Thursday, 6 September 2012

Hats off to you

I am hoping that it is hats on actually or should that be hats all gone?   I have made six hats from felted jumpers.   The one in the picture used to be a small fair isle waistcoat.  I put large buttons on it as a design feature.  It's a versitile little number which can be worn in various ways as demonstrated below. 

There are two shapes I think I might focus on.  One has five panels to it.  The other one is the one in the following picture.  Not sure what shape you would call it.  Flower pot shaped doesn't sound very flattering.

I actually sold this hat at a craft event two weeks ago (roughly).  Each time a liner comes in to Orkney The Pier Group, as they are known, pitch up at Hatston Pier.  All good cold fun.  We don't have a regular slot, however, if one of the regulars aren't going to be there then we may be offered the space.  I didn't sell anything last Friday but had a lovely morning spinning which kept me and the tourists amused.

It is almost the end of the season and time to reflect on a crafty summer.  I am now going to devote some time to thinking about and experimenting with different ways of displaying my hats, scarves, brooches and pictures.  I have started looking around the house for props. I also want to make some small mobiles from felted jumpers.  Some of the old jumpers I have felted are too stiff for the sort of hats I would like to make. 

There just aren't enough hours in the day.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

The best laid plans...

... of mice and men.  I didn't get to the East Mainland Show as I was sooth.  Mary went along though with my Simply Woven and More wares, Ali's Baskets and her own cushions, scarves and bunting plus a few other things.  I did however, do my bit at the Shapinsay Show.  It was a perfect day for showing the animals, not too hot or bright but warm enough and dry (most of the time).  Our stall looked something like this.

I took along my spinning wheel and spent a lovely day spinning and chatting to lots of folk.  Quite a few people spoke about their Grannies spinning or in some cases their Mum.  The different designs of spinning wheel that are available was a point  for discussion.  The Orkney spinning wheel has a double drive, I would love to find one for sale.  My wheel is an Ashford traveller. My wheel and Ali's Baskets are in the next snap.

I have  been making some hats from felted jumpers - pictures to follow. 

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Long time ..... see. I need to mark my callendar to remind me to post on my Blog. I now have a few scarves, brooches and hooked pictures for sale in Odin Stone, Kirkwall. Odin Stone is a lovely shop which sells a mixture of local crafts and art work as well as crafty bits and bobs from other places. They also stock more 'mainstream' gifts. It's a lovely shop to browse in. Look it up and see on I'm taking my wares to the East Mainland Show and the Shapinsay Show next month. I'm also planning to take my spinning wheel and do a bit of spinning while I 'man' the stall. Fortunately it's not just me having to fill a table. Mary will have her lovely scarves, cushions etc for sale. They are all made from recycled material. Watch this space for photographs of our adventures. I wont leave it so long next time.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

How time flies...

...when your having fun.  Here we are in June.  Many things have conspired to keep me from posting about my crafty endeavours.  However, against all odds I have continued to dabble in the odd crafty moment.

I have had a go at hooking chickens

I'm quite pleased with this first attempt.  I have decided that puffins are next on the agenda. 

I am on a course this week - Tapestry Weaving at Northlight Studio, Stromness with Ros Bryant.  It's good fun and providing a lovely distraction.  Lots of colour, pattern, chat and soup.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

I'm hooked..

...on hooking peedie (Orcadian word for small/little) simple pictures with my hand spun wool.  I have a small wooden frame that I stretch a piece of hessian over and fix with drawing pins.  I then draw the design (although that sounds like a rather grand term when applied to what I do) and fill it in using a crotchet hook and hand spun wool.  I tend to do around the edges first. 

I first started making the pictures last year having been on a short workshop to learn the technique using old t-shirts.  It took me some time to work out how to present the finished item.  At first I backed them with calico and put a small ring on so they could be hung up.  However, this didn't seem to do them justice. 


I now leave hesian around the edges which frames the hooked picture.  This is then stitched on to a piece of calicao and stretch over an artist stretched canvas. 

The overall size of the picture below is 10" x 8" (254mm x 203mm).  The hooked piece is 7" x 2.5" without the hesian border.  I’ll think I will have to work on neatening up the edges. 

I don't just do hearts.  I really like the flowers in a vase and have other ideas floating around in my head.

Cilla Cameron Rug Maker and Hooked by Design are two sources of inspiration.  I am setting some time aside this week to do some more so watch this space.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

A fine time

I had a good trip sooth and came back with a fine stash of brightly coloured fleece to spin and weave - and that's what I've been doing.

I  like the vibrant colours.  Does the scarf need some buttons added to the ends?  If yes - which colour?  I'll have to think about that one.

I have also been spinning some Art Yarn.  The sample below is a combination of thick yarn with a low twist, thin yarn with a high twist and slubs. 

The next project is to introduce some add-ins. 

If you are interested in all things woolly then I recommend you visit the website Woolfest is a celebration of natural fibres, especially all aspects of wool, wool products and wool crafts and is taking place just outside Cockermouth in Cumbria on Friday 22 and Saturday 23 June.  I have wanted to go for a few years now and I am hopeful that 2012 will be the year.  I'm getting excited about it already.  It’s an area we know well having lived there many years ago.  Must get the campsite book. 

Even if you don't plan to go the website contains details of the stall holders websites and blogs providing a couple of hours happy browsing time.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Frustration is ...

.... trying to spin strips of fabric as suggested by Symeon North in get Spun:  The Step-By-Step Guide to Spinning Art Yarn (2010).   The book has mixed reviews but I am enjoying looking through it and trying out some of the techniques she suggests.  I haven't started spinning plastic bags yet but I liked the idea of spinning some strips of fabric, weaving them, then making a bag.   I have a few balls of fabric left over from crocheting a rug.  The small amount I succeeded in spinning gives me hope, but it wasn’t easy.  Perhaps I need a jumbo flyer unit or a better technique or both. 

Anyway, I am off sooth for a few days and hope to fit in a visit to one of my favourite stores Twist Fibre Craft , Newburgh, Fife.  Love it.  I suggest you visit their website although you really need to be there to appreciate the atmosphere in the shop.  Last time I visited I bought a drum carder.  Perhaps this time I should leave my purse in the car.  Oh hang on a minute, I’m not taking the car. 

Sunday, 18 March 2012

All things crafty

There was a table top sale at the local community centre yesterday which induced a flurry of activity.  I wove a number of scarves and made a few brooches which were then displayed on a table along with a friends cushions and other products made from old blankets and another’s rustic willow baskets.  I think there should have been a prize for presentation because I am sure we would have got it.  I’ll post a photo when I have access to a copy.  I spent most of the afternoon in the kitchen.  No sales for me this time but it was an interesting experience and we hope to attend a few local fairs throughout the summer months depending on cost. 

The scarf featured here was handwoven.  The warp and weft are 100% wool that I handspun.   I find spinning and weaving very relaxing.  The brooches are made from sari silk and boiled felt

Sunday, 11 March 2012


This initial post is short. Still, we all have to start somewhere and if I don't start now it will be Christmas before I get going. Orkney is awash with creative talent expressed through a thriving musical, artistic and crafty community. This environment is inspiring, supportive and daunting in equal measure. The aim of this blog is to provide a space where I can share my experience and crafty creations as I aim to fulfil a long held desire to develop an outlet for the items I make.