December 27, 2016

Stash Busting Blanket

Having knitted numerous woolly hats, cowls and mittens it was time for a change. Choosing just one ball of yarn from my stash I then tried to match other shades of yarns to it. I now have 22 mitred squares of approximately 9cm each.

Many of the yarns are hand spun, some are hand dyed sock yarn and I still have some of these colours to use up before I move on to a new colour.blanket

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May 17, 2016

The Big 1000

Thanks to British sheep breeders around the country, dye suppliers, friends and family I will be able to celebrate my 1000th etsy sale before the year is out. I would say 95% of those sales are dyed and natural Rare Breed wool locks, that’s a LOT of wool! (If I combined the 2 shops I would be over the 1000 but I want to concentrate on the woolly one)

I love my job, love the natural products I work with and love the customers who never fail to amaze me with how they use the wool locks I produce.

2017 is just around the corner and it will be just as woolly!

January 25, 2016

For the love of Roger

One of the reasons I moved to this quirky abode was the fact there were two sheep in the paddock. Roger & Dave the elderly & overweight Romneys grazed happily year in, year out. Every year they were shorn and initially the fleeces were usable, in later years not so good. I had 2 of the good fleeces spun up into a nice yarn.
Every autumn I’d pick up all the windfalls in the village and in our orchard and give them a couple every day, this meant that every time they saw me they’d Baaa.
As with every life there is an end and Rogers came yesterday. He had struggled with arthritis for a while and the regular injections were not helping. The vet came and with blackbirds singing in the twilight he took his last breath. Dave is now a batchelor, he too struggles under his immense weight but we will make a fuss of him and hopefully he

will be happy for a while longer.

September 11, 2015

Brighton Mini Maker Faire 2015

What an amazing day! arriving early meant I had the opportunity to meet a few of the makers before the public arrived en masse. My stand didn’t need much setting up, just needed more chairs & another table, 4 in all and I think 16 chairs. I met folk with 3D printers,a mosaic creator, a couple with huge structures made of crazy coloured ‘straws’. The dalek was waiting in the foyer. PCB’s, LCD’s and other things I had no idea about, slime that you make at home, tiny creations made from fimo, sewing machines, a knitting robot, a spinning wheel and a host of gadgets that you could play with.

Volunteers made sure I had all I needed, even a packed lunch appeared mid morning. These guys work their socks off.

After last years faire I came up with the idea of felting selfies, or felfies as I like to call them. Due to surgery interrupting my creative year I had to think of an alternative to making a hundred or so balls which I’ve done previously. I tried felting onto a piece of upcycled wool jumper and it worked a treat. Much less work cutting up the fabric (old jumpers) and took up much less room in my suitcase too.

So I was organised, 2 helpers were confirmed and the flood gate opened at ten, it was a slow trickle at first but then it was all hands on deck as the seats were filled and the activities began. Everyone was given the health & safety talk then they were able to create an image of themselves with wool.

Of course many went off piste, we had landscapes, seascapes, aliens, animals and anything else they felt like felting.

IMG_1400bmmfselfie1bmmfselfiebmmfselfie2IMG_1397
IMG_1399 (1)IMG_1398IMG_1402 IMG_1403IMG_1408IMG_1409IMG_1412So, just a few images of the imaginative needle felt selfies and non selfies created with a little wool & big imaginations!

June 1, 2015

What do you do with my Longwool curls?

I thought you’d like to see a couple more creative ways to use British Rare breed wool locks. I really look forward to seeing these images!

Cheryl of softnwoolly https://www.etsy.com/shop/softnwoolly created the unicorn, My very talented friend Hilary created the Tart. All her lingerie is machine embroidered. Her hair is natural black Wensleydale.

There are some very talented ladies out there!

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The Tart

Needlefelted Unicorn with Teeswater mane and tail

Needlefelted Unicorn with Teeswater mane and tail

May 18, 2015

Masham fleece, Ardingly Spring show 2015

I was lucky enough to catch the sheep show at the Ardingly Spring Garden & Leisure show this year and noticed there were some Masham sheep waiting to be shorn as part of the sheep show.

A quick chat to the shearer and he marked the ewe that had the nicest fleece, I was on spinning duty with the alpacas so couldn’t wait to see her being shorn.When I had my next break I caught the end of his show and then he sold me the fleece.

At the first opportunity I started to wash it and realised just how beautiful it was. I have washed the entire fleece now and about half is dyed. I have managed to spin some too, from the locks, no carding required. The locks are very lustrous, super soft and not very curly.

This has to be in my top 5 favourite fleeces. I think I have the fleece that I will spin up for the Masham sheep fair. I certainly won’t be selling all of it! Call me selfish!

