Thursday, September 15, 2016


I don't know if any of you have started a project, and then immediately felt scared that you were gonna mess it up... well it happens to me quite a bit, probably due to my scatterbrain and low  levels of creative confidence.

I warped up for my sunset inspired project a week or so ago. I alligned the colours on the warp and it just blew me away... I felt like my plans for the fabric would just ruin the colour progressions.
Then I got myself in a real state, looking in my weaving books trying to find a n understandable explanation of the 'pick up stick' technique...
I don't relate well to written instructions, especially as I am mostly self taught... the pattern language and vocabulary is a bit alien, what instruction in a pattern *means* is not how I would say it... and then I just feel completely stupid.
People learn in different ways, and I just do better 'seeing' something demonstrated...

Anyway, a quick visit to youTube fixed my confusion... !

New ideas were hatched, and I felt confident my ideas would translate well, and not spoil the striking colour progression on the warp... whilst at the same time maximising the effect of my handspun... 

I wanted to capture the patterns in a sunset, whist still preserving the everyday wearability of the woven piece... 

I am completely in love with how it turned out, and it's not perfect... but it's perfect enough :) It captures my love of sunsets, and also the joy of being on holiday by the seaside, with all my amazing Boys.

The control freak isn't getting a look in, I need to be positive about my work, and not nitpick at everything, right ?
More positivity will help me to build confidence in my work as a whole, as I have a lot of things on the horizon that need my full attention... Spinzilla 2016, Stitch Up in Solihull, and also the ever present 'Poncho Project' that I am spinning yarn for.

I CAN do this... (repeat ad infinitum)

Thursday, September 08, 2016

Don't worry, be happy! (repeat until you believe it)

I am a worrier & have always been a worrier.
I don't think I can remember a time in my adult life when I haven't overthought absolutely everything ... I just accept it as being part of who I am ...
Over the last few years though, it's become increasingly difficult to push the worrying thoughts aside, and I have found them getting the upper hand, which then results in crippling anxiety attacks.
The inability to push the thoughts aside comes from a complete lack of self-confidence ... 
The inner voice that used to reassure me that 'You can do this, stop worrying so much about it' has fallen silent, and been replaced by a shadowy Spectre, who feeds the feelings of uselessness and panic.
I've been trying various calming techniques, visualising a 'happy place' etc and they seem to be really working, especially last thing at night.
I came across a really interesting website that has plenty of useful strategies to combat anxiety, and one of them really appealed to me... Using a meditation or 'Spinner ring'.
Anyone who has met me will notice I wear big pendants, usually made from a big crystal cab with a sterling silver, open backed setting. This is because in moments of unease, I rub the back of the crystal cabochon and with my thumb, and the front with my forefinger, and it helps me to focus.
I really like the idea of a thumb ring that I can use in a similar way, to provide me with rhythmic comfort, because it is less noticeable in public situations.

I did a search on etsy, and found one, in the UK... and it was the exact size I needed too! 

So, hopefully this is another way I can help myself keep calm when inside I feel like I am drowning?
*fingers crossed*

Saturday, September 03, 2016


For those of you who follow me on Instagram you'll know that our annual family holiday was full of colour, sunsets to be precise!
We went to North Devon, to the same seaside town where I spent my 40th Birthday... Westward Ho! and it was amazing, being right by the sea is where my soul is at ease.
I am also a nightowl, and walking by the sea at night is beautiful... the rhythmic sound of the waves, the smell... my happy place, if you will.
We  did so much over the fortnight we were there, and I did manage to tear my manshapes away from boy stuff long enough to visit Coldharbour Mill, one of the oldest woollen mills in the UK.
We had a guided tour, which was enjoyed by all, and I got to translate the machine processes into handspinning terms for my boys too... plus, they have working looms there... heaven!
Seeing the warping mill they had set up was mindblowing... !

Of course I couldn't leave without buying something... the fibre on the right was foraged out of the waste bins, I got it for a donation... and I also bought some white DK for dyeing :)

Pretty much as soon as I got home, to stave off the sadness of not being in my happy place anymore, I dyed the white yarn and spun the fibre...

Space dyed yarn

This was pencil roving that I ran back through my wheel and drafted it thick and thin, then plied it with glittery thread... yes I know... out of the comfort zone !

 This is what I did with the rest...

My endgame here is a piece of fabric. 
I intend to use the millspin, space dyed yarn as warp...hope to line all the colours up so the warp is alligned in colour blocks... then use the handspun and some solid black DK for weft.

Best laid plans eh?