New for Woolfest 2018

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Here is my new dress ready for our two days at Woolfest in Cumbria this coming weekend held on Friday June 22nd and Saturday June 23rd 2018. 

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The fabric was woven on a 20″ (50cm) rigid heddle loom with a 7.5dpi (30/10cm) reed. The warp was 2 picks of mohair and 2 picks of linen.  The weft was a handspun singles, acid dyed with pink, red and peach.  The fabric was hand washed and line dried on a windy day which always gives the fabric lots life and texture.

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One of the great things about this pattern is the raglan sleeve which can be made up in either a contrasting fabric or the same fabric as the dress.  These sleeves give a very comfy fit and the dress can be worn either on its own or with a T shirt underneath.  The bias strip around the neck edge is also a feature as it is sewn on back to front so that the raw edge is on the outside.  I always like to add a few buttons but they are optional!

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This is the original version woven on the rigid heddle loom and made from handwoven cotton and corn fibre.  The sleeves and hem are made from commercial denim.  This dress was featured in our book Get Weaving and is also available as a pattern #DR005.  We will have this and many other patterns for sale on our Stand J234 at Woolfest so do please come and find us and share your weaving adventures . We love to hear all about your ideas and of course we will be happy to help with any problems if we can. We will also be demonstrating during those two days, both the Quick Threading and Cutting out your Handwoven Fabric.

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Some of you will recognise the dress from this copy (issue 27) of The Ashford Wheel magazine where it was fully featured on pages 38 and 39.  That was a particularly good edition as there was a lot of weaving featuring the rigid heddle looms.  We cannot praise these looms enough and it is wonderful to see them growing in popularity and to see so many of you having such fun making beautiful fabrics.

As always, Happy Weaving !

 

 

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Wool Shows 2018

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Here we are on our stand GET WEAVING at this years WONDERWOOL held on the  Welsh Showground in Builth Wells, Wales.  We had a really great time and it was so good to meet so many happy rigid heddle weavers and to hear all about your ideas.

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For 2018 we have made many new handwoven garments as examples of what you can make on these marvellous rigid heddle looms.  To go with the garments Sarah has designed a collection of patterns to be used with handwoven fabrics, especially those narrow lengths made on the smaller looms.  Every pattern has a sample garment for people to look at and feel so they can see how the pattern will look when it is made up. We do not sell the clothes but we do sell the patterns and our weaving books at these events.

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Our next outing will be at WOOLFEST in Cumbria on June 22nd and 23rd so do come and find us there.  We would love to see what you have made.  We will be demonstrating on both days so please come and ask if you have any questions or need any help. Hopefully it will be a bit warmer than it was in April and we will not need our beautiful gloves, courtesy of the Ceredigion Guild stand!

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It is always brilliant to meet up with old friends at these events especially when they are wearing their own hand spun, hand dyed, handwoven outfit made from her very own sheeps wool!  How good is that!

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This is my shopping from Wonderwool  and I hope you will see it on the loom, being woven up when you come to see us at WOOLFEST  in June.     Happy weaving.

New Dress for Wales 2018

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This brilliant pinafore dress is such fun to wear and so easy to make using one of Sarah’s patterns #GW DR009 which are especially designed to fit onto narrow widths of hand woven fabric.

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The fabric was woven on a 16″ (40cm) rigid heddle loom using a 7.5dpi (30/10cm) reed. The warp was a mixture of wools, linens and viscose yarns and the weft was all hand spun wool and silk.

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The weft is a plied yarn made from one bobbin of wool and one of silk. This is a lovely light weight mixture and weaves up really well giving a soft and airy fabric just right for a Spring outfit.

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Two buttons attach the straps to the front body but are simply ornamental as the whole dress slips easily over the head. The wonderful Herdwick sheep broach is made by Jackie Cardy of Feltworks.

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Two pockets are added to the front skirt and come in two different designs.

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We will be at WONDERWOOL in Wales this weekend with this design and many other exciting new garments for you to see and try on.  We will have the patterns too so do come and say Hello and show us what you have made on your rigid heddle loom.  You will find us on stand T3 GET WEAVING and we will be there on both Saturday and Sunday weaving and talking or is it talking and weaving!   Lets do it and have fun.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Silk and Cotton Top

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This very simple but elegant silk and cotton top was woven on a 24″ (60cm) wide rigid heddle loom using a 10dpi (40/10cm) reed.

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The warp is a mixture of tussah silk yarn, a cotton and silk yarn and a totally recycled yarn (the one with the flecks of colour) from Rowan found at Woolfest last year.  The weft was a white silk, cotton and viscose yarn.   Although the weaving looks quite open, after washing the threads meld together to make a beautiful material with lots of drape.

