture of old friends, neighbours I had never met before and previously unknown visitors who are now friends.....I am all talked out. It was great to see people's enthusiasm, especially the very young and the "more mature" from every walk of life! A couple of potential new weaving students and those wishing to do a felt making workshop....
I am sure I wittered on far too much as usual but hey ho.....today I have been maintaining a solitary silence.

Saturday, 16 June 2012


Despite the absolutely atrocious weather, it was lovely to have a steady stream of visitors to the Open Studio today and to see people having a go at weaving, often for the first time. Even had a long chat with some neighbours we have lived alongside for over 16 years but only ever passed the time of day before!

Monday, 4 June 2012

Open Studio Event!

I shall be opening my studio to the public during the weekend of the Bolton Festival of the Arts, 16th and 17th June between 11am and 4pm. Visitors will be welcome to drop in and see me weaving on the Megado loom, have a go at weaving themselves, get details of my courses and workshops and buy wool for felt making, knitting and weaving. For more details email me at janesflanagan@yahoo.co.uk
I just hope people will come!

Saturday, 19 May 2012


Here is just a small selection of photos of the lovely wool products I am excited to be selling directly from my website. See www.janeflanagantextiles.co.uk for full details, lots more colours and How to Buy!

Friday, 11 May 2012

A New Weaver's First Attempt

Had to post this photo of work done today by one of my workshop students on the Schacht Cricket rigid heddle loom. The warp is a mixture of various colours, textures and yarn types designed on the loom and the weft is a grey chenille. Yet another example of the possibilities using a simple loom! The scarf will be finished tomorrow and I will post a further photo then.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Busy days and exciting times......

The new shed extension is complete and ready for action! I am overwhelmed by the amount of space I now have-twice as much as before. Plenty of room for group workshops or just spreading out surrounded by looms and yarns....just in time for my two visitors who are coming for a weekend weaving workshop.
Here is an interior shot showing the view through the new shed extension into the old part and the Megado loom!

The double weave scarves have been safely delivered to the Platform Gallery in Clitheroe, and the Open Exhibition is running until July.
The After School Knitting Club started yesterday at Castle Hill Primary school, with around 12 excited youngsters all eager to learn. In a couple of weeks we shall start filling nooks and crannies around the school with knitted installations as we embark on our yarnstorming campaign!
The Friday Golden Time textiles group have started work on the finger-knitted spider's web, with pompom spiders to follow in the not too distant future.
So it is all go in this neck of the woods........

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

WOW Woollen Craft Fair

This was a really good day-lots of sales, interest in my classes, workshops and talks and I met and chatted with lots of lovely textiley people. The event was well-organised too and very well-attended. A bit like a mini version of Woolfest. The Estonian wool batts and yarn are selling well so I hope to be able to order some more in the near future.
I now need to crack on and finish the double weave scarves, as all three have been accepted for the Platform Gallery Open Exhibition this summer and delivery is next week!

Friday, 13 April 2012

Join the Flock Exhibition at the Rheged Centre, Penrith

Just some of the 5,000 completed pompom sheep from last year's Join the Flock campaign, on display at the Rheged Centre in Penrith! A stunning display, and great fun too. I only managed to spot one of our Lancashire sheep, not surprising really!

Sunday, 8 April 2012

WOW Woollen Craft Fair at the Rheged, Penrith

Here is the link to the fair this Sunday April 15th from 10-4.
 I am not on the list of exhibitors yet as I was a bit on the late side signing up!
 It is also the last weekend of the excellent WOW wool exhibition.

Friday, 23 March 2012

Estonian Wool Delivery!

Look what arrived early this morning! A HUGE box full of beautiful knitting wool and wool batts for felt making! I love all the colours-just need to get them photographed and up on the website now, in the hope that people will be eager to buy some!

I am hoping to have a stand at the Woollen Craft Fair at the Rheged in Penrith on Sunday April 15th, so call by and say hello if passing!