Rose Petals

Rose Petals

Raked leaves

Raked leaves

Truffles

Truffles

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April 30, 2015

How people use my British Rare Breed Locks

Having just been asked if I had any ‘wool’ suitable for doll hair I said ‘Is the Pope Catholic?’

I couldn’t tell what was suitable over the phone so my friend popped round with her scantily clad ‘lace project’ a beautiful fabric doll wearing a lacy negligee, lace stockings, suspender belt, bra and panties. But she was BALD! We trawled through baskets of sorted curls and bags of unsorted curls until we decided on overdyed black Wensleydale. As she is a work in progress you’ll have to wait until she’s complete before she is revealed.

Previously the same friend had asked me for curls for her mermaid, well, here is the result. The embroidery and beading is all hand stitched. I’m in awe!

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This next project (different maker) is a male doll about 60cm tall, he is in the ‘raw’ so avert your eyes if you are of a delicate nature.

Who knew this is how my hand dyed locks would end up!

male doll with Teeswater hair

And now for something completely different, a needlefelted bear!

bear

December 7, 2014

Giant Needle felt Christmas cake

Last in the giant trilogy came the cake. Won’t be the last giant construction but it is for this year. Weighing in at about 2k and over 40″ around it’s decorated with merino tops ‘piping’,a sprinkle of mohair. a mini snowman, tiny snowballs, sprig of holly and holly berries. Now gracing May’s Antique shop window in Cliffe High st. Lewes.
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November 25, 2014

Giant Pumpkin and pudding

A few years ago I created what I believed to be the largest needle felted pumpkin in existence, it was rather large and made a fabulous footstool but it spent much of it’s life bagged up in the barn. A chance conversation with a Lewes shop owner eventually found the pumpkin travelling to Alfriston where it made a wonderful display in a shop window there.

Then I was commissioned to make a giant Christmas pudding, this one weighed in and 1.2K and was 45″ around and 14″ tall. 30 mini puddings accompanied it to Alfriston too for the Christmas window display.

30 Snowball decorations will be decorating a certain antique shop window in Lewes just after the beginning of December and mini puddings will be in another. Many of my decorations will adorn the tree in a high street bank in Lewes too.

My next big commission is still under wraps but look for it in Mays window in the next week or so.

My supply of fleece has dwindled but thanks to a certain auction website, they keep arriving. When I’m not washing the fleece I’m felting it.
I’ve never made this many felted items and I’m happy to say that I’m using British wool in everything I’m making.
Happy Christmas everyone!photo 1 (2)photo 1 (3)

June 8, 2014

South of England show 2014

Hectic week, delivering our entries to the WI marquee on Tuesday morning ready for judging, preparing needlefelting kits on the Wednesday, running a needle felt workshop on the Thursday, peg loom weaving with Guild of Weavers, spinners & dyers on Friday and being a visitor on Saturday. We had to stay late to collect all our WI competition entries so it was a long ole day.Of course we didn’t agree with the judges choices, not just because she didn’t choose ours!

Such organisation goes into these events, whether it’s the WI or the Guild everyone volunteers their time, the spinners & weavers turn up and demonstrate over the 3 days, their beautiful hand crafted items on display. There is no remuneration for their time and effort, we are not allowed to sell any of our items, we can only promote the Guild as a whole and encourage people to learn some of the skills we demonstrated. It was convenient for the Guild’s marquee to be next door to Plumpton college sheep shearing demonstrations so the link between the sheep and yarn was there.

Seeing all the stunning entries in the WI marquee makes me worried that it may put some members off entering future competitions, the standards are so high almost unachievable, but if everyone thought that there would be no competition! I try to encourage members of Ringmer WI to enter something and they did, I will encourage them to enter the Autumn show, it was our first ever time last year and we won several classes. The show committee work so hard to make these shows successful and they always look amazing. This year the weather was great and hopefully even more members of the public enjoyed seeing all the entries.

On my ‘day off’ I went to look at the sheep and saw a Teeswater sheep in the ring, he was in the runner up class against many other breeds, mostly meat sheep, of course his wool was the best in the class but being a bit on the skinny side not much good for the plate. Bizzarly he was next to a Wiltshire Horn sheep that had no wool at all. (not much use to a spinner). I tracked down the owner of the Teeswater and admired the 3 sheep that were there. Turned out he was interested in having them shorn so he talked to the head shearer and at 4pm the sheep were led to the college pens. A rather large crowd then watched as Thomas was shorn, thankfully he wasn’t too lively and the shearer experienced so the fleece came off without too many second cuts and Thomas sustained no injuries. The crowd applauded!  2 other sheep followed and I was very happy to be able to buy 2 of the fleece, even happier to be able to lead Thomas back to his pen, he was so gentle and his skin so soft.

A show to remember for sure!

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