Category Archives: Knitting

Pant y Dwr is Yarnbombed

Postman Pat guarding the post box.

In progess!

Nearly there…

The St Harmon WI and the Pant y Dwr craft group have been working hard. This is just a taste of what’s been done. Please take a look at the St Harmon WI Facebook page if you’re interested.

There aren’t many of us but we’ve been working hard.

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Filed under Crochet, Knitting, yarnbombing

Wearing the Landscape

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OneYearOneOutfit – the final outfit reveal.

Top: Lots more detail here.

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Before dyeing

Made of Irish linen, garment dyed by me with docks, onion skins and a pattern made by hammering English Marigolds into the fabric. I kept the top in the dark after each dyeing session to help set the dye.

Bias cut, sewn by hand. Pattern: Merchant & Mills Curlew.

Skirt: Lots more detail here.

Welsh wool, spun in Wales and woven at the National Wool Museum. No dyes, these are natural sheep colours.

Pattern: 1934 from Home Journal magazine. Extra pleat inserted by me.

Scarf: All welsh wool. The cream and the grey are natural sheep colours. The golds are onion dyed by me.

The scarf replaces the waistcoat I knitted which I hate: it makes me look much bigger than I like. It will make a gorgeous cushion cover and I’ll work on that over the next few months.

Boots: Made by Celtic & Co in Cornwall from British sheepskins which are mainly a waste product these days. They were a Christmas present from my husband.

Is it wearable? Yes! I have worn the skirt and top together and felt happy with it. I put these boots with it to make it a British Isles outfit and prefer my black leather boots to make an outfit.

The top is a great match with my black trousers so will get worn that way too. I love the skirt and it goes well with a couple of other tops (and the black leather boots rather than these). The scarf is lovely and warm so is sure to get lots of wear over the winter.

What did I learn about British Isles textile products? There are no natural fibre threads spun in the British Isles so far as I can tell. All my threads had to be pulled from the fabrics so handsewing was the only option.

Plenty of handmade wooden buttons are available and they are so beautiful.

 

There is lots of Welsh knitting wool available – hand and machine spun. I’ve loved using it and will definitely use it again. It looks and feels beautiful. My knitting skills do not do it justice (and that’s not false modesty).

How will I take it forward?

Making clothes from completely local products is time consuming and can be quite expensive.

A lot of work goes into bringing up sheep, spinning yarn, weaving yarn, dyeing , knitting and handsewing. If all my clothes had to be made this way, I would have very few. It makes me understand why Elizabethans left each decent garment to a favoured person in their will. They were valuable and valued.

My life won’t allow me to have every item made this way but I plan to use elements in the future.

Lots of garden and other natural dyeing planned. I loved doing it. I’m growing woad to try to get local blue dye. The plant was eaten by caterpillars so I’ll have to try again.

I will visit WonderWool Wales again and buy more Welsh wool fabric. For a jacket, perhaps.

I am a terrible knitter but definitely improving because of all the practice I got doing this project. I’d like to use some of the cream or grey wool to make a sweater for next winter.  Or the one after!

I bought a 10 metre roll of undyed linen so I think another Curlew top or dress but dyed a different colour. Made by machine next time with purchased threads.

I really like Merchant & Mills patterns so I’ll probably make more of theirs in 2017. (I made an “unblogged” summer top from one of their patterns too).

Why wearing the landscape? That’s how I felt about #oneyearoneoutfit when I was working on my clothes. I wanted to take it further and see what else I could do with natural colours and fibres. It occurred to me that maybe wearing nature’s current products rather than those that have been buried under the earth for centuries might be a more sympathetic look for me.

I’d love to hear your comments on that.

Happy Stitching!

Norma x

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under #1year1outfit, 1930s, Clothes, dressmaking, dyeing, fashion, Knitting, sewalongs, sewing, textiles

Wonder Wool Wales

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Seen yesterday at the Wonder Wool Festival at the Royal Welsh Showground. This was part of a knitted seascape in aid of the Welsh Air Ambulance and Macmillan Cancer Care. Lots of the scene was inside a dark cave so photos weren’t possible.

