Thursday, 28 September 2017

Beetroot and Me....!

Beetroot and me go back a long way. I have the knack at getting beetroot juice everywhere. So it was with much trepidation that I ventured to create a dye from beetroot!

It is that time of year when you begin to harvest from the garden so I took some beetroot and cooked them separately. Armed with rubber gloves and an apron I chopped them up small and simmered them for an hour. When soft I mashed them and let it cool, strained and bottled the dye ready for my next step.

I used Texel fleece. It had already been washed so I soaked it in warm water then simmered it for in an alum mordant for an hour. Then I transferred it into the dye and simmered for an hour. It was late so I decided to leave it overnight and wash it out in the morning.

It sat in the dye looking a rich red and I thought what a wonderful colour, but after rinsing the dye out I was left with a rich coppery red.  I am not sure what everyone else gets, but I was impressed.
I think I will try it next time with a different wool and mordant.
I shall be hand carding it and look forward to spinning it.

And in case you wondered I managed to get beetroot up the tiled wall and the dishcloth looked a remarkable pink. At least the tiles are wipeable. The dishcloth I'm not sure about!!!!

Sunday, 17 September 2017


Saturday was the big day. I tootled along to Revesby on my own with my needle felting and wool under my arm. 
I have never been daunted in going alone.
I had met two off the ladies the week before at different events and I was also going to collect a pair of carders I was buying from one of them.

I was going for a taster day with the Lincolnshire Guild of Spinners, Weavers and Dyers. I had a wonderfully warm welcome and have already made some new friends.

My needle felting never got to see the light of day as I spent the day spinning.

It may not be perfect but I managed to spin and ply my first skein of wool with immense satisfaction. I was surprised as to how many different types of spinning wheels there are. 
One pedal, two pedal, large and small, travelling wheels and even electric ones.

There were ladies using the drum carders, other knitting and crocheting their own spun wool, as well as another needle felter.

Her work is stunning.

I thoroughly enjoyed my day and I am now a bona-fide member and look forward to continuing to learn this wonderful age old skill.

I am also looking for my own spinning wheel.

Watch this space!

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Baa Baa Black Sheep

Baa baa black sheep have you any wool?

I have a love crafting, needle felting and wet felting and this weekend I had a stall at two local craft fairs. 

On the Saturday I met a lady that had an old sock making machine. She prepared her own wool and made these beautiful socks. I was fascinated. We got talking and I managed to source myself through her a pair of wool carders. She told me that the local Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers would be in Revesby Church on the Sunday as part of the Heritage Open Weekend.

On the Sunday I set up my stall in Revesby Hall and during a quiet moment I left my husband and walked along to the church, passed the early morning boot sale that was on the village green.

Here I met some ladies busy spinning. I talked to them about their beautiful display and I have to admit I was truly inspired.

Today I have been experimenting with natural colour dyes made from plants in my garden using small batches of wool from both my washed fleeces of Texel and Lincoln Longwool.
I used damsons, beetroot, eucalyptus bark, grass and nettles.

Using vinegar as a mordant I arrived with some interesting results.
I used the damson on some Lincoln Longwool and I got a beautiful pink. I used beetroot on some Texel wool and got a lovely burnt orange, which somehow surprised me as I was expecting a red.. The eucalyptus bark created a lovely honey brown, but the grass & nettle was a disappointment. I don't know what went wrong because instead of a shade of green I ended up with a very nice shade of white!!
I am looking for some walnuts to make a black, but the squirrels appear to have beaten me to them. So no Baa Baa Black Sheep!
I have sent off for some Alum, which should arrive soon.

They are now all out in the conservatory gently drying. I am hoping to get my carders this week. So do come back and see how I am getting on.

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Lavender Lucky Dip

In stock now.

These beautiful fragrant tea bag style lavender bags are made from freshly dried Lincolnshire lavender.

They are made in shades of pale pinks and lavender cotton fabric and are all differently decorated in matching bows and buttons.

Each comes with a ribbon hanger so that you can hang them up in your wardrobe, used to lay flat between your clothes or even to add fragrance to your bedroom.

Monday, 4 September 2017

Boston Steam Weekend

Last weekend the Boston Steam Weekend was held at Hubberts Bridge. We went on the Saturday afternoon and the sun was hot, having walked around the field looking at the machinery we sat and watched the traction engines in the arena with a well earned ice cream. There was a steam threshing machine and numerous miniature traction engines. All lovingly hand built by their owners to scale.

Further down the road there were the two big plough engines. They  were magnificent as they drew the plough backwards and forwards across the field with ease. It is unbelievable that they were both over 100 years old.

Among the plough horses were this beautiful pair of Norwegian Fford ponies that are very strong and capable of pulling a plough.

Friday, 1 September 2017

All for One.....

Good morning as I am sitting in the sunshine cutting out and sewing the phrase 'All for one' came into my head. No I am not one of the three musketeers, but I was thinking of all the tasks that come together as one.

I recently was introduced to Thread Catcher and I thought what a wonderful idea to make matching ones to my selection of hobby/craft bags I have made. A handy little cloth bucket that collects your threads while sewing that twists down to keep them together. I am always using mine and it is ideal to take with me when I am doing craft shows etc.

My Footers are an extension of Katrina Krafts and therefore are one. They are lightweight, positional, versatile and if you have or know someone with a pressure problem. Why not give them a go.
I am proud to have designed and patented them and wouldn't be without mine. 

Footers a specially designed positioning foot cushion, allowing you to position with ease and comfort, helping to alleviate pressure ulcers on the heels. Initially designed with feet in mind, but has been found useful for knees, elbows and other areas.

Why not give it a go.