Last weekend I went off to reboot my creative vibe, which has been languishing under a layer of brick dust for far too long! I trotted along to the Norwich studio of Aviva Leigh to spend an inspirational day dyeing with natural dyes to transform a variety of yarns, followed by a day of mastering a knitter’s loom to create a piece of woven cloth.
We were fortunate that it was a small group, just the three of us in our rubber gloves and pinnies, oohing and aahing as Aviva introduced us to the magic of dyeing with plant leaves, woodchips, pomegranate skins and even crushed beetles! In my mind natural dyes were soft and subtle, but it’s astonishing how vibrant some of the colours are.It’s also interesting to realise that the building in which Aviva has her studio is in the heart of the historic textile area of Norwich where the river used to run red with the waste from the dyeing factories.
By the end of the first day our heads were spinning with information! So much to take in about the history, the geography and chemistry of natural dyes. Aviva assured us that the following day would be relaxing and mindful, leaving the steamy atmosphere of the dyeing studio to weave our wool samples into cloth.There were just two of us the next day and it’s a very small world because we discovered that my fellow student follows Planet Penny – so, Hello Tracy!! We had a wonderful day experimenting with colours and textures and different effects. So much so that we both headed home having bought our looms, despite both of us saying the last thing we need is yet another craft. It’s just so addictive.I’m itching to get my loom ready for some more experiments but I will have to wait until I have fewer builders in the house. Today there are four, it feels a bit like DIY SOS! But we really are on the home straight now, despite the fact that we’ve just discovered the new back door fits the aperture, but won’t actually open…ho hum…
I’ll be back soon…x
Hello, my lovelies! I hope you’ve had a wonderful Easter break and didn’t eat too much chocolate. We did…I feel a spot of dieting w?ill be in order after our hols.
As my iPad is on hand, and the Wifi isn’t too bad, I’m writing my latest post in sunny Wales and share some of my holiday snaps. It’s so beautiful here. This is the view from the conservatory of the cottage we are staying in.With the door open, all you can hear is the sound of birdsong, interspersed with chickens, the cockerel, geese and ducks and occasionally, Dylan the sheepdog. Over the hill there are sheep……and lambs! I’m afraid I’m just a bit soppy about lambs but I don’t think Higgins would be too impressed if I took one home.The hills been rather a strain on my poor flatlander legs but we’ve found some beautiful places to walk and my head is filled with the colours of Spring. This time of year there are so so many shades of green as the new leaves start to open, and Wales is particularly blessed with spring flowers. The fields are golden with the bees’ favourite, dandelions and the woods are carpeted with bluebells. I’ve never seen so many wood anenomes which spring up along the roadside… …and the gardens are full of blossom.Having decided that my latest crochet project was too big to bring, it was absolutely necessary for me to find a yarn shop (or two) for supplies to keep me busy in the evenings. So, I started with some super chunky and a pair of e-NOR-mous needles which was super fast to knit…Which meant an expedition to find another wool shop (I have a long suffering husband!) Abergavenny came up trumps with The Wool Croft, and an irresistible half price offer on this gorgeous Louisa Harding wool/silk blend…There are so many different hues in this yarn, every row has a different flavour!
I’ll be home next week, feeling refreshed and full of ideas so I’m looking forward to being back here with you.
Cosy wool is just the ticket for the cooler autumnal days and in my last post I gave you a tantalising glimpse of my latest project. As I’ve said before, I’m a bit of a butterfly with my makes so I love something which can be whistled up in a few days with great satisfaction. It’s even better when I don’t have to stir from the comfort of my armchair, but just order on line!
So my lovely yarn came direct from Cosywool who, with the relaunch of their website, had the brilliant idea of vacuum packing the yarn before shipping.This makes it small enough to go through the letter box which means no hanging around for the postman, and it’s weatherproof and animalproof (ideal if you have a dog like Higgins who thinks all parcels are addressed to him!)
I wasn’t sure at first, imagining it might look sad and squashed when it arrived but in fact it bounced straight out of the wrapping looking as fluffy as ever. (And vacuum packing has the added bonus of making your yarn stash look far smaller than it actually is!) The yarn is Sirdar Click Chunky, an acrylic/wool mix in warm Apple Red and I used Sirdar Pattern 76144, also available from Cosywool. It’s described as a snood but it’s more of a snuggly collar to fill in the neck of a jacket; in a simple two row pattern which makes a gorgeous texture.This time of year I’m always on the look out for quick, easy and stylish makes for unique Christmas gifts, and I am determined be on top of the present list for once. I’ve a feeling I shall be working my way through the colour range on Cosywool for my present list!
Ooh, I’ve just mentioned the C*******s word… I’m really sorry if you are not ready to hear it, or are you planning ahead with lots of knitting, crocheting and sewing in mind? If you would like to share your ideas, please do, you might just inspire us all with the very thing for a tricky relative!
I shall be back this Friday with a Blog Hop, which I’m very excited about. Do join me then…x