Proper Woolly

Proper Woolly 2015
Our stand at Proper Woolly 2015

We had a great time over the week-end at Proper Woolly an event to promote natural wools and yarns held at the livestock market in Holsworthy, Devon.  Very well organised, good footfall and plenty of interesting stalls to see.

I popped over to  Blacker Yarns and had a chat with Lara.  I had already made a bag using their Classic Aran in Olive using the Magic Butterfly Loom.

Blacker Yarns Classic OliveI am going to experiment with their Blacker Swan range, a joint venture between Blacker Yarns and Andrez and Ali Short who farm at Swan Inlet Farm on the Falkland Islands.  I am going to match 3 colours from the range Buttonweed, Seagreen and Seafoam.

I had a good chat with Sharon Driscoll of Newhall Naturals. Sharon spins and sells her own creations. She went off with a Magic Butterfly Loom to experiment, so it will be interesting to see what she comes up with.  I also met Lyn Soutar of Aneed2BeadnCraft, she runs lessons in knitting, crochet, Kumihimo and beading and thought the loom would make a nice addition to her repertoire!

The local WI groups and various Brownie and Guide troupes all expressed an interest in workshops and it was great to be invited by a whole range of groups from Brownies to seasoned spinning & weaving guilds to either give talks or workshops to their members, so a busy time ahead!

I came away with a skein of mohair from Julieann at Noteworthy Mohair, beautiful yarn hand spun from their own goats.  She had a whole set of the Looms she was hoping they would keep the kids occupied!  I am going to use the mohair on the loom and see what I come up with.

All in all, a great weekend, disappointed I didn’t get time to buy much yarn myself; still, there is Yarndale to look forward to!

Tunic

How quick and easy is this!

20 motifs made on the Magic Butterfly Loom and then double twist to join them together.

20 motifs, I used 5 x 100g Drops Andes super chunky in Ice Blue from Wool Warehouse.  I wrapped 1 row and used the x stitch to knot.

I joined 6 together in 3 rows and then joined these rows together to give a 6×3 strip.  I then joined 2 of the 3 rows together on the short edges, giving me a back and front of 9 motifs each with the top squares open to form the armholes. The 2 remaining motifs I attached to the top to create shoulders.  To finish I simply used butterfly braid to tidy up the edges around the neckline, the armholes and the bottom.

I am going to see if I can make some sleeves using the rectangle loom.

Magic butterfly Loom Tunic
Magic Butterfly Loom Tunic

Butterfly Looms are available from my shop Croft Looms.

Shoppers

Here’s a couple of shopping bags I’ve made; they are supposed to be reminiscent of the string shopper from the 60’s & 70’s.

This one is made using the Magic Butterfly Loom for the body, the Rectangle Butterfly Loom for the handles and Baby Butterfly Loom for the flowers. The wool I used is 4 x 50g of Drops Fabel Blue Sea Print from Wool Warehouse.

 

Magic Loom Bag                          Baby Loom flowers

 

I made 8 motifs wrapping 4 rows on the magic. I used the wool from the centre of the ball and the outside together (2 strands) to even out the variegated pattern.
I then made:
2 handles wrapped 6 rows on the rectangle.
2 flowers wrapped 6 rows for the string pull.
1 metre (approx) of i-cord using a lucet.
4 stiffeners for the handles from felt.

I will make up some instructions on how to put this together for a later post.

 

 

 

The second bag I made was using the rectangle Butterfly Loom. The wool I used is 2 x 50g of SMC merino in red/pink (05286) which I bought from a local shop 3 Sheep Wools in Cirencester.

Rectangle Loom bag
I made 7 motifs on the Rectangle Butterfly Loom, wrapping 2 rows.

This was very easy to make up, I simply joined 6 rectangles lengthwise using the Butterfly Twist, joining the last with the first to create a tube. I sealed the bottom using Butterfly Twist and tidied the top edge using the Butterfly Braid technique. I used the Butterfly Twist lengthwise to create the handle and attached to the top of the bag.

As usual my photography skills do not do these justice – the second bag in particular is very lightweight and slightly stretchy, so holds more than you might expect – but make sure you sew the handle on tightly!

Butterfly Looms are available from my website Croft Looms

One Shade of Grey…

and any shade of colour!

flowers 004

Add passionate reds, cool blues, vibrant limes and deeply dark indigos to make a stunning throw.
When you finish other project simply make motifs with the small or baby Butterfly Loom out of your left overs and see this wonderful throw grow!

