Basic stuff

The secret to my success! something so simple but with endless possibilities!

The British Felt Blog.....

What is Felt? (The technical version)

FELT” is a textile structure composed entirely of fibres physically interlocked and consolidated by the utilization of mechanical work, chemical action and moisture without the use of weaving, knitting, stitching, thermal bonding or adhesives.

This can be a little bit of a mouthful to say the least and can be perceived as somewhat pompous and in it’s own way a little old fashioned.

So lets try something a little more modern.

What is Felt? (A straight forward version)

“FELT” is a fabric, normally manufactured from sheep wool, that is made by pressing and steaming to enable the wool fibers to  interlock and form a continuous mat. Because of this natural process it has neither weft nor warp and exhibits the same structure throughout.

History of FeltFELT 2

Possibly the oldest textile structure known to man (although this can’t be proved!).

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Extend Your Dwindling Shopping Days at NT Chiltern Gateway Centre Christmas Bazaar

Join me this Sunday 16th December (and 23rd) at the National Trust Chiltern Gateway Centre’s annual Christmas Bazaar from 11am to 4pm. Meet Santa, enjoy Christmas Pud and Mulled Wine whilst listening to the Carol Singers. Choose presents for those special people from a variety of seasonal craft gift and local produce stalls.

Blush Wrap

Don’t resist the temptation to touch my Blush Scarf.


Stained Glass by fellow ANB member Jack Cooper.

Christmas Bazaar

A Knitters’ Journal

We were only discussing yesterday, at our Nutty Knitters’ group, the challenge of sizing a yarn we no longer have the band for! I don’t have a Notebook for commercial yarns but I do have a log of the yarns I have dyed myself.

Degree 002 - Copy


Some time ago, I started keeping all the yarn labels for my projects so that I could remember which yarn I used. Rather than stuffing them in a drawer, I wanted to organize them somehow. I found this simple journal and started stapling the yarn labels onto the pages.

On the margins, I jotted down the name of the project and the date. At some point, I started including a scrap of yarn with the label so that I could remember what the yarn looked and felt like. The sample on the left page below is what I used to make a pair of baby booties, including the pretty ribbon to tie them together. The sample on the right was a souvenir yarn from Romni Wools in Toronto. It’s patiently waiting for the right project.

The yarns below went into making a thick cabled scarf for my husband, a racy…

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Berkhamsted Artisans, Arts and Crafts Market

Join me on Sunday in the picturesque Hertfordshire town of Berkhamsted. I will be on the first floor of the Town Hall where there will be a wide choice of fantastic handmade Christmas gifts on sale.

The Farmers’ Market will be open and the town is also a great place for Sunday lunch so why not make a day of it?

Berkhamsted Artisans, Arts and Crafts Market

Farmers’ Market

Tweed All About It

Tweed – it’s oh so fashionable with lots of lovely high quality products on the market – such as this fabulous Man Bag by Catherine Aitken. Plus some not so good ‘makers’ who have jumped on the bandwagon. But will the trend last and quality out? I do hope so.

Definition of Tweed…

My own celebration of Tweed! A true Harris Tweed jacket – which tells the story of this fantastic traditional industry and its unique link to the landscape and lifestyle – given a new life with a contemporary twist.

Visit the other pages on my Blog for more exciting Tweedie items.

Tweedvixen's Blog

I was recently asked by the fabulous Audacious Huxley for my definition of tweed.  I thought that the answer would be easy and obvious, until I actually thought about it.  Just parroting the usual Oxford dictionary description; “a rough surfaced woolen cloth, typically of mixed fleck colours, originally produced in Scotland.”  or giving the standard origin story regarding tweed being a misreading of the word twill, whilst all true it seemed an empty answer.

I believe that tweed is a fabric steeped in British Heritage and so for me must be made in the United Kingdom or Ireland. I know that many great Mills around the world make a tweed fabric to different levels of quality, some rather good but to me they are not tweed.  When buying a tweed garment surely part of the appeal is the heritage and the story it tells.

Tweed must be at least 80% wool or it is not tweed!…

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Lewis People 1

I found everyone I met to be really friendly and helpful.

Here weaver Norman Mackenzie extols the virtues of his 60 year old traditional single width Hattersley loom.

Although many weavers now use the newer double-width looms which the fashion industry demands, Norman prefers the traditional Hattersley loom which his family used as he grew up.

On returning to Lewis on his retirement he was disappointed to find the family loom was no longer there. Fortunately, he was able to rescue one his neighbour was disposing of.

It was interesting to talk to him about our shared passion and in particular to discuss the amazing landscape colours to be found in his cloth. Needless to say I brought some back with me – just wish I could afford more!

I would like to thank Norman for our lovely chat and taking the time to share his experiences with me.

I Love Lewis and Harris

Back from a wonderful week staying on a croft on the Isle of Lewis. The people were fantastic – welcoming and very helpful – and the views breathtaking. Had to be restrained in order to limit the amount of Harris Tweed I brought back – so much to choose from! Busy, busy now making for my exhibitions in the September Bedfordshire Artists’ Network Art Trail.

Lots of pictures and news to follow but here is the first taster.