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Twill double cloth beginning to emerge!

This is the second scarf in situ. I am designing on the loom as I go, seeing what happens when I alter the sequence and placement of colours. The reverse, seen here as the lower layer, is at least as interesting as the top. The combination of colours in the twill can result in iridescence in places.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

New website!

My new website is now live! I am delighted with it and can now make all changes and updates myself-yippee! Many thanks to Shaun of Jigsaw Internet Solutions for setting it up  http://www.boltonwebdesign.co.uk/ and patiently talking me through all the nitty gritty. Very reasonable pricing too.
The website address is the same as before:  www.janeflanagantextiles.co.uk or follow the link from the Links section of this blog.
I hope to add a Shop facility very soon, and will be selling wool batts for felt making from Estonia, and pure wool Estonian knitting yarns in lots of delicious colours. In addition, I will be selling knitting yarn from Kate at the Lancashire Farm Wool  project and maybe even some small bits of equipment like inkle looms and peg looms....

Monday, 5 March 2012

And now here is the first sample....

The colour changes don't show particularly well in this flash photo. I am now ready to start the actual project.

Twill double weave windows on the loom

At last, here it is in situ, and the weaving has begun! A couple of false starts and minor hiccups, but I'm off!

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Cat's Cradle

This is Molly! I have just added another rigid heddle loom to my collection for teaching and workshops-this time it's a Schacht Cricket. I haven't received it yet, but Joan, the Ebay seller, kindly sent me this lovely photo of her cat taking ownership of the loom whilst she prepared to post it off to me. Sadly, I have bought only a loom, and the cat is not included......

Friday, 10 February 2012

Long time, no blogging...

Finally, I am emerging from the winter doldrums and preparing a new warp. I am going to weave some 16 shaft double cloth scarves in 2/2 twill. I intend to ensure that every single window is different, by varying the colours in both warp and weft sections surrounded by black twill window frames. In addition, each scarf will be different.
The warp is slowly going on-winding takes an age with 2/16 combed cotton sett at 72 ends per inch, and looks deceptively simple considering the patterns which will hopefully emerge once I start to weave.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Weaving a sampler with 2 heddles on the knitter's loom!

I have finally finished this sampler, and now it is washed and pressed it is an impressive example of what can be achieved on a simple rigid heddle loom with the addition of a second heddle, and not even using a pick up stick, except for the final 2 designs. I am hoping this will form the basis of teaching workshops for beginner weavers and those with rigid heddle looms. I acknowledge the use of The Weaver's Idea Book by Jane Patrick as the inspiration for this sampler and can highly recommend this book! This sampler concentrates on the interplay of texture and colour using 2 heddles.

As the photos show, the loom is warped up in 5 colour-combination sections to give a large range of different effects per weft pick: all red, red and teal, all teal, teal and beige and all beige. A wider loom would make it possible to add many more variations, but on the 12" knitter's loom these 2" wide (when finished) sections are big enough to see the patterns. Very often, I found that the texture and pattern only fully emerged on finishing-weaving with 2 heddles means that sometimes the interesting detail in the weave structure does not show until after washing and pressing, so it is worth persevering with each design even though they may look very similar on the loom. Just changing the weft colour can make an enormous difference. This was great fun. I now need to warp up the knitter's loom for the school project.


First things first-I need to clear up all my unfinished bits from 2011, in preparation for all the new ideas and projects buzzing around my head.
Next week I will be starting work on an exciting piece of work in a local primary school, working with years 3,4,5 and 6, to create a large textile wall hanging for the new school library, using a range of techniques. This means I need to prepare the knitter's loom, rigid heddle loom, inkle looms, peg looms and french knitting bobbins! Not to mention the felt making materials and equipment. So, tidying and finishing off is the name of the game this week!
A new project from Salt is also proposed, and some sampling for Kate from the Lancashire Farm Wools scheme. So I had better get my skates on.......