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Using a wider rigid heddle loom has allowed me to use the full width of the woven fabric to place my pattern on, so no centre seam required as is the norm if using a narrow width loom.  I still cut my pattern pieces out individually on a single layer of fabric to make sure everything fits on.  After cutting out I use the Iron on Woven Interfacing on all the cut edges before overlocking or zig-zagging.

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The neck is finished with a natural length of linen bias binding and slips over the head comfortably.

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The sleeve edge takes advantage of the selvedge so no hem required.  An addition of shell beads adds to the luxurious feel to this simple top.

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This versatile pattern from Get Weaving #T008 has the addition of a band running around the bottom hem, using a strip from the handwoven fabric after the other pattern pieces had been cut out, giving this top a modern touch.  This and many more new patterns will be on our stand GET WEAVING at Wonderwool in Wales this April.  DO come and see us if you are about. We love to see what you all make and share ideas.  Happy Weaving

Blue Stocking Dress for Spring

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Here is another version of the wonderful pattern from Get Weaving # DR006, made this time from a linen and wool fabric woven on the 20″ (50cm) rigid heddle loom.

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The weft is a singles yarn, spun from small rolags in a variety of soft colours, in no set order to give short lengths of blended yarn.

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The warp is all linen, threaded on a 10dpi (40/10cm) reed, 4 threads of each colour threaded across the full width of the reed.  Although a 20″ (50cm) loom the finished fabric after washing will be closer to 18″ (46cm) in width and several inches shorter in the length so always allow for take up and shrinkage when calculating your warp mileage.

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A linen warp and a woollen weft is traditionally known as a Linsey-Wolsey fabric and was popular in the 1700’s when there was a shortage of wool in the country due to it all being exported abroad. Linen was freely available from Ireland so this fabric became a popular substitute.  It is heavier than flannel and has a lovely drape and feel.  The singles weft beds down well amongst the stiffer, linen threads which have a tendency to remain aloof and unforgiving.

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Using this brilliant pattern with its six panels, especially designed by Sarah for narrow widths I can cut out each piece individually and then using the Iron on Woven Interfacing secure all the cut edges before either over- locking or using the zigzag on the sewing machine. From then onwards it is normal construction for any garment.

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Cleverly the pockets are inserted between the two side and front panels making them easy to put in and very secure.  Buttons are a decorative feature for both the tabs and the pockets as the dress is roomy enough to slip comfortably over your head. This is such a useful pattern, great with tights and boots or equally a shorter version with jeans.  Go to Sarah’s facebook page to find out more about her many sewing patterns.

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Classic Wool Skirt

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A warm, woolly skirt, thick tights and boots are my favourite clothes for winter months and what a simple project this skirt is for the rigid heddle loom.  Woven as one length using the 7.5 reed and DK weight yarn the fabric weaves up very quickly to produce a good length ready to be cut into four pieces, 2 fronts with a centre seam and 2 backs with a zip and a kick pleat.

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The warp yarns were 2 picks of turquoise boucle and 2 picks of blue mohair. The weft yarns were  2 picks of green and turquoise boucle wool and 2 picks of turquoise mohair.

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Remember to always wash your woven fabric by hand when you take it off the loom to allow the fibres to merge together and give your fabric a good drape. We love to wash our weaving on a windy day and see it blowing in the breeze!

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Always use the iron on woven interfacing, cut into strips on all your cut seams to secure your weaving.  This wonderful product makes sewing so easy with handwoven fabrics. Enjoy these cold, winter days by making beautiful, handwoven fabrics on your rigid heddle loom.  Get Weaving!

 

 

 

Wonderwool Revisited

IMG_2417It is hard to believe that it is already two weeks since our wonderful visit to Wonderwool in Wales where we met so many enthusiastic fellow weavers and shared our love of the rigid heddle looms and the lovely fabrics they can produce.

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This year as well as selling our three weaving books we were promoting Sarah’s range of Get Weaving sewing patterns especially designed, by her, to fit onto narrow widths of handwoven fabric made on the rigid heddle loom. With over twenty different designs for all members of the family these patterns proved very popular, especially as we had actual garments made from the patterns for people to see and handle and try on.

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It was also a great a pleasure to catch up with old friends and fellow weavers.  Here is Rosie Green from the Saori Weaving stand wearing a very beautiful dress made on the Saori loom using the clasped weft technique.

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It was also a delight to meet up with the Ashford Boys who were over here in the UK for this show and then off to Europe to meet up with all their suppliers. They are the new, young face of weaving and it was great to have their support as we do so love the Ashford equipment, though some of you may have spotted a Schacht rigid heddle Flip loom hanging on the wall behind them!  We do like to use all types of rigid heddle looms and we are so pleased to see so many new ones on the market today. To find out more about the sewing patterns go to Sarah’s facebook page.