Thursday, 31 December 2015

It's been a good year...

Thank you for being part of the journey...

Wishing love, peace, happiness and healthy vibes for 2016

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Time for holidays...

...orders have been achieved in time for the big day, parcels have been sent overseas, pressies have been made by hand this year, either woven, crochet or sewn, lots have a woolly theme, but not all.
My last crochet workshop has been hooked and the Christmas boughs from the hedgerow are drying in the barn...all that is left to do is to sit back, relax and enjoy the fruits of my labour...

Sending you my best festive wishes...

Monday, 26 October 2015

Crochet and Peg Loom


Busy weekend of workshops...crochet, followed by peg loom weaving in Carmarthen on Saturday and then more crochet in Hay on Wye on Sunday morning.

I love teaching and inspiring others to make and create, it's super rewarding and a joy.


Monday, 28 September 2015

Llandovery Sheep...


Great weekend at my local sheep festival...doesn't every town have one?
The sun shone, the spinners spun, weavers wove, burgers sizzled, wool sacks raced, a town crier (a real one, not a little 'un having a tantrum!) choirs sung, Wales won the rugby and the sheep on stage were well behaved...well almost....

I am looking forward to next year already 

Me and my little helper Deri Bevan...she demonstrates peg loom weaving exceptionally well

Sheep on stage...why of course...
My fav...the proud Jacob ram

More lovely sheep...

My stand, already to go...not sure about the hazard type though...weaving is not That dangerous!

(Funny what you miss until you see it back in an image)

Great weekend, met fabulous people, had lots of fun, talked the hind legs off a donkey...

Now to prepare for the next one...west Wales Wool Show in Narbeth, Pembrokeshire, 10th October


Friday, 7 August 2015

Plant dyed wool...

...super results from my plant dyeing adventures.
Himalayan Balsam flowers make a lime green....
and Rosebay Willow herb flowers give a gorgeous smokey mauve tone to Blue Faced Leicester wool that's been blended with Merino...making an extra super soft wool

Plant dyeing is such fun and if you are careful...weighing ingredients and logging the can get the same colours time after time.

Always boil up flowers first and leave to steep overnight...use the liquid from your plant 'tea' to dye your wool.
A top tip to get a better colour take up....* always pre mordant your fibre for at least an hour before dyeing, I use alum and cream of tartar*

Drain your fibre and add to your dye bath (a large saucepan that will not be used for food) making sure it's covered with the dye liquid.
Add alum, copper or iron by the teaspoon, depending on what colour result you would like to achieve.

....there's lots of great books out there about using minerals as mordants.....

Generally, I find that copper gives a bright green, iron, either a red or green depending on what the dye bath contains. 
Alum is the most neural of these minerals and will usually give a 'true' colour

**** this is only a very rough guide, I suggest having fun and try them all. Use the same quantity of dye stuff in 3 different pans, same fibre choice and enjoy the different results from each***

Well, there you are, a little bit about the joys of plant dyeing

It does feel great getting out there and gathering berries, leaves, nettles or widely grown weeds!

Just a little word of caution...always leave enough plant for the wildlife and for its own recreation. Wear gloves, as some may be an irritant to the skin. Always have permission from the land owner. Use containers that will not be used for food use.

Then have some fun

Himalayan Balsam with copper
Rosebay Willow herb with iron

Using the dye bath a 2nd time achieves paler results...the greenhouse works as a great place to dry wool on a showery day...

Friday, 17 July 2015

HRH Prince Charles...

...came to a private viewing of 'Cambrian Wool' and the amazing items that had been made from this super, first class, top quality wool by designer/makers
I have been lucky enough to have my iPad cover design chosen to proudly display the 'Cambrian Wool' label.
This means that my item has been made from wool farmed in the region and also made in the area too. Hopefully this will become a way for the public to recognise the provenance of items sold under the branding and ask for 'Cambrian Wool'
The initiative was set up to help promote wool production in this one region of Wales and HRH Prince Charles is the patron.
It was a great honour to meet the Prince and talk to him about my design.
A great day was had by all.

Monday, 6 July 2015

Peg Loom Weaving | Humble by Nature, Wye Valley, Wales

Peg Loom Weaving | Humble by Nature, Wye Valley, Wales

New venue for my peg loom weaving workshop

...bookings being taken now for 2nd October

Humble By Nature is a beautiful working farm in the Monmouthshire countryside.

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

BigDayOut | Humble by Nature, Wye Valley, Wales

BigDayOut | Humble by Nature, Wye Valley, Wales

I will be at this super event this Saturday holding peg loom weaving taster sessions....come along if you can and say hi....

Lots going, food demos and welly wanging to boot!!

Should be lots of fun


Tuesday, 28 April 2015

wonderwool love

...another Wonderwool Wales this last weekend
And what a fabulous event once again
Thank you to everyone who came and said hello. 
I am always amazed at such creativity, every stand offering something unique and new...all heralding the qualities of wool in all its guises.
Great weekend

Monday, 9 March 2015

chunky crochet...

..hand spun yarn

Have really been enjoying spinning Badger Faced fleece into chunky weight yarn recently. My friend Sarah Rose has a small flock, along with rare breed pigs and Dexter cattle. 
She carefully rears them on land very near to my workshop and her efforts are rewarded by producing the most tasty meat products around. Her number one priority is the welfare of her animals and I like this type of farming very much. Hers is the only meat I eat now, if it isn't from her, or if I am out and about, then I am veggie.
 I feel very passionate about the welfare of animals in the production of a never ending need? to demand cheap food. I personally think this is the wrong route to take, cheap meat will always be second rate and sadly animals suffer because of this, unnecessarily. Less is more as they say, pay a little more, enjoy exceptional taste and quality, eat less of it. (Or not at all as you prefer)
This is Aslan one of Sarah's rams, gorgeous eh?

You can find Sarah at

Anyway, back to this lovely wool...
Beautiful tones of red, cream and brown give an earthiness to this naturally coloured fleece. There is a little kemp in the wool, perhaps not great worn next to the skin, although I wear my bobble hat without any scratchiness.
I have spun it a little chunky, really looks good crocheted up with a 8mm hook. I used fptr, bptr stitches to create a rib like texture and this will be used on cushions and throw blankets, perhaps even a rug. X

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Hello...'s been a while
Sorry if I left you waiting?

I have been a wee bit distracted of late, planning and running crochet workshops and updating other media sites (FB) nellieandeve, along with weaving and hand spinning yarns, that the world of blogging was left on the back burner. 
Will visit more often.

I am enjoying the workshops greatly, one of the most rewarding things I have done and realising a bit of a dream come true moment when I look at what I am doing.
Teaching and encouraging others to learn and be creative is a joy.
Workshops run only once or twice a month at the mo, mostly crochet, with a peg loom weaving day added every 2-3 months.
 My aim is to do more! Workshops every 2 weeks, something new, building on skills already learnt, felt making, working with real fleece, endless list
So watch this space...
And see it all unfold....hopefully later this year?

For the moment I am content with the pace of life, I have a great group of students every month and making and selling my own creations is being well received.

In one word......happy........
And very thankful 

Here's some images of new items I am working on right now...

Next workshop are 14th March for both crochet and peg loom weaving, held at The Quercus Rooms, Carmarthen, 10-1 and 2-5
Get in touch if you would like to come along, places are limited.

See you soon
Love Helen