The base here is alpaca Inca Cloud colour charcoal, made by one row on the Small Butterfly Loom and the flowers are made by three rows on the Baby Butterfly Loom

Mid summer in Wiltshire

Wiltshire is home to Stonehenge & Avebury, ancient stone circles where the Druids meet on the winter and summer solstice.  On Midsummer’s Eve this year we went down to Avebury which is about 10 miles from where we live in Swindon.  Whilst walking around the stones I picked up a few pieces of fleece that had moulted off the sheep that roam in and out of the circles, I put these together with some pieces of flint and local chalk (not picked up at Avebury – it is a World Heritage Site after all!) and made this collage.  I hope it gives some idea of what Wiltshire is like to those who do not know the area.

The collage incorporates small pieces of weaving; the yellow is Alpaca wool which surprisingly enough Wiltshire has in abundance, the climate and lush fields being an ideal home for  these lovely animals.  The weaving was done on Butterfly Looms and Peg Looms both of which can be bought off my website Croft Looms.

 

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avebury005    avebury003   avebury_sheep004

 

Baby Blankets

These are two baby blankets made using the same materials but on different looms.  They both use Inca Cloud Lemon Alpaca for the main body and the cream contrast is 50% British Falkland Merino and 50% Tencel.

This one is made using the Magic Butterfly Loom.  I wrapped one row per square and made 6 squares.  I joined the squares using the braid joining method.  As this is for a baby I thought the open weave might be too lacy for little fingers to get wrapped in, so I decided to put a backing on it.  I edged a piece of lemon flannelette with blanket ribbon and attached it to the back.  I braided one short edge to make the top of the blanket and  trimmed the other 3 edges to create a fringe.  Where the squares meet I needed to put a few extra fringes in.

Baby blanket - Magic Butterfly Loom Blanket - Magic Butterfly Loom - detail

 

This one is make using a Peg Loom,  I used single thread and used the fine pegs.  As the peg looms leaves you with tassels at each end I cut the one end short and then cut a piece of flannelette and blanket stitched this along the top to make a nice smooth edge.  I then added extra fringing to the bottom edge to finish this off.

 

Baby blanket - Fine peg loom                                          Blanket- fine peg loom - detail

The colours haven’t come out very well on my photos but these are lovely pale yellow.

 

Butterfly Looms and Peg Looms are available from my website Croft Looms.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marlborough Craft Fair 22nd March

Marlborough Craft Fair 22nd March 2014
Marlborough Craft Fair 22nd March 2014

I will be at the Marlborough Town Hall Craft Fair on 22nd March 2014.  Marlborough is a lovely market town full of gorgeous shops housed in beautiful buildings and on Wednesday and Saturdays there are well stocked markets along the High Street, the second widest in Britain.

I will be selling Butterfly Looms, knitting looms and accessories to make blankets and scarves, I will of course be sitting along side showing passers by how to use the looms.

So if you are in Wiltshire and fancy a stroll around one of the prettiest towns, in an area full of pretty towns, visit Marlborough on Saturday 22nd March.

Marlborough Town hall
5 High Street
Marlborough
Wiltshire
SN8 1AA

 

 

 

 

 

Wool Warehouse delivery

I’ve had a delivery from Wool Warehouse.  I have bought a brand called Drops and so far I am very impressed.  They have a large selection of different blends and fibres, cottons, alpaca (my fave) 100% wool, mohair and all the usual weights.  The great thing about Drops is the price – Alpaca 50g £2.10 + VAT

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The ‘Paris’ cotton is only £1.79 +VAT for 50g and you probably can’t see it in this picture, but the colours are VERY bright!

As I say, I’m going to do a bit of experimenting and will post the pictures when done.

Large Looms back in stock!

A quick note to say the large looms are back in stock – they can be purchased from EBay

Large Looms on EBay

And a quick photo to show what you can make with a large, a rectangle and a small loom.

Bags 002

Bags 003

Bags 004

I used one large back and one large for the front I then had a rectangle for each side, the bottom and the two tops. I used a further rectangle to make the handle and one either side at the top to build up the height. I attached the handle at the sides so it almost made the handle a continuation of the side and gave a nice rounded shape.

Now this example is not perfect! I like the overall shape but there is an issue with it; I have used a chenille yarn and the end result has turned out very heavy – not ideal for a shopping bag! I am going to give it another go, I think my next one will be one I am happy with and then I will do some detailed instructions if anyone is interested. In the meantime here is the layout if anyone wants to have a go.
Bag layout

Loop the Loop

Here’s a different way of securing your work instead of using knots.

By looping one way and then the other back and forth, for me is quicker than knotting each intersection.

Look at the attached diagram and follow the direction making a criss-cross knot at the start of each column or row but use a  loop at each intersection rather than a criss-cross knot.

I have made a quick video, take a look at my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/pages/Butterfly-Loom-UK/1409387595958212

 

diagram – I’ve had a new laptop and Windows 8 is driving me barmy!  I cannot, for some reason, scan to a PDF – will upload tomorrow if the laptop is still in one piece!!!