Thanks for dropping by.

Norma x

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Filed under Knitting, textiles

A Wool Story

First up is my new shawl.

This is a beginner project that I found in Landlust magazine – no pattern – just instructions. I’ve enjoyed knitting it and I’m very happy with it. The sort of shawl for those days when you’re travelling and you’re next to the train’s air conditioning outlet or you need more than a jacket. I think it will get a lot of use over the years.

It’s made of British wool, spun in the UK so it would be a good candidate for #oneyearoneoutfit if it were natural dyed or undyed wool.

I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about the #oneyearoneoutfit project and my starting point is going to be a visit to Wonderwool Wales at the end of April. I am hoping to find lots of local wool and wool products to kick start my year.

Remember this?

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Welsh wool skirt.

The fabric was made by Melin Teifi, a commercial woollen mill working within the Welsh Wool Museum. They produce a wide variety of patterns and I’m planning a trip across the mountains to visit them.

Lots of plans but meantime, back to the 1930s skirt.

Norma x

 

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Filed under Clothes, Knitting

Local Clothes?

I have decided to take part in #oneyearoneoutfit 2016. The aim is to make an outfit from local materials, some buying is permitted and so is secondhand. Have a look at This is Moonlight for the “rules”.

There are sheep in the fields around here and I know that a lot of their wool sells for very little.  Wool has been replaced by polyester for so many purposes and we can get other natural fibres from around the world for very little money.  It’s seeing all these sheep that’s made me feel that I would like to try using local fibres to make my clothes.

I don’t really know what’s available yet. The photographs above show a shawl I am knitting from wool raised and spun in the UK and the fabric for my new skirt which is Welsh wool. The knitting yarn is almost certainly not natural dyed and I don’t know yet about the fabric. The #oneyearoneoutfit rules specify non-synthetic dyes readily available in the locality so at the very least the shawl doesn’t qualify.

All sorts of questions come to mind:

What about thread? Footwear? Buttons? Are there non-wool fibres available too? Can I get good colours from the plants in my garden? What area should my “fibreshed” cover? I wasn’t able to source Irish linen for my 1930s dress, so will I find another source? – linen I can dye myself.

If you have ideas and opinions I’d love to hear them. Please let me know what you think.

Here are some of the colours I’ve managed to get from my solar dyeing experiments. Docks, coffee grounds and onion skins are my favourites so far. All of the fabrics are made from plant fibres so I soaked them in milk as a mordant. I wonder if I can extend this from scraps to my potential wardrobe. I’ll be giving it a try.

Thanks for dropping by.

Norma x

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Filed under dyeing, Knitting, scraps, sewing, solar dyeing, textiles

Knitting & Felting

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I’m knitting again!

I gave up knitting after a lot of bad experiences but with the help of some friends I’ve started again. This isn’t my first attempt recently, but it is the one I am most proud of.

The wool is Jaeger Donegal Spun – I found lots of it in a charity shop but the only identifier was a sticky label, no tension, no ball band…I searched the internet without success: there were no patterns that I could find.

After a lot of thought and one or two false starts, I knitted it into two pieces and then I felted them in the washing machine. It took more than one go and I think I should probably have knitted it on bigger needles. More experienced friends said that looser knitting tends to felt better.

I cut it into bag shape, lined it with linen left over from one of my pattern free tops, made a linen handle and fastened it with handmade wooden buttons bought from the maker years ago simply because I loved them.

And now some notes:

  1. It might be easier to knit the bag and then shrink it – I’ll try that another time
  2. Knit on bigger needles
  3. I used the 90 degree Centigrade cotton wash to shrink the knitting
  4. Clean the washing machine filter – wish I’d done this sooner, I thought I needed to get the machine repaired. Well, I did do a stack of sweaters too….

Norma x

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Filed under bags, felting, Knitting, textiles, Uncategorized

Guerrilla Knitting

Knitting in Solva

Seen today in Solva, Pembrokeshire.

Solva knitting

I love these. If I spot any more I’ll post them here.

 

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Filed under Crochet, Knitting, textiles