Monday, 24 August 2015

Hand Embroidery on Handmade Felt

In a recent post I said I was working on a few pieces in which I would be using handmade felt as a background for hand embroidery. I thought today I would show you one of the pieces I am currently working on! I usually only get chance to stitch in the evenings as I am busy sending out orders, creating custom orders and coming up with new and exciting products for my Artyfibres Shop. I guess this is my breathing time to sit down and do some relaxing stitching!

For the piece below I first created some handmade felt using the bubblewrap felting method I describe on my shop blog. I then hand painted the felt with acid dyes. Tree trunks were the inspiration for this piece as they have such lovely knarly textures and knots! I love the ones that are covered in moss and this inspired some of the stitches I used. This first piece is really a sampler as I wanted to see what kind of raised textures I could create. It's not finished yet as I want to add some more stitches but it's nearly there.

The stitches I have used are Buttonhole Stitch, Blanket Stitch, French knots, Detached Chain Stitch, Fly Stitch, Herringbone Stitch, Seed Stitch, Eyelet Wheels, Buttonhole Wheels and Running Stitches. You can find all the tutorials to these stitches in my Stitch A-Z. I have mostly used tapestry wools, with some silk threads and my own handspun Bluefaced Leicester single ply yarn. I used the handspun yarn to create the free form crochet which are the wood knots.

Let me know what you think!

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Currently For Sale in my Etsy Shop

This is a selection of beautiful things handspun, hand knitted, woven or crocheted by your truly and currently available to purchase in my Artyfibres Etsy Shop. I am just making a new batch of crochet mug cosies with built-in coasters and as well as blue, pink, gold, turquoise and green they will also be available in red, purple, magenta, orange, black, grey, silver, denim and teal. These make a fantastic gift for a loved one, colleague, friend etc. any time of the year! Custom orders are welcome and I also have a colour chart for all the colours available email

Postage Costs: UK - £1.60, Rest of the World £2.50
Get 10% OFF your first order with this coupon code: WELCOME

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

New Hand Woven Scarves Collection

I have just added three new Hand Woven Scarves to the Artyfibres shop. I have hand woven each scarf on my Ashford SampleIt Loom in some beautiful textured yarns including some of my own handspun yarnI will be adding more scarves to the collection in a combination of commercial yarns and handspun yarns over the next few weeks.

If you would like to commission a hand woven scarf, I am happy to work on custom orders please contact me for details.

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Currently on Sale - Super Chunky Loop Scarves

This collection of super chunky loop scarves are currently on sale in the Artyfibres shop priced at £15 each (usual price £25). I have hand knitted each scarf in an open lacy pattern on chunky needles making them lovely and stretchy. The yarn used is a variegated wool and acrylic mix which is really soft and warm. Each scarf measures 10 inches wide with a circumference of 42 inches. They are a real bargain and perfect for dressing up or down. I made myself one in Fern last winter and wore it doubled up under my coat and was really toasty and warm.
It may only be August but it is never too soon to invest in a good winter scarf! 
Colours available are InfernoMajesticFernDenimGranite and Oatmeal.

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Weaving on the Ashford SampleIt Loom

I have just bought an Ashford SampleIt Loom as I am really interested in creating woven scarves for my shop which combine commercial yarns as well as incorporating my handspun art yarns.
I have been interested in weaving for many years, which started when I was studying for my Foundation in Art and Design...
Read the full post and see my first finished hand woven scarf here!

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Felt Making with Bubblewrap

One of the quickest and easiest methods to make felt I have found is using bubblewrap! I never seem to have access to a grass mat or some fine net so I have always made my felt using this technique. 

Read my step by step guide to felt making with bubblewrap here.

Saturday, 8 August 2015

Dyeing With Natural Plant Dyes

Due to the on and off rainy weather my dyeing has been hit and miss this week! It has taken ages for the hand dyed wool tops to dry. Today however it is sunny and I am actually not dyeing fibre!

Over the last few days I have been hand dyeing merino wool tops with natural plant dyes and acid dyes. I decided to have a go at braiding the wool tops first as I had seen on a YouTube video only I didn't bookmark the video so this is my version of what I hope was the right technique to 'paint' the fibre.

First I braided the merino wool tops.

Then I soaked one braid in citric acid for the acid dyes.

The braid that I was going to paint with natural plant dyes was soaked in water with a bit of washing up liquid and then mordanted in alum in the microwave.

I then painted the braid with plant dye extracts including Logwood Purple, Lac, Goldenrod and Madder.

Below after having to move the dryer in and out of the rain it eventually dried and below is the result. The bottom picture has been 'painted' in the same way but with acid dyes.

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Big and Beautiful Art Yarn

Well the weather is still rubbish and though I did get some dyeing done yesterday (see below) I really need to dry the yarns outside because I don't have much indoor drying space. Problem is the weather can't make it's mind up and I am in and out bringing in the dryer between rain spots! In the meantime I am getting on with some hand spinning so at least that's a bonus!

As I said in my last post I am currently working on creating a range of core spun art yarns to sell in the shop, along with some hand knitted and crochet art yarn scarves. The yarn below has been core spun on my Ashford Kiwi 2 with the Super Flyer. I love this flyer as it gives you a super sized orifice and bobbin so you can go wild and create some really cool yarns! I am addicted at the moment to core spinning as it is such a great technique for creating thick and thin yarns. Core spun yarns can be used as is or as I like to do plied with thread or a thin commercial yarn to create spirals, coils, beehives and all kinds of interesting effects. I'm hoping to have some yarns and scarves in the shop early next week.

I received my copy of YarnMaker magazine in the post and I have to say it was a really good read! I loved the article about the Longest Thread competition where entrants have to spin the longest continuous two ply thread they can, from just ten grams of raw sheep's wool or alpaca. Not sure I could manage it! Think I will have to order some back issues now!

Anyway back to the fray the troops are getting restless!

Hand Dyed Stranded Cotton Embroidery Threads - Dyed with Natural Plant Dyes.