June 1, 2015
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!
Needlefelted Unicorn with Teeswater mane and tail
April 30, 2015
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!
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!
And now for something completely different, a needlefelted bear!
June 8, 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!
May 1, 2013
Due to the aweful wet summer we had last year and then the snow at lambing time it has been a really bad time for the sheep farmers in this country. Although I have had a trickle of fleece throughout the winter I underestimated how much fleece I would need to see me through til this years shearing. I have been frantically contacting people to find out if they have fleece and have procurred a little every now & then but really not enough to sustain the business.
This year I plan on buying masses, not all at once, I haven’t the storage for that but if I can get a steady supply throughout the year and have a good stock by autumn there should be no shortage of curls in the shop.
I have learnt to be quite picky about what I want in a fleece and what is a good price, bearing in mind the farmer needs to eat too.
This year there should be Masham, Lincoln Longwool, Wensleydale (both black and white), Wensleydale x’s, Teeswater, Blue Faced Leicester and other breeds that will be suitable for needlefelting.
I have some fabulous Galway in stock that needlefelts easily and is perfect for the inside of any creation. I’ve yet to dye it but it’s a huge fleece so it’s worth a try.
Don’t forget I can dye to your requirements and with so many different fleeces in stock I’m sure I can please most people!
Next week I will be at Spring Farm for shearing day, not that I need to add to my stock of fibre, there are still many colours available to buy, just ask. I can supply it from the animal or washed.
Here’s looking forward to a very woolly 2013!
October 22, 2011
The beautiful fleeces I purchased in Yorkshire are in the process of being transformed into lustrous colourful locks. It’s time consuming, washing the fleeces but what a transformation! I’m especially loving the way the Teeswater morphs into these amazing spirals.
I’ve dyed about 8 different batches now, the falling leaves and pewter have to be my favourites so far, although the Barbie pink locks have been popular with Blythe doll collectors. I had never heard of Blythe dolls until a lady in Thailand purchased some locks and I inquired as to what she was going to do with them (I’m nosy I know). Anyway she sent me pics of the first doll to be re-rooted and she was so cute I could see why they are collected around the world. My pink curls made for stunning ‘hair’.
The washed and undyed curls of the Masham will make great beards for Santa and the natural black Wensleydale will be great for felted gnomes. It’s great when buyers show me what they have done with the fleece, I have a better understanding then of their needs.
Of course all the locks can be spun into a worsted yarn or woven on a peg loom or tapestry frame.
September 28, 2011
Home again in sunny Sussex and just about recovered from the long drive. Pat did the short hops between Steeton and Masham and left the motorway bits to me. We took several scenic detours during the trip, so glad we did as we always found amazing places and met lovely people who put us back in the right direction.
The weather was kind except it rained on Sunday morning while the Morris men did their thing. A fabulous troupe of dancers called The 400 Roses managed to continue through the rain too, they were amazing, check them out, Tribal fusion is how they describe themselves and it was well worth getting wet for.
There were many highlights throughout the trip but for me seeing fantastic Teestwater sheep and Masham sheep at Ilton topped it all off, that was the icing on the cake. Willis drove us around his farm showing us all his beautiful sheep.
Masham Sheep fair is well worth the effort to get there and everyone we met showed us a very warm welcome, we were sad to return but vowed to return next year.