Harris Tweed Handbag

My handbag finally gave up on me after three years of daily use. The handles had been fraying for months, the lining had torn, the out fabric was wearing thin, but I still carried it with me every day. When the handle broke away from the bag, there was no way I could keep using it. I had to accept that it had come to the end of its life.

The good thing about losing a handbag is getting a new one, and I had been looking forward to owning a handbag that wasn’t falling to pieces. As my old bag died at the end of January, there were still sales in the stores, so we went to have a look. I didn’t like any of the bags I saw at the shopping centre, they were mostly made from plastic and covered in gold fixings, not to my taste at all. I knew I could make something for myself that I would like a lot better, and it would also be much cheaper. Read more

Needle Felted Bead Tutorial

Needle felting involves repeatedly stabbing a piece of wool with a barbed needle until it has felted. It is quite fun and very easy. Beads are a great beginner project as they are small yet simple. Today I’m going to show you how to make some.

You will need:

  • Wool fibre – other fibres may felt, try at your own risk
  • Barbed felting needle
  • Foam block
  • Thread
  • Large eyed sewing needle
  • About 20 minutes per bead

About the Equipment

Felting needles are completely different to regular needles. They are barbed, which means they have tiny sticky out bits along the shaft. These barbs are essential to the felting process. They catch on the fibres as you stab the wool, tucking them into each other and locking them together, creating a tightly knotted, dense felt from your light and airy fibre. You can obtain felting needles from good craft stores or on the internet. I got mine from Texere. Read more

Cabled hat and headband with flower

I have been doing loads of knitting lately, but because I have so many projects on the needles it’s been a while since I finished anything. Two things have now been cast off and finished up, so I thought I’d share/show them off.

The hat was knit from the snowtracks cap pattern in king craig aran tweed merino and cashmere and can be found on ravelery. I enjoyed the cable pattern, and while the yarn was a bit weird to knit with, I like the finished hat a lot.

The headband was knit from the knit ear warmer with crochet flower pattern in texere monaco cotton and can also be found on ravelry. The headband stretches a lot when I wear it, I wish I had made it smaller. Perhaps throwing it in the washing machine will tighten it up a bit. Read more

Ringo cowl

I thought it was about time I made something for myself so I looked through my list of bookmarked patterns and chose this cowl and some chunky wool yarn. It whipped up really quickly on a 6.5mm crochet hook and used less than a ball of each of the 4 colours.

I used Freedom Wool by Twilleys of Stamford in three shades of brown and a grey, and followed this pattern: Ringo cowl. Unlike the pattern, I also joined my last ring into the first ring, making a continuous loop rather than a strip of circles. I’m pleased with the result 🙂 Read more

Hand Spinning

This afternoon I picked up my long neglected spindle to have another go at spinning yarn.

I have tried spinning before without much success. I used poor quality wool and didn’t really know what I was doing. It came out very uneven, lumpy and quite ugly.

I thought I would give it another go, you don’t get better without trying right? So I grabbed some welsh mountain wool that’s been on my shelf forever, and my spindle.

Today’s effort was a little bit better than my previous attempts. I managed to get a relatively smooth yarn, although it was still a bit uneven. I struggle to get the spindle to actually spin for more than a second at a time, so it spends most of it’s time clamped between my knees while I try and get the wool to do what I want it to. Read more