Bottled sunshine


Summer is finally winding down here in the UK, and we have had a lot of sunshine. I've been bottling fruit from the hedgerows for various jellies and drinks...I've also bottled some colour from a coreopsis plant I bought at my local market. Here's my plant along with a large glass jar and some wool fibre I've mordanted in alum (10% WOF). Here's my assistant putting the flowers, yarn and some water in the jar: I have a small plastic greenhouse and it was a bright sunny day, so we put … [Continue reading...]



According to knitwear designer Gudrun Johnston, "aestlight" means "east light" in Shetland dialect. It's also the name of a lovely, garter stitch shawl with a traditional construction: this means knitting a garter triangle first, then picking up stitches along the two shorter triangle sides and working outwards evenly, and finally knitting a lacy edge sideways, picking up stitches on the outside of the triangle as you go. I've made shawls in several directions, but this is the first I've done … [Continue reading...]

Today I made…

If you’re new here, you may want to subscribe to my RSS feed. Thanks for visiting!…some amateurishly-labelled but still tasty lemon curd… …about 60 metres of lace weight Corriedale with hints of aurora-coloured Falkland, and a purchase: This Corriedale (yes I love it) is destined for some time in a big, smelly pot of fermenting […]

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Wool pulled over our eyes?


I’ve been learning a few techniques from friends and veteran spinners recently – one that has really opened up making more different types of yarn to me is learning to blend and card my own fibres. I started out by buying a set of hand cards – like a pair of very scary hairbrushes fitted […]

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Alchemy with fennel


I must admit that I don’t cook with fennel all that often, although I do love it as a herbal tea. My parents planted some in their vegetable garden this year, and have grown so much it is practically a hedge. And so, predictably, I stewed some up for dyeing purposes. Many, many garden plants […]

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A good day to dye


Almost autumn here in the UK – my carrot dye bath was hanging around from a few days ago so I added onion skins and a few bits of rusty iron and cooked it up. In went the Bluefaced Leicester fibre. Left to right: Second dip in onion/iron/carrot; first dip; pure carrot on alum from […]

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Cheerful carrots


It started with a bunch of carrots – carrot tops to be precise. My brother had some from his garden, and he offered them as ingredients for my dye experiments. I mordanted some Bluefaced Leicester fibre with alum, and at the same time, cooked the carrot tops in hot water for about 45 minutes. I […]

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Wonderful Woad

On vintage cotton and lace

Today I tackled my woad plants, which the caterpillars had been really enjoying… How I got from that, to lovely blue and lilac-grey colour is for another day. But here’s what I got from less than 100g of woad plants: I’m really impressed with the amount my plants yielded, and also pleased with the result […]

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  It’s been a crazy old week…very little has gone to plan. Work…not accomplished. Chaos…multiplying. Kids…on their summer break, with the youngest trying to injure himself weekly with any combination of skateboards, rope swings and nose dives into the pavement he can muster. Husband working overtime A few times this week, the meme I’ve heard  […]

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Shawls stalled

Dartmoor...near ancient bronze age village

Shawls – remember I was going to make on every month this year? Well I need to confess that I’ve stalled. I’m not likely to scramble to catch up and knit myself into a frenzy over it. There are a couple of good reasons why June, July, and now, most likely August are going to